Not quite permaculture 

When I got home last night, I noticed my neighbour had been doing some gardening. Then later I paid more attention.


neighbourly plantings

There is a row of plants, some of which are geranium, which might technically be on my land….. Oh!

Anyway, I can see that my neighbour was just trying to neaten things up and might have thought she was helping me out in view of my hands. However, this is not what I intended in my front garden.

That said, there did need to some kind of border – it all looked a bit ragged before. And the geraniums will probably be killed off by frost, anyway. So, I am trying to see this as a positive, as to say or do anything would be unhelpful. Mmmm…. 

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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20 Responses to Not quite permaculture 

  1. Oh dear, it’s never good when boundaries are challenged. Maybe she was just trying to define the border in a colourful way? Seriously though, don’t let it bother you. I have a neighbour who I get annoyed about when he even touches my fence and it’s a waste of my energy because he’s not really doing anything. I’m however letting him bother me which is silly. Good luck!

    • Helen says:

      Thanks, Sophie, you are very right!

      Writing my blog post was quite cathartic and I am starting to see the funny side…. Overall, I know she is a kind person, so letting it go is the sensible option 😊.

  2. Lovely update Helen lets hope it was meant in kindness to help you out but would of been nice to ask you first

    • Helen says:

      I guess she could say the same about me killing the grass on what she might have thought was her lawn. Therefore I’ve switched on my compassionate head. The plants do like nice, as well 🙂

  3. Hey Helen …. oh do let it go. I think your phacelia will end up hogging the show! 🙂

  4. I do hope the geraniums are not those horrible purple ones, or shocking pink, or faded orange, or plain white, or brazen red, or…

  5. Lol, I had to comment today just to sat ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’….I know that it must be annoying, but on the other side of the coin your neighbour could be a noisy ‘lay about’ with an overgrown garden with lots of cr–p laying about…..when you think of it like that then a few geraniums are quite a blessing.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, it is indeed a blessing.

      I guess the concern I have is that she is unhappy with what I am doing as I don’t want to upset anyone. At the same time, I want a nice front garden and the lawn wasn’t doing it for me.

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Helen, thank her for the gift of the plants…
        if she looks puzzled, point out where the line of the bricks changes in the house wall…
        but above all, get chatting to her about what you are trying to do… and why!
        And, as she likes “neat and tidy”… you do the same sort of thing with the front garden plantings… you’ll also get less nicked that way, too!

        And why not put the beehive in the front garden… that would stop people getting too close!

        • Helen says:

          I don’t quite follow you the ‘neat and tidy’ comment…. If I’ve understood right, do you think it might be a good idea to plant in straight rows?

          I think it’s a bit too late to thank her for the gift as we’ve already had a chat over the back garden fence about what I’m growing there… She seems quite intrigued so my guess is she meant no harm at the front.

          Anyway, a beehive would certainly keep people away lol!

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Oh no! Not in straight lines…
        YUCK! and dubble yuck…
        that’s horrible, old fashioned formal stuff…
        it would look like an allotment.
        No, “neat and tidy” in my book is balanced patches of plants and edible flowers….
        nasturtiums and English marigolds…
        three red lettuce, forming triangles…
        “Marvel of Four Seasons” has very good flavour and texture…
        and is happy in shade… and three green ones….
        some diamond shapes of curly kales [needs five or nine plants]…
        interspersed with French marigolds, etc…
        that sort of thing!
        Try and make a line of symmetry down the middle….
        from house wall to pavement.
        They use kales and Ruby chard in the village planters in France…
        and they are used to good effect!!
        What you should aim to get in a front garden is…
        a cottage garden feel…
        then half-hitchers wouldn’t know which is edible and which isn’t…
        draw up a plan with your daughter….
        use that!

        • Helen says:

          I’m glad you weren’t suggesting straight lines!

          The front garden is quite a big space. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to kill off all the grass so it may take till next year to get up and running with a regular garden (as opposed to one filled with green manure).

      • drofmit4108 says:

        And as for the bees….
        I was responding to your comments on Amelia’s site…
        best to stick to the solitaries and bumbleabouts in town and suburb!

  6. Marcella Rousseau says:

    As we say in the states, “Good fences make for good neighbors.” I’m thinking about putting up a fence on the west side of my property. My neighbor has a boulder that looks like part of it is on my property. I wonder if she did that on purpose so I couldn’t put up a fence. Anyway, I was thinking that you should be very sure that it is your property. Do you have the documentation? If so, mention it to her. Show her. Then say you would be fine with her using that amount of space if she wouldn’t mind pruning her trees that block the sun from getting to your tomatoes or garden. I’m very protective of my land. My property is MY property and I like to think I follow the law. I resent the fact that many of my neighbors think they can do whatever they want in my backyard like leaving broken pieces of their wooden fence. My backyard is not a garbage dump! That is only one example of what they do. I’m fed up and there is a lot more to this story. Since you and your neighbor are on friendly terms, you can talk to her. I’m not on friendly terms with any of my neighbors. I think they are all irresponsible. I only threw one of them out of my backyard once a long time ago and she is the only one who talks to me! Imagine that! You have to set boundaries with people otherwise they will walk all over you, hard as that might be. And I fully admit, it isn’t easy! Good luck!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you! The trees are actually on a property further along and I am reluctant to knock on their door. So for the moment, I live with the trees. At least, these neighbours aren’t actively doing anything untoward directly on my property…. Poor you, though! I would find your experience infuriating.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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