So, my husband and I have been working on a big landscaping project.
OK, so maybe the project did involve a landscaping company that did the big work, like excavating our backyard and putting together a huge patio. But, we did all the planting and mulching. That’s counts for something, right?
Anyway, our Sunday was spent feverishly working on getting the big piles of compost and mulch out of our driveway. Since we’re leaving for New York on Thursday, this was our last chance. We had to fill up our new raised garden bed, move some lilacs, trim some bushes, and mulch. Did I mention the mulch?
Also, it looked like it was about to rain all morning long.
We decided to start with moving three lilacs over to our new garden. The lilacs were in an area that we think is ours, but our neighbor thinks is his. It’s basically our border. It’s not really worth the fight because we would only gain about two feet of yard next to our driveway.
Our neighbor planted hostas in this area. I added the lilacs for something a little prettier, and so that they might grow higher and block the views from their porch.
Our neighbors sit in their porch a lot and just watch what we’re doing. We’re kind of on display.
We decided to move the lilacs to our new garden because the new landscaping gives us much more privacy, and we want to enjoy our nice lilacs. Simple enough.
Except our neighbor opened the window to their porch and said in a very stern manner, “How dare you.”
Now, I’d like to mention here that we take care of these plants, pruning them, weeding them and watering them. I even weed our neighbor’s bushes from time to time. My husband will mow the part of their yard that is close to our garage.
We’re not exactly bad neighbors. We try to help. The brother and sister who live there are in their 80s and can’t get around very well. I don’t see family members visiting, so I feel like we should keep an eye out.
We have never received a thank you for anything in 5 years. The brother once invited me over to see his rhubarb plant, but I’m pretty sure he just wanted me to bake him a rhubarb pie. (He clearly doesn’t know me very well.)
She, apparently, thought we were digging up all of their hostas and stealing them. I’m no sure what I would even do with all those hostas. I could probably make about 30 plants from them, which would not fit in my postage-sized intown lot. Did I mention yet that I hate hostas?
Not wanting to be confrontational with an elder, I calmly told her we were taking our lilacs to our new garden and spreading her hostas out so that they would be healthier and look nicer. She calmed down and said, “Oh.”
Then, she shut the window, sat in her chair and watched us sweat.
And we kept on working. We got the mulch spread just as the rain starting coming down. Perfect timing.
Do you have neighbors like this? How do you handle confrontational neighbors?
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.
I came across Gardener’s Supply Company when I was compiling a list of gardening resources for a blog post. My friend recommended them because they had a ton of information on their website, and she has had good experiences ordering from them.
After seeing their website, I signed up for their newsletter. I love gardening, but I’m not exactly an expert. So, their learn and share section immediately drew me in with all the how to articles and planning tools.
Their mission is “to spread the joys and rewards of gardening, because gardening nourishes the body, elevates the spirit, builds community and makes the world better.”
The more I read about Gardener’s Supply, the more I liked them.
Gardener’s Supply is in Vermont, for one thing, so they’re not too far from Maine. They are also employee-owned and run by gardeners who actually care about customer service and answering questions about gardening.
Gardener’s Supply also has a philanthropic business model. They’ve donated 8% of their profits since they opened in 1983. According to their website, they “support nonprofit gardening, hunger-relief and community organizations with volunteer time and donations of 8% of our pre-tax profits.”
Gardener’s Supply honors individuals who are “improving the world through gardening” via their Garden Crusader Awards. The awards are “designed to honor people who are creating gardens that provide fresh food, clean up urban areas, educate neighborhoods and spark change.”
We’re about to have some landscaping work done in our small yard. When it’s done, I’ll have a new patio and gardens, including a raised bed for veggies and herbs.
I’m dying to order from Gardener’s Supply, but we’re not quite ready yet. For now, I’m sticking to the how-to section.
It’s nice to find a company I feel good about buying from.