Kids break my Rodi

tindy(West Midlands)August 1, 2005

I live close to a school and every lunchtime loads of kids go past and break bits of my plants in teh front garden. teh rodi are very close to the so kids just grab bits and keep walking till they break. Any idea on somthing i can do about it. (shouting does not work). Can i coat them with somthing smelly and sticky so thy stop touching them or smothing like that

Thanks

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tindy(West Midlands)

Hi anyone there

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 2:12PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Hi tindy...Sorry, I can't think of anything that works for a 'kid repellent' other than a fence :)

Is this a grade school or middle school? Our local high school does not have adults supervising the grounds, but the lower grade schools do have attendants supervising activities and free time outdoors. Had you thought about making a visit to the school office and letting them know your landscape is being damaged?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 2:39PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Yeah - a barbed wire fence.

I can't think of many situations where I would actually invite large spiders to build webs, but that would be one!

Or plant a very prickly rose instead? Grow euphorbias through the Rhodo? Nah, might get sued if they damage their eyes with it.

Sticky stuff is perfect. But what? Tree sap would be the most convincing. Apply liberally. Must do this before glove season though.

Connecting with the school requires you make it personal, which can be risky. But it sounds like they already know who you are and that they are bugging you. You can be sweet and procedural: visit the principal (or invite him/her to tea when the thugs are coming by), but not to ask for help. Rather, to explain that because of the damage to your shrubs you find it necessary to install a length of barbed wire and you don't want any children to hurt themselves, so you'd like to meet the children to warn them in person. You could give him/her a letter to give to the children's parents. Or send a bill for damages to the parents via the school. Take photos to ensure you have the right kids.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 9:05PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

On the outside chance someone might take you seriously Karin, most cities have a fencing standard that would be similar to this (ours) - "Fences and walls shall not be constructed of or contain any material which will do bodily harm, such as barbed wire, broken glass, spikes, or any other hazardous or dangerous materials. Electric and barbed wire fences are not permitted." Let's not have the homeowner in trouble here....

If these are small children, there may be a chance they are unaware how upsetting their actions may be to a gardener....parents, parents, parents!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 10:48PM
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tindy(West Midlands)

Thanks for the help.

It's a secondry school for people aged 11-16 i dont know if you call that a grade school. However there is not staff on by street but at my old secondry school i remember there was staff on local roads. So i will have to see about that cos lots of other people on the road are a bit miffed too, especially cos of the litter.

Your ideas are great they are better than mine - to grow some Giant Hogweed through it :) (i am still thinking about that). i may just move them to the back graden and put some holly or more hardy plant upfront instead. However i have been considering the tree sap idea for a while.

i dont know wont it be too heavy for the plant? and where can you get it from? ive been on google for ages

Thanks again

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 5:02AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Mor is quite right that there are fencing standards, and of course I wasn't really serious... quite. At least, I didn't say to actually install the fence; just to advise that you were going to. But if it comes to that, there are also bylaws about letting plants block sidewalks, and Tindy you should ensure you are in compliance before going to the school. You left a word out of your original posting so I wasn't sure whether the Rhodos are close to the road or the sidewalk or a pathway or what.

OF course, at heart this has nothing to do with Rhodos specifically but, as Mor says, with parenting. The fact that you can act collectively as a neighbourhood helps you to act on this problem. You cannot demand that the school supervise the children off-hours or off-site (this would be a dangerous power to give them anyway) but you can use the school as a conduit to get information to the parents of the children. They need to be informed of the situation, and asked whether they would like to clean up your street and control their children, or whether they would like you to do so and send them an invoice. Parenting is becoming a lost skill in "modern" societies and people who still have some inkling of it need to assert the need for it.

Otherwise, there is perhaps a community newspaper that would run a photo of your street, and the name of the school, which might shame both school and parents into trying to deal with the problem.

Finally... no idea where to get tree sap besides collecting it locally at the right time of year, nor in fact whether it would harm the plant (more than the kids are doing!).

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 12:10PM
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squinn(Z5)

Poison Ivy?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:28PM
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saxophone(sunset15 z9 CA)

How about turning on the sprinklers during the time the kids go by?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 6:30PM
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birdtalker(z7WA)

first thing I would try is maple syrup all over it. A couple of days of that should cure the kids. But anything near the sidewalk is usually considered far game by school kids. The concept of private property has really taken a beating.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 12:46AM
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Hollywog(z7soIL)

I second the sprinkler idea--they would have to walk on the other side of the road to avoid it! I teach eighth grade and I can tell you that kids that age are comfort creatures--and extremely appearance conscious to boot. The idea of getting wet and ruining their hair or makeup would be enough to deter them from getting near your landscaping!!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 12:23AM
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