Bamboo Threatened by Neighbor! (long VENT)

getyourleash(z7 Mid-Atl USA)July 17, 2005

I have already had it out with this neighbor several times with respect to the property line, and the fence that's on the property line which he claims sole proprietorship of since he put it up. I had a pine tree in the corner of my property. I caught his wife hacking it down as I returned from work one day. She "claimed" she was trimming it. She butchered it. About 3 weeks later I had DH remove it totally because the needles were turning yellow and it appeared that she did irreversible damage to it. FINE. I was furious, but I had decided at that point that it wasn't worth discussing with them because they refuse to respect me long enough to allow me to finish a sentence. You would think they'd know about common courtesy being an older couple, but they simply lack any refinement. I find it funny how so many older people say young people are disrespectful and rude, and yet there's no such thing as having a normal conversation with these idiots! (Sorry, I'm upset.)

Anyhow, the neighbor (the husband) started in on my Dh yesterday about how he was going to use herbicide on my bamboo. He was advised that he could trim anything that fell on his property, otherwise - the HELL with him! None actually has grown on his property, and he cuts his lawn every 2 days so it wouldn't stand a chance anyways! By the way I neglected to state that I had planted a bamboo patch (probably bisetti) along the fence because he's so nosy he had huge windows installed in the BACK of his 3.5 car garage (Too much $$$ and has nothing to do with it - this man needs a life!) and the BACK of his shed that have a direct view of our yard. I figured I'd take care of that with bamboo since privacy vinyl fencing is out of the question due to expense. In addition, there's some whacky law here, where he is of course grandfathered in that says you cannot block the "natural view" outside someone's window or from their property with certain obstructions. A fence would be considered an obstruction. Anyhow, today he got into with my huband and threatened to herbicide the entire patch of bamboo. I need the privacy from this nut, in addition to the fact that I have animals! My animals are enclosed by a fence the we put up that meets his fencing. (chain link) I don't want my bamboo killed, and I don't want my dogs poisoned. As the conversation usually goes, he threatened lawyers on us and my husband did the same. We actually have cause with respect to his shed as it's built too close to the property line according to land use regulations. I don't want to do that. In fact the last time he started talking to me I simply walked away because he wants to verbally abuse me and not allow me to respond in any way. I need advice, and maybe a lobotomy. Any ideas?

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Dear get,
Here are some options.
Invite them for supper and develop friendship or move away.
Neighbors are there for ever. They can be a pain but you either put up with it or sell and move away.If you irritate them they may get worse.I'm sure you do not want others to walk over you but calm the situation and enjoy your 'boo.
I do hope there is a good ending.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 11:54PM
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brucelofland(5b KS)

If he is threatening to destroy your property, you should call the police. Lawyers are expensive and take forever. I have also heard that it is difficult to kill bamboo with herbicides.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 12:34AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I second the police idea. This guy is not going to listen to you given the current circumstances. If that doesn't work, I would get a lawyer involved and send him a letter outlining the actions you'll take if he harms your property. If he continues to do things like this that cause damage, put a lien on his property...that will get his attention. I don't normally advocate such action, but this guy sounds like a special case.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:18AM
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Neighourhood relationships like this gets nowhere but downhill and out of hand, I am afraid. Calling the police at any time that you are abused, even verbally is an excellent idea. By doing this, you are showing your intention that you will not be a push over.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 4:29AM
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bambooo(6 CT USA)

Get a slingshot and a bucket of those salt pellets they use in a water softener and sit in the shade and every now and then lob one in a high trajecory onto his lawn.
He will be too busy treating his lawn for nonexistant diseases to bother you. :)
Make sure you rhizome prune periodically between your grove and where you think the line may be-that way if he poisons the stuff near the line it's seperate from your grove.
Then go and google "chemical trespass"

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 9:23AM
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hello_c_j_here(7 Cary, NC)

File a police a copy of that report in their mailbox...make certain that it is documented accurately.

If that does not calm them down...

Place a "For Sale By Neighbor" sign up in their front yard... they'll get the hint no matter how stupid they are!!! (evil grin) worked for me!!

Best of luck

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 9:24AM
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Start raising Honey Bee's, put the boxes near your Bamboo - that will keep anyone away....(evil grin also).

