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It takes a village

A friend of mine/fellow blogger recently wrote about rescuing some plants from a long-abandoned house. I have the opposite problem: next-door neighbors (son and his mother) who do nothing to keep up with their property other than occasionally mowing their lawn. Notice the pictures of the shrubs I posted. These people no longer walk between these overgrown beasts to get to their front door; they now cut through the grass. I know when I took Jordan trick-or-treating there this past Halloween, I pretty much had to turn sideways to get through. I think Kate Moss would be challenged to fit!

The owner of the house is somewhere between mid 20s and mid 30s and is completely mobile; in fact, I have seen him attempt some type of martial arts in his backyard. So why is it so hard to trim these shrubs? We have shared hedges, and if you looked at them head on/between our two houses, you would see his side growing wildly and ours looking neat and trim. Brian has threatened many times to go over there and trim the hedges and shrubs. I told him he should offer to do it for a low price. That way he could make a little money and the place would look better. And if the neighbor said no, maybe, just maybe, he would get the hint.

I have also noticed on several walks that sometimes an empty bottle or wrapper sits in their front yard near the street. Most likely they did not put that litter there, but how can they not notice it and not want to pick it up (rhetorical question)? As I have written before, I often walk through my neighborhood picking up litter, but I am hesitant to collect it from people's yards. If they don't care enough to pick it up, why should I?

Home ownership is not for everyone. And if I did not have Brian, I would not own a single-family house; there is just too much work keeping up with everything. But if you are going to own a place, you should be willing to keep up with it or else hire someone else to do it. People should have to sign contracts stating this, right along with their house agreement, don't you think?


Anonymous said…
Most communities have ordinances requiring upkeep--the local government should be enforcing these. The homeowner should have some pride in their house, though, as well.
chris h. said…
I had to laugh at those giant walk-blocking shrubs! Maybe they'll just let them grow together and cut a small hole like a hobbit entrance.

We spent 3 years trying to ignore the mess next door, but still, occasionally, crossing the line (literally and figuratively) to clean up weeds and branches and prune what we didn't want to look at. Those people didn't care (or didn't comment if they did).

Personally, I'm a big fan of fences -- tall ones.
Facie :-) said…
I actually have tried to call code enforcement, but have been prompted to leave a message. I will keep trying, but I seem to recall that grass has to be a hideous 18" high before it is a violation. Not sure about bushes/shrubs.

Chris: Good call about the hobbit entrance. I should suggest that next time I see the mom and she does not turn her head (they are odd).

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