Help - Neighbor poisoned our organic garden :(

ourfamilygarden(6)June 17, 2010

I'm SO very upset. How some people can be so cruel and evil. This guy is crazy! We already know he has poisoned and shot innocent animals - but can't prove it.

Well, he must have put round up, or something down.

I have had an organic garden for over 15 years, now. In it, I plant our herbs, black berries, and the blue berry plant my Mom bought my son when he was a little boy. The black berry bushed we've had for over 30 years (my grandmother brought them here when I was a little girl).

In my garden, I let some fleabane daisies, golden rod, Evening Primrose grow, and a Rose Vine I'd been given for Mother's Day several years ago. The fleabane daisies (which are incredibly hardy and prolific) started dying by the scores, all along the fence. They looked poisoned to me. But, the berries were still okay (also very hardy).

We cut back the berry bushes every weekend. The fence is in on our property by an extra 8". So, when they do go over the fence a bit, they are still on our property. Last year, we put up the fencing bamboo from home depot, because the year before he killed our entire crop by pulling the berry bush ONTO the opposite side of the fence, as far as it would go, cut it, forcing it to shoot back and snap. He knew well what he was doing, and I saw him do it. Livid and angry - rather then go off on him, I let my dh handle it. But, he wasn't home, so I shouted over, but he ignored me. I then told his mother to please NOT touch the bushes, we were putting up a fence. It took two years for the bushes to come back - and this was the year!

On Sunday I went out to cut back the bushes (they'd grown 8" from the previous weekend). The tops were all dying! They were hanging over, not bent, not brokey, but dying. It was clearly poison. It was the exact same look my fleabane daisies had several weeks ago!

I immediately cut back the dying parts, assuming he must have, this time, sprayed in the air. You could smell the chemicals. As the day went on, I saw more and more damage. My rose vine was dying, my Evening Prmose were dead (it must have been done during the week, and again over the weekend for this kind of damage to occur - or it was just the final straw for the plants.

I quicky realized, and looked outfront, where he'd already killed the vine I had along the fence (nettle vine that has purple and yellow leaves - this is NOT in my garden as it is not edible), as well as the Poke berries (again, not edible for humans, but are for birds. I grow them for the birds to eat. I really like the way it drapes over our shed). The poke weed was dead, or almost dead.

I'd jut purchased various sages, lavendar, rosemary, hossop, basil, various mints. That doesn't include all of my perennials, and bushes!

During the week, I had to continually go out and cut back the berry bushes, rose bush, etc. as they were still dying.

He'd clearly doushed the ground, sprayed through the slats, and over the fence to do this type of damage. I've used roundup, on the other side of our home - far away - when we had poison summac. It did not do any damage to any of the surrounding plants (not edible ones), and it took several applications to kill the summac. I don't know what he used. I'm assuming round up, as it's the most toxic I know of.

We can't "prove" it was him that did it, despite the fact that the damage is all along the fence on the side of where he'd done damage in previous years - when we saw him - and it is no where on our property anywhere else.

We pulled the berry bush out, trying to save it. It began to die back at the back of it, and has been damaged. We had a full crop that would have lasted of a few weeks, on it.

I have several questions:

1.) Does anyone know of environmental agencies we can contact to help us fight what our neighbor has done? Are there laws about this? Our town said he can't damage our property by cutting it. The county isn't interested, as he has a right to use round up. Our only recoure is small claims. If we can prove he is doing it, it may be possible to press criminal charges (which I'm not interested in. I mean, part of me would REALLY like to. But, what I'd like to see him arrested for more is his cruetly to animals - which the ASPCA cannot pursue on wildlife without proof. His having admitted it to us was not sufficient. He told us outright that he kills any animal that "trespasses on [his] property."

2.) Is there anyway of removing the toxins from my soil? Or do I just have to wait 3-4 years (some say 7 years)?

3.) Is there anyway to test my plants to see how far out the toxins went? To know which plants were effected? To find out if there is any chance the blueberries might be okay? I've cut the dying areas, and hopefully got it in time. We lost a nice brance from the back, sadly.

4.) I pulled out as many herbs as I could, and potted them, as soon as I realized what had happened. I don't know how much they've been subjected to his poison. I'd spent so much money and time. I can't afford to replace them, and we are now well into the season - which is short enough as it is in the Northeast :(

We look forward to the berries and herbs, every years. I was about to plant my beans, cucumbers and tomatoes, this past weekend. Thankfully, I had not. I don't know where I can put them, now, as our yard is covered by a neighbors tree on the other side (nothing wrong with that. Just not a part of the yard we can use. Unlike our cruel, eveil, sick, obvious demented and bordering on psychotic neighbor - we don't object to leaves, trees, plants and wildlife. We feel we share what we have.).

I say he is bordering on psychotic, because of the cruelty this man has for animals - which is another story that deeply sickens and upsets me! Every murderer starts out with innocent animals (squirrels, birds, cats, etc. He actually enjoyed it when his dog used to kill the cats. It was the cruelest most horrible sound! Oh, I'm going to be sick. We heard it once, and I've never forgotten it! That evil male (he's not a man) laughed, and felt the cats deserved it! He's poisoned animals, knocked them down with rocks, and shot them with his BB gun. He flooded every squirrels nest (babies and all) out of his tree). And, we are more then sure he poisoned the squirrels we fed in our yard (one of which was so adorable, he'd knock on my door for me to come out with nuts! No one else's door - just ours! He came to trust us! He objeced the nut "shells" that ended up in his yard! A couple of weeks later, our squirrel friend was dead!

Sorry. Venting. This man is so evil, it's like looking at a devil! His mother opens her window to listen to us in our own yard! It's a window to a room she doesn't use - unless she wants to listen to us - or watch us! It's so creepy!

Thanks so much for any help!

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I am so appalled for you guys. I don't have much advice to offer you, i'm a newbie around here, but i would say it's worth it to invest in a discreet surveillance camera on that side of your property and maybe you will get the proof you need. Good luck, I hope you can overcome this monster!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 3:44PM
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HOW AWFUL! I wonder if you installed video cameras along the house or facing on the fence, if that would deter him?

How expensive to detect toxic spray on the interior of your yard? Sometimes a good stern LAWYER LETTER will shake some sense into anyone in that household with any sense.

Does he own the property or does his mother? Home ownership means liability. Is this guy legally impaired in some way? Does he work? Does he have siblings? I'm trying to think of any way to reach someone around him with some sense of responsibility. Although the mother sounds like she aids and abets his abhorrant behavior.

Even if the local authorities won't/can't take any preventive action, I hope you will lodge a formal complaint to get it on the record, in case of any further, worse behavior.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 3:49PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

First of all I'm very sorry that you are losing your beloved plants in this manner. This jerk does need to be dealt with - but how?

Before any legal action can be taken you have to have proof that this guy is responsible and one way to do that is to do what was suggested above and install a surveillance camera in a discreet location to record him doing it. I would install it when you know he's not home and in a location that is not easily visible to him. They do design these cameras to video tape animals in the wild and are triggered by motion. They also can be purchased relatively cheaply, however, you do want one that gives a clear picture to that he can be identified. You may feel at this time that it's not worth the expense, but IMO this guy is a somewhat dangerous figure in the neighborhood who needs to be stopped. You will never be able to enjoy your gardens as long as he is allowed to continue.

I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 6:23PM
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I am truly horrified to hear of your situation and the devastation to your property by this nasty little piece of work scumbag.

As things currently stand, I doubt that you have any real legal recourse, even if you installed video cameras and took him to small claims court. Even caught red handed, a small claims court is going to put no value on the loss of wildlife -- because they cost you nothing -- and only replacement value on the plants you can prove he destroyed.

I agree with borderbarb about making a formal complaint, but I would first have a quiet chat with a local law enforcement representative. Most departments have some sort of community outreach rep that can help you find out exactly what the local officials can -- or are willing -- to do and under what circumstances. Get your thoughts together and document everything you can remember chronologically. This will also give you a couple of days to cool down, and you are more likely to get action if you can discuss the problem calmly and rationally.

Even if the rep says they can do nothing, continue to document everything in a special notebook just for that purpose. With photos. It may be useful someday.

Next, I would make friends with the mother -- she may be a powerful ally. From your description, I am assuming she is elderly? If she is, think about how he is treating HER! If she is watching and listening to you, it may be because she is bored and lonely. (I used to live across the street from a nursing home. Best neighborhood watch program EVER. But no privacy.) Invite her over for tea. Don't complain about him, just be ready to listen if she does. If he is abusing her, and she reaches the point where she'll tell the authorities, you've got him nailed.

Of course she might be a nasty old biddy herself. But you don't know until you try.

Third, talk to the other neighbors. Do they have similar concerns and grievances? If so, ALL of you filing complaints and bringing pressure to bear might work. It also might make things worse in the short term -- something to be prepared for if you got that route.

I'm vicious when provoked. I'd be checking the tax records and other publicly available documentation for something to evict him with. If he were my neighbor and neglected to pay his property tax bill, his house would be MINE. Heaven help him if he had a sex crime conviction, because the neighbors sure won't.

Other than that, your options seem to be:
1) Invest in a larger, solid fence and put up a no trespassing sign. Masonry, if you can afford it. Lock the gates and install prominently displayed surveillance equipment. Include hidden equipment which surveils the surveillance equipment and the yard in case it gets "damaged."
2) find a local community garden where you can nurture your plants in more safety
3) stop gardening
4) move

Yes, I know all of those are bad options, or just plain expensive.

Now, if he DID use Round-Up that's probably your best case scenario for the soil quality in your garden. It breaks down much better than almost anything else available.

And this is a sensitive topic, but given his behavior pattern, I would be concerned for my personal safety. Consider purchasing a lightweight bantam 20 gauge shotgun and having everyone in the household take lessons and practice regularly. If zoning permits, practice in your back yard. :) Or just clean it regularly on your back porch. From personal experience I can vouch that it resolves many neighbor problems.

If you don't want to bring a gun into your household, consider age-appropriate self defense lessons (for everyone!) and remember that wasp spray in the face makes a very NASTY self protection weapon. The plants can be replaced. If you have children, they cannot -- but there are many self-defense strategies that work well for even young children.

Good luck. Calm down, get cold and think MEAN. If you are such a wonderfully nice person you can't think that way, enlist the brain of a friend of family member that can. I'm guessing this guy isn't very bright and is possibly mentally ill. You can outfox him.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 6:27PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

In your heart of hearts why do you suppose that this nutcase is doing this to you and to you only, or is he doing it to his other neighbor/s as well? Have you had other run-ins with him in the past? Have you spoken to your other neighbors about him, if so what do they have to say, if not perhaps you should. You mentions that you are more concerned about the animals that he kills than your plants, why? I love animals myself but I also care for my property as well and I wouldn't stand-by and let someone do this to me. What does your husband have to say, and has he gone over and had a chat with him? I've mellowed as I've gotten older but if it were me, (in my younger years), I'd corner this guy someday and put the fear of God in him and that's the truth.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 6:50PM
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Dan Staley

I second Greg's implications about neighbors, communication, and damage. And without proof or evidence there is very little to do via legal/police power channels.

There are certainly ordinances about animal cruelty, and one wonders if this is payback. Nonetheless, I'm not afraid of confrontation but without more sides to the story than this one it is hard to give advice except that no proof, no legal action.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 6:57PM
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sunfire01(z8 TX)

Okay you need to prove he is harming the animals most importantly. You are dead on when you say that is the way serial killers start out. You may be the only way he gets help before its too late. How old is he? I'm so sorry about your plants. I would install a surveillance camera to get some hardcore proof on all things. That really worries me about the animals though cause there is something unbalanced in his mind that causes no reasoning in pain and death. Keep an eye on this and tell someone with authority if you can.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:27PM
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1. Internet gardening forums are probably -- strike that, definitely -- not the best source for legal advice which should, in any event, come from your immediate area. Talk to your local law enforcement authorities. Criminal complaints aren't the only possibility -- there are also may be civil procedures, such as small claims court, available. I don't know because I'm neither a law enforcement nor legal professional who practices in your jurisdiction.

2. If he just used Round-Up, you should be able to replant sooner rather than later. Who knows, however, what he used. You might want to consult your local ag extension office and see if they can help you figure it out. But, I wouldn't replant there anyway unless it was the only place for a garden in your yard. See below.

3. Move the garden.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 8:19AM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

So does the OP have any further comments or updates? I'm curious about what, (if anything), is going to be done.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 3:48PM
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The link below demonstrates the benefits of well-placed video cameras, of documenting every incident, and of neighborhood networking.
URBAN BRAWL ... more about keeping records and networking with others.
You might find something useful .. google key words "trouble with the neighbors" or "troublesome neighbors" GOOD LUCK! Makes me count my blessings

Here is a link that might be useful: Bad Neighbors

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:06PM
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julianna_il(z6 IL)

I am so sorry and absolutely horrified at this. This is honestly my worst nightmare, because I have a set of neighbors that I fear will do this to me one day when I say the wrong thing.

You might start with OMRI, and they have a links page:

Down towards the bottom are links to various USDA sections. Consider composing a short letter outlining your main questions (like asking for ways to remove this from the soil, how long the toxins remain, etc.), and start emailing.

I'm kind of a heck raiser, and would probably contact some media outlets. You'll get mostly no's, but you never know what paper or tv station is hungry for a story, or you could luck into a Dateline show on bad neighbors. Again, come up with a letter that would be appropriate for the media, and start emailing. Local consumer shows, perhaps a gardening columnist with your local paper, the national shows (esp. Dateline....although they mostly do murder stuff, they sometimes do theme shows such as bad neighbors).

Another place to call: your local county extension office and the health department. They may know of local ordinances that could apply.

I know I'd like to personally come over and light some firecrackers under someone's you know what. This just infuriates me.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:54PM
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I second julianna's comment about contacting the media. Local columnists are always looking for material. You might get lucky. Also, don't overlook the area's weekly publications. Many of them are on the 'alternative' side, but they have ALWAYS published my 'gadfly' letters.

Best wishes to you and your family.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 9:55AM
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Hmmm? I did send a reply that said I'd be replying shortly. But, it seems to not have shown up.

First, I want to thank so many of you for caring, and being so supportive! It is helpful to know others care about what has been done! I appreciate the kind sentiments.

I've been working very hard to dig up whatever was in my organic garden. Ive been outside till almost 10 or 11 PM on many nights.

The first night that I posted, I was outside until 11 PM digging up as many plants as I could, in the hopes of salvaging them, and finding pots from all around (thankfully, I save the ugly ones that the plants come in!).

The following day, we went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of pots from there. ItÂs been a lot of work! Because of all this, I, also, lost plants that did not get in the ground, because I was trying to save the ones I had already put in the ground.

The neighbor claims he put down "[name of product manufacturer*]" "flower" killer. He wouldnÂt tell me exactly what. His mother sat and shook her head denying that he put down anything! I was appalled at the deception! But, heÂd already admitted to doing it.

Irony... His lawn is burnt up  brown. The damage he did was intentional, because there are weeds all around his area! He put nothing down on the lawn, or even on the side of his house. He just believes that ANYTHING  even a single LEAF  is "trespassing" on his property. I even said to them that weÂve never been anything but nice to them! And, thatÂs the truth. Beyond nice  even; and beyond tolerant.

I spoke with the product company he said he used (I donÂt want to list it here, because it is no fault of the manufacturer. It was his abuse of the product that did this). They agreed that he had to have used extensive amounts to do the damage he did  AND, that he must have gone over the fence and directly ONTO the leaves of the plants that died as some of them had died.

They said that their product label states it is not to be used around edibles or ornamentals. They, also, said that the ground is not good for at least ONE year, and nothing should be planted there  and that the edibles are not good for at least one year. In essence, the plants need to grow out, to beyond toxicity, of their system.

Therefore, the berries will not be good for at least two years, because he sprayed recently (and we prior, as well), which means that the berries will already be forming before the one year cut off  and will not be edible.

To be organic, by the standards we kept the garden, weÂd need to wait seven years. We use no pesticides. We only use organic fertilizer (all of this requires a more effort and money, then regular fertilizer and pesticides).

IÂll post more a bit later.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:21PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

I'm very sorry for all the late nights you've had and even more so that you have lost your growing area for at least a year.

Obviously this lady has one very sick puppy for a son, and of course it's also obvious that she can't be trusted to tell the truth about anything. I'm afraid that you are going to have a problem with them forever unless something is done.

Time to toughen-up my friend and get after them...


    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 3:17PM
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Keep a journal ... not only to document the damage to your plantings and soil, but for any further misdeeds by your neighbor.

And just as the fauna around Mt. St. Helens has rebounded far more quickly than the 'experts' had predicted, you soil may also rebound more quickly. I've read of certain plants being used to remove toxins from the soil. You may want to do some trial/mitigating plantings.

And Greg is correct about your becoming pro-active. Use every means possible to find out about this man's life. This kind of overt anti-social behavior isn't usually a single event in an otherwise steller life.

And networking with others in the neighborhood is pretty important in dealing with this kind of irrational/hateful person.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 4:52PM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

I admire you for going over to talk to this guy and apparently not getting into a shouting match. I have had bad neighbors; I have some now, but not on this scale or right next door, thank goodness. My response to bad neighbors has always been to determine which law(s) they are breaking and to notify the responsible authorities repeatedly. That's what they're there for. It is not that a bad neighbor will stop being who they are, but they seem to realize that they should curb their enthusiasm for evil in your proximity.

