Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Get off my lawn.

The other day I was working at the dining room table and I heard conversation from the yard. Four neighbor boys were walking through my yard, over the berm, through the rain garden, across the rocks, everywhere but the sidewalk. I politely asked them to get the hell out of my yard and they very politely scurried off.

When you see one set of footprints it was then that I carried some trash that I dropped in your rain garden.

And I know that you just have to let go when it comes to the front yard. Cats poop in your mulch. Dogs lift their legs on your favorite yucca. Other dogs then pee on your favorite yucca. People step on plants in the hell strip and throw cigarette butts amongst the ground covers.

And dogs, enough with the peeing on my favorite yucca. Jesus.

But now I'm pondering growing stinging nettle or prickly pear in the berm. Someone tell me to let it go.

24 comments:

  1. Three shitty teenagers were walking down the street the other day and ripped up a neighbor's flowers, then when he told them to stop then went over to our house and started jumping on the bed of Chris' truck and he yelled at them again. Chris and I came out of the house as the kids were running away. What the fuck is wrong with kids these days? You get a vote of prickly pair AND stinging nettle from me! :)

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  2. Those little shits. I have this same problem...I'm amazed at how many people will let their dog wander up into my garden to take a giant shit...so classy. I've actually watched people walking from house to house, cutting flowers from each of them to make their own little bouquets. Last time, if I'd been properly clothed, I would have bitch-slapped them. The newest assault to my garden is my neighbor's chickens, which he lets roam freely around the neighborhood. There's nothing quite as awesome as waking up to every piece of mulch in your garden strewn onto the sidewalk, plants trampled, irrigation tubes pulled up. I . HATE. THEM. I have to thank Norm for one thing, I had wanted to mulch our new parking strip gardens with gravel...but he thought better of it...saying that people would be more likely to walk in them if they were gravel (especially in winter when things die back)...seeing this post, I think he was probably right :-(

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  3. I hear you. And I raise you a story. There was a woman who used to come to our garden with buckets in her van to pick flowers. It's such a good story, I think I should post it on my blog. But here's something to think about.....I used to get irritated with the mailman and how he'd cut across our yard to deliver the mail. They don't use walkways you know. They just cut through and over the lawn and whatever. But then I realized he was showing me the path I needed to put in when we ripped up our front yard. And so it was: it was the perfect route through our front yard and to the door. Thank you mailman! Maybe those kids are showing you wear to plant the play structure. DOH!

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  4. Is that where those ladies on Lombard get the roses they sell? ;)

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  5. It really surprises me how much people believe everyone's yards are their dogs' toilets. I was about to get all indignant about snipping flowers until I remembered that I sometimes steal rosemary from my neighbors across the street. Maybe this is payback for that.
    Hearing about those chickens makes my blood boil. How can people think that's okay?!

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  6. I used to live on a street near a rowdy bar and people were such assholes at 2am, yelling and screaming as if people weren't sleeping. I really wanted to build a turret on top of the house, fixed with a firehouse. You want to scream? I'll hit you with a blast from the firehose and really give you something to scream about.

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  7. Tell me about it. The kids walking home from school like to shove empty soda cans and candy wrappers into my amsonia, asters, and other bushy plants - as if they were artfully arranged trash cans. And I can't forget the 7th grade girls (had to be 7th graders, science has proven they are the most obnoxious children in the universe) who, while I was working in the front yard, made comments such as: "Too many bees!" "Too many flowers!" "This place stinks!" (You could smell the anise hyssop and nepeta that day.)

    I just pick up the trash and shrug it off, because what else can you do? I remind myself that these are generally the same kids who, as toddlers, come walking by with their parents and are enthralled by the flowers. At some point they are infected by the
    dreaded disease of coolness. Most of them will get over it.

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  8. Ugh, junior high aged girls are EVIL. I can't believe they bullied your flowers! Maybe they will get stung. :)

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  9. I had an amazing basalt rock outcropping on my property in Spokane. One day I looked out to see kids on their BMX bikes hoping up the side of it and back down again. What? Then there was the day I watched grade school kids dive off the rocks into the Junipers, like into a swimming pool. Nice. You try and tell me that when they broke an arm their parents wouldn't be coming after me?.

    Now it's just the paper delivery guy walking right up through the front garden (stepping on things as he goes), the 12 yr old girl picking things, and the 5 yr old (with mom watching) swinging from baby tree branches and kicking gravel all over the sidewalk.