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 12:10PM
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rfgpitt(z6a Pit PA)

I would recommend that you take whatever steps necessary to rid you of this stress as quick as possible. If that means angering someone such as you describe, you probably won't lose sleep. If you are not confrontational, have a file delivered to him as mentioned earlier. If in conversation with authorities, never lose your cool, but rather think of come-backs to what he may say to them. Always be the better person no matter how much you would love to bludgeon him with a shovel.
get more bamboo near the border even if it is clumping.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 12:37PM
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Get about 500 lbs of fresh cow manure and leave it in the corner to compost. Just make sure it's down wind from you or setup a high powered fan and blow the wind his way.Next time you see him and he starts talking just have a portable phone and then dial the police if he gets abusive.I had a problem with one of my neighbors and planted leyland cypress as a screen then bamboo. That combination works great. Oh, by the way I filed a complaint against my neighbor when he threatened me and he lost his cool with the police.Now it's on record for future instances.Just remain cool ans smile. That will irate him even more-I tried it.If you want to plant something that will take over his beautiful lawn- petasites japonicus and houtynnia cordata are very invasive.Just plant these at the edge of your property and put in sone rhizome barrier so they don't invade your space as well.Another suggestion is ulmus glabra aurea growing up to 11 feet a year supposedly.

Good luck-too bad Elmer Fudd isn't around.Tell him your neighbor is a big wabbit......

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 12:59PM
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mshaffer(z7 Fairfax,VA)

Kill them.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:56PM
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wlorenz(Day-town z6)

Eat his liver with a nice Keyanti and some fava beans

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 4:09PM
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I've had my fair share of really bad neighbors and they usually self-destruct, though there has usually been a blast radius involved when they did. I would suggest putting as much blast protection between you and them as possible.

The fact they want to track you movements is a bad sign, do things to mislead them as to your location. That way, if they act on where they think you are and you're not there, their plans are messed up. I would also invest in a security system.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 4:51PM
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I had horrible neighbors that drove us nuts with their noise. After arbitration with the city it became clear there was nothing we could do. So we moved. Now I have a whole acre to grow fruit trees and bamboo.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 6:21PM
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lelanddunne(7a N.C.)

well here's my 2 cents hope it helps a bit, not sure about local laws in your area so youll have to check on them.. first off, if you didnt have it done when you bought your land get a survey of your land and where the proptery line lays,, ,, you need to put up no tresspassing sign/s near proptery line and register it with the police department, (check local laws, thats what we have to do here) if they cross line,or destory sign you can easily call police and get report done up for court.

go to walmart, sears, etc and get you a tiny ic recorder (voice), they are almost as small as a pen and slips in your pocket, record the threats your neighbor are making at you, record that onto a tape player and keep with a date and time, call police again and make another police report. everything they do record and make notes of times and days, when needed call police again, again,. get copys of all reports, you need to keep GOOD PAPER WORK IN A FILE.. i repeat again, get as MUCH paper work as you can and put it in a file.
what your doing is building a case against your friendly neighbor, when you get enough paper work saved up, etc take him to court and file for a restraining order against both of them... once that is done if they break the court order and or restraining order you can have them locked away and that should stop things for a bit. when they cause trouble again have them locked away again till they get the message. (depending on how stupid they are)
also, depending on how you want to go about it, get one of those cheap web cams or mini recording camers and film them crossing your proptery line , doing harm to your land. pictures are worth a thousand words, and with info like that the court systems take your side...

bee's can be killed easy, love the salt pellets BUT, i would advise you with people like this , they will be watching you every time you step out the back door, so dont get caught!. as for the cow manure , heheheh, that does work, but again watch out, dont sound like they are too smart, but you could get the health dept called on you.

now here is my fav idea that works wonders if you have the brass to do it and take a chance.. depending on if you have enough land at the line or not, go out and dig up as much poison ivy/poison oak and plant the whole proptery line with it, belive me its hard to kill and all it takes is one time for them to get it on them and they wont cross the line any more..(done that works great!)let it grow up in the back fence and no more neighbor, of course, a warning, you cant trim, cut, burn etc to it with out getting it on you or breathing it in, so make sure you want to do this before you do...

if all else pay a lawyer $50 bucks for an hour and talk to him on what route you should proceed....

good luck and remember get paper work/call police!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 6:54PM
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lelanddunne(7a N.C.)