I am not so sure this guy is dangerous to you. If you were over there by yourself, I would be more concerned.

Re guns, even when I had a neighbor who waved a gun at me, I never got one myself. I called the cops. That's what they get paid for. And there is nothing so gratifying as seeing a puffed-up jackass being thrown down on his front lawn and handcuffed in front of the whole world. You can't buy such satisfaction.

If this guy ever does or says one single threatening thing to you, call the police immediately. If he sets one foot on your property again, including that 8" beyond your fence, call the police and report him for trespassing and let them know that you have had trouble with him coming onto your property before and destroying your stuff.

I would also encourage you not to ever show this guy or his mother any emotional response to their doings. It just feeds the sickness for people like this. Their craziness fattens on the drama. Just do your thing and use the structures that society has put in place to control bad behavior.

Wishing you the best.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 5:10PM
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I appreciate the feelings/worries/concerns the OP has for the future in addition to the past and present circumstances in that I too have plants on property out of my control ultimately. The feeling for me is helplessness bought on by 2 things - 1) the weather, I live in tornado alley and was just barely missed by one recently, it tore up a lot of plantings. 2) 9 of my apple trees are across the street from my house on an open block that the city gave me permission to use for the trees.

Can't do anything about the weather and very little about the orchard except maintain the best relationships possible with the people in town. In both circumstances I simply have to be prepared for total destruction of the fruits of my labor regardless of the source of that destruction. I'm not perfect, the ragged looking veggies and 110 peaches on the ground from the wind really bums me out but life goes on.

Hang in there OP, your landscape will recover and you will too!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 8:15PM
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greenleaf_organic(8, TX)

We once had a nasty neighbor who did not quite arise to the level of yours, but was pretty bad in his own right. I could tell you lots of stories. Once when he used a bunch of diesel fuel to kill weeds in his driveway the smell caused a stench in our yard. I just casually mentioned to him that the EPA would not approve of that and he got scared and was out there scraping up the gravel and getting rid of it! How funny! Another time he wanted to kill all the birds in the neighborhood and he heard that dry rice would cause the birds to bind up in their digestive tract and die. After a few weeks of him setting out the rice I commented to him that the birds appeared to be getting fatter. HA! What an ignoramus. He was so miserable he finally moved to the country so he wouldn't have any neighbors. Pity the poor soul whos car breaks down in front of his house.

We eventually moved and rented that house to someone who then proceeded to cut down 9 of our fruit trees without our permission because they were "too hard to mow around". I almost hyperventilate even now just remembering that. Thankfully people that extreme really are the minority. We are no longer in the rental business and if we ever moved again I would just have to sell this property and ride into the sunset. Very few people out there really like to take care of plants like the folks on this forum.

As for poison alleviation, I have heard and read that both compost and crushed volcanic rock will both detoxify poisoned soil quite rapidly. I always apply both whenever my lawn gets accidentaly exposed to toxins such as paint cleanup when we had our house painted for example.

All the best to you, and yes, I vote yes on the hidden camera as well. I would let the authorities in on what your are doing so you have their support when things go down.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 8:10PM
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snidelywhiplash(z5a Nebraska)

If you possibly can, one thing I would do is beg/borrow/steal (okay maybe not the last one) fencing materials and build the tallest SOLID fence that city code will allow - in a lot of places you can put up to an 8-foot fence in. I'd put one of those in ASAP, as it's about the only thing that could conceivably keep this arseclown from a repeat performance.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 1:05AM
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I have the problem of having an apartment complex behind my house (they do let the apartment renters have little gardens in the open space though so that's good!). I have a chain link fence.
But, since there are a lot of children, etc. who like to make mischief and throw things in my yard (like firecrackers--they almost set fire to my potatoes a few years ago), I have purchased one of those bamboo fences that are about 6 ft. high (they do make them in 8 ft too)for privacy and to prevent kids from being destructive. Just do a google search for "bamboo fencing" and you'll find it. Since it's not a "permanent" structure and it wraps around my existing fence, there's no problems with zoning codes or building permits. Plus it's much more cost-effective--hundreds of $ vs. thousands.
Best of luck to you!

"Good fences make good neighbors"~Robert Frost

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 6:52PM
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Consider asking the parents for a drug test for the child, or if they refuse maybe ask a school teacher who knows his tendencies, suing for damages of your plants in court might scare them as well.

What precious thing does the child enjoy? If he's having a party, call the cops on him for loud noise, squeeling tires, if playing sports, play opera music in the backyard, get him on a DUI, turn him into gang squads for investigations, call and turn him in to social services to put him in a foster home for his delinquencies.

What he did to your yard was inexcusable. I'm very sorry for you and I understand when you start an argument with teenagers with no discipline, there is no talking with the parents.

I hope you can work it out nicely, but if not, there are tons of options if you really think about it.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 12:54AM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

It's been just two days shy of (1) month since "ourfamilygarden" made the original post. Since that time there have been many replies with thoughts on how to deal with this situation but the OP has only replied once, (back on June 25th).

So what's the status "ourfamilygarden," have you done anything to correct this situation you face or are you just accepting it? I'm just curious...


    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 8:11AM
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just a lurker here, but i too am curious as to how this turned out...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 4:12PM
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I am saddened when I hear things like this....

Especially because it usually indicates that 2 people have *Very* different ideas about how things should be done... or what is beautiful...

Think about standing in your neighbor's shoes... Being the one responsible to keep your yard up.... on the other side of the fence.....

It probably feels like a personal attack against you... but consider.... He may feel like your inattention is a personal attack against him... that you are causing him large amounts of extra work and even quite a bit of blood to those thorny blackberries....

The plants you mention are all fairly invasive and some are quite thorny... Whose problem is it when your plantings grow onto his property... His or Yours? Have you CREATED a problem for this fellow..... because he is responsible for keeping his property cleaned up....

You have complained when he cut back the growth onto your side of the property line or does anything to prevent growth over into his property... Is it reasonable to expect him to be happy with this growth of things he considers "Weeds" onto his yard?

Think about the situation from your Neighbor's perspective....

What happens each week when he has to mow? Does he have to fight thickets of thorns and weeds and vines to complete his assigned tasks? Does he have berries dropping into his lawn that then grow into thickets that overgrow his lawn? Does he have vines popping up all over the place in the lawn and flower beds that he is required to weed?

Is it reasonable to decide that your neighbor must take extra hours to care for things you planted too close to the property line?

When you rephrase the argument... to stand in "His Shoes" -- See how easy it is to make it sound like YOU are the unreasonable one.... The truth is probably somewhere in the middle somewhere -- that both you and the neighbor are good people who just want to enjoy your yards.... Your happiness and your neighbor's happiness AREN'T mutually exclusive in this case....

I hope you are able to get this resolved in a peaceful way... It may require you to create some wide mulch beds along the property line and then move those plantings quite a bit farther inside your property -- so that they stay put a little better...



    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:02PM
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zandra(z9 Nw. CA coast)

Move. Sell your house cheap to a developer. Don't feel bad about it either, chances are not only will it dumbfound your annoying neighbor but whoever buys the place will have the money and lawyers to put up a huge fence or otherwise deal with this guy. You could also go another route, sell it to bikers or someone who wants to run it into the ground for whatever reason. You could also look up your neighbor to see if he's a registered offender. There is a website with a map that shows the locations of violent and sex offenders. If he's not already on it sounds like he will be eventually. Make it public. Just saying, if I had a family I would think of them first and just go, you could be living somewhere you felt safe and nice, why stay there?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 4:41PM
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sandhill_farms: I know you are right. We are looking into a lawyer, now. Can you believe that he did trim his front hedges, but left the side that is along our fence higher then it is supposed to be and blocks our driveway. He, also, refused to trim his hedge from OFF our fence (for some reason, this guy thinks it is his mother's fence, even though we have showed him our survey from when we moved in over 30 years ago! ALSO, we have the EXACT same fence on both sides of our property, and they have NO fence. I already mentioned this. We've been painting said fence for over 30 years, and they thought it was theirs? Ugh!).

Unfortunately, I had a SEVERE bout of poison ivy (which comes from - you guessed it - his yard!). It's the first time in years I've had it. Right after recovering from that (three weeks, with Rx meds), I ended up with severe vertigo (in the ER). They have said it is possible that the cleaning I've been doing of the pesticide destroyed garden, could have caused it.

So, I hope to finish the forms from the one organization, and have someone from DEC come investigate this week. This is the first time I can go on the computer since the vertigo (which I still have, just not as severely.).

broderbarb: Yes, I am trying to keep the journal. Thank you for the reminder. I've put one together of the past things he has done. Thank you, also, for the encouragement. I'll look into what plants might remove toxins from the soil. Any one knowing of these, please let me know. Right now, I have purchased some new plants (thankfully, several herbs were on sale for $1. They are spindly, as it was July already, and they won't grow much this year.). I have to learn what I can keep in pots for our area, and what I must put in the ground. I'd like to get a small greenhouse, but we can't power it to keep it warm. Another thing to look into. My head is starting to spin! (oh, no pun intended with regard to the vertigo!).

crankyoldman: You don't seem cranky to me :) hee-hee. I've come to the conclusion, after going over there, that he is the type that will do things SNEAKY (as his mother has in the past), and not confront. For example, we kept having (and still do) dirt in our driveway, and walkway. Now, that's not a big deal, except I'm like pigpen (from the peanuts) whenever I have to use the blower after mowing, and it creates weeds. We couldn't figure out why our driveway and walkway had so much. I said that they must have been pushing the dirt there, but didn't understand why they would do that. Well, as it turned out, we caught her red handed, doing it! I was SO angry; I was flipping out in the car. DH and I talked about it. He was going to go over there. I calmed down, and I said, "Wait. She's an elderly lady. You know what? Just ask her WHY she did it, and what was bothering her. If she'd like, WE"LL sweep the front of her house and walkway for her! Just please don't do it and leave it in our driveway and in front of our house. So, he walked over to talk to her, and she REFUSED to answer the door!

They do things sneaky when they think no one is looking. They won't confront face-to-face. They won't talk things out. They are just mean. But, you are right. One never knows when someone may snap and get directly violent - especially when they can be so cruel!

We're trying to do what is right. The law has a strange sometimes, and it seems to protect the people who know how to do things that are right on the boundaries of the law - and sneaky. Crazy.

michael357: Thank you for your kind words. I'm very sorry to hear about your difficulties. I hope your orchards grow back strongly! That surely must be upsetting!

greenleaf organic: your first paragraph made me laugh! Thanks! Question, though... if he didn't like birds, why'd he move out to the country? Don't you wonder why these people don't move to the city where there is lots of cement?

The people who RENTED your home cut down your fruit trees? How does anyone justify that?!?! Grrrr. I'll look into the crushed volcanic rock. As for the compost, I'd like to get one of those rotating barrels. I used old garbage containers, but they compost doesn't break down in them very well. Hmmm? Maybe I should just toss the garbage along the fence. LOL. Okay, it's fun to think about, but I wouldn't do it :)

We're still looking into the cameras. We've gotten a few quotes. The problem is $$$. We're still working on getting them, and hope to very soon.

sniderlywiplash: Our town only permits a 6' in the backyard, and 4' in the front (unfortunately). It'd be nice to be able to put an 8' up on the side he is on! We did get a couple of estimates. We may be able to get a payment plan. We're going to try to have them come to our home this week for the estimate. We want the company to put it in, because they will go by the survey and other information. This will help to protect us, legally. Otherwise, we'd do it ourselves.

There's another thing we want to try to do, but I'll put that in a separate post on this thread. It's a toss-up ATM... fence or cameras. I want to get the cameras, first, then I want the fence. But, I want both quicker then we can get them :) . Currently looking for legit at home positions I can do to bring in extra money to help pay for this stuff! We just don't have the money.

scarletdaisies: Believe it or not, her son is in his 50s (or early 60s)! He is not a teenager. His mother lies for him, to boot. But, from other things she has done, I doubt she disapproves of his actions.

John_in_SC: You really do not get this at all, do you? NONE of our berry bushes were on his side! Even if they were, that does NOT give him the right to destroy our plants?

How would I feel? Let's see, I suffered TWICE several years ago from poison ivy that came from HIS YARD! He had it ALL over, and by the time he got rid of it, it was in our yard! His thorny rose bush is through and over our fence. His trees dropped most of their leaves on our property, and we had to pay to trim them. His other bushes, he refuses to trim off our fences.

We offered to trim back anything for him. Our fence is several inches on OUR property. The ONLY thorny plants is the blackberry bushes, which we put up a trellis for, and the fence is 6" on our property, and he doesn't EVEN USE THE YARD! NEITHER DOES HIS MOTHER! They walk their dog around it on a leash, and that's it!

He didn't "cut back" the growth. Did you not READ property? He PULLED the bushes all the way, as far back as he could, onto his side, and cut them, intentionally causing them to ricochet forward, snap and break. He cut far more then the small amount that draped over - above his head level, and still on OUR property.


Oh, yes, there was the rose vine that I was given by my son for mothers day! That was 1.5 to 2 on MY side of the fence no where NEAR the fence! And, trellised on an iron trelis!

And, did you not notice that, after I asked him not to destroy my bushes, that I put up a trelis to stop them from going over the fence in any way? What part of that did you miss? I went out and bought that, to protect my property that I should not have had to protect from such an obnoxious, arrogant, and unjust act!

Um, he refuses to cut back his plants and weeds that come through our fence, including ivy that broke our wooden fence.

You must be as inconsiderate and obnoxious a neighbor as mine is.

Is it "reasonable?" No, it's not! Not one thing he did was "reasonable" by ANY reasonable or decent persons standards!

I have a lot of things that come over to my side, which I do not destroy from my neighbors. My neighbors one bush got twisted in with our bushes. I DELICATELY untwisted them, and cut back MINE, because I knew how special that bush was to the woman who lives there! So, I cut back mine, rather then hers! In addition, I didnt want my bush to interfere with the pleasure she receives from her bush. Again, fence on that side is ours as well.

I painted MY fence on my side AND THEIR SIDE! I didn't have to do that.

He was told, at any time, we'd be happy to pull and trim our bushes on his side. He refuses to cut back his bushes, which have destroyed our other fence.

Oh, you want to talk thorny? His mother has a thorny rose bush that come through our front fence every year, and they never trim it! It is a 4 chain link fence! Unlike our stockade 6 fence from where he destroyed our blackberry bushes!

He cut his one tree down, and left my patio and garden a disaster! I had to go out there and pull ALL the furniture, sweep up, clean up the furniture, and power wash! On top of that, they were slamming the branches into MY fence when cutting the tree - to which he watched and said NOTHING!

Daisies are invasive? I know that some consider the mini ones to be. I am female, and you yank them out extremely easily!

You are about as twisted as he is to think he had ANY right to do ANY of what he did! Why do you come to a GARDENING forum?

Peaceful? We used to shovel the snow for that woman! We painted both sides of the fence to be considerate! We called her son to warn him when someone was breaking into homes of vulnerable people, in the neighborhood. We were nice to these people! Again, Ive mentioned all of this in my other posts.

The guy poisoned 4' into MY property with a toxin that could have caused - God forbid - cancer!!! Do you understand that? He KILLED thousands of dollars of plants, soil, and harvest! Not to mention all the work we put into it for 20 years! The sentimental plants!

Oh, and did you NOT read that he killed all along our fence, but NOT the weeds all over his lawn and yard? His lawn and yard are a burnt up mess!

Incidentally, there was not a SINGLE blackberry bush on his side. And, again, if there were, it still did NOT give him the right to poison mine!

You can have him for a neighbor. You would deserve each other. Ridiculous post! You CLEARLY have not read 90% of what I've posted. Anyone who can defend a person who kills animals because they are "trespassing" on their property is as ill minded as the person who does the act.

For what do you "thank?" Or, are you a friend of my neighbor. Or, better still, have you done the same to YOUR neighbor, thereby defending your own actions, here? I've not met one single person who would defend ANY of what he did. You are the first. That speaks volumes.

Zandra: In principle, I'd agree with you. We've lived her since I was a child. It's my mother's home. We do not have the money to sell the house, nor to take a loss, nor to buy a new home. We have a lot invested here. It would take a lot to move. Although, I often wished we'd had, several years ago. It's not the friendliest environment, and I'd dreamt of raising my son on a large piece of property, with a modest home, and lots of wonderful critters to share our land with, and gardens. Unfortunately, that was not possible. I have other areas we'd like to live. Moving is simply not an option, at this time. But, I appreciate your enthusiasm with regard to the matter. :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:59PM
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Okay, now that replies :) I have another question that I hope someone can help with.

When we do put up the new fence, I'd like to put up a barrier in the ground, about 3' deep. Dh and I have discussed rending a trench digger for the project. I don't know well they work.

We've thought about cement filling it, but that will be far too costly and difficult. So, our next thought is a rubber or metal barrier. The idea is to block any of our roots from being poisoned under ground by anything he sprays on his side. We're, also, going to get a type of fence that will not have slats (even though the slats are butted against each other, you can still spray between them).

That, with the cameras, should he try to spray over or near the fence to let the "wind" carry his herbicides, we are hoping will protect our property from this person.

Has anyone done such an endeavor, or know of anyone who has? Any suggestions?

