Sunday, July 7, 2013

neighborhoods and etiquette

looking down through my perennial garden

Allow me some leeway here, to vent and maybe even use profanity.  I am passionate about some things, and one of those things is yardwork.  Call it landscaping for an upscale feel, or urban gardening for a trendy feel, or just plain yardwork for a suburban vibe.  I LOVE a well planned and cared for yard.  It can be wild and overgrown, or primly tidy...I love to see evidence of the care that people put into their habitat.
half of my back yard, after major trimming yesterday

Every day I walk my little terriers around my steep hillside neighborhood.  We go slow uphill because Bandit gets a bit out of breath...well, I do too.  :-)  I have a chance to admire the yards and green areas along the road.
dwarf spirea, macro

Lately I have seen some godawful properties.  Weeds and foxtails instead of a lawn, dog crap piled beside the road, fences falling down, suckers taking over a bare, worn down area.  What the hell are these people thinking?  That they are the only ones who matter?!  Do they not see these eyesores?  I know we have more renters now that the economy has taken a dive, but I was a renter when younger and I didn't let my home and yard look slovenly.
rental next door in decline-it was once a gorgeous property


Here are the basic rules-mow your yard, water the bushes, pick up dog crap.  Mr. Biblioblog and I discussed the above situation last night at dinner.  All three parties are at fault-the renters because they are shirking their responsibility to the yard, the owners because they are ignoring their income property (they live 1 mile away!), and the property management company because they have clearly been taking a fee for doing diddley squat (channeling my stepmom).

My parents owned and ran a property management and real estate business for 50 years or so.  The business is still up and running through one of my brothers.  He works his ass off keeping the rentals nice, and the yards maintained.  He hires contractors when he cannot do the work himself, he has a yard service if residents are elderly, he even lowered rents recently because so many people were in dire need.  What you see above would NOT happen in the family business.  It lowers the value of the property and creates problems for the neighbors.  It is absolutely one of the  &#%$**@ things that piss me off.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this diatribe.  Do you have any suggestions for this situation?  Scroll back up and admire my yard before leaving :-)

26 comments:

  1. I read your post while Mr. Hunting Creek was moeing the lawn. He likes making things look nice, as do our neighbors. We have a neighborhood association that will call on the offending residents(politely, of course) and recommend lawn services. My dad and father in law were both in real estate; to them it would have been a cardinal sin to let your house and garden look sloppy. Maybe you could contact the property management company?

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    1. Yes, I have their number now and did in fact call yesterday. But I reached their service. I'll call on Monday.

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  2. My goodness, your yard is really lovely and it does fill me with joy to see a well maintained yard. I would like to have more skill at it myself, my mother is a master in this field,but I lack the required focus to create such beauty myself. I am water,mow,weed,and replant what died in winter kinda gal. I would love, love, love to hire someone to tend, clear, and expand our grounds, but the funds are elusive. So many places in our area are under fore closure and the grounds have been let to run wild. I agree its frustrating and sad. PEOPLE HAVE SOME PRIDE in who you are, what you own and what you do!!!! Oh and follow thru on your responsibilities...to much to ask?

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    1. Lynne, now you are getting mad! Have a carrot :-) (To everyone else...Lynne and I are diet buddies) Thank you for the compliment on the yard-a work in progress.

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  3. What a beautiful yard.. I and my hubby both love a well kept yard.. [this is just an extension of your home,right].

    Our neighbor for nearly 35 years, is elderly, and they kept their yard neat and orderly.. Well, 2 yrs ago, they decided to change houses with a granddaughter, since the GD's house was smaller.. Oh no...to our horror, the GD has destroyed this property.. They throw garbage all over the yard, and NEVER pick up, they have like 5-6 dogs pooping all over and never clean their mess. Honestly , they only mow the yard about twice a year. and then it is half done. Needless to say, we hate even looking over there. Even her grandfather apologized to us for the way the GD was doing... Sorry to be griping.. such a horrible issue.

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    1. Oh no. That's awful! What are these people thinking? Not everyone needs to showcase their yards, but at least pick up dog poop, water and mow. Grandfather needs to take his house back.

      Thank you for the nice comment about my yard.

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  4. So sorry for your predicament, Mary...my DH was in RE and PM, too...I know what you're dealing with. YOUR gardens are lovely, however...and show your passion!

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    1. Thank you Margy. This is why I am not actively involved in the business.

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  5. Such a pity and an eyesore, and I'm so sorry. But your yard is looking fab! Take your joy where you find it and there certainly is a lot of it in your own back yard. :)

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    1. Thanks Theresa. We are both working hard on yards this summer :-)

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  6. Your yard looks gorgeous! In our city we have by-laws about the appearance of properties, so theoretically, everyone has to toe the line, and at least keep things decent. In practice - it's another story. I'll remember your rant when I start feeling lazy about pulling weeds.

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    1. Irene, I'm sure your yard is as pretty as the gorgeous clothes you make. Your recent coat is amazing!!. Thank you for the nice comment on my yard...it is my "baby".