ooh and i forgot to mention, smile, dont let them get under your skin or make you do something that they can get something on you. let them do all the work for you ;)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 7:00PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I have only one thing to add to the good advice from leland: before you make secret recordings, check whether there are any laws regulating this. The laws on recording phone calls varies from state to state, but I don't know what the situation is with face-to-face conversations. You don't want to get in trouble yourself even though this seems like an eminently reasonable approach under the circumstances.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 8:13PM
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When the neighbor I had to deal with moved in with her dog (named Bear) the dog would "mysteriously" run away and her family would run all over the neighborhood, and through peoples back yards, calling it (Here Bear! Here Bear!) Then the burglaries started in the neighborhood. (I later figured out this was their way of secretly casing the neighborhood.) A number of neighbors had had problems with her and left the neighborhood. One, who had the dog try and eat her kids face, told me that she had her car broken into and used condoms left in it. Supposedly this was due to the dog being put to sleep after her complaints. After she left I started finding things like used condoms stuffed under the garage door. The dog (Bear) returned. Its death had been faked. And it began running loose around the neighborhood. The woman was finally forced out of the apartment complex across the street. I have no idea where she is now. I hope she is locked away somewhere, permanently.

This incident also added to my issues with the local animal control! I don't care what they say, a possum is not a woodchuck! And a woodchuck is an animal! I feel that Animal Control ought to control animals!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 8:33PM
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hello_c_j_here(7 Cary, NC)

Last Straw... I'm not cheap...but can be bought!! Good O'l hometown A** whoopin from a total stranger may be just what the doctor ordered. With the subtle comment "One of yer neighbors sent me" with a wink and a smile and maybe one more thump to the head!!!

Done!! 2 or more doses may be required!! ; - ) I hope!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 5:04PM
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eric_in_west_seattle(8 Seattle)

Wait them out. Stand up to them so they see you can't be trampled on. Call police as needed. Keep notes and paperwork on every incident. It will be useful should you ever have to go to court or to get a restraining order. Do not damage their property or use violence. It's what they want, so they can call the police on you. They would be happy to see you taken away in handcuffs. Better it be them that's taken away in handcuffs. If you get into tit for tat, the police and court will say "a pox on both your houses". Live well. Meditate as needed. Don't plant poison oak on the property line. Hopefully, these neighbors will move and you will have nice new neighbors next door and will have to warn them about the poison oak. Who will seem like the wacko then? Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 2:37AM
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People like that gets their satisfaction from the discomfort, fear and general unhappiness that their aggression inflicts on their victims. In simple terms, they are bullies. There is a lot of good advice given about documenting every transgression and considering reporting a complaint to the police. Meanwhile, however, do not allow them the satisfaction of seeing you suffer. Make it quite clear to them that you are enjoying life in spite of their efforts. Have frequent barbecues, have friends over for garden parties, keep a smiling face, whistle a tune when you are out in the yard. When he abuses you verbally, don't react. You don't even have to give him any acknowledgement that you heard him or is listening to him. In fact, pretend to ignore him, but make a note of what he is saying. By the way, there isn't any by-laws that regulates video surveillance in a private property in most cities. And if that surveillance includes a sound recorder, great!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 5:22PM
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MacDaddy(z6a NY)

Hey, CJ be careful about what you say. Some jurisidictions just discussing the commission of a crime is a crime. It's called conspriacy. If I was you I'd request the moderator to delete your post.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 6:54PM
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hello_c_j_here(7 Cary, NC)

Thanks for the warning MacDaddy... Upon investigation of me they will realize that I'm just talking smack. 10+ years as a US Army Paratrooper took its toll on me cause you see sir... I am a disabled veteran and those days of bashing heads have gone long ago.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 9:51PM
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CJ -

First, I like to say Thanks for giving your all for America and its inhabitants-
Second, in my opinion, no matter what your physical condition might be - I still think you'd give him a good whoppin..

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 11:02PM
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hello_c_j_here(7 Cary, NC)

Shhhhhhhhhhh Not so loud... they may be watching! ;-)

Its not the size of the dog in the fight...
But the size of the fight in the dog!!

Thanks... I'd do it the same all over again if given the chance. No regrets... lost alot of good men... but saved alot of lost souls too.

Everything happens in life for a reason... I'm a firm believer in that. man...the stories I could tell you.