Thanks! I have appreciated all but one ignorant reply :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:04AM
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You can ask the town council for a variance on the fence height code. You may not get it, but if you have documented pictures and such of the damage from more than one incident, they might be sympathetic. If you have neighbors that will back you up and come to the planning meeting to speak on your behalf, it will improve your chances.

Overall, I have my doubts that spending money (that you clearly don't have) on a new 6' fence will solve your problem. If he were reacting rationally and it was merely a matter of him being too free with the poisons on his side of the fence, it would work. But since they have a pattern of deliberately malicious behavior, the fence has to be tall and solid enough -- like an 8' masonry fence -- to genuinely act as a total barrier.

He will easily be able to spray over a 6' fence, and even natural wind drift could hop that fence. A possibility may also be to install a "temporary" barrier, like bamboo fencing, which rises above the 6' fence. This may be allowed by the town code since it isn't a permanent structure. It could possibly even be done with your existing fence. Since it would be easily destroyed by a malicious person, I would check with the town planners to verify that it is permitted -- so if he does destroy it you aren't the one that gets in trouble.

I don't think the trench will prevent any poisons from coming through. It will likely prevent any small root grow from crossing the barrier into their yard and prevent suckering, but I suspect a tree will push right through the barrier and start the process of destroying it. Trenching might also disturb the roots of existing trees and kill them. Plus poisons don't generally act on the roots through the soil. I think you might achieve the same amount of pros at a fraction of the cost with only 12." Call it "weed edging." :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 11:49AM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

ourfamilygarden - I wasn't looking to be right necessarily but thank you. I'm a very easy going person but I HATE to see people getting jerked around like it appears you are. Personally, myself I wouldn't put-up with a neighbor pulling stuff like he/they have for very long before I'd take care of it, (and I don't mean physical either). A jerk is a jerk and they rarely change.

If it were me I wouldn't spend one red cent on a fence until I pursued this through the legal system. Who knows, perhaps the court will make him/they help pay for a fence. In addition, I really don't feel that a fence of any height will keep him from causing you problems, he'd find a way.

My perspective on this issue comes from years in Law Enforcement and having dealt with many people. Certainly no expert, this is just my viewpoint. I hope this helps - good luck and keep informed.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 11:52PM
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You seem to want to make your neighbor change... Honestly -- will it happen.... Maybe in 5 or 6 years once he grows up..... Within the next month... Probably not

Sure... It's your property... and you have property rights... and you can listen to the people who tell you "Don't spend another dime... It's your property".... but THEY don't have to put up with the damage.... They won't have their yard destroyed... You will....

Here is the crux of what you need to realize right NOW.... YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL WHAT YOU DO! You can't control what HE does.... You want to control him.. to make him do what you want... to make him more caring and mature... but you can't... It's not possible.... You don't have the power....

You won't win a war against a mean spirited teenage boy by complaining and trying to go head to head with him... The collateral damage will be FAR too high for you to stomach... He can cause far more trouble for you than you can easily deal with.... His attacks against your Blackberries already demonstrate that.... Those are just the beginning.... and since he is a Minor -- the law treats him differently...

Think how long it will take when you call the law... Hours... and the damage will already be done.... Can the Police actually *Protect* your yard for you? NO! They can't do anything UNTIL a crime has been committed.... How long to take this to court.... Months... Threatening force will get YOU thrown in jail.... even if the little scoundrel deserves it....

Sure... The law *Might* work... eventually.... and Sure... you *Might* get some recourse.. eventually.... BUT... if he gets mad and takes it out on your yard and your house and your car -- YOU STILL LOOSE!..... It ruins your day... It's hard to un-kill those plants.... Dead is Dead....

Will Cameras stop the damage? No.. They will just record it.... Could you run into trouble with the law if you are recording THEIR property... Yep.... Will the Parents go after you for invading their privacy and making movies of their kids... Certainly!...

What can you do RIGHT NOW.... What is in YOUR POWER and in YOUR legal RIGHT immediately to block further attacks.....

Put up a bigger privacy fence along YOUR property line... A real Professionally installed Privacy Fence... As tall and tight and as long as the zoning allows.... If the zoning allows 6' tall... go exactly 72" tall... Make sure it is tightly built and doesn't let anything thru on either side -- so the little SOB can't spray them "By Mistake".... It is a *SMALL* price to pay...

Then, go from there.... Exercise YOUR property rights by trimming their trees and bushes out of your yard and getting their junk off of your property.... Call the roads department and file a complaint about their hedge on the road... Etc....

Don't wait around plaintively for them to eventually send the boy out with another jug of weed killer to ruin your day again...


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:26AM
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Just to be clear, several folks have referred to the neighbor as "a boy". The OP spoke of him as a man ... or in his treatment of animals, "not a man", but more like a beast.
"I say he is bordering on psychotic, because of the cruelty this man has for animals - which is another story that deeply sickens and upsets me! Every murderer starts out with innocent animals (squirrels, birds, cats, etc. He actually enjoyed it when his dog used to kill the cats. It was the cruelest most horrible sound! We heard it once, and I've never forgotten it! That evil male (he's not a man) laughed, and felt the cats deserved it!"

The active response to this problem demonstrates a sympathy that might spring from sad experience. In varying degrees neighbor problems run the gamut from misunderstandings to malicious ... from a royal pain to actual danger.

In the case described by the OP, the man's deliberate cruelty toward a cat is indicative of the mentality they are dealing with, which sounds malicious and borderline dangerous.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 12:46PM
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Ask your neighbor to put up a tarp when he sprays so it won't kill your expensive plants, take a soil test to know what killed your plants, and sue for the damages if it's a weed killer your neighbor bought or admits to using. Put up warning signs around your yard of chemical use so your neighbors can't say they didn't know, and talk directly to your neighbor to ask him/her/they if they are going to spray, give notice or put up their own tarp, if not your own tarp, during the spraying. You have not directly asked them have you?

You can send a registered letter to their house, meaning they will have to sign for it, so in the letter asking for notice of when they are spraying, asking for some type of tarp to be in place to prevent leakage on your property, and telling of beware of sensitive plants. If you can prove he's aware of the problem, you can sue for damages. You have to approach him to get a verbal agreement, hopefully in writing, if he violates the agreement, then you have a case against him for sure.

Animal cruelty would love to know his habits towards animals. There are laws in every state protecting the animals.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 5:17PM
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Re: suggestions of how to detoxify the soil in the affected part of your yard. I did a google search on key words "plants that detoxify the soil" Got quite a few 'hits'. One is below.

I was thinking that you might make a Detox Zone several feet within the fence line. Not only using detoxing plants, but cover crops for one or more years. Apparently some plants are being used to clean soils that were polluted in Katrina flooding.

This would serve several purposes .. [1] to help the soil organisms cleanse the soil.They will do it eventually, you will just be helping to hurry the process. [2] Doing something POSITIVE to keep your frame of mind positive in the face of a series of negative events. [3] Illustrate to your son that one not only sticks up for oneself, but rises above the negative elements and uses one's intelligence to "make lemonade". Circumstances prevent your creating a home for him in a rural/farm enviornment, but honoring/cultivating the decency within your family is a semblance of the rural life, within your reach. Depending on his age, have your read aloud FARMER BOY [Laura I. Wilder] or RASCAL [Sterling North] Even when my boys were great hulking teenagers, they loved to be read aloud to in the evening and have gone on to do the same with their children.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:58PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

First of all the "bad guy" in this issue, (if memory serves me), is not a boy or a child but a grown adult. I believe it was mentioned in one of the posts he's in his fifies or sixties. The OP can clear this up.

Second of all I really don't feel that the most expensive, or the most sophisticated of fences will keep him from destroying your garden. As I mentioned before people like him will find a way. It's true that there's very little the Police can do unless they're present at the time the crime is committed other than take a report. Therefore it's your word against his. This is why it's so very important that you can collect evidence such as Photos and/or a video recording, as well as documenting incidents after they happen. It would also be nice if you had a witness to his acts such as a neighbor, highly unlikely however. Playing nicey-nice and trying to make friends with a person like he and his mother appear to be will more than likely fruitless. IMO, you're only hope in straightening this out is to pursue it through the legal stystem. People have a tendency to pay attention when they get hit with fines and fees or the threat of going to jail. You could, of course, remove his desire to be destructive by just ignoring him and stop growing anything within his reach. People shouldn't have live like that on their property though...


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:55PM
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greenleaf_organic(8, TX)

Borderbarb, you gave me another good idea. Since it is the microbial action in compost that detoxifies soil, another rather inexpensive solution would be to water the soil with a solution of a few tablespoons of molasses per gallon. This will stimulate the microbes nicely as well. But getting back to the crushed volcanic rock: I have a good friend who rented a house and applied plenty of this rock dust for his garden, with great results. He then moved and the new tenant wanted to kill all plants in that exact area. He hit the weeds with weed killer and the weeds would just grow back the next day! This went on day after day. The volcanic rock dust kept detoxifying the soil! Then he finally poured radiator fluid over the plants to kill them once and for all. Oh, and the reason he wanted all the plants dead? He put in a sandbox there for his little girl. What a class A dufus. Truth is stranger than fiction people.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 9:46PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

I agree, people are amazing in the things they do at times. I hope his little cherub enjoys her sandbox...


    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 11:05PM
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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

I think your, and the majority of the posters, attitudes are what got you into this mess. So you have made an enemy and the best way to deal with it is to strengthen that enemy relationship? The reason there are few legal ways to deal with this is that the whole situation is about 2 parties being unreasonable when there is no reason to be.

This guy and his mother obviously don't like you and are willing to spend energy to show you this. So what did you do to tick them off? ...yeah, I know you just said "nothing" but something never comes from nothing.

I'm reasonably sure that if you would share your harvest with your neighbor it would demonstrate that you are a good neighbor and make your crops valuable to your neighbors. If you and this guy were both kids your mother would quickly assess the situation and order you to share.

In my own twisted mind I see them like this. The mother receives gossip from hearing you, talks about it over the phone, the kid hears and has a bad picture of you, wants to help his mom by hurting you in retaliation, knows you love your plants, and hurts the plants you love to hurt you for what you've said that upset his mother. So can you break that cycle with more upsetting things?

Would it kill you to bring a basket over? Perhaps talk with the mother about whatever she brings up? It may take several baskets before they know you're for real and some of the damage starts to come undone.

People don't spray herbicide on the plants that feed them. A snooty person with a garden makes enemies of gardeners.

If you can develop a report with the mother it would be wise to make plants of cuttings so they can have something of their own to value and take care of. I wouldn't suggest doing that until they actually say they would like to have something though. Otherwise it would look pushy since they can't hide the fact that they didn't keep it.

I finally made an account here over this thread. I hope you find it relevant.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 9:46PM
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I've had around three neighbors like yours. They're creepy bitter human horrors who can not be reasoned with or tolerated. The one good thing I received from them is the incentive to move as far from their type as possib;e. I'm now on 80 acres with no neighbors whatsoever. I'm not nearly as civil or polite as many who offered suggestions here. I would have torched him and his home and called it a day.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 4:50PM
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buckstarchaser ... Hmmmm, wondering how to address the points you made in your post, as well as the point of view that you demonstrate.
[1] I know it is easy to lose track of pertinent facts as given by the OP, in a long thread like this. But are you aware that this is a man, not a 'kid' who is doing these things?
[2] Wi/o going into the cause/effect thing here... No, we don't know what kind of relationships the OP had with this woman and her grown son over the years. But if you really take the time [wi/o pre-judging]to read the list of her complaints, it seems evident that one party has tried repeatedly to be helpful and reasonable, and the other party has not. Most mental healthprofessionals remind us that we can not change another's behavior, but only our own. It appears to me that the OP has taken many prudent defensive measures.
[3] And that goes for most of the advice that the OP has gotten from other posters. Putting up a video, fencing, 'detox zone', journal, networking with other neighbors, etc.
[4] At the risk of seeming to be as judgemental as your comments make you appear, I have to wonder if you have EVER had to deal with an unreasonable person? Please look up all of the definitions of 'unreasonable'. Into what 'reasonable' context do you put his allowing his dog to kill a cat? I get pretty irked at the feral cats that my dear, kindly neighbor encourages, but would NEVER allow my boxer or rat terrier to kill any of them. I love the dogs too much.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 10:57PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

FWIW - In my past career I had contact with those like the neighors son on numerous occassions. There are out there just some plain old mean-a$$ed people who will never change. I've now changed my thoughts on this in that the mother is the instigator in all this and her son is just protecting his Mom. However, I don't believe either one of them are real nice peope based on what we've been told here. One should, however, realize that there's always two sides to every story so perhaps there's more to this than meets the eye - as it were.

We sure would like to have a current update OP - Okay?

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 12:52AM
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branik(USDA 5b/6 SS 35/41 AHS 5/6)

"So what did you do to tick them off? ...yeah, I know you just said "nothing" but something never comes from nothing."

That kind of logic is only applicable if both parties are -reasonable- and of sound mind. We have had problems with both types.

It is very possible for the aggressor to be acting on -imagined- things.

We have one neighbor that rented next door. He was paranoid schizophrenic. He got it in his head that we were breaking into his car. He installed an alarm and set it so sensitive that the train going by a block away would set it off. Leaves falling on it set it off. It would go off over 15 times each hour. He then started throwing chunks of asphalt from the abandoned alley behind our property into our yard. He threw one and hit my husband in the leg while my husband was working in our yard, and cut his leg.

Then our fence had a hole cut in it in that back corner where he had been throwing the asphalt from, and two of our dogs escaped and were killed.

That is not reasonable and cannot be reasoned with. Again he was -paranoid- and having delusions so offering him some food would likely have made him think we were trying to kill him.

(Not long after that we saw him pressing himself naked in the front window and called the police. He'd had a complete psychotic break and was put in mental health. Turned out his new doctor had taken him off all his medications cold turkey and caused all this nonsense.)

Another neighbor moved in there after him. They had 12 adults and 5 children living in the downstairs apartment. They must have been stacked in there like cord wood. These people were unreasonable and uneducated. One day one of their children was stung by a yellow jacket. Nevermind that they had a dozen flowering plants crammed on their 3' x 3' porch by the door where the child was stung attracting them. Nevermind that they waved their arms wildly and swung anything they had in their hands at them and made themselves get stung.

These people thought it was -their right- to come into -my yard- and SET IT ON FIRE. They said that the EMTs in the ambulance (yes they called an ambulance because a toddler was stung but had no reaction to the sting at all!) said they should kill the bees so I couldn't tell them no. Morons. Utter morons.

I of course told them to get out of my yard! That is not unreasonable at all since they were pouring lighter fluid you use for a grill and setting the yard on fire which is arson and open burning at all is illegal, not to mention I did not -want- -my- yard on fire!

They retreated to the fence and began threatening to kill me. They threatened to kill my service dog. They called me horrible, cruel names because I am 40 pounds overweight due to my disability. They called me vulgar, obscene names in front of their children. They began throwing trash, broken glass, cigarette butts, and dirty soiled diapers into my yard. Anytime I was outside in my yard they would throw things at me including beer bottles with beer in them. I have video of the teenage boy throwing a beer bottle at our house which narrowly missed the window I was sitting in front of, and then mooning me. They got a group of teenage boys to attack my service dog in our own backyard, causing an emergency vet visit late at night to deal with a cut on his face 1/8 inch from his eye where he was hit in the face with a rock.

This continued for a year until we harassed their landlord enough that he evicted them. To this day they drive by and scream obscenities at me and throw diapers full of feces at me and it has been over two years. (Our wonderful police here say the solution is for me to stay inside my house and not go outside.)

That is unreasonable behavior. You simply cannot reason with such people because they lack the powers of reasoning to be reasonable! They believed that they had a given right to come into our yard at any time to do anything they wanted and even the police could not convince them otherwise. They got it in their minds as wrong as it is, and that made them became angry. Their anger was all over an -imagined- slight.

Thus the quoted logic fails. Miserably. You cannot assume it is always the fault of the victim of aggressive nasty behavior! The victim is not always being unreasonable in such issues, nor have they always done something to instigate it.

That said, I do think it is unreasonable to let your stuff grow over into someone else's yard. It is definitely unreasonable to complain about their stuff growing over into your's if your's is growing over into their's. Pot, kettle.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 12:00PM
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I've had some bad neighbors, but none that were at the level some folks here have described. A little stealing sounds likes nothing after some of these stories.

I am so glad I have sane and friendly neighbors now.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Hi, everyone.

Right now, I am still suffering from some sort of sickness, which we strongly feel may have been caused by what he put down - or at the very least has added to it.

I am still extremely dizzy and nauseas. Some days are worse then others. When I get a chance, I try to go out and weed the gardens and do some work.

I'll reply and update tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 3:30AM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

Thanks, ourfamilygarden it will be good to know what the current status is and what you're doing about it. I hope you get to feeling better.

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 10:40AM
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Wow, makes me thankful for how the current neighbors behave so well... One neighbor rented the house to frat boys that threw parties 2x/week till all hours of the morning, but the worse that resulted in was beer bottles in the gutter, or trash in our yard. Now their nephews are there, and they don't make a peep most of the time.

