Reading Stuart’s Gardening FOR the neighbours post of this past month started me reminiscing about different neighbors and a few of my front yard garden opinions. First the opinions: I think the front yard space ought to take the public into account. “What will the neighbors think?” doesn’t usually matter much to me, except in the case of considering their viewing pleasure of my front yard. Not that I garden for others, but I try to “blend” with the landscape and give a pleasing public smile to passersby.
I put matching hanging baskets on the front porch in the summer. The driveway borders stay demure and trimmed, but after that it is any body’s guess what either the state of the garden might be, or the color combinations for that year. I think a persons garden is their private affair. It ought to please the creator foremost, and express their view of what is artistic… or just makes them happy! But the front entrance areas are shared spaces and ought to accommodate others feelings.
Neighbors…Good, Bad, and the Ugly
I’ve had them all, and while I tried to be the good one to others, there are some that just wouldn’t be pleased. I was the dog to their house… or something. Anyway, my present neighbor has had all sorts of opinions and demands about what I should and should not do. I gave her many “good neighbor” plants, helped plant her first trees, etc. While she sprays the fenceline with herbicides which irks me no end, and she was angry that I didn’t get her input on that fence in the first place. Prior to that she was angry that I had kids that kicked their ball slightly over the property line (which started to be disputed in her mind) before the fence. In this case, a fence made a good neighbor out of me ( sort of like the “honest woman” !!!) We put up a simple board horse fence around the property. I think fences are the answer to many annoying situations. Like the surreptitious plant snatcher of my former neighborhood in the city. I had made a little rock garden in the front yard and began filling it with many miniature treasures. One day the ‘Black Molly’ violas proved too tempting to someone… they were completely lifted from their little nook. A picket fence went up soon after, which also kept drunken students from next door and short cut-ting kids, stray dogs, and mailmen from tramping a trail through the small front yard area. So it worked out well and still gave an intimate view of the garden to the passersby.
In that city garden I had some of my best garden neighbors, though. There were a number of us that took great pleasure in our gardens. An elderly lady whom I helped put in her ajuga gave me starts of her perennials, a single woman down the street shared her tips on compost making, and the couple across the street had outstanding taste in creating their landscape- we mutually admired and encouraged each other in our garden endeavors. Sadly that neighborhood went downhill once again, but it was an experience in the benefits of good gardening on an urban neighborhood.