Gardening for Wildlife forum: Well meaning neighbors...

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jun 16, 2016 9:51 PM CST
I am letting an overgrown Xmas tree patch revert to a native screen barrier between our driveway and the neighbor. It is about 20' wide x 100' long and currently has a ton of 30' tall Douglas fir in neat rows. We are removing some of the firs so it is not quite so symmetrical (those that are stunted and not doing well) and letting the understory colonize as it will. So far we are getting lots of sword fern, salmonberry, snowberry, vine maple, and the errant non-native holly and laurel (which I am letting grow on a limited basis). I've been adding rhododendrons, darmera, mahonia, and goatsbeard, along with random Japanese maples I get from my cousin (free, not native, but blend in well). Our two driveways are parallel to one another, clearly delineated by a board fence that stops about 10' or so from the road shoulder. Sure enough, neighbor weedwacked one of my fledgling darmeras along with some salmonberries, I'm sure thinking they were 'cleaning' up our shared border. I'm not concerned about the berries (they will come back) but kind of sad about the darmera - sometimes this area is difficult to get plants to 'take' in as it is not handy to the first year watering I usually give new plants. I'm hoping the darmera will recover (really like the big bang look of it), although I do have a large clump in my regular garden so can replant this fall, and will put a stake with a flag on it to mark its location. Hoping this will be enough to warn off the neighbor, it really is not even worth mentioning (can't be undone), but dang. The funny thing was my husband had just offered to weedwack that area, but I told him not to because of the young plants. Guess I should have done some sort of rudimentary 'cleanup' myself to expose the new plants and make it look more tended. Live and learn.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

whereami
Jun 25, 2016 5:32 AM CST
Deb: I am so sorry for that! I am one of those who loves "untended" areas. Not areas with single species where invasives have run amok but wild areas, screens or otherwise that are left alone. My husband is always happy to use his electric saw and clippers but I keep him out of "my" wild areas. I used to tend the areas, make them neat and manicured but in this area that is like putting a bullseye on your favourite plant because the deer population is so high. In order to keep plants, trees safe it is better for them to grow among dense patches of more aggressive species and this leads to an untidier presentation but you know what? I have never seen so many insects and birds as I've seen this year with everything overgrown!

If it were me, I'd probably mention what you're doing with the area because what if your neighbour, thinking he's doing you a favour, clears ever more of your screen? I have a neighbour that is clearing the woods on his property so he can run his atv thing all over the place...luckily a bunch of large trees have fallen between our properties.....or I'd be worry about him clearing even more....very different set of values...I would mention your intention to your neighbour!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Jun 25, 2016 5:59 AM CST
That is so disappointing when "well intentioned" neighbours meddle in other people's yards.
I have had to come down hard on some people, and just ban them from my yard, because they were too aggressive when they came into my yard.

Genuine gardeners are so busy with their own gardens,---- that they do not have time to meddle in other gardens.

Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jun 25, 2016 8:55 AM CST
I checked yesterday and the darmera is throwing out new sprouts, so it is on the road to recovery. I cleared out around it and will also mark it with either a ribboned stick or maybe a chicken wire cage. This particular neighbor isn't really a menace, he's pretty occasional about any sort of maintenance. He's also quite sensitive and I don't want to make him feel badly so will just leave it. Sometimes a little venting is all that is needed.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Jun 25, 2016 9:10 AM CST
Well, Deb, sometimes, you just have to look at that kind of thing and remind yourself that a "hard prune" is often considered a "rejuvenation prune". Seems to work better that way for some plants.

Good neighbors who want to be kind can be treasures and need tending, too. I think you have your priorities straight. I tip my hat to you.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
[Last edited by RoseBlush1 - Jun 25, 2016 10:54 AM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Jun 25, 2016 9:16 AM CST
Thanks, Lyn. I think I'll gift him a start this fall - such a fun plant, and he has room for it.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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