Sorry to anyone with neighbors that make their house and yard less than enjoyable. We pay lots of money and work hard for a home, and should be able to enjoy our peace and leisure. What a nightmare!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:29AM
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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

I disagree that you can't change another person's behavior. If it were true then we wouldn't have much of what we have achieved in this country. I'll strongly argue that the Army has considerably changed my behavior. My parents and teachers and friends and enemies have changed my behavior... or at least evolved it.
Everyone works for their own benefit and some work for mutual benefit. I have found that If I want someone to get along with me I will first need to not be what they consider to be an enemy. If there is little chance of that or I have a difficult or time constrained objective then I may start as dominant and work back to an ok guy. Evoking dominance instead of working on an even level is like playing with dynamite though. It's best not to. Then, for my or mutual benefit, start to change the way they see something so that it is something they like. For good examples of this, pay attention to females. Some are naturally good at changing the behavior of guys for mutual benefit but a lot of them only manipulate to get what they want. A guy with more brains than need for companionship will be repulsed by actions that remind him of this type.
It does not matter if these are children or adults that the OP is working with. People carry the same behavior sets into adulthood. The male neighbor in this situation is performing an act of cruelty against animals for the same reasons a child would. He's hurt and angry and needs a way to release it so that he isn't overwhelmed with his negative emotions. The OP made herself a viable target by doing something that made herself weak and hated. This guy would not attack an unknown or feared neighbor. Chances are that no neighbors are really kind to this family. I would rather be on good terms with, or flat-out dominate a neighbor like that than to be his target. Heck, it probably wouldn't take too much to be on his good side if he is so sensitive that he would torture animals out of personal pain.
I grew up with 2 sisters so I am well aware of what a person can say is reasonable behavior but is actually cruel. I am also quite familiar with people who do just enough to trigger an event which would make them the victim in the eyes of their peers but witnessing the entire thing would cause a reasonable person to shake their head.
Had the OP been completely reasonable and not sought the support as a victim then she would not have included comments like "I know he kills cats but I can't prove it". This is totally unrelated to the problem and solution. The problem is that some cherished plants are damaged and the solution should be how to save the plants and prevent a reoccurrance of the incident. My suggestion is to modify your neighbors into ones that won't damage your property and won't resent being modified. In other words, seek a mutual solution.

I read somewhere that what you give you will receive ten-fold. I've also only known one person that was paranoid schizophrenic... and she liked me. I suspect that it was because I didn't treat her like crap. Apparently you think he doesn't like you because he's crazy. I disagree.
I would say that most of the unusual assumptions that come from any person are a blend of what they see and hear compared to what effects these inputs lead to in the past. This is the most basic form of thought found in all animals and even the 1 neuron robots I've built (the light gives me energy, I will go tword it). It's that simple. For you to be a negative subject in this persons mind you must have done something to remind them of a very negative experience from their past.
Not surprisingly, you found some reason to start a war with a family of 17 people! What did you expect? Is a police officer going to stand guard over your property line? No! And you're preaching to me about what's reasonable? Just because someone has a disability or superior numbers they are supposed to conform to your expectations or be 'unreasonable'? It's for you to be a good neighbor and work stuff out. So they burned down your yard... Yeah, I'd call the cops for that but what did you say? What did you really do to start a gang war with only you and your dog on your side? How could you put your dog in a situation like that? Even if you don't care about yourself you owe it to your dog to not provoke violence with people.

@Everyone that can't find peace with their neighbors:
If you refuse to believe that a good relationship starts with you and you don't like your neighbors... Then buy a house with some land... or just buy some land and spend your time there building a house to get away from your neighbors. This is the only logical way to be near the people you get along with... yourself. If you can't afford it or whatever excuse you may have, then there is always the option of you growing up and being a good neighbor.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 12:58PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

There are some people in this world, (far too many), that are just plain jerks. They are born that way and they stay that way throughout life. Sure, someone or some circumstance "may" change them, but it's not the responsibility of the people that live next door to them to psychoanalyze them and try and fix their problem. It's true, people should try and get along with their neighbors but sometimes "some people" just make that impossible. But I will say this, there's always two sides to a story which may apply in this case.

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 1:23PM
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branik(USDA 5b/6 SS 35/41 AHS 5/6)

"I read somewhere that what you give you will receive ten-fold."

And that is a great big fat fairy tail. A lot of wishful thinking on the parts of people that either have not and wish they did or people that were victims of nastiness and want to believe those nasty people will get back ten times as much as they gave them.

Here is a fact for you to consider as you sit here accusing the victims of harassment of being the cause of it.

People that are abusive of others accuse the victim of bringing it on themselves.

What you are saying here is akin to those people that say a woman was "asking for it" when she gets raped.

"I've also only known one person that was paranoid schizophrenic... and she liked me. I suspect that it was because I didn't treat her like crap."

You know very little about schizophrenia. It would not matter how nice you were to her if she had any hallucinations that made her feel otherwise. If she heard voices, and they told her you were plotting against her, she would have very easily have believed it. Maybe she was just stable on her meds, or maybe she did not have any hallucinations about you.

"Apparently you think he doesn't like you because he's crazy. I disagree."

This is argumentum ad hominem. You have "put words in my mouth" that make me sound inane, then disagreed with them.

I think no such thing about him. He is actually quite a nice man now that he is stable again. He recently lost his 15 year old dog and I have dogs of the same breed and have considered offering him one because I know how important having an emotional support animal can be for people that live alone and have problems.

I also would never be so derogatory as to call him "crazy" either. He is not crazy. He has a genetic condition. I am personally quite offended that you would use the term crazy to refer to a paranoid schizophrenic. My own mother is one.

"For you to be a negative subject in this persons mind you must have done something to remind them of a very negative experience from their past."

Your assumption is incorrect. Paranoid schizophrenics suffer delusions which have nothing to do with reality at all. I am incredibly well versed in this since my mother is a paranoid schizophrenic. She frequently calls me and tells me that the little old ladies at the nursing home are plotting against her or that she is moving out and getting her own place. Once she called to tell me she had found my younger sister in the newspaper and she was living here in town. And before she went in the nursing home she would call me and tell me that someone was in her apartment. I would have to drive 45 minutes each way and search her apartment for her. No one was ever there.

You see schizophrenics can have auditory and visual hallucinations in addition to hearing voices. Many schizophrenics that have service dogs to aid them with their disability use them to discern if a hallucination is real or not real. If the dog responds to a noise/seeing something, they know it is real. Otherwise they know it is a delusion.

She -believes- these delusions are completely real and actually happening with all her heart. She cannot differentiate them from reality because they are so vividly real. They are of course completely false and have no relationship to anything in her past, but to her they are every bit as real as seeing me standing there.

So no, I did not have to do anything that reminded my neighbor of anything. He could have hallucinated it visually or auditorily or even heard voices in his head telling him I had done something I had not done.

Thus your attempt to blame me for that situation fails on facts.

"Not surprisingly, you found some reason to start a war with a family of 17 people!"

Ad hominem again it would seem.

"What did you expect? Is a police officer going to stand guard over your property line? No! And you're preaching to me about what's reasonable?"

Ad hominem again.

You can try making me sound like I am being unreasonable or stupid with ad hominem attacks on me as a person trying to crucify my character, but it really doesn't work. I am not the moron you are trying to discredit me as being. The facts speak for themselves. These people were not reasonable people. After the arson there was the shooting. One of the men went out in the street and shot at his old lady after a night at the bar. He did time in jail while they lived there for that it. The bullet almost came into our house. And one of the girls was arrested for something else I forget what now but I think it was domestic violence. Clearly they were just bad people.

"Just because someone has a disability or superior numbers they are supposed to conform to your expectations or be 'unreasonable'?"

Ad hominem attack again. You are trying so hard to undermine my point because it disagrees, very well I might add, with yours. You are attempting to do this by trying to make me look like a jerk or stupid or like I think things that are unreasonable. What you fail to realize is that an attack on me as a person is not an attack on my argument. Trying to undermine my credibility by assassinating my character does not really address my argument.

I did not say that being disabled makes a person unreasonable. I myself am disabled, so now that would just be quite silly of me.

I also did not say having more people in their family made them unreasonable.

I said there are people that are not reasonable for various reasons, and that you cannot reason with them.

I did not say I expected anyone to conform to -my- expectations. I think that it is basically society's expectation that people respect property that is not theirs and not throw asphalt at people. I happen to think that it is a perfectly reasonable expectation and agree with it.

"So they burned down your yard..."

Yeah, so what? Who cares. No big deal starting a big old fire right against my house! I should have been a "good neighbor" gotten out the marshmallows and hot dogs for them!

And hey no worries that they were burning an area rich with poison ivy and I am highly allergic to the point of needing steroid shots at least once a year for it. I'll just quietly sit over here and get it in my lungs and have my throat close off and die. ^.^ Nope no worries at all. Having it in my throat from open burning done by a neighbor once when we lived out on the farm was fun! I wanna do it again!

Crikey who says such a thing? So they burned down your yard? Like it was just the most trivial thing on earth. I guess that could qualify as ad hominem too as it seems to try to make it look like what they did was quite trivial and I was overreacting and caused their harassment.

"Yeah, I'd call the cops for that"

And you don't think that alone would be enough to provoke violent people?

"but what did you say?"

Blaming the victim...

"What did you really do to start a gang war with only you and your dog on your side?"

I would have to say I did even less than I did by posting to this thread to invoke your attack.

Let's analyze your logic here for kicks.

Point: You say that in order to be the victim of someone else's actions I must have done something to them. The aggressors could not have done something first.

Point: By that same logic, why would I do something to them first? I say the same logic must apply to both parties and I could only have done something in retaliation to them having done something to me.

Point: If neighbors only retaliate against actions by the other party, then nobody could ever go first and there would be no neighbor problems ever. But we have neighbor problems. It then becomes a paradox. Someone had to go first, but if no action is possible but only reaction, we have an impossible situation so it must be false.

Point: Thus since it is impossible to have such a paradox, I postulate that either party involved -could in fact- be the instigator in such problems! :) And I know it was not me because I wasn't the one setting someones yard on fire.

I do not understand the "only you and your dog on your side" comment. Do I need to get myself a posse to be allowed to live peacefully now? That kind of thinking is pure gang mentality.

I also do not even understand this calling it a "gang war" when it was simply two neighbors not getting along. We weren't the Crips and the Bloods or whatever gangs are called nowadays. That is just utter nonsense.

"How could you put your dog in a situation like that? Even if you don't care about yourself you owe it to your dog to not provoke violence with people."

Oh of course! I should have just sat there quietly while they set my yard on fire and poured gallons of lighter fluid and gasoline on it just a few feet from my house! Then they could have set the house my dogs were inside of on fire and killed them! That is much better than stopping them!

No, the simple fact is that if anyone comes into your home and begins doing something dangerous you have an -obligation- to stop them and protect your home and your family and that is exactly what I did.

Clearly I love my dogs. My service dog is an extension of myself and to lose him would be like cutting off my leg. I being a logical person of sound mind would not go out hunting up trouble that would get him hurt. Just DUH.

Hmm. That was not literal "advice." It is just more ad hominem. You are trying to make me look like a callous person or a bad dog owner, just basically trying to put me in a bad light by insinuating I put my dog in danger without concern for his safety. Also the comment about even if you don't care about yourself is an attempt to make me look like some kind of foolhardy idiot that lacks the normal level of concern for ones wellbeing and safety.

Wait! Now I understand your tactic with accusing me of starting a "gang war"! It was an attempt to get my goat by exaggerating the reality. Too bad for you I am autistic and take things literally. I could not grasp calling it a gang war when no gangs were involved, so it seemed quite inane to call it that. Here it was just another silly attempt to goad me.

It seems that you are quite adept at provoking people with your churlish behavior. You are clearly being purposely difficult and trying to discredit me as a person because you cannot discredit my point. I must have posed an argument you could not refute.

I do find your assumptions about what I think very telling about you. I have found in my observation and learning about NT behavior that neurotypicals often think that other people are thinking the same way they are. Hence why they assume I lie even though I am autistic. People lie so they assume everyone else lies too. Another example is greedy people think everyone else is greedy so they feel they must beat them to the goods. People that envy what others have think others are sizing up and judging their things because they are doing it to others.

Thus you assuming that I have a problem with schizophrenics personally would indicate that you very likely do have a problem with them yourself. The fact that you called my neighbor the derogatory term "crazy" would further support this theory.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 5:19AM
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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

Ok, now that you've gotten that off of your chest please have a second look at all that has happened here.

From the role of instigator I had only one task, to rile you up.

From there you had several options including reduce the conflict, increase the conflict, or refuse to play the game.

You chose to increase the conflict, potentially under the guise of winning the conflict.

Conflict is different from an argument in that there must be a winner and a looser. Most people resent loosing.

All potential conflicts can be avoided or stopped by the choices that we make. We can't force the other guy to submit for long and any fuel we add to the smoldering fire will have a chance to ignite now or later. How we deal with each other is directly related to how we deal with our neighbors.

This concludes our exorcise.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:31AM
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branik(USDA 5b/6 SS 35/41 AHS 5/6)

Ah you are going to use the "play it off that you are some kind of enlightened guru here teaching us all a lesson" tactic now. I have actually seen this exact tactic used several times over the years on the internet.

"please have a second look at all that has happened here."

You entered the conversation, made some false and sweeping statements of absolutes and blamed the victims of harassment for causing their own harassment.

I entered the conversation and pointed out that there are no absolutes like that. Some exceptions always exist. I gave examples.

You made an inflammatory post based on no facts and full of personal attack. If we must point a finger at a person for "escalating" anything into a "conflict," it would be at you for this post. I had simply shared personal experience that countered your point after all.

I then replied fairly calmly for one who was just flamed pointing out the ad hominem instead of reacting to it and getting upset and stooping to a flame war. I again reiterated my point and elaborated on the facts behind my point. I participated in a "debate" or "discussion" on the subject.

You replied trying to pass off your attack on me and my rather calm reply as using me to prove your point. All supposedly done of course to educate those of us that seem to not understand how to get along with others in your opinion.

The problem with your claiming my response to your post proves your point and supposedly teaches all of us that we cause all these conflicts is...

This is a -discussion forum- where one is expected to discuss which entails posting replies and is visible to the entire world which means posts with false information can be quite detrimental, whereas a conflict with a neighbor is a conflict conflict with a neighbor and is just two parties and not likely to spread bad information around the world. Two quite different scenarios.

In a discussion forum, people make a statement or a point, other people post whatever they have that either supports or counters that point, people debate back and forth.

In a neighbor conflict it seems from my experience, the level of interaction pretty much amounts to being called insults like "fat cow" or profane or vulgar names. Certainly anyone with a modicum of decency witnessing me standing there while someone is being called a fat cow and stupid heifer that needs to die would simply think how boorish those people are that are hurling such petty insults. The lowlifes around here would probably laugh and think it was funny that the fat lady was getting called fat. *shrugs*

My responding to a post directed at me specifically on a forum where participation in debate and discussion is not unusual. It is in fact expected and predictable. I certainly did not escalate my response to a level above that of your insults and attacks. My response was below the level of your flaming me. I fail to see how you think my posting proves your point.

From my perspective, the only things that you have proven here are that you blame victims, think in black and white absolutes, ignore facts that refute your statements, and you think yourself superior. I certainly haven't learned anything from you that would be the least bit useful in keeping a neighbor that is in my yard setting it on fire because they feel it is their right from getting mad at me when I tell them to stop it.

My point still stands unrefuted. In some situations you have -zero- control over what is going to happen. You can never control what another person does, but you can -sometimes- influence it though you cannot make people do anything that is against their nature. There are people that wash out of the military because their personality traits do not lend themselves to being molded into soldiers. That's a fact.

There are people that are unreasonable in their actions and there are people that cannot be reasoned with and there are people that cannot be influenced.

"All potential conflicts can be avoided or stopped by the choices that we make."

I'm guessing you have never been the victim of racism, or even a bully.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 3:42PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

Oh my, is this getting out of hand. So, ourfamilygarden care to step-in with a current update on your dispute with your neighbor, it may be helpful...

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 3:56PM
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I apologize for not replying sooner. What my neighbor did may very well be costing me my health. It has certainly caused my entire family pain and suffering, not to mention what he did was TOXIC - POISONOUS to our health! He put POISON in a garden for edibles!

I pray that our health will be restored. My mother (who is 72 yo) has, also, been very upset and our family has been suffering from dizziness and nausea. The doctor's have said there is a very good possibility that he may be the cause, but to test definitively is very difficult. My doctor is looking into it, but feels it may be too late to get an absolute answer at this point.

Now, how anyone can possibly defend a person POISONING someone else's land - thereby causing detrimental health problems, is beyond all reason - period. Obviously the person in question is a cyber troll. Absolutely NO one I know would ever defend his actions. No one with a moral compass would.

I will reply to the posts in a moment.

I will do my best, as the dizzy spells are now coming and going, and our health is now frightening us.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 5:40PM
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branik: Hi. First, Im sorry to hear of the problems you have had with neighbors. And, I am glad you can see that there are unreasonable people. But, no, branik, I dont have pots and kettles of the same color, and my pans are cast iron, so they are dark brown, and my pots are stainless steel.) :-P .

No, its not the same. Please review my posts. What I may not have made clear are two (2) crucial points:
1.) I didnt complain about it until AFTER he had the audacity to kill our bushes over a few little leaves that werent even on his property, but were over our fence.
2.) I can grow a vine along my fence. If he doesnt like it, he can put up his own fence. He has no right to tell me that I cant grow a vine along the top of my chain link fence (I find it to look very pretty. Again, he can put his own fence up, and not look at it.). Also, he killed the vine at the root, as well as the leaves which was on MY side of the fence. Oh, the vine has NO thorns at all.

