Sandbox forum: Then and Now Photos of Backyard

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Feb 14, 2017 3:56 PM CST
This is the entrance to our backyard taken in 2007. Our neighbors decided to put a dry stacked wall on their side yard, fill it in and grass the area. They never asked us if it was okay. Until then, the grass gently rolled down and into their backyard. They used the cheapest river sand fill and put grass over it. The first rain sent the sand gushing thru the rocks. They had someone come in and poke some concrete between the rocks on our side. What they didn't tell us was that they had built up the ground inside their back fence to match their patio. The water off the grass only had only one way to go after it hit that fence, over the wall and into our backyard.
The lattice enclosure on the left of our sidewalk was covered in vines to hide our ACs and garbage cans. I planted monkey grass to try to keep the water from washing across to the ACs. The mud covered the roots of everything I planted there. Nothing will grow unless it is in a pot.
They were going to "fix" it. Instead, we had to have a limestone walk built to keep from sliding in mud going from front to backyard.

Side yard in back
Thumb of 2017-02-14/Bubbles/3b5f35

Rest of garden behind house
Thumb of 2017-02-14/Bubbles/0121ed




Lattice enclosure
Thumb of 2017-02-14/Bubbles/3fa859

Attempt to keep water from wall from drowning our grass
Thumb of 2017-02-14/Bubbles/83d009

So that was then...and this is 2010 as the sand/mud slowly killed all our grass on the side.
I placed rocks to try to keep the water and muck out of the bed. It just went around.
And so we replaced the grass in July, 2010
Thumb of 2017-02-14/Bubbles/eb34f5


And the new grass was dead in October, 2010
Thumb of 2017-02-14/Bubbles/704606


May 2016, the mud crossed our patio and smothered the grass
behind the house.
Thumb of 2017-02-14/Bubbles/8b0f97

And February, 2017, I had a meltdown...





Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Feb 15, 2017 7:03 AM CST
Oh how awful! I don't blame you one bit for having a meltdown!
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. "

Abraham Lincoln
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 15, 2017 11:14 AM CST
Seeing pictures brings to life the your struggles. I'm sorry this is happening. I guess nothing shirt off building another wall will help that? What do your neighbors say?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Feb 15, 2017 1:21 PM CST
That claimed they were unaware of it! I asked him to fix the wall or put more grass in on that side more than a few times.

DH didn't want to start anything with neighbors, so his solution was to hire someone to dig out all the sand and re grass our back yard. That wasn't going to work, as the sand was still going to shoot down and over the wall....and take out the new grass with the next rain. We'd already replaced the grass on the side a few times. I considered DHs solution to be like that saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result."






Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Feb 15, 2017 5:08 PM CST
Could you get a trusted landscaping firm to advise you on how to stop this destruction to your property. You must have some rights on not having your property wrecked by a neighbor, talk to the city show them before and after pictures and see what they have to say.
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

[Last edited by daylilydreams - Feb 15, 2017 6:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 15, 2017 5:19 PM CST
daylilydreams said:Could you get a trusted landscaping firm to advise you on how to stop this destruction to your property. You must have some rights on not having your property wrecked by a neighbor, talk to the city show them pictures and see what they have to say.


So agree with this. Neighbors were "not aware" and yet after you informed him of your trouble still did nothing to rectify the situation. I call them Bad Neighbors. ETA The City takes care of all drainage issues in our yards. I wonder if your city won't do the same?

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Feb 15, 2017 5:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Feb 15, 2017 8:35 PM CST
@daylilydreams and @ShadyGreenThumb Until the first of the year, we were in the county. Austin gobbled us up this year. That would be my next move, but DH wants to get along with them and try to compromise. The husband did say he had a landscaper coming to see if he could do something to fix it. But he's counting on us going in on the fix. We did nothing to cause our yard to flood.
I kept losing plants and couldn't figure it out. I just thought rainwater was coming down the wall. But this year, with all the grass gone, it was fairly evident that mud/sand was smothering everything.
I had a routine doctor appt. this morning? She asked how I was doing and I told her the flooding mess was probably raising my BP. Long story short, she called the nurse in and I got an unexpected EKG. All good.
Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 15, 2017 8:51 PM CST
Well, I am glad you are getting proper care of your stress, Sandi. But I think getting rid of the source o the stress is just as important. It seems like that has bothered you for quite some time. I know how it is to get along with your neighbors. No one likes a feud! I hope your neighbors come around and help with the mess. I suppose if you have to pay to have it fixed and get rid of your headache it might be worth it? No more dead grass and plants, and staying friends with your neighbor. Win-Win?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Feb 15, 2017 8:58 PM CST
Sounds good, but until they fix the wall, the mud will continue to come down into our yard.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Mar 7, 2017 2:49 PM CST
Update: There's a landscaper next door digging out the mud behind the wall. Neighbor came over and asked me to show him what needed to be dug out. Got DH, and walked over to show him where the mud had killed the grass and the shrubs. I think the landscaper realized he should have brought a crew. We'll see how it goes.

Luckily, I had photos on the iPad to show the guy what it looked like before and after the mud.

Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Mar 7, 2017 3:27 PM CST
Sandi, sorry to hear this. A lot of places would require your neighbors to take care of their own drainage, if they change the natural slope of the land. Any chance there are any city regs pertaining to drainage. Hope the landscapers are able to rectify the issue.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Mar 7, 2017 4:16 PM CST
@crawgarden We have just been absorbed into the City of Austin this January. Before that, it was anything goes (within the deed restrictions). I had told neighbors before that it was flooding the backyard. I think now that we have been swallowed up by Austin and its many ordinances and inspectors, the neighbors possibly figured it was time to get it fixed. I don't care what their motivation was, I just hope this really fixes the problems.

Last night a neighbor posted on the Nextdoor website that he wanted to replace his front door, and the city wants $264. just to inspect it after the installation. I guess if the yard continues to flood, the only recourse we have is to have someone come out and "inspect" it.... Hope it doesn't come to that.

Name: Cheryl
Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 7, 2017 4:46 PM CST
I am so glad someone is finally looking into the problems created in your yard!

Why would the city want money to inspect a new front door? To see that it opens and closes correctly?? Ludicrous!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Mar 7, 2017 5:50 PM CST
@ShadyGreenThumb We replaced all the double pane windows in our house a couple of years ago. We had to pay for tempered glass for all the windows that "anyone may slip and fall into," meaning any windows that were near the floor. ( Ours are about a foot above the floor, and as high as the top of the doors). That is most of our windows that are across the back, front bedrooms, upstairs, and in the breakfast room. Had to do it or risk having to replace them again when Austin took us in, or when we sell. So far no one, not even our drunkest friends have fallen through those windows. But we are prepared for it.... Whistling
[Last edited by Bubbles - Mar 7, 2017 7:40 PM (+)]
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