Take care

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 11:14PM
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tecdac(z9 FL)

We, too, have a rotten neighbor story that unfolded over the course of 5 very long years. In the end we had the propety surveyed and found the neighbor's driveway apron actually crossed over onto our property by 18 inches. The neighbor was claiming that the hedge row was his and actually mowed on our side. After the survey we had a chain link fence installed and two weeks later their house was on the market.

We ended up with a very nice younger couple who loved the hedgerow as much as we did for their own privacy.

Your neighbors sound like bullies and bullies are usually cowards. However, they do know that the best defense is a strong offense. They are taking your mind off the fact that their shed is too close to the property line. That you could cause them a lot of grief and expense in having it moved.

My 2 cents:

1. Get your property surveyed
2. Take photos of where the stakes are put (as they will be removed or moved). Ours didn't even last a week.
3. If you can afford it and it's allowed put up a chain-link fence. We were able to intall it 6 inches from the property line. Since chain link doesn't block the "natural beauty" it may be a way around your laws. Check with the local building inspector.
4. Put on a happy face when you're outside. This is a must; it will drive them insane. My wife was even able to make believe that they didn't even exist. THIS IS VERY POWERFUL, because if they don't exist, you can't feel their negativity.
5. Document EVERYTHING. We did not do this and it took 5 years to finally get wise. Photos are especially effective. When they were hacking at your tree you could have just gone out and taken a photo like they weren't even there. DO NOT SAY A WORD TO EITHER OF THEM. You don't need the stress.

BE HAPPY. I know it isn't easy. I thought I was going to lose my mind. It got so bad I didn't want to come home to my own house from work. But one way or another it will pass.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 11:32AM
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eric_in_west_seattle(8 Seattle)

I nearly forgot this. My wife positioned a bunch of small mirrors (on our property), facing the evil witch's house. The function is to deflect evil energy back to it's source. It's some sort of voodoo. It drove the evil witch NUTS (a short drive at that). She and her pathetic mouse husband have moved. Psychological warfare is legal.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 6:57PM
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kstanwick(6/NWNJ) many bad neighbor stories. My neighbor originally thought they owned 35ft of my property. when i bought my house i had it surveyed. i also brought my survey over to the woman while they were doing it. she was very upset but once they saw the map and where everything was laid out, they really didn't have much of a choice. I since have cleared the area and have been lanscaping it. I really haven't had any problems because i got that official survey. the husband also spoke with me. he informed me that they thought they owned it because the old owner said he didn't and it was his responsibility to take down some large dead trees. Basically failure to identify the property line by both parties can lead to a problem. I suggest the survey if you absolutely love your property. if you think you might move on, then i would move, but plant some poison ivy a season or so before you do....or something to that affect. that really isn't what i would do.......i try to remember these two things.....bad things happen to bad people and there is always a bumpier road than the one you are traveling on. good luck with your situation hopefully it won't get ugly. another thing. if you see him looking at you in your windows you might be able to call the police and charge him with being a peeping tom or something like that....especially if you have little kids....then there is the whole child endangerment thing.....


    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 9:20AM
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MacDaddy(z6a NY)

A friend had a border dispute this spring with her neighbor. Her neighbor was planning to replace her old grapestake fence. She approached my friend and told her (friend is female) that she was moving the fence over 7 feet onto my friends property because her surveyor says that it where her property ends. She was nasty about it and had been complaining about my friends shed also.

Well she hired her own surveyor and it turns out the fence was two feet over onto my friends property.

My friend is not from US and asked me for advice because she didn't know the customs here. She was worried about behaving wrong in the situation. I told her that if they try to stick it to you then there is no requirement to be nice back. I told her that if the person was wrong about the boundary then to stick it to them in the other direction.

Also turns out that the neighbors surveyor had been involved in a lot of mis-surveyings, and was being sued by several people. The neighbors surveyor admitted to his mistake when confronted.

So my friend told the neighbor that when she replaces the fence she will have to do so at least 6 inches back from her property line. Which is a good nine feet back from where the neighbor originally wanted to put it.

