My neighbor won't leave me alone (long)

kittens(Zone 5)May 16, 2011

We have a pie shaped piece of property located on a dead-end street. For about 15 years it was private and I was able peacefully garden without intrusion. The neighbors tore down the wooded lot next door and sandwiched a house on the property. The way the house was angled, they had view of my entire side and back yard :(. (They told someone they swapped the design of the house around because the would rather look at my gardens than the neighbor's fence on their other side). We had their huge dining room window to look at which is set up a little higher than our property. They'd enjoy our yard while having dinner and I could see their tv flickering from my yard all evening. My family was completely uncomfortable and would only sit on our deck, out of view.

While I waited (2 years) for them to fence, I had gone out on the landscaping forum. I was given a really good design to cover up the window/house which would abut against the anticipated fence. It would have been costly but would have looked really nice from both views. That would have been my preference; it would have kept everything 'neighborly' and both could have enjoyed it with no tension, end of story.

They ended up setting their fence back about 8 feet (I believe to leave their view unobstructed) which left it impossible to hook any design to the property edge. In the meantime, the neighbor left this h@ll strip completely unmaintained (the rest of the yard is immaculate) and would pass back and forth repeatedly. The neighborhood kids also started using it as a cut-through and would trample my plantings.

It was a huge challenge for me to fence in along the line. It runs through woods and their window sat higher than our property. I even had to hoist sections of fence up a foot or so and fill in soil to cover the window. The fence ends in the woods which neither of us owns and this is where my neighbor has moved the problem to. (I can't fence the rest off. There's a tree in the way and then my property runs down off a large slope).

This year he left uncovered garbage bins out all winter sitting up against my last fence section on my property. I had set a compost pile there (it's completely out of their view and the garden fencing around it was a deterrent for neighborhood kids to pass through). The bins are now a skeeter haven. He started dumping fruits & veggies in a pile about 5 feet from my property to lure in vermin. Whenever I'm out in my yard (and I'm often in my compost area this time of year) he just happens to 'pop' over through the back. It startles me and I feel like I'm always being spied upon. Even if I hide in a different area of my property he seems to find me. In addition the antagonism, he's passive-aggressive and always slips in a derogatory remark about what I'm doing or a 'suggestion' for me (like cutting down a tree he doesn't care for). When he leaves, sometimes his kid is left behind that I have to deal with, too!

Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? The area is wooded and shady. There is poison ivy that creeps over so I have always tried to keep it empty so I could kill the creepers. I don't want another huge expense, nor do I want to spend another limited summer having to fix the problems. I'm not physically what I used to be so I'm looking for a relatively easy solution. I had considered rose bushes (if they'd grow) but don't want them creeping through my property either. I really just want to be left alone; it's been too many years of nonsense.

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Bamboo? I had a neighbor who used to sit on his 2nd story deck wth a pair of binoculars and watch me (and I'm NO Barbie, let me tell you) as I got in and out of my hot tub on my back patio. I planted a beautiful stand of bamboo in a raised island, and though it took a couple of years, it has given me privacy...along with a lovely sound as the wind blows through the bamboo, chirping from the birds that light there, and it is pretty much maintenance free since I have a barrier in the ground to prevent the bamboo from spreading willy-nilly. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:21PM
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kittens(Zone 5)

That is a good idea. I'm in zone 5 (can't get my page to update for some reason). Would it give winter privacy too? And how deep of a barrier do you need to install? I run into tree roots all through the area so it might be difficult.

I went out into the woods the other day and dug up some weed shrubs (they look similar to privet). I put them around the last area where I cannot fence. I planted lots of little ones that can take a transplant and a couple larger ones for more of an instant privacy. I did this in the rain and it seems like the big ones are going to live. At least it is blocking the trash cans and the trash pile of food. You can step around the little ones but hopefully the hint will be taken. I might trudge back through the poison ivy woods and get a couple more larger ones. I don't want to be mean, I just want a my privacy back. I can take these out at any point but at least I don't have to wait for anything to grow.

I would absolutely die if someone was watching me with binoculars. Especially in a swim suit! People have so much nerve.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:31PM
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I hope that your problem has been resolved over the summer.
If not, you could park a couple of ugly 'parts trucks' there for them to admire. I've seen fences made out of old ski sets (they asked for donations). Feng shui would solve the problem by placing a convex mirror to face their house. I've used this for pesky neighbors and it's amazing.
You've been Europe they would use live plantings, like spiky hawthorn, for security as well as privacy.
Some poison oak where the neighbor "pops through"? It's a lovely plant to look at.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 7:19PM
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ilovetogrow z9 Jax Florida

Get your own fence. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do it. I have a rental next door to me. I have high fences. They paid for themselves right away.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Find the biggest, meanest cacti you can find that will grow in your area, and place those 2-3 feet thick every where you can't fence... make it so that he has to come to your front door if he wants to visit.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:16PM
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    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 1:14PM
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