    What you should hear is I feel your pain and I think we should get together and devise some sort of trick wire that causes them to get smacked with a prickly pear pad.

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  10. You touch on the point that bothers me most: if their kid gets hurt while they are trespassing on my property, they'll come after me in a second.
    This trick wire plan intrigues me. Do you know any engineers?

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  11. HammeringOurWayHomeJuly 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    First sentence in and I was already shaking my head OH NO THEY DID'NT. I feared what came next, but seems you kept your cool (how? I was flipping out just reading this across the country). As for the stinging nettle, bring it on (of course, you know I don't know what that is, but it sounds feisty).

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  12. I'm on both sides of this. I have a 6 year old boy who still views the world as his to conquer, so if there's a yard with an interesting path or perch he's on it. I really do try to keep him off and talk to him about how to show respect to other people's property, etc. But the impulse to conquer is strong and fast and I'd say I only run in the 70% success rate for reining him in (some days it feels closer to 20%.)

    At the same time our yard has a low masonry wall along the sidewalk that is a great height for kids to climb up and walk along. We're on a popular street for walking to the elementary school, park, bus stop and ice cream shop, so there's a ton of foot traffic and a lot of kids. Flush with the top of the wall there is a 2' wide flower bed between the wall and the fence and pretty much whatever goes in there gets stepped on by little feet and picked by little hands. I'd love to make that strip look great, but I'm coming to terms with nasturtium and daisies being fantastically durably and cheap options there. It won't get me a gardening award, but it will make it easier to smile at the 4year olds walking off with my flowers :)

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  13. Nicole RittenourJuly 11, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    Do NOT get me started on the dog poop. Seriously. I've been know to yell at people while not fully clothed. HOW in the world is it ok to let your dog jump a 4' wall rock into my yard and HOLD ON TO HIS LEASH while he takes a giant dump IN my yard? Luckily, I know where that lady lives. She MAY have gotten a bag of dog crap at her front door.
    Do not mess with me.

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  14. I have some suggestions, if you're going with hostile plants...
    Cnidoscolus stimulosus, AKA 7 minute itch... let's see the little bastids pick those flowers... Plant some thistle, very nice flowers, pretty seeds...
    Plant Poncirus trifoliata those thorns should arrest the problem! Plant some Maclura pomifera, and then add some climbing roses, the kind with a ton of thorns.
    I'll bet they find somewhere else to play, and the plants actually look really pretty!

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  15. I recently found a huge pile of dog crap in the dirt pile we accumulated on the other side of the front yard. I wish I knew who it belonged to so I could do the same!

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  16. You are an evil genius! Thank you!

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  17. There is absolutely no reason why those little effers should be walking through your yard. NONE AT ALL. You should spray them with the water hose the next time you see them doing it. Sadly, I know all too well there's nothing you can do about neighborhood pets though.

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  18. People can think it's okay because people are assholes. Self-involved shits. (Currently dealing with my neighbor whose kids scream from sun up to sun down but if I have a maintenance man over building a fence she complains about "all the noise.")

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  19. Can't think of a thing to add to this wonderful bitch-fest.

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  20. I think we all feel better now, right? ;)

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  21. I'm not the one to tell you to let it go - I will fan your fire, woman!

    I'm totally tired of fighting that fight on my corner. The vinca withers and dies from dog pee (yes, VINCA). Yesterday, I actually contemplated the idea of a tiny low retaining wall around my flat lot, just to define it better for the useless dog owners. A couple of weekends ago, I had to put stakes and that shiny Mylar tape around the small hell strip plants (the remaining roses can at least hold their own there) in preparation for the Organic Brewers Festival near us. Come to think of it, sharpened stakes isn't a bad idea for the whole front yard...

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  22. Oh god, drunks are the worst. I'm so sorry that was in your neiborhood! I used to live off Alberta and I had to stay on the porch all night to shoo people away from peeing on our lawn. Because that happened regularly.

    I think we all need some version of the trunk monkey for our yards!

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  23. Plant some Jumping Cholla wherever the little devils like to trespass. It may have trouble in your climate, but it would be AWESOME. Of course, when your Agave americana grows up (you do know they get GIGANTIC and have spiny tips that can probably kill, right??) you won't have any more trouble with anyone coming into your yard.

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  24. I know all about those spiny tips because I have crouched down to weed and poked myself in the bum sooo many times. You'd think I'd learn!

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