The neighbor isn't in such a rush to replace the fence now either.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 12:18PM
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bambooo(6 CT USA)

My surveyor buddy says on residential surveys he always asks the customer if they really are sure they want to know what the offical boundaries are becuase more often than not the person paying for the survey loses ground.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 4:24PM
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After you make sure where the property line is, maybe all you have to do to shut him up (and out) is move the bamboo back from it a bit, so he doesn't feel threatened by it. A mown grass strip and root barrier between it and the edge of the property may not be much of a concession if it puts an end to the matter. Better this than them spraying the bamboo as well, something it is clear they are capable of doing - as was an elderly woman on another forum who sprayed herbicide onto a family heirloom rose and a grape vine from her side of the fence, well beyond her property.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 12:22AM
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Correction: ' elderly woman DESCRIBED on another forum...'

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 12:25AM
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Hey I like that mirror idea! Add to that a sun tracking function with the mirror positioned to reflect at just the proper angle ... oh lets say the windows of a certain nosey neighbor ...????

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 4:27PM
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Good idea Mike!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 5:17PM
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Why make it complicated, a properly positioned section from a sphere, with a mirrored surface, should work.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 11:36PM
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Better yet, an array of silvered spheres. I could probably be built out of Christmas ornaments.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 12:32PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

I think that's what the voodoo is all about...just the right angle to send a really annoying glare into snoopy neighbors' windows.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 12:34PM
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eric_in_west_seattle(8 Seattle)

It doesn't have to shine in their faces. On the contrary, ours faced north at their house. A quantity of small mirrors can be disturbing.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 12:02AM
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joefalco(z8 MB SC)

For the people wanting to use mirrors

Check out this site all the evil genius stuff you might need. Parabolic Mirrors Solar Oven Kits etc..

Here is a link that might be useful: Cool Optics

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 8:54PM
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Razor wire and machine gun turrets should do the trick. Just joking.

My wife got upset at our neighbor for planting some ground junipers and stone landscaping between our driveway and their house. I said it isn't worth fighting over for a couple of feet. A couple of years later he removed it knowing he was over the line (literally) at which point I filled out that space with daylilies.

My grandmother and her neighbor had fights over a fruit tree that dropped fruit in my grandmother's yard. My grandmother said since it fell on her property then it was legally hers. The neighbor said because the tree was hers, then the fruit belonged to her. What a shame.

Be neighborly (you don't have to do things with them or even like them but you can say "hi") and state your position if they say things you don't like. You also should try to see their point of view. Don't let your emotions make things bigger than they are.

It was wrong for the woman to trim your tree without talking to you first. Sounds like this is where the fight started. Were the limbs hanging over in their yard? Shading out anything or dropping litter? If so, then they can probably cut what is on their side without coming on your side. I trim my neighbors' bushes that encroach on my property and I know they have done the same. Good neighbors have to put up with a lot of things they don't like about their neighbors' choices especially without covenants.

If you start doing antagonistic things then you may get more than you bargained for. Make sure the bamboo is contained so they don't feel threatened, but tell them you want some privacy. Maybe this way they can see your point of view.

If that fails, then you may want to start documenting, buying security systems, seeking legal aid, etc. Sounds like you may be at this junction since he and your husband have already threatened lawsuits.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 12:19PM
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getyourleash(z7 Mid-Atl USA)

