Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fitting in (or not)

This week I have been more focused than usual on the landscaping around my house.  I generally go for the wild look, much to the consternation of my neighbors.  To give perspective on that, here's my next door neighbor's landscaping:
(I had to crop this photo to cut out my wild branches hanging over their property.)

Now, here's my landscaping:

Voila la difference!  I think it's funny, but the neighbors are not quite so light-hearted about it.  One of them went so far as to tell me, in a manner which I'm sure he considered polite, that I don't belong here.........

I'm sure they're frustrated that they have no legal recourse.  If I had grass, they could report me to the city if it grew beyond a certain length.  But the first thing I did when I moved in here was to get rid of the grass so that ground covering ivy could take over.
Ground cover is environmentally friendly, and in my opinion a heck of a lot more aesthetic than fussy old grass.

Obviously I have a lot more going on than mere ground cover- all of the bushes and trees have taken on a certain devil-may-care appearance as well
The only time this is in any way problematic is when pizza is delivered. The house is not visible from the street, so it's necessary to stand out in the middle of the street to flag down the pizza man.

The neighbors did find a way to punish me.  Each Christmas Eve, they gather together to set up luminaries lining the streets of the neighborhood.  There are no sidewalks here; they line up the candles along the curb.

The luminaries come to a dramatic halt at my property line.  The first Christmas Eve I lived here, the neighbors were outside busily setting up the luminaries when I came home from work.  I asked them why they were not illuminating my property, and was told that it was because of my ground cover!  Seriously!  That was a tough one to explain to The Child, who was then 4 years old, since I couldn't make sense of it myself.

If only the neighbors understood that defiance is a favorite indulgence of mine.



Lynilu said...

Well, whatever. Personally, I like your landscaping MUCH MORE! Keep up the rebelry, IMO!!!

B.S. said...

Thanks, Lynilu. I am not surprised that your taste lines up with mine!


Aurora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aurora said...

Dear Betty,
That's a tough one for me.
I have neighbors on my street who let everything in their yard be overgrown.

Problem is, it lowers ALL of our property values to have 'curb appeal'/landscaping appear to be neglected in our small neighborhood when someone comes by to do an appraisal/wants a comp done, etc.

In other words, the house that 'doesn't fit in' is usually sold for less becasue the new buyers think they have to do more work on it than the ones that are fussily maintained.

So while your garden looks healthy and green and I know how much the environment means to you -- I would just have to ask myself if my defiance might be shooting myself in the foot in the long run when you put your place up for sale.

I want you to have your lovely Victorian house in the part of town that you want.
In doing so, I want you to get top dollar for this current one:)

B.S. said...

Dear Aurora,

Good point. Some people love my property but others see it as a maintenance nightmare. In fact, my next landscaping-oriented post is going to be about my efforts to trim (to perfection) the hedges in front of the house. And I shouldn't mislead- I don't neglect the plantlife. (It's actually a lot of work to weed this property, but I do it!) There are no dead plants. Each spring I have pruned the many bushes and trees, but it doesn't look like it!


Monogram Queen said...

Screw the establishment!!! I say you come up with something incredibly tacky for the front of your house that makes a STATEMENT this year.
And can I just say how much they suck because they hurt a 4 year olds feelings?

B.S. said...

Dear Patti,

You know, I always get a kick out of those pink plastic flamingos...maybe that's what I need, eh?

I know- can you believe they'd do that to a 4 year old?