Aside from that (and the remainder of this reply is also a result of other comments, so please do not think I am attacking here. Im trying to clarify some points

1.) Ive told ALL of my neighbors, that if any of our berries drape over, we will be happy to cut them if it is annoying for them to do. They are more then welcome to cut whatever is on their side, as long as they are not malicious about it (you see, when our neighbor did it, he pulled it as FAR as he could ONTO his side, then cut it. I explained this earlier).
2.) We had trimmed the berry bushes from off off the other side of the fence. This was a few LEAVES. On occasion the branches will shoot up. When it rains for several days, they do that.
3.) I did trim the berries often. Last year, after he destroyed the previous years bushes by cutting them as described above, we put up a trellis up. He, apparently, didnt like that. It was on our property, and went higher up. He couldnt peak over to look in our yard (they are very nosy. If my dh and I are talking, or ever having an argument, they never use the room! Only when we are on the patio or have company, or are having an argument (as normal couples do sometimes. Why do we argue in the yard? Its not like we are screaming although I do have a propensity for talking loudly, LOL. If not that, they fine a reason to go outside, and walk along our side of the fence. They are so obvious. ).
4.) The fence, once again, is about 4" to 6" on OUR property. So, in actuality, there were NO bushes on HIS property.
5.) What we did was not intentional.
6.) His bushes are damaging our fences breaking them.
7.) His bushes are over on our side by a full foot.
8.) His rose bush, and a very thick thorn vine, are growing through our front chain link fence. I cant cut his property, as it is against town ordinace. Ive asked him to, but he refuses. Im stuck with it, unless I take him to civil court which I have to pay for and court fees in our county are not returnable for a lawsuit.
9.) His bush is trimmed 4 all along the front, but he intentionally leaves the one next to our driveway 6 which obstructs our view pulling out of our driveway. His bushes are not over 6 (as our few straggling berries may have occasionally be.). They are 2 and 4 (through the fence).
10.) His bush is twisted all in and out, breaking our chain link fence.
11.) His vines are twisted and growing through our wooden fence, breaking it. But, he didnt poinson that, when he killed our berry bushes.
12.) Hes doing it intentionally to be obnoxious. We werent. We painted his side of the fence. We didnt have to do that.

Honestly, there are no contradiction on my part. Ill try to post some pictures that might help to illustrate.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:05PM
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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

Let's put it a different way. Imagine you and me are neighbors. Everyone else in this thread are also our neighbors. Now look at the posts between us and compare them to everyone else who is choosing not to claim they are attacked by their neighbor and attempting to fight it to submission.

It takes a special type of person to do that. One that enjoys a fight, one that can't stand to loose a battle no matter how it effects them down the road.

So I'm looking at what is different between our neighbors and us. The fact that you are drawing this out gives convincing evidence that problems with your real life neighbors were worse than they had to be by the way you handled it.

Ok, here's another example. A few posts ago Greg here (sandhill farms) made a statement about mine. He mentioned that some people are just jerks and you can't change that. Now I don't really agree with that statement but then he goes on to agree that there are probably 2 sides to every story and I do agree with that. The overall message here is neutral. We disagree on some points and agree on others. That was a functional argument.

Stating that your offended (a false victim (nobody is responsible for your feelings but you) and assuming that you have free reign to do what you want in the name of justice is non-functional and dangerous. This behavior set generally looks for opportunities to become the victim (what made you post that first time? and then keep posting?) so that they can, in return, victimize others. Detecting this at an early stage allowed me to utilize you for this demonstration and I hope you can step back and see how this worked so that your actions are not so easily guided in the future. There are a good many people who would delight in having you do battle for them as it keeps their hands clean and provides good entertainment.

In this example you stepped up to defend the OPs position as a victim. In turn you claim that you have been victimized and now seek justice. That was all your doing as we are only responsible for our OWN actions. Whatever I said that provoked you was my doing. The rational people pretty much left it as two people acting silly.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:10PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

buckstarchaser wrote:

"Ok, here's another example. A few posts ago Greg here (sandhill farms) made a statement about mine. He mentioned that some people are just jerks and you can't change that. Now I don't really agree with that statement but then he goes on to agree that there are probably 2 sides to every story and I do agree with that. The overall message here is neutral. We disagree on some points and agree on others. That was a functional argument."

Just to set the record straight - I never replied to your statement at all. I base what I wrote about some people being lifelong jerks from life experience, not what you wrote.

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:45PM
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Let's see if we can't get back to the origional OP questions. First, hope your health issues are clearing up. ... Second, I got to thinking about how to tell if your soil has been contaminated by a herbicide ... so went to good old google on key words "how to test for herbacides in the soil". Got lots of hits ...some are those pdf files that I can't copy a link to. Some very useful looking info, tho.
...snip.... set up at least six 4-inch seedling pots or two flats and fill half of them with a sterile peat moss-based potting soil (this is the only time I recommend a peat moss potting soil). Fill the other half of the containers with a mixture of two parts of the compost you want to test and one part potting soil. Be sure to label for clear identification. Plant the containers with peas (in cool weather) or beans (in warmer conditions). If residues of pyralid herbicides are present, germination will be poor, and seedlings that do grow will show curled leaf edges......Tomatoes are highly sensitive; symptoms including curled, cupped leaves and wilting new growth are often misdiagnosed as a virus or disease problem."
Hope this proves helpful.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:53PM
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buckstarchaser(5 MI)

My mistake, sorry about that Greg. It's way past time for me to bow out of this thread anyway. I hope everything gets resolved peacefully.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 7:00PM
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"From the role of instigator I had only one task, to rile you up. "

Right there! That's it! You were NOT here to help anyone. You were here to cause strife.

Now, how was that a kind act? You should reap 10 fold what you have caused others here. YOUR actions upset others, intentionally!

Treating others kindly does NOT result in others treating YOU kindly.

Now, I will tell you, that I HAVE counseled people, and I've been involved in various aspects of helping people. Your layman's attempt at psychology was pathetic at best.

Are you aware that you can take a narcissistic person and treat them as nicely as you like, but they will still treat you like garbage. They will still treat you in whatever way amuses them.

In fact, being kind to some people can actually make them angrier. This is a fact.

When dealing with SOME bipolar, and/or paranoid personalities (two different conditions, but at times they can intersect) can actually INCREASE their paranoia. They view any act of kindness as having an ulterior motive. I've met and counseled such people.

Sociopaths will do whatever amuses them, and nothing you do or do not do will have any impact on that, whatsoever.

In fact, there are many personalities in which the NICER you are, the MORE they will take advantage of a person. I've come across this FAR too many times.

I am not going to wast my time educating your ignorance. There are countless personality types that do not react to kindness and rather take advantage of it.

In fact, in everyday life I am sure most people here can attest to people they have met in life who did noting but take advantage of their kindness.

On a personal note: I had a friend that I was very kind to for many years. Several relatives told me she takes advantage. We did have a mutual friendship. Often times she was considerate. But, when the straw finally snapped I looked back on a friendship to which she truly took advantage.

So, you clearly do not understand the dynamics of human nature - other then the fact that you have shown to have an antagonistic personality that enjoy disturbing other people and NOT helping them.

You, also, appear to be somewhat of a narcissist, yourself. And, as with most narcissist, it is all show and no substance. It is all self-perception and gross error of reality.

Kindly leave this thread, now, so that we may go on with the purpose of it.

I will ask people to please ignore this person, from henceforth. He/she clearly has an emotional disorder and is a cyber troll.

Hugs to everyone who has been upset by this person, myself, included. But, irony of ironies, I'd pegged him BEFORE I'd read that last post! Or was it experience?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:34PM
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My apologies. Only my reply to Banik showed up. I'd posted one before and after that, and they didn't show up. I do not know why. I'll repost. My apologies. Thankfully, I'd saved a rough draft, but unfortunately, not the corrected on. I'm not able them, again, now, so please accept the rough draft replies.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:10PM
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branik(USDA 5b/6 SS 35/41 AHS 5/6)

"I didnt complain about it until AFTER he had the audacity to kill our bushes over a few little leaves that werent even on his property, but were over our fence."

Ah so you were like pointing out that he was being a hypocrite. I understand now.
"I can grow a vine along my fence."

That is a fact. Our neighbor that passed last year let bindweed (wild morning glory) grow all over his fence and as a result we spend countless hours each year pulling it off of every one of our fences. His fence and he liked it. What can I say to that other than I am glad he had something to enjoy? His fence is an old beaten down rusted wire fence that he put up in the early '50's but he was so proud of it. When we replaced ours with new chainlink he did not want his part taken out so we set ours back from the property line about five feet at the top of the little hill. Created a little section of our yard that we can't use, but it made him happy.

"Ive told ALL of my neighbors, that if any of our berries drape over, we will be happy to cut them if it is annoying for them to do. They are more then welcome to cut whatever is on their side"

Now me, I just do it myself automatically because I just feel it is the right thing to do. It's mine, I shouldn't make work for others and I should keep my stuff pruned and contained on my property.

Now I have 21 pounds of celery I need to go chop and put up. *sigh*

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Okay, this was the second post, today, but it did not show up. Here it is, again...

Ill begin with the more relevant, and most important posts, this time:

Hi, Greg. I know you werent looking to be right. I thank you just the same. When you are right, you are right. I probably should pursue through the courts. I just feel that, without proper representation, I wont go very far. Small claims wont give a sufficient amount to pay for a new fence. Camera systems are so expensive. We do the best we can with what money we have (which is dwindled significantly this year because of the damage he did (I replaces some, but they have not yielded what they would have, if anything, being in the pots we had to buy from the $1 store. The yard looks awful with pots all about, but its the best I could do to put them at the other end.). Each time I look at the garden, and how he has chosen to taunt us by how he cut the ONE hedge out front, I get upset! I try to do what is right and forgive him and be nice, anyway. But, Im having a tough time. The nicer weve been to these people, the more they take advantage. And, he doesnt even have the courage to talk and address the issues (which led to me just yelling at him the other day to get his stuff off our fence. Thats all I really yelled out was that it is our fence, and he is breaking it.). It is really getting to me, now that he has done such damage to our property. But, on the other hand, what he has done to the animals has been eating at me for the past few years. I still cry when I think of it.

We are know trying to get a lawyer who may write a letter informing him that the fence he insists his his, is really ours. It makes NO sense why the man THINKS it is his fence!

1. We have the IDENTICAL FENCE on BOTH sides of our property.
2. The brackets face OUR house, because there used to be a gate that went across the front.
3. Weve showed him the survey (but refused to this second time, because he is just not getting it!).
4. Ive been painting the fence both sides to be NICE for over thirty years! Isnt it amazing that he thought it was HIS, and never even said thank you! And, I painted their side, too! I didnt have to do that. I even told his mother I would paint their side for them. I went on their side and did so. She sat out there and talked to me, and never said a single thank you. I didnt care, at the time. I was doing it to be nice. But now, knowing that they insist that it is THEIR fence, I think its pretty obnoxious.
5. The fence is over thirty years old (its a chain link in the front. The back is wood). At that time, the fence had to have the NICE side face your neighbor. Our backyard has the nice one face us, because, at the time, the town allowed for it when we put it up. Now, the town has changed the law AGAIN. Ugh.

I just saw your second post. Thank you VERY much for your support, as well. I dont understand how anyone can justify his actions. The only person who can, is someone who is cruel and thinks as he does. There is no other way. But, I very much appreciate the support, which counters those who are so ignorant.

You are probably right about a fence not stopping him. Im tyring to think outside the box, and find a way. If we raclaim the 4" or so of property that belongs to us, we can put stones to stop our berried, herbs, and ground flowers, from going cloers to the fence, and distance him from it a bit. I was contemplating a ½ greenhouse type setup (PVC piping and vinyl) at an arch that would go to 8 or so, to perhaps stop him from spraying over the fence 6 is all the town will allow. There are no exceptions, except for possible commercial ones).

But, he is staying just within the boundaries of the law, or rather on the tightrope of where the laws hands are tied. I cant even think that way. To me, the law is the law. Kindness is kindness. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Mistakes, mishaps, thats different. It is very frustrating.

My father was a police officer. So, I know where you are coming from. And, Im sure you know all too well, also, how some people seem to manage to get away and scathe it by not getting caught. Such as what he does to the animals. I cant prove it. But, the circumstantial is just too strong. Ill expalin in a separate post.

borderbarb, all I can say is "thank you!" Thank you for helping clarify, and for understanding! I dont know how anyone can condone his actions.

Okay, see your 2nd post . Thank you so much for looking into that! From what I saw, I need to know what was put down, and he wont tell me. But, there must be a way around it. Ill need to do more digging.

I do need to somehow do something to turn this around for my families sake, and my own spiritual, physical, and mental well being. I just keep focusing on trying to protect my property. I dont wish ill for him. What would make me very happy is if this man realized how cruel and wrong he was, apologized, and never did anything mean again. That would be very nice. I hope he comes to view animals as innocent creatures, and stop harming them!

I am getting so upset at being so horribly treated when we never did a single unkind thing to these people.

I have no where else I can have my garden. It is where we can see it. The other side of the house is where you cant see anything and the neighbors grandchildrens' balls go over (hey, they are children. At lesat there is no malice), and the neighbor has a VERY large tree that blocks the remainder of that side (hey, its a tree! I dont expect the man to cut it down or get rid of it! Actually, as much as Id LIKE to have that side for planting, it would be sad to see it come down, for it houses many small critters.).

I will look further on detoxifying the soil. But, after I do that, what can I do to stop future damage? I still keep thinking of putting down a large sheet metal in the ground, to at least stop the soil from being contaminated on my side. We cant afford the vinyl fence. It is just too much money for us (and it wont stop him from spraying over the top anyway.). But, perhaps we can put up a LARGE vinyl tarp. LOL. But, that would look pretty awful. Besides, the town has told us we can do nothing that will result in our lengthening the height of our fence. But, perhaps we can think of something else, outside the box.

Last year, we put up bamboo that went two feed over the fence. But, somehow, it was badly damaged and shoved over. But, now that he has resorted to spraying,that would have gone right through the bamboo.

Oh, my son is 17 yo :-) He has been harvesting from our organic garden since he is a toddler :-) He has always loved going out there and harvesting. When he was younger, we did a worm compost (something Id like to do, again). He was saddened about the damage, but more upset for my sake. I have always taken such joy from watching his face as he went out there and harvested the berries (and tomatoes, cucumbers,, etc. :-) ).

I still enjoy, and always will, watching him harvest and eat from our organic garden. He is always so appreciative! The blueberry bush was bought for him by my mother when he was much younger. He has harvested every year from it. I broke my heart almost watch it die and see all those berries that were pre-harvest die off (and what remained be inedible).

scarletdaisies, Your response is reasonable. But, what he did, he did on purpose. I can see from how it died and what died, that he put down more then on herbicide, and did so to harm our plants, and ours only. He has weeds all over, just along the border of where he sprayed along our fence. He only was trying to kill our plants. He, also, must have put down more then one type of killer. All vegetation would not have killed the blackberries by pouring on the ground. After that, he graduated to spraying through the fence, and over it, on our plants. I had to cut back more blackberries that he killed, and pull out more dead plants. Everything is still suffering. Some things bounced back. But the areas is desolate and horrible Weve talked with him, and he wont even tell us exactly what he sprayed, except to say that he put down "flower killer." Thats right, "flower" killer. Thats what he said. Also, he denies all vegetation killer, but when you look at the ground, its barren. Ill post some pictures, when I get a chance.

Unfortunately, in our county, he does not need our permission to spray anything, anywhere he likes including on our fence. Yes, thats what the DEC said. The DEC also said that our neighbor is not responsible for drift that might "accidentally" hit our plants (although, they admit that what he did was no accident). Apparently, they can only regulate commercial sprayers, not individuals, and the county has no laws regarding such.

Id like to catch him with regard to the animal cases. Ill explain those in more detail, in a separate post. It is very upsetting.

I did ask the cooperative extension if I could have the soil and plants tested for what toxins were contaiminated. I asked the local one, and the state one. Both told me that they knew of no such tests. I just dont get it. It really seems that these organizations dont buy into the fact that this stuff is harmful or they just dont seem to care.

We were going to send a registered letter to him, as youve suggested (which I seems to be a very good idea). But, with what the county has said, it will make no difference. I dont know what to say. Very good. Just dont know what to say. Ill tell more about the steps weve been taking.

greenleaf_organic thank you for the molasses tip. Wow. That volcanic rock sounds awesome. Id meant to look into it when greenleaf recommended it. Between being sick, and trying to figure out how to first protect our side, Ive not yet done that. Ill have to try to find out where to buy it.

I really appreciate the detox information! From what the coop had told me, Id need to know exactly what was put into it, in order to detox it. Sounds like, from what you have all shared here, I may be able to do that without knowing exactly what was put into it.

