Thursday, August 26, 2010

We screwed up.

You may remember from a previous post that we spoke with our neighbours, and that they were not happy about what we were doing in our backyard. They had quite liked the overgrown cedars at the back of the property - they, in fact, relished the privacy it afforded and were sorry we had ripped them all out. Even in their front yard, the hedges and shrubs are so overgrown that you can hardly see the house at all - just the front door and garage. As our neighbour put it, "You can easily see what our style is." They like green. They like privacy. They were sadder still when we cut down our half of the shared silver maple tree, but they did not protest.

Here is a glimpse of their backyard (which we can now see), and what they would like to see more of:

A leafy haven.
Then we blew it.

There is one key sentence in that previous post:
"They implied that, if we put up a new fence they would probably take down the old one."
Key point: although it was built right on the property line, the fence was theirs (a previous owner had built it). It matched the fences on the other two sides of their property. Although it was falling apart on its own, and would render any fence we installed quite climbable, they had no intention of taking it down, necessarily.

Imagine their shock when they came home from work on Tuesday evening to find the fence GONE! They had gone from a situation where they could barely even see our house behind theirs to this view of our backyard:

Barren landscape, ugly house.
Not exactly "leafy," is it? He sent me an e-mail this morning, asking, "What is going on?"

Steve and I had simply forgotten our neighbour's statement, forgotten that the fence was not ours to remove, and had gone ahead and had the fence torn down with the intention of putting the new, unclimbable fence right on the property line (with a jog inward to prevent kids' using the trees to climb the fence).
Can you say, "Oh, crap"?

I like to think that we have always been good neighbours. And we will be again, even with these neighbours. We'll make amends (we've offered a gift certificate so they can plant a couple of trees in their backyard). But, dang, I hate getting off to such a bad start!


  1. Things will all be good at the end,they will end up thanking you.:)

  2. Oh dear!!! So unfortunate, but things do happen when you've got a lot going on.

    Could you give them access to or printouts from this blog, so they can see that you truly intended to accommodate their wishes, even when it was highly sub-optimal from your perspective? And-- can a new fence be built in the style of the one they liked and yet be safe with the pool? That, and adding to your landscaping a few gloriously green and leafy (but without getting too big when mature) plants along the property line might help...

  3. Yikes!! Maybe you can compromise on the style of the fence so that it's something that will match both of your styles? :S

    I agree that a few middle-sized plants along the border would probably soften the tension.

    With both you and Dad in communications, I'm sure you guys can smooth this over!



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