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  7. Love your garden, you can tell it has been looked after with care! We are also very garden-proud here! And equally as amazed at the rundown front yards that we see around the place. Personally, we are as house-proud as we are garden-proud, which often makes me wonder what these other people actually are thinking. If this is the view that they wish the world to see of them, what does inside their homes look like? Because the outside is usually a reflection of the inside, to some extent, don't you think?

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    1. I've often wondered the same thing. I had a friend years ago who was perhaps a hoarder, but also just barely maintaining her home. It was a disaster, inside and out. She just didn't see it. ???? Thank you for the kind comment about my garden. I'll be sure to add n more pictures from time to time.

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  8. I think we gardeners simply can't understand the total obliviousness some people have toward their yards, sometimes even when their houses look fine and taken care of.

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  9. Your garden is a tranquil beauty. It is alive and thriving with your joyful attentions. That level of achievement takes time, effort and skill to build wisdom. Like anything else done with mastery, your immersion blossoms into creativity. Hats off to you and your passions!

    If you happen to be in my neighborhood, call in advance! I'm a haphazard gardener with few skills and checkered past with gardening. :( In our particular San Francisco micro climate many plants actively dislike the ferocious 3 o'clock wind- in my yard anyway. Gardening neighbors agree- pretty weeds thrive here and other things mysteriously fail. I say if it flowers it's a plant! My husband and daughter have the gardening green thumbs, I'd rather be sewing! ;)

    We just repainted our house and re-roofed, so I am no longer singing the Adams Family theme song as I enter my yard. Truth be told, I'm not a great house keeper either, but people seem to love my house. Go figure.

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    1. Hi Wendy, OK, I'll call ahead! You are very creative with sewing and designing-I'll bet your yard looks just fine.

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  10. Your gardens are just beautiful. Obviously, lots of hard work has gone into making them look this way. I am currently living in a town where everybody rents. I am putting some effort into my garden, and lots question why I would do this when it is not mine...which makes me wonder why I do, but I guess I just prefer to be in beautiful surrounds than ugly surrounds.

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    1. YES! oops, sorry for yelling. I agree...I like to have pretty plants around me.

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  11. Oh my gosh! You are barking up my tree (shrub, lawn, flowers. etc) My husband and I often sit on our porch and lament our view, which has gone downhill over the years. we envy our neighbors across the way who have a lovely view from thier porches into three very nicely maintained properties with neat lawns and lovely gardens (ours included) Most recently, a corner property has gone into forclosure and we and one of our neighbors are forced to do an undercover lawn and shrub raid because the bank and city have let it go and it's just a terrible eyesore.
    I wonder if people more and more do not take pride in what they have worked hard to acquire? Or maybe that's the problem...they haven't worked hard to acquire.

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    1. Lynne, I just don't know. It looks like depression and helplessness from my perspective. People are struggling, but they can easily set up a sprinkler.

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  12. I am so grateful I live in a community. Yes, the ratio of elder people who have nothing better to do grates at times, but we know all 36 of our neighbors and when someone is 'slipping', neighbors pitch in.

    I live with homeowner's bylaws which some (elder) neighbors want to add to to keep everyone's property adding to the property values. I disagree on that point of adding more rules as some people don't flippin' care about the state of their grass (dog crap) and no amount of arduous rules are going to make them.

    As far as your point, I tried to hire yard helpers twice this spring and they both turned up their noses at the amount of work involved. In general, yard companies won't do the work to keep yards nice (mowing only)and the homeowners/renters are incapable (Lazy, disabled, entitled - pick your reason).

    Very few people know how to do their own work now -see all the tutorials popping up online about how to thread your sewing machine needle. lol

    I recently planted dwarf sunflowers against my concrete bunker workplace - at my expense. I did it to make w-o-r-k less of a four letter word. Some people question my spending money on soil and seeds. I do it to make the world a better place. Pride - got it in spades.

    I love your yard. I've got my own acre that is gorgeous.

    Everyone needs to do their part in making the world a better place.

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    1. Kathy, I hope your world continues to be a pretty place, for you, and all the animals who benefit.

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  13. Your land is Beautiful. I hope sooner than later that the owners/renters do their part in keeping their land clean. My guy loves tinkering in the backyard, mowing, pruning, clipping, transplanting and so on. Its a lot of work, but its part of home ownership. Its sad when people refuse keep up their property.

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  14. I always love your garden pics - these are particularly serene and inviting :)

    It's funny, but my garden has sometimes reached the point where I consider it an embarrassment (health, energy & $$ issues keep me from keeping up like I would like to), & when I finally get outside to clean things up, & neighbors walk by & stop to chat, I'll apologize for the state it got in to. Every single time they say something like "Oh no! Your garden ALWAYS looks lovely!" Perspective and attitude.....

    I try to focus on the flowers, not the weeds, but I guess I don't always succeed lol!

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  15. That said....piles of poop and garbage are another matter entirely :( A true neighborhood where everyone steps up to help when needed sounds delightful! (my next door neighbor is like that - we always work together on what's going on at our property line) :)

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