Destroying a flower bed for a sand box? We had a sandbox for our son when he was little. We didnt have to take out the flowers. LOL. Now that we could put in the middle of the yard Well, not smack in the middle. LOL. But, um, well, if he didnt put a lid on that box, shes not going to have a very safe time in it. We got a plastic one from the store so that the sand was contained all around, and a lid went on when not in it. If we hadnt, it would have been used as a litter box, and would have had lots of crawly critters (pincing ones, too) in it. Thankfully, we never had a problem. Would have been a prettier atmosphere for his child to put it next to a pretty garden, I think.

praxxus55712 LOL. Thank you for your understanding, prax. I have to admit, we have all been tempted to poison his stuff that GROSSLY is on our property and doing damage - back at him. But, I know I wouldnt feel better, and I would feel guilty afterward. As a matter of fact, the worst thing I did when he first did this was, when I was cutting back all of the things he killed, I let whatever was on his side fall there and stay there. But, then I felt that, while within my right not to have to pick up what fell because it was on his side, I went back out and picked it up, anyway when my dh could help me (I couldn't reach over the fence).

I actually had a couple of people say they were going to come over and do it. But, I told them not to. I bet you wouldnt really, either ;) As mean as theyve been, I dont want to cause them the anguish theyve caused me. I just want them to see how wrong and cruel they are (and especially to have their hearts realize how cruel to animals). Seems like the nicer you are, the more people like our neighbor find to take advantage.

I apologize for not replying sooner. What my neighbor did may very well be costing me my health. It has certainly caused my entire family pain and suffering, not to mention what he did was TOXIC - POISONOUS to our health! He put POISON in a garden for edibles!

I pray that our health will be restored. My mother (who is 72 yo) has, also, been very upset and our family has been suffering from dizziness and nausea. The doctor's have said there is a very good possibility that he may be the cause, but to test definitively is very difficult. My doctor is looking into it, but feels it may be too late to get an absolute answer at this point.

Now, how anyone can possibly defend a person POISONING someone else's land - thereby causing detrimental health problems, is beyond all reason - period. Obviously the person in question is a cyber troll. Absolutely NO one I know would ever defend his actions. No one with a moral compass would.

I will reply to the posts in a moment.

I will do my best, as the dizzy spells are now coming and going, and our health is now frightening us.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:43PM
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sandhill_farms Greg, I assure you there is not more then this then meets the eye :-) But, even as you said before, we shouldn't have to live in such a way to avoid his harming our property. There's just no excuse for what he did. Something toxic and destructive. But, I know you already know this.

Weve never done anything unkind to these people (until he poisoned my plants, and for two (2) weeks, every time I went outside and cried over the garden still do I screamed about how rotten it was, and that he had no right! I thought all the neighbors could hear me. But, the others told me they didnt. LOL. I know it sounds crazy. But, it was just so maddening, and it was all I could do.

He did have a tragedy that may have been a trigger point in his life. But, we talked after that, and his cruelty to animals was long before that; and he and his mother were very inconsiderate long before that. It is not for me to disclose something so personal of his life on the internet, however.

We still talked after that. We never had a single argument or cross words. He just started getting meaner and meaner. When he did what he did with the pigeon, and I knew he did something, it was the last straw for me. I approached him and asked him about what happened. Afterward, we all talked to him about it. We didnt walk away in a fight. We said goodbye and were cordial, but it was the clincher for us how cruel he was.

Actually, I was sickened before over what he did to the sweet and precious squirrel who visited our yard. Afterward, we had a marked decrease in squirrels, and still do to this day. I was in TEARS, and still get very upset when I think of the squirrel we fed! I was, also, in TEARS when that poor pigeon was obviously harmed by him!

His mother encourages his behavior. Its crazy.

In another post I mention how the woman sweeps the dirt from the front of their house into our driveway.

Now, shed been doing stuff like this for some time. Lawn day, or not, she thinks the dirt in front of her house belongs to us. We knew she was doing it, but never caught her in the act. This day, we caught her in the act, as wed pulled up in front of our house (she waits until we are not at home, or during the wee hours, to do these things). She quick ran back into her house, when she saw we pulled up and caught her.

I was livid! My husband was going to walk out and say something, but we stopped first to compose ourselves. After I calmed, I told my dh, "Okay, shes an elderly lady. Just go over and knock on her door and ask her what is the matter. If there is something upsetting her, or whatever, if the dirt in front of her house (not ours) bothers her, tell her well sweep it up for her, just please dont sweep it into our driveway and walkway. Well, he knocked, and she refused to answer the door!

This spring, when I got outside to do some cleaning, Id forgotten and hit the spot with the blower. Every time I go outside with the blower, I feel like pig-pen! I hig the spot on OUR side of the property line, and it swirls all around me!

Now, do you know how we sweep the front of our house, and the sidewalk? Because she gets so upset about the dirt in the street, I go outside with a dust pan! Im the only person on the entire block who doesnt just blow it in the street! I feel ridiculous, actually. But, I go out there with a dust pan so she cant say that its out dirt. But, she still swept to our side.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:58PM
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This was posted BEFORE my above reply to "buckstarchaser." Wow! LOL. I was right that he was being antagonistic before he even admitted it! LOL.

buckstarchaser Oh oh oh oh oh! You are UNBELIEVABLE!!!! As a matter of FACT, mister "buck," I DO! Ive told EVERY SINGLE NEIGHBOR including him, that they are more then welcome to pick whatever is on their side of the fence!

The "kid" is an ADULT male in his late 50s or 60s. Strike two.

Have you EVER heard the about what happens when you "assume" Mr. Buck?

Sheeeesh! I hate sarcasm, but please do read my posts BEFORE making such incredible IGNORANT comments!

Snooty? Okay, youve so pegged me wrong, its not even funny!

Mr., I dont have acres in my backyard. The guy considers anything a leaf as trespassing! The guy kills animals!!! He considers birds, squirrels, and ALL critters as TRESPASSERS!?!?

Oh, wait, you actually are JUSTIFYING what he did because I have a garden, and he chooses not to? Wait, wait. You know what, even though I did offer our neighbors to pick whatever theyd like, and even offered to give some of them the berry bushes that we dig up that grow in the middle of the yard (yeah. Ive offered them to neighbors, family, friends. Yes, I have!) But, wait. Even if I didnt HE HAS NO RIGHT TO DESTROY MY PROPERTY.

Okay, you know what, people like you, who make ridiculous comments that are justifying acts that could have KILLED MY FAMILY I have to say it you are as idiotic even worse, okay then the guy next door to me. The reason you are worse, you ask? Hes obviously got something mentally wrong with him whats your excuse?

People, please. If you arent going to read the posts and get where Im coming from, and cant see that I obviously am not mean (the very fact that Im pulling my hair out I mean, a lot of people would have retaliated. ), dont bother to reply. Really. Im so not like that. Please. I catch crickets and set them back outside!

The people that think as my neighbor does (or differently, but equally irrational), just resurge all the hurt, pain, and, yes, anger that I am trying to overcome.

But, you know its the kind comments of people as so many have made here that make this helpful. I thank EVERYONE who replied to these people for me! You made it bearable.

As Greg succinctly put it, "You could, of course, remove his desire to be destructive by just ignoring him and stop growing anything within his reach. People shouldn't have live like that on their property though."

As for the attitude of the "majority" of the posters here please! How can you read their replies and make such an incredibly absurd comment?! Theyve done nothing but be understanding, help me with how I can repair the DAMAGE the guy did and you are sayign that WE deserve to have our stuff damaged because you THINK I, and people here, do things to deserve this?

The REASON there are few things "legally" are because the pesticide companies RULE the legal system! You know what, for you to say that, I would just BET that you are the type of guy that knows how to do things on the line and get away with it. ONLY a person that thinks that way would say such an absurd thing!

My father was a police officer, and I come from a family of police officers. Let me tell you something: there are MANY ways people do things to harrass others that are right there in the line of the law, and there is NOTHING their victims can do about it!

Yeah, you justify that in your brain!

Okay, Mister, justify to me THIS why is my county FULL of child molesters that are getting out after serving 6 months or two years?! Hey, justify that for me! Yeah, now Im angry, because a comment like yours makes me REALLY angry. You know why? Because Ive met TOO many parents whose children were MOLESTED! I know of TOO many animals that were TORTURED to death in my state, and the people get NOTHING and what little some get is NOT NEARLY ENOUGH!

Dont you DARE tell me that the reason the legal system cant do much is because of YOUR warped reasoning! You are SICK if you think that is true! REALLY SICK!

You "finally" made an account to reply to this? Uh, yeah, I doubt that, unless you are John in disguise. Interesting. Your logic is similar to his. Your birthdays are 6 days apart. You both assumed the ADULT male was a child. You BOTH COMPLETELY missed how cruel he is to animals! Wow! If you arent the same person, you guys are both of the same twisted and sick thinking, and lack of reading comprehension skills, thats for sure!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:03PM
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"Buck" LOL!

"Let's put it a different way. Imagine you and me are neighbors."

Let's not. I've only read that one sentence and stopped. You've clearly shown your incredible ignornace. You've misread my posts, ignored most of them. Are defending the defenseless acts someone who could have killed my family. You are incredibly ignorant and sad, to say the least.

You refuse to READ the facts, and you have sown SEVERAL times how WRONG you were on facts that I and others (thank you, EVERYONE) have posted - and corrected you on.

You've falsely accused Greg of stating something to you that he did not. You've done nothing but attack everyone on the thread with the sole purpose of upsetting people here.

You've repeatedly shown just how ignorant, and your lack of reading comprehension skills. In addition, you lack of comprehension human nature, and both a moral and an ethical compass.

Absolutely no one with any moral compass could defend what my neighbor did and does.

As a matter of fact, the VERY fact that you've ignored his cruelty to animals, as well as the risks he put my families health in, shows that you are likely a sociopath, yourself. Which, is very frightening, indeed. Only a sociopath, or psychopath, would not be affected by his cruel acts.

Please leave this thread, and get help before you hurt someone. You should NOT be giving ANYONE "advice" on human personalities! You clearly do not understand them - beyond your ability to provoke others - another personality trait of sociopaths, psychopaths, and narcissism.

I feel sorry for every person in your life. I feel very sorry for your neighbors.

Again, get yourself some help, rather than continue on the destructive path of hurting other people.

Oh, what an empty life for one that only derives pleasure from trying to upset other people. Such a person as you does not feel positive and good emotions. How sad for you.

Your posts will be ignored by me from henceforth. They are not fruitful, and I am here for assistance from these kind people. I am not here to entertain your demented psyche.

Good-bye "buckstarchaser" - or John. I hope you get help!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:07PM
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Okay, back to the purpose of this thread and to all the kind and concerned people here (and I thank you!)...

so far, here is where we are at:

Ive contacted an organization in my state that was instrumental in passing a law that would prevent COMMERCIAL use of pesticides and herbicides without consent of surrounding property. However, there is no law on private use. Part of the problem with that is: Federal laws that allow it and restrict the states from passing differing laws.

For example: Our town does not allow people to trim any foliage that belongs to a neighbor, even if it is draping on their own property, without permission from said neighbor. On the surface, that does seem ridiculous. But, after experiencing what our neighbor did, it does not. The law is designed for that express purpose to prevent people from "trimming" and destroying their neighbors property. For example, if you dont trim a tree properly, you can kill it or severely damage it.

We had one neighbor trim one of our Cherry trees so severely that the tree didnt fruit for several years. But, it wasnt intentional. I only recently found out, on top of that, they didnt know they were edible. Wed told them they are welcome to pick the black berries. I thought the tree was a no-brainer. My mistake. They didnt know the Cherries were edible. I dont know if that would have made a difference, though. I hope it does, and that they come to enjoy the Cherries

Anywho, it was, by no means, malicious, and Im sure they didnt realize it would effect the tree as it did. We didnt bother to mention to them that it ruined the harvest. We dont get a lot from it. Mostly, the animals get to it (we dont spray it with pesticides. The birds and squirrels eat the vast majority of them. We get a few here and there :-) ).

Digressed, sorry

So, the police have filed a police report, but without solid proof, there is nothing they can do (understandably). We did file a police report. The neighbor found out, and is now running to the ER every other day, andtime we try to say a single thing or ask a single question. Funny thing is, he took out his boat RIGHT AFTER he claims to have done so, at least three (3) times we know of. We took pictures the third time as evidence, and his brother admitted it was a bogus claim. I felt really badly when hed first said it, even though I knew he was lying. A small part of me couldnt help but feel badly. On the flip side, we realized ourselves that my mother has been suffering from chest pains, and had a TIA right after he did what he did! Um, so, our case is legit.

Okay, sorry, again

Weve contacted "Beyond Pesticides" and are hoping for assistance from them.

Weve contacted the DEC. The problem with them is: there are no laws prohibiting drift, according to them. They also claim that they must personally see the act. Now, Ive since spoken with a couple of organizations that have said that is not the case. However, this is clearly the training at least some of the DEC officers are receiving. In all probability, because it is probably difficult to prosecute such cases. Now, personally, I just want the guy to admit he was wrong and leave us, our property, and the animals ALONE! If he is fined or something, it will, at least, send him the message he cant do what he has done.

Were currently trying to contact the EPA (federal). Now, its not that they will do anything, on this case, but Id like to see the laws changed.

We are trying to get in touch with an attorney to have a letter written to tell him to not use pesticides or herbicides in or around our property nor within 3 to 5 of our property. A good lawyer can do this, as it is against manufacturers labels to use said items within 3 to 5 of edibles and ornamentals (which he knows we have).

In addition, we want a lawyer to inform him that the fence is OURS (ding dong thinks its his. Good grief!), and to keep his stuff off of it and to stop damaging it. And to inform him of our property line.

Personally, as Ive mentioned, Id like him to have to stay 20 feet away from us and our property, at all times. I say 20 feet, because I do not want to stop him from visiting his mother.

Now, for anyone reading part of this, remember HE PUTS NOTHING DOWN TO CONTROL WEEDS ANYWHERE ON HIS PROPERTY! So dont reply that he has every right to put it down on his property. He does NOT have aright to put it down near OUR property period.

I finally found out why our town does not have a law against pesticide and herbicide use. Individual towns are not permitted, by federal law, to have laws that differ from State. So, if the state does not prohibit pesticde/herbicide usage without a neighbors permission, the towns cannot do so as they can with trimming (which reminds me, for all those obnoxious people who think it si their right check with your local town! It may NOT be within your right to do so!).

What is frustrating, also, is this:

By law, a business MUST put down the flags on the grounds when placing pesticides on lawns. For anyone who doesnt know, the pesticides are EXTREMELY toxic! They KILL any animal that might ingest it, or the bugs they kill. However, the individuals person does NOT!

Now, I will tell you that we put it down ONCE in our FRONT YARD ONLY! I hadnt realized how toxic it was. Ive never used it, again! I would feel terrible if someones dog or cat, or any little wild critter, died from it! They kill birds that innocently go on lawns to eat worms and such, as well. When it rains, the puddles are toxic.

Why such a toxic chemical can be left in the hands of the average person who will probably not even read the lable is only proof of how much $$$ these companies have invested in controlling EPA regulations.

So, people are putting this stuff down left and right, and no flags are being placed on the lawns.

Every summer, one of our neighbors sprays all their trees. I am not sure which neighbor it is. But, the smell permeates the backyard, and I cant go in the yard for several days. However, I receive no warning, whatsoever, that this contaminant is in the air! If it were commercial people, I would.

These pesticide and herbicide companies make far too much money, and I dont for-see-ably see these lawns changing. The only way it can be done is if individual states, counties, and towns, can pass their own laws to regulate them.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:11PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

ourfamilygarden, Okay - time to calm down now. I can understand why someone like your neighbor uspsets you, he would me. With all due respect, and I mean that, in almost every post you've made you tell another story about what this guy has done to your property or to animals, but what you haven't told everyone is what "you're going to do about it or are doing about it." I mean I think everyone gets the picture, the guy's a jerk. Unfortunately, and based on what you've told us, there's little that law enforcement or the city attorney can do for you under the current circumstances. You said that he's poisoning you and your family, can you prove that? Do you have evidence to show that he has? Have you been documenting and taking pictures of the events that have taken place? As I see it, and you alluded to in your second to last post, he is falling short of criminal behavior, all he's doing is being a jerk and pissing you off and there's no crime in that. At this point all I can see you doing is to to keep your plants off the fence and try and ignore him. I know this is hard with some people but it's really all you can do at this point. If you can gather some concrete evidence that he's intentionally poisoning you and your family then take that and contact the Police or DA's Office. You say that your relatives are (or were) Police Officers, what do they have to say?

So again, and with due respect, what are you doing or are going to do?

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:51PM
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After almost 35 years as an activist/gadfly for local/state/national issues, I can tell you how very slow some progress can be. The competing spheres of influence and power-structures confound common sense. However you have learned, what many people don't realize - how one part of government [even with best intentions] can tie the hands of another part of government. It appears to me that you are doing all that you can do. Filing police reports, being in touch with activist/professional organizations,legislators, and the LAWYER LETTER[s] all lay a foundation of due diligence. I hope you and your mother's health continues to improve. Happy gardening

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:05AM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

ourfamilygarden - I wish you all the luck in the world in your quest to get this guy to leave you alone. I hope that it all works-out for you...

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:09AM
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borderbarb, thank you for your kindness and finding those links! I'm definitely going to go through them right after I reply.

I know parts of the soil are still very toxic, as it is still very barren - even "weeds" aren't coming through as they normally would - and in some spots not at all!

Even the blackberry bushes that survived have suffered terribly. What leaves survived are all wilted and withered. Most berries withered before even becoming ripe. The stalks of others turned black and died! I've never seen the berry bushes die that way in all these years.

