Thursday, June 12, 2014

Getting that privacy back

I think in my version of hell I'd be running a daycare out of my house and those commercials for Video Only ("You'll be sooooooorry!") would be playing on a loop overhead. I don't dislike children as much as I can't handle disruption in my home, and a bunch of kids are more destructive than bears. 

The house next door is finally on the market, which means I can start worrying about what our new neighbors will be like instead of worrying about garden damage and lead exposure.


This is our new solution to the flippers next door clearing every shrub from their property, giving them a clear view into our backyard. I'm not totally in love with it right now because it's a gigantic galvanized tub, right as walk into the yard, but I think as the grasses grow in I'll like it better.

Before:

And now:


Right now the area in front of the tank looks ridiculous.

Eryngium planum 'Blue Hobbit' and Sedum rupestre 'Lemon Ball'
Little blibs and blobs that will someday fill in and not look so silly.

There was a whole incident with the flippers hiring one of the kids from down the street to power wash the house, which deposited paint chips all over . . . then the wind picked up and blew them all into my yard. They cleaned them up but informed me they never did a lead test. They were totally unconcerned about it and one of their subcontractors informed me, "It's naturally occurring in the human body and it's not that harmful." Both of those things are false, especially for kids. Did I mention they had the eight year old from down the street picking paint chips out of my mulch? So irresponsible.

It's been stressful and I will be happy to never see them again. And hopefully I won't see the new owners . . . from the backyard, at least. Keep your fingers crossed that they want to plant a hedgerow between our houses. And that they're bakers or cheesemongers and that they don't have a garage band.

28 comments:

  1. So glad you got your privacy (and sanity?) back! A little lead won't hurt you unless you ingest it or rub it on an open wound. I've worked with pure lead regularly for about 18 years and make sure not to lick my fingers. So far, no bleeding gums or lead in my blood!

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  2. Oh Heather, that bites about the paint chips. Fools! What idiots. Anyhow, glad you are on the road to a (childless and commercial-free) recovery. Lookin' good!

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  3. Good to hear! And I'll never get my sanity back . . . I'm not sure I ever had it in the first place.

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  4. I hope your new neighbors turn out to be gardeners or, at very least, quiet people with no children who appreciate your privacy. I think the bamboo in the tub was a good solution. Could you plant grasses or other trailing plants in the tub, or would that interfere with the health of the bamboo?

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  5. The area in front of your tub will definitely fill in. Can you put some pots with annuals in front of it in the mean time? Hoping you have awesome new neighbors!

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  6. I feel your paint pain. I can offer a few suggestions? Lead paint contamination is a huge issue for buyers, even the suggestion of soil contamination can stop sales. You can also call the EPA, they can do a site visit and rattle some cages. I know of one flipper that used a grinder on lead paint (no tarps, mess everywhere) the neighbor called the listing agent to notify them of the contamination and it made for a HUGE problem when the flipper tried to sell. Good Luck!

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  7. Glad to see you've regained some of your privacy back. More likely than not you'll have nice new neighbours, and perhaps with the bonus that they'd want a new hedge too!

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  8. I don't know - I kinda like the galvanized tub. My neighbors are fairly tolerable, but the ones to the south of me have plans to move in a year or two. Maybe they will let me vet the new owners?

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  9. I wish neighbors would let you vet the replacements!

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  10. Thank you for the advice! I have held off on calling anything in on them until I lead-test one of the paint chips that ended up in my herb garden. My main concern is if someone with a small child moves in there. There are still paint chips under the mulch they spread all over.

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  11. Ooh, I love pot shopping. :)

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  12. I don't know if that would obstruct the bamboo growth but I like that idea a lot . . .

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  13. I know I wouldn't want to stare at my plumber's crack while I was on my back deck. I think I can convince them to plant a hedgerow just by being my sweaty, dirty self in the backyard. :)

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  14. I'm with bittenbyknitten, I like the look of the galvanized tub.

    I wish my neighbors -- any of them -- would plant some privacy hedges. It's amazing to me how many older properties you seem around Nashville that have had decades to improve their landscaping but still are surrounded mostly by lawn with perhaps a couple of mature trees plunked in the middle and some boxwoods and hollies around the foundation. Easy, I guess (as long as you don't mind lots of mowing and watering in the summer) but dull, dull, dull (and hella bad from a biodiversity standpoint).

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  15. The day we moved in, the next-door neighbor said (twice), "Hope you guys like children!" as a knot developed in my stomach. Three adopted kids, two foster kids and a grandson. But they are good kids, and have been surprisingly quiet. I am not so enthralled with the neighbors behind them, whose kids have a fort up in a douglas fir that looks directly into our backyard. But still better than our last house, where the neighbor behind us had SIX awful, yappy terriers that whipped themselves into a frenzy whenever I was in the garden..
    Wishing you will have a charming, childless gay couple move in next door who have impeccable taste in landscaping and throw fabulous dinner parties...

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  16. We're getting new neighbors too. It's always a bit of an anxious moment, wondering what they will be like. My biggest worry is not kids but yappy dogs left outside all the time. Pam/Digging - http://www.penick.net/digging/

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  17. That little area in front of the tank? That's my entire front garden right now, nothing but blibs and blobs. Keeping my fingers crossed that your new neighbors are tolerable.

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  18. Oh man, I feel for you. Our old neighbors behind us had three kids who would climb their maple tree and just watch me go about my business. Kids are shameless that way.

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  19. Oh, yappy dogs are the worst. I think my biggest fear right now would be smokers. I hate having my peaceful garden time ruined by the smell of an ashtray.

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  20. Your front garden is going to look amazing. I can't wait to see it person one day. Are you going to have an open (green)house?

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  21. Exactly. I'd test the chip. If it comes back positive you have a lot of options.

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  22. I agree...I think it will look fine once it all grows in...I think that freshly-planted look drives us all a little crazy...we just want it to be big NOW! Either way, it's worth it to get your privacy back...I dream of the day that a nice, retired couple moves in next door...and across the street...and next to those people. Basically, I want our neighborhood to be a retirement village ;-)

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  23. We all want that for you. Supper and shuffleboard forever!

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  24. Privacy? What's that? My fence is see through and four feet high. Ya know, white lead chips when mixed with enough powdered sugar and buttah make an excellent frosting. I'd have baked your neighbors a cake. ;)

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  25. We've spent ten + years trying to make this place feel like there are no neighbors. Not quite there, but gaining on it. You are getting far quicker results.

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  26. Once you get privacy established, you end up moving, right? Isn't that the rule of thumb? ;)

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  27. Your tanks look great , mine have huge black stenciled lettering on the front, It doesn't wash off or scrape off , at least not easily and I can't be bothered ,so I've stuck pots in front .

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