Wow! This thread has taken on a life of it's own! (Kinda like bamboo, eh?)
First of all, let me say that I appreciate so many responses! I care about my property and my bamboo and I felt bamboo lovers would have some good advice. I was right!
The second thing, I'd like to say is that I enjoyed reading your responses. Some of them make a lot of sense, others were just downright hilarious and some while, tempting, could easily land me in jail.
Because this situation has heaped loads of stress on me and I've got plenty already, (Don't we all?) I've decided to take the silent approach.
The husband tried to talk to me the other day, yelling over the fence at me(and clear across the property, I might add)
trying to get my attention. I simply stopped what I was doing [trimming my butterfly bush so it did not eat my garage - can you tell I like invasives? ;) ] and I walked back into the house. I thought for sure he'd drive over and knock on the front door, but he didn't and boy am I glad! I think he knows better than to actually step foot on the property to speak to me. Anyways, that was it for that incident.
A few days later he apparently caught up with my husband and told him that he didn't want to be a pain, to which my husband replied, "You already are". And then he proceeded to ask my husband if he would trim a blue spruce which is growing through the fence. My husband said he would, and I have no problem with that. In fact, I think we are going to take it down because it's a volunteer sapling that hasn't amounted to anything. Apparently, my husband is much better at staying calm than I am, and the exchange between them was cordial. I am hot-headed and do not have the patience for a person like him and I am sure would have ended up cussing him out. My husband is going to cut the little sapling down this weekend. I have asked him to cut it down before, so this is actually a good thing!
As far as the bamboo is concerned, the neigbor has not touched it, it is not growing on his property, and it's being contained. As I said before, even if I had not put a growth barrier in, it would not stand a chance given the fact that he cuts his grass every 2 days. In fact, as I write this he's mowing in 100 degree heat! "Will he keel over and die? Is there a god? ;) >
Last but not least, the neighbor ran into my husband at the gas station in town. (This world is sometimes way too small!)He came right out and asked my husband what was going on between my husband and I because were are discussing building a pool and poolhouse. It got a little heated because I don't think we need an inground pool given that we spent 4 grand on a quality above ground pool abour 3 years ago. He says that pool is an eyesore. So of course we had a heated exchange in the backyard as we were trying to muck out our disagreement.
I guess the neighbor is concerned over the pool because he started asking my husband questions about it at the gas station to which my husband told him it was none of his business and that if we needed permits and such he could check with the county department of land use. My husband said our neighbor backed down very quickly. I guess he thinks he's the building and land improvement police or something. Anyhow, at this point it looks like my husband can negotiate with him if necessary. I simply can't. I don't have the time, as I work a regular full time job, plus I show and train dogs on the weekends and when I am home I like to relax. If I don't get to relax, I get mad. My husband's job is a bit more flexible as he is a builder/contractor and although he is busy this time of year he has a much better handle on work and play than I do. And for those of you who think *I* need a shrink, you are probably right! My husband often calls me the Anxiety Queen. Well, he has NO idea! LOL Just thought I'd bring you up to date on this crazy situation and if we have to play dirty with this guy at some point, I've got lots of ideas! LOL (I particularly like the mirrors idea. It's distracting, but not against the law here.)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 1:15PM
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How about a nice big stadium light for your pool pointed his way....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 1:58PM
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First let me say I nearly fell off my chair laughing at the suggestion of killing your neighbors. That my be politically correct and illegal, but it was still hilarious.

We have a neighbor coughed up from the bowels of hell, who occasionally gives us huge grief over what turns out to be nothing. After nearly four years, I finally started acting as nuts as her. If she would get ugly with me about something, I would behave irrationally also. I simply realized that the fuel for her tyranny over us was based on my being a reasonable person. So I stopped.

I hope this helps.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 2:39PM
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lelanddunne(7a N.C.)

LOL, sounds like , with you not giving them any response , that it just might be driving the guy crazy wondering what is going on. and the way your husband is handling him asking questions, is just making him more nosey!time to drive him nuts now!!!!! keep up the good work! and glad to hear your atleast a little bit at ease now.

love the idea of the stadium light , would be great if thier bedrooms were on the side that the light was on.! if you do it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 2:46PM
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eric_in_west_seattle(8 Seattle)

With ideas like stadium lights, remember that perhaps they can reciprocate and then you are in a tit-for-tat. You don't want to be an ass like they are. You don't want your quality of life diminshed and be in a spite match. No offense, but it's clear that some of these suggestions are from amateurs. I unfortunately have far too much real-life experience dealing with bad neighbors. I'd much prefer to be an amateur. On numerous occasions I've had to calm myself and figure out what the best action would be. Here is a short list of steps I took with a neighbor over a period of nearly a year. This neighbor cut my trees and bamboo that were not on his property but on an alleyway and not interfering with the nighbor.

1. I tried being a good neighbor and talked to them. I apologized if I had accidententally caused them a problem, and told them they just needed to ask my permission to cut or ask me if I would. Neighbor a had a tantrum, slammed door. 2 weeks later he apologized and we shook hands.

2. Several weeks later, he's at it again. I called police. They came and informed him what his rights were (none) and that if he did it again he'd be arrested.

3. His family now hates us and is hoping to get back at us somehow.

4. Two weeks ago the neighbor wife was griping at me and my kids. I tried being polite and disarming. She continued.

5. My response, "you know, why don't you just kiss my @!!".

6. I think that's where we're at now. I tried NICE with them, but it didn't take. I want to keep a distance from them and not interact. However, they should now know I'm not going to tolerate abuse or destruction of