My rose vine (1 to 2 feed in on my property) has withered leaves. So, what you are describing seems to indicate that the soil is still very much toxic.

A small clump of the feverfew actually flowered, but as per Bayer and the Cooperative extension, it is still considered toxic. The lemon balm has withered terribly. It never even came to flower. I had a large patch of it that I'd nurtured over the past four or so years.

I know that I need to wait at least one year. But, But, that is in accordance to epa's base standards. We know that their standards are not nearly safe enough.

So, I'm going to incorporate the suggestions, as best I can, on trying to clean out the existing toxins from the soil, and I'll, also, plants seeds and such to test it in the Spring (although I'd really like an actual test of some type to be sure that even if something CAN grow in the soil, that it can safely to be edible. I've spoken to people at some nurseries. I was going to buy some edible marigolds one year. The woman at the nursery told me outright NOT to buy them for edibles, because she won't buy them from their nursery. They use a TON of chemical fertilizer and pesticides on their plants, and they grow beautifully, but they are NOT safe for consumption because of what they use.).

I'll let you all know how that goes. But, now I need to figure out how to protect the area from him.

We want to move our fence out to where our property line actually is. Then, we'll put down cement so the plants don't begin to grown within 1/2 foot or so. We're going to try to put up some sort of plastic guard. But, we're not sure how we can do that.

We have to get a lawyer to explain to this guy that the fence IS several inches on our property (he doesn't believe the survey!).

But, still, I need a way to be sure he doesn't douse the ground with chemicals that will seep through. I'd, also, like to prevent the root systems, and tap roots, from my plants from going anywhere near the fence, where they might drink in what he puts down.

This is all dependent on how much we can afford to do. Meanwhile, this guy doesn't put up a single fence of his OWN! He relies on US, and the other neighbors, to pay for fences that divide the property. Then he lets his stuff grow all over our fences, breaking them!

Thanks, again, Borderbarb :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:43AM
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Hi, Greg. Thank you. I appreciate that. I apologize. My posts came through out of order. I did post what I've done so far, but it didn't come through in the correct order. Please scroll up to see what we've done. It's there, now. It wasn't, before.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:49AM
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Borderbarb and Sandhill: Thank you for those kind words and encouragement!

I'll keep you all abreast of what it transpires.

Oh, and Borderbarb, you are very right how the laws of one part of govt. can tie the hands of another. It is frustrating. It certainly has created a loop hole in the law for our neighbor.

I hope he will have an awakening of conscience and moral compass - not just for me, but for the poor critters that have suffered at his hand.

Thank you, again! The suggestions, kindness, help, and understanding have been very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 3:00AM
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Borderbarb and Sandhill: Thank you for those kind words and encouragement!

I'll keep you all abreast of what it transpires.

Oh, and Borderbarb, you are very right how the laws of one part of govt. can tie the hands of another. It is frustrating. It certainly has created a loop hole in the law for our neighbor.

I hope he will have an awakening of conscience and moral compass - not just for me, but for the poor critters that have suffered at his hand.

Thank you, again! The suggestions, kindness, help, and understanding have been very much appreciated!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 3:03AM
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"We have to get a lawyer to explain to this guy that the fence IS several inches on our property (he doesn't believe the survey!). "

This is a minor quibble, but I understand some of the fence confusion. You repeatedly say it is your fence, but then offer to paint "their" side of the fence. Why would they maintain your fence?

In most places and with most neighbors, the fence is where the de facto boundary is, legally or now. And yes, it usually is a few inches on someone's property, because you can't install a fence on someone else's property -- and if you do, it becomes THEIR fence.

I think you need to let that part of your concerns go and focus on the specific issues you have with your neighbor *right now* and how to address those.

Have you looked at the wooden/plastic privacy strips you can put in chain link fences? They won't serve to really block anything, except non-vining plants will probably not poke through. And it would certainly be cheaper than installing a different kind of fence.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 8:36AM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

ourfamilygarden - I was going to leave this alone but I was thinking about something that I wanted to ask about. I'm assuming that this neighbor of yours has other neighbors as well, one on the other side of him and one to the rear. What do they have to say about him and his mother? Does he do the same things to them as he does to you? If not, what is "your opinion" of why he singles you out and not the others? What causes him to be so cruel to you and no one else? Also, I got the impression from one of your posts that he doesn't live with his mother but comes to visit her, is this what he does? If he does bother his other neighbors in the same manner as he does you perhaps you should get together with them, there's power in numbers. Again - good luck.

Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 9:55AM
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Brainstorming about how to keep OP's tree/plant roots from going into neighbor's soil and how to keep any liquid he may pour on soil from moving into OP's growing area.

My eperience is that many tree roots go very deep and 'nature' is very clever at overcoming barriers. Which would mean not planting anything with deep/wide root structure within a certain distance from the property line.

But is it practical/structurally-sound to dig a ditch along property line, line it with heavy plastic/cement/or ?, and fill ditch with gravel. I wonder if this would be an effective barrier against seeping liquid poured by neighbor? I tried and gave up something similar to keep a neighbor's cypress tree roots from populating/dominating my garden area.

Also, re: using plants to help detoxify the soil. I think I've read that sunflower plants used to sop up heavy metals were discarded/destroyed [not composted or used as fodder]Which, considering the unknown material spread on your soil, this might be best. Most of us are geared to think of the ultimate use of anything we plant [either plow under as OM or eat or compost]and conversely anything grown and not put to use is a 'waste'. But maybe thinking that those 'detox plants' are workers whose 'job' is to clease the soil, might put a more positive perspective on the situation. I'm a great believer in 'nature' having the resiliance to overcome some pretty nasty stuff, so turning some of 'nature's'creation loose in that area would go a long way toward "making lemonade" out of this situation. Please remember to enjoy the beauty you have, which your poor neighbor seems not to have/appreciate.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:00AM
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- I have to ask permission before going onto their property to paint my fence.
- I can paint my side to keep it looking nice, but I do not have to spend double the amount of money to paint their side to make it look nice. I've not met a single one of my neighbors who has painted both sides of their fence. Typically, they paint their own side, not both.
I didn't have to offer to spend the money so she could have a nice looking fence. But, I did.

Point in case, our back neighbors painted our fence on their side without even asking us. The paint dripped all over onto our side. It's what people around here seem to do. I don't. If it wasn't my fence I wouldn't touch it, unless asked.

on as we have maintained them all these years.

We checked with the people who did the survey years ago, and they said the fence is clearly on our property and not on the property line.

The wooden fence in the back is several inches in on our property.


You have a point, really, but there are two reasons why this has taken the second row (but you are right, my main focus is to stop the poisoning of our porperty).
1.) The aluminum front fence shows the property line, and that he was trespassing.
2.) They are breaking the aluminum fence. I was just going through some of the pictures. Where he sprayed a lot of herbicide it is now all rusted! Badly, so. That upsets me. Neither of our other two aluminum fences (back or other side) have that. They are in excellent condition, so is the front part of that same said fence. So, it's what they've done to it.


It's a good point, as we have that in the back. I don't mind plants poking through. Honestly, that would be moot to me if they hadn't destroyed my property because a few leaves hung over (and were still on my property). But, mine were in the back where the wooden fence is. The front, where they are ruining it, (and they have damaged the back, as well) has a hedge, a sturdy rose, and another miniature tree/bush that poke through. These grab the fence and twist it, and that is what they refuse to pull off.

Honestly, I would trim it myself. It would be easier, but the town ordinance is that I can't without their permission. I understand that, now, because of what they did. And, it would upset her if I touched their stuff in any way. So, I don't.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 4:20PM
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He's actually very phony - or used to be. He doesn't talk to any of the other neighbors, really. I'm one of those strange people that doesn't pay attention to who is doing what, unless they are bothering me or harming others. As for me, you can do whatever you want.

The mother never talked to anyone. The sons always talked with us. The other side of their home received new neighbors several years ago. When the were moving in, her one son had all these horrible racial comments to make about them (they were Indian). It was terrible! I won't repeat it. We were the first people to welcome them into the neighborhood years ago. But, our paths really didn't pass one another. In any event, AFTER we welcomed them, he talked a bit to them. But, never anything much. Hello and goodbye if they saw one another out front. I don't know what they ahve to say about him. I, honestly, don't gossip and leave it where it is. But, I can tell you that they put up a 6' wooden fence on their side, and put it up a bit higher then ordinance height. I'd only be speculating as to why they may have done it.

I feel kind of funny going over and asking the other people on their other side. It would be like gossiping or deformation, and I don't want to do that. He doesn't talk to the people behind him, as I understand it from when we used to talk with him. Both he and his mother look between the slats on the fence when they are in the backyard. Very annoying.

In our neighborhood, people kind of keep to their own business and don't like to get involved. We do have a neighbor that may testify, if it comes down to it, that the aluminum fence was ours before they ever moved in.

I just tried to have a nice talk with her, I really did.

She has been leaning over the fence (she does this every day and pretends to be trimming something, then she tosses junk on our side.).

Hmmm. You just did nail one thing, though. Difference between our side and the other side. The wind blows west to east. All the leaves travel, and the garbage, in that direction. She seems to think that anything that blows from that direction belong to us!

Case in point: We wait until our tree drops its leaves do do the first leaf rake of the season (our tree drops before most of the others). Then, after that, the neighbors leaves drop. We do another pick up. Then, througout the winter, leaves fall. I don't go out there and pickup all winder. No one I know does! But, we have several neighbors that do not pick up at all, or that sweep them into the street. She thinks that the leaves belong to us - meanwhile, the leaves in the backyard that we get from HER trees are considerable. But, IMO - THEY ARE TREES! Hello? Don't live here if you don't want to deal with it. Every piece of garbage or leaf or branch, that the wind blows does not belong to me!

Every single garbage day, there is garbage in the street. When I see it, I pick it up. But, even after I do, she will pick up the garbage in front of her house and dump it on MY property. She doesn't do it to the other side, because the wind doesn't blow that way.

Now, having said that, she is NOT senile! I just talked with her, and she is quick and sharp and a LIAR! She said she has been living here longer then we (she has not). She said she put the fence in (she did not). Then she said her uncle put the fence in. Not senility - she's trying to get her lies straight. She said that after I reminded her of how old her son was, and I was, when they moved in - reminding her that they moved in after us.

She outright lied and said her son did not put down any herbicides. He's been avoiding the house since we called the DEC. I can't believe that she is looking me in the face and lying. When I reminded her that he admitted it, she insisted he never said any such thing! Then, after I told her she stood right there, how could she lie like that, she said, "he must have been pulling your leg, then." He wasn't! He didn't! And, we confronted him AFTER the fact.

I've already mentioned to you that he doesn't like that we feed the birds and squirrels. We don't do that as often, anymore. It's a pleasure I had, and I felt good knowing they had food for the winter. It is sad to us to not feed them. But, after he poisoned them, I've been worried for their safety. The people on the other side do not feed any of the wildlife, that I know of. Keep in mind we do NOT feed them along the fence!!! Several feet into our property we feed them. Anywhere from right outside my door, to the middle of our backyard, to the other side of the yard (depending on weather conditions, and such).

What can I say. I was trying to help a poor pigeon that ended up on his roof. When I made the mistake of telling them, and asking them to let me know when it comes down, it mysteriously disappeared right after he got arrived at his mother's house. It could not have flown away.

Again, it just doesn't make sense to live in a suburban area where you have trees, squirrels, birds, etc., if you don't like those things. A city apartment would suit them much better.

Well, I tried to be nice, today. I REALLY did! It's eating me up. I'm trying so hard to do what is right. So, when I saw her by the fence today, I went over to talk to her. I called her name and asked if we could talk. She was very nasty right off the bat. I said, "Mrs. ----, could we talk?" She snapped and said, "What do you want?" I tried to tell her we never had an argument, I'd like to talk nicely. She snapped, again. I said that I'm really trying to be nice and talk with her. Then I asked her - and I was very sincere - What did we do to upset you? What did we do that bothered you? Tell me so we can fix it and work on it.

She just snapped and was nasty. She just said, "What are you talking about? What do you want?" I explained I wanted to work this out. She repeated herself. I said that something must be bothering her and her son steve to do the things they ahve done to us. In all honestly, recapping the conversation here practically has me in tears. I was so sincere and really wanted to do what was right - not before people, but before God. I'm not perfect. I tried. I really did.

It was like talking to the devil. The lies, the nasty ways, the cruelty.

Well, that was when she said he did nothing, as I mentioned above.

What can I say? We tried. I tried. I could just do back to her what she did. I could just poison what is on our side of the property to get their stuff off of our fence. Even if they can't do anything to us, I know that I can't do that!

I tried. Yesterday, when we swept the front of our house, I even swept several inches in on her side, since she seems to think everything that lands in front of her house belongs to us.

But for her son to think this way, too? Both of them to think that anything blowing down the block belongs to us?

She told one neighbor, supposedly, that we let our garbage go all over the street. That neighbor was senile, though, and not a reliable source. God rest her soul. She's passed on, now. But, we have LOCKING LIDS on our garbage cans! And, we put our garbage in bags before we put it in the cans. So, I can't tell you why she thinks the way she does.

I will say that, because of the way our houses are situatioed, we get a lot of garbage (both we and she) fronm the block perpendicular to our home. One home, in particular, really does not put lids on their garbage. I've considered telling them they might want to consider a shredder, only because I've gotten receipts and stuff that has their personal information on it. I just tear it up and throw it out in my garbage. I mean, they aren't doing it on purpose, and the garbage men, depending on whose doing the garbage - not all of them - can be pretty harried at times. I've seen some of them toss the cans a house away. They toss the cans and the lids, separate. On extremely windy days, we've had to go several houses down and across to retrieve our lids and cans. Kind of funny, actually.

I know of one neighbor that complained to me about their dog. Not a close neighbor, actually. it is when the son walks the dog. They've commented on how nasty the little thing is. I feel sorry for the dog, actually. I know how mean she can be.

I happen to care a lot about animals, more then most. So, it really upset me when his dog killed the cats, and he enjoyed it. I mean, this is they type of people I'm dealing with. I don't think the people on the other side feed the birds and squirrels. This past winter we didn't. I was really afraid of what he might do to them. But, it bothers me not to do it, too. They, also, resented the elderly lady down the block that fed the feral cats.

I doubt they know about the neighbor across the street that has five (5) our door cats. He doesn't talk to them at all, so he probably doesn't know. I'm not going to tell him! I don't want him to hurt them.

I mean, the squirrels, birds, and cats didn't do anything to him. But, he's very mean to them. Have you ever met people that seem to just be mean to people who try to be nice? They raised both of their dogs to go after other animals. The one they have now is too little to let loose on them.

If I was nasty to them, they'd probably be nicer.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 4:25PM
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THANK YOU, Borderbarb! I really so want help in this!


That's a good point. I'd need to learn how their root structure works. From when I've dug up the blackberries, rose vine, and blueberries, they don't seem to have a deep root system. I could be wrong, though. The herbs have very weak root systems, well most of them. Even the mint, though, seems to have a shallow root system.

The only tree we have in the back on his side is a sassafras, and that is several feet in, and his tree overshadows it so badly that it actually leans in the opposite direction. So, no problem with that tree at all. (that tree smells SO yummy when we trim it! I feel like you could eat it. I looked up about sassafras tea, and from what I found is that they only use the root and it has been show to cause cancer :( bummer. Smells delicious, though. LOL.)


We've thought that, too. I think it would be very costly to put a cement one in, and again, as you say, how well would it hold up. It might end up just being an annoying mess in the soil. But, a friend of mine suggested that we try sheets of metal. Using it as they do the edgers? That's what I'm starting to lean toward trying to do. You know those plastic edgers people put in, that go several inches deep? Something that would do that, only going 2 or 3 feet deep. Have you seen anything like that? Or maybe a metal that would be inexpensive that would work?

Sunflowers? I really like those! They would be fun to plant. I won't be able to eat the seeds though, well, at least not the first year. Well, maybe I can plant some in pots to eat, and others in the ground to clean. That'd work. Oh, would they be safe for the birds to eat? Or should I remove the heads before they get to eat them?

hat, also. I keep thinking of going through all this, and I need to find a way to protect it from him, too. You know what I mean?


I do need help with that. I'm so upset, again, after trying to talk nicely to her. I REALLY was trying to be nice and resolve the whole thing.

But, I do need help to focus on how to fix my situation, and get a positive outlook. I read your posts and they do help! But, then I go outside and see what they've done and do, and I get upset, again. Or, I just have a day when I toss up my hands, ask why, and cry. I need to, now, resolve the property line issue with them, because they don't get it. That is eating me up, too. But, I'm going to keep your comments in my thinking. They are very helpful!

If I may: "cyber hug> :)

Thank you, borderbarb!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 4:28PM
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I hope you've found a solution to all this, OP. What a sucky situation.

In the hope that my 2 cents is of any use to you, here goes:

(1) Camera systems do not have to be expensive. Google "inexpensive surveillance camera" (no quote marks) and some will come up. One thing to consider is that if you have a window on the correct side of the house where a camera could sit, you wouldn't need a camera that can handle being out of doors--and that would save you money. You could just use a webcam or a nanny-cam or something. (What would be ESPECIALLY hilarious is if you put a webcam in, say, an upstairs window, and also put a crappy used surveillance camera that doesn't work on the outside of your house, and your webcam caught him vandalizing the crappy outside camera...haha).

And if you or anyone close to you is technically savvy, you could rig up a surveillance system from parts--like, a used surveillance camera from eBay hooked up to your computer. A friend of mine did that (he's an engineer) and actually caught a burglar that way. He had photos of the guy robbing his house... now THAT was a simple case once it got to the jury!! Haha. He set it up so the camera was taking photos every 15 seconds or 30 seconds or something once a sensor was tripped--doing it that way, rather than having it function as an actual video camera, saves you a LOT in terms of storage space, computer power, etc., so he was able to rig this up with an old computer he wasn't using anymore.

(2) You don't necessarily need proof to get help with this from the legal system, you just need evidence. The difference? Proof is, for example, a video of him holding a can of [pesticide name] and pouring it on your garden. Evidence is the fact that this happened on his side of your yard, the fact it involved X type of pesticide which he is known to use, etc. So, think about what you may have in terms of evidence.

(3) Do you know what it would take to get a restraining order against him? Some states make it pretty hard--they restrict restraining orders to, for example, abusive relationship situations--but in other states, you might be able to get a restraining order to keep him and his things (including his chemicals) off your property. He is, after all, trespassing, and a restraining order would turn what's now a civil trespass into a minor criminal trespass. That won't actually keep him off your land, but it gives the police a good way of arresting him.

(4) Watching how long your answers were on this thread to those idiotic posts from what's-his-name (Bantik? The jerk, anyway), I find myself noticing that you put a lot of time and energy into trying to convince the jerk that you're right and that he's not understanding the situation correctly. I totally agree you're right and he's not understanding. What I'm noticing, though, is how much time and energy that took from you, and how it had no effect on the jerk. You posted something that, for me at least, seemed connected to that:

"I do need to somehow do something to turn this around for my families sake, and my own spiritual, physical, and mental well being. I just keep focusing on trying to protect my property. I don�t wish ill for him. What would make me very happy is if this man realized how cruel and wrong he was, apologized, and never did anything mean again. That would be very nice. I hope he comes to view animals as innocent creatures, and stop harming them!
I am getting so upset at being so horribly treated when we never did a single unkind thing to these people."

What you said would make you happy... is not going to happen. The insane neighbor isn't going to realize that he's wrong. The jerk on this thread also isn't going to realize that he's wrong. And it probably takes a lot of energy from you, and adds to your frustration, to have such a strong desire for idiots to not be idiots anymore. That energy is stolen directly from your and your family's "spiritual, physical, and mental well being." In other words, you could use the time and energy you spend answering Bantik's posts or thinking of how to confront your neighbor (or actually confronting him, etc.) focusing on your and your family's well being instead. But I don't think that energy will free up and be available to focus on well being until you release and accept the fact that you cannot change your neighbor (or Bantik). You really can't. That's not your job. I would say the task here for you is to do your work (i.e., take care of self and family, nurture relationships with the decent neighbors, build a fence, heal your soil, etc.), and let god do god's work, and also--most crucially--to learn to tell the difference between what's your work and what's god's work.

That's not to say you should do nothing about your neighbor but build a fence. But just that your focus shouldn't be on changing his mind. You can't. You won't. It's a lot easier on your soul to recognize that the only things you can change are (1) your way of handling the situation and (2) how well protected your property is. A fence and a surveillance camera would help deter him and would help the law do its work, if it comes to that. But notice how both those things are literally on your side of the property line? It's only the stuff on your side of the property line that you can change. You can't change him. But you can protect and heal yourself and your family.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 3:06PM
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Wow. I've been careful not to get on the bad side of neighbors and I see from this thread this was a good policy. We did have drug dealers in a nearby rented house, but we told the property owner we were going to call the sheriff and he got rid of them by the next day!!

There was an elderly woman who caused terrible trouble with her several neighbors across the street, so I took care to avoid her entirely, and this worked. And now she's too old to do any of that, so no problem. Boy, she was really a pistol, causing a lot of expense and grief for people I respect.

I know you can call the police and establish there is a problem for future reference, and they will go talk to the problem neighbors, and this is enough to stop bad behavior from some people. Documentation and establishing the problem with the police seems key to me.

It is likely the animal control people and police, etc., will not view his killing animals as anything more than vermin control (squirrels and pigeons and feral cats are certainly vermin to many people). People are still allowed to do that, I think, though I agree with people here, his doing the "evil villain laugh" when his dog kills things is probably NOT a good sign!

Thirty years on your property is too long to be willing to move, I expect. It is for me, too. Otherwise, I'd say that's your best bet, unless you meet with such people other places. In which case it would mean, wherever you go, there you are. Which is an issue I have to consider, too.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 3:27AM
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Being from the town im from , theres an easy way to sort this. Buy a baseball bat and wait in a secluded area that you know he will pass then break his arms. A few weeks of his mother wiping his butt for him will give him a chance to think over what he has done to deserve this.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 8:29AM
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LOL ourfamilygarden are you still alive? I read most of this old tread. I'm so happy I don't have a neighbor's like some of these people.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:39AM
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I know this is an old post, but i figured i would post in case this person is still reading. For me, I would use the law to put a stop to things. I would NOT put up another fence, i would install cameras, or sit up everynight with a video camera till I got proof. Maybe place some flags down your boundary line as a marker.Kind of a warning to him, plus a "no tresspass sign with them. Then call the police and take a pic if he steps one foot over. The flags will help show his placement over the boundary. Anytime something is destroyed,call the police.when you see/hear an animal being tortured, call the police. Get it on record. Even if you dont have proof.
You can buy an inexpensive camera that can video for around $60. Be pro-active and get your proof. Put up a light that will light your boundary for easy visibility. I would love an update

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Not sure if anyone mentioned this because I admit I did not read this whole gigantic thread..but I would reccomend filling the area with amended sawdust and wood chips and innoculating it with oyster mushroom spawn. It may greatly help in breaking down the toxins and leaving behind wonderful organic matter to till into the well as edibles from otherwise unusable ground.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:24AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Funny how these old threads get popped up.

That said, is ourfamilygarden still posting?

She may have had a real jerk for a neighbor, but she comes across as a bit psychotic... most definitely in need of some meds.

And I spend most of my time in Hot Topics, so that's saying something.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:53PM
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Thank you for the replies, MrDoiltail, Tammyinwv, and haps Haps, I shall definitely look into the mushroom detox! Thank you very much! MrDoiltail - LOL. Thank you for the chuckle :) Yes, I am still alive. LOL.

Tammyinwv, thank you for taking the time to reply to an old thread. It is appreciated that kind people as yourself care! Your suggestions are very good and reasonable. Unfortunately, we are dealing with very unreasonable people who are VERY sneaky, lie, and have clearly snapped. We did try to call the ASPCA, but we didnât have sufficient proof, and unfortunately, I didnât get him on tape admitting that he kills any animal that trespasses on his property. We werenât expecting him to say that! We were so shocked.

We have filed a few police reports to have it on record. We did set up cameras (which need to be replaced, unfortunately). We did get him on camera doing disgusting things, such as: grabbing his groin at the camera as a gesture I will not describe here, turning to the camera and aggressively scratching his rear end, giving the middle finger to the camera, cursing and spitting at the camera (but not spitting directly into it). He did all this when he saw the cameras. They complained saying they were going to call the police because we set up the cameras, so we called to let the police know they were harassing us. In addition, weâve caught the elderly mother tossing garbage and leaves over the fence onto our property. Despite that we hve one tree in our front yard, she thinks all of the leaves in the neighborhood belong to us. LOL. We used to pickup after our tree lost all of itâs leaves (as it is one of the first to drop) and then again after our other neighborâs tree drops (which is one f the last). I canât help the other neighbors who donât pick up their leaves. LOL. Nor does it bother me that they donât, to be quite honest. But I also canât help them going onto her property - they arenât my leaves. LOL! We were told we could have had her arrested - but I didn't want to arrest a 90 year old woman. It's annoying and sad that she does this, but it is not the scale of what her 60+ year old son is doing.

Oh, we also caught him on camera encouraging his small dog (he no longer has the big shepherd that used to kill the cats - behavior he enjoyed, bragged about, and encouraged. It was SUCH a horrific and cruel sound!). This is a small dog on a leash, but he encourages the dog. The cat ran up our driveway to take refuge and hid, and he actually brought the dog around and to the fence to try and scare the cat further! Unfortunately, because he didnât actually harm the animal, there is nothing the ASPCA can do about it.

He knows where the cameras are, so he is careful to not do anything where they exist. We actually saw our plants dying and went back to the cameras to see what heâd done. The week before, you could see him going along the fence line, and disappearing from site. He had something in his hands which, but he managed to drop it out of the cameras view. So, we have no âproof.â

We tried to explain to them where the boundary is, and they refuse to listen. They insist the fence is there fence. Weâve showed them the survey and told them to look at their own home survey. The reply we were given? âI donât believe it!â The saddest is what the son did to animals ï That garden has been organic for MANY years. It was so upsetting. It has been almost three years now, and the damage was so horrific! The garden is STILL recovering :( Much of it was killed and destroyed :( Thousands of dollars worth of plants, and crops were lost. Plants Iâve had for many years, that Iâd grown from seed were wiped out. But, the most painful were the sentimental plants, and those that my family most enjoyed to eat: The beautiful blue berry bush that was given to my son from my mother. It was a small blue berry bush given to him when he was a little boy - and it had grown into a gorgeous full bush that nearly died. It has still not recovered :( It is a small shell of what it once was :( We do not get but a dozen berries on it - STILL. It was SO upsetting to see the entire back of that poisoned and dying! The rose bush given to me by my son when he was young - that he picked out - is still recovering. It was horrifically damaged. It once gave me gorgeous roses. It was full and lush. It scarcely has leaves STILL, it has suffered terribly. Both of these plants were 2 to 3 feet from the fence (which was 6â in on our property). And the blackberry bushes I had eaten since *I* was a child - that my son has eaten bowl fulls each year from the time he was a toddler - gone :( Only a few remain. And, amongst those few, he has still sprayed them since then :( I wonât go into all of the herbs that were killed - nor the plants that were purchased that year. Not to mention the time spent planting and caring for the garden.

Thankfully, our other bordering neighbors are very nice. Weâve told our neighbors that if any of our plants go over the fence or are a bother, to let us know and weâll be happy to take care of it -otherwise, they were free to pick whatever berries are on our vines that face their yard :)They have their own, but have been very nice.

As to hamiltongardener, you are obviously a troll who lives their life hiding behind a computer screen to harass others. You show anti-social behaviors, at the very least. I suggest you educate yourself on the meaning of âpsychotic.â You sound very ignorant and childish. And, I suggest you get help. Sad you find the behavior of the neighbor as being a mere âjerk.â That would clearly indicate that you are accepting of said behavior and very likely partake of such or similar behavior yourself (as can be seen by your comment here). Please refrain from replying to any of my threads. I already have a deeply disturbed neighbor - I donât need a deeply disturbed troll on the forums that are designed to support people. LOL!

To the others, thank you, again, for the support, concern, and suggestions!!!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 1:13AM
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topsiebeezelbub(z7 Al)

Wow, what a thread. I began reading it because a friend has something similar, but not to this degree. I wonder about a sprinkler set to go on every hour and douse the plants, if it would wash poisons off before they had time to do damage...and douse him as well? Good luck and get well!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Hey, I just got a really good idea from the last poster and a news article yesterday. Some store owner was having problems with people urinating in an alley way, up against the back of his building. So he installed a water spray on a motion detector. It showed guys unzipping, and assuming the position, then they would get drowned. Funny as heck. One guy took off running, then creeped back around the corner to take a peek at what hit him. You might be able to do something cheap;y with a water hose and some kind of timer. Would soooo be worth it to get on camera,lol

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 6:39AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

And yet, the attention seeking behavior continues... even after this long.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:39PM
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Dear Ourfamilygarden,

I am so glad you posted a recent update. How are the dizzy spells and the nausea that you and your family were experiencing? I truly hope that all the physical symptoms have completely resolved. I was very concerned for you when I read about that and how long the symptoms persisted.
I had a wretched neighbor for approx. 5 years who finally moved 3 years ago. I know the mental and emotional energy these types of people who live in such close proximity can deliberately extract from us. For me, I finally decided that our only option was to move. We couldn't afford it, so I made up my mind to go back to school to pursue a better career with the very real goal of making more money to get out from living next door to this mean bully of a human being who had created so much stress in my life. Thanks be to God, they moved while I was in the middle of my schooling and were replaced by wonderful neighbors, so we ended up staying put.
Even though your home has many wonderful sentimental memories for you and your family, the fact that you live next door to people who continue to spray poison on your property causing you to be unable to enjoy your favorite aspects of living there is very concerning to me and I think may override the sentimental and even financial aspects of considering a move. I do fully believe that even when your soil finally recovers from the toxic spray of three years ago, he will do it again once you get a new garden started. From what you have posted, it does not sound like he has changed one bit, so there doesn't appear to be any reason to believe he will stop his viciousness ever. The safety, serenity, physical and emotional health of your family is being compromised and threatened. It is just shocking that you seem to have no recourse or ability to defend your property with the support of local laws. To me, it seems that your only choice is to stop gardening entirely or move.
I wanted to also tell you about another website that you might find interesting. It helped me a great deal while I was dealing with my wretched neighbor and the emotional fall-out she caused me. It used to be called neighbors from hell, (no spaces) though I believe the name may have changed. The man who started it is named Bob. The people who post on it frequently come up with novel ideas on how to deal with such neighbors. Many have dealt with some unbelievable situations similar to yours. Like all internet sites, they have occasional instigators (just like in our neighborhoods! ), but most do try to be helpful. You might find something of interest on the forum if you look around.
Peace and prayers to you and your family.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:17PM
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P.S. Just checked out the site I suggested. When you type it in and the page opens, click on the red bar at the bottom to go into the site.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 12:33PM
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I have four neighbors that spray every week. (hope they die from it).

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I feel for you! I have a very similar situation. My neighbor hates my trees, shrubs, everything and walks on my side of her fence and has been spraying round-up for years. All grass, groundcover is dead 5 feet on the property line on my side. My 5-yr. old new arborvitae tree looks worse than the day planted and has not grown an inch. My tall Leland cypress trees are brown on the bottom halves and look poorly, not to mention she stubbed many of them to the trunk, took out limbs up to 8 ft above the ground, the trees look awful! Her goal is to kill them-after 10 years of growth. I know that I am venting.

So what to do with crazy? At first I though she was just mean. I do believe she poisoned my cat 8 months ago, since she had threatened me the month before. The law is very unhelpful. Laws exist, but one practically has to catch enough photos and film footage to prove anything! Or eyewitnesses that are willing to testify. The person can go to court and lie, which is what the neighbor does all the time. A preponderance of evidence is what the policeman told me.
So I have been installing surveillance cameras around my home and plans for one or two to shoot down the fencerow. After $200 and trial and error, please get a complete system, donât try to piece mill these things together unless you are technically, electronic savvy. After working with wired cameras for a while which now requires a transmitter and receiver if you want camera placed a great distance from your house, I would advise IP cameras if you have a reliable router. The summary is that neither system is foolproof, so easiest may be the IP. I am ditching my wired ones soon and buying IP, more money. I just hope to catch her and sue, or stop vandalism-which may require continual vigilance on my part. Also get a reputable tree specialist to take a look at your plants, one that wins cases in court. The value placed on plants and trees a tree is not always just the monetary purchase value, the staff told me trees can value at 1000 or more. Besides, it is against US law and may local ordinances to poison (put adverse chemicals on) someoneâs land against their permission. I donât know the penalties for this.

Regarding fencing, great idea, but it canât stop the herbicide run-off. Bad Neighbor has built a damn along her fencerow; water does not flow downhill but back on me and none on her. Again against the law for person to damn up the natural flow of water and cause harmful consequences on anotherâs land. Fence may stop direct application on trees and bushes, but my neighbor is so crazy that I figure she will sneak on my side of the fence to do her dirty deeds. The situation I face is complex and fraught with impediments, all maniacally crafted to an almost impossible web.

I too have thought about moving, which is exactly what my neighbor wants, control of my land. I have never been so hopeful for someone to die sooner than later.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:33PM
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The same chemicals in plant fertilizer are hazardous if ingested or left on the skin.
Any number of things could have been put on the plants that could cause you harm if left on your skin or ingested.
I would check for any obvious remnants of dead wildlife or insects.
I say obvious because I wouldn't place myself in or around the area of the toxins until the area was treated by a professional but I would keep an eye open for dead wildlife. I would document the test findings and if I saw anything unusual.
If you can prove that there was testing done on your plants and it was abnormal you could potentially take them to court if there intent to harm you can be proven by some manifest say a text msg or a voicemail or even a witness who overheard them attack you. What people often neglect to think about is that while yes the plants are wildlife that can be replaced that these chemicals in most cases are dangerous to humans or pets. All that would need to happen in most cases is for the chemical to be left on your skin or touch your mouth or your animals skin or mouth and could cause damage.
Remember that no material object is worth you risking your own safety over.
And you did the right thing to talk about your concerns and asked for help. This is a subject that many of us probably face but don't think there is anything we can do about it and there is. Empower yourself! And support others!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 11:51AM
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Can we get an update on the psycho neighbors? I'm curious if things have gotten better or not. Also, I was wondering if homeland security could get involved in a situation like this. Spraying toxic chemicals could be considered an act of terrorism.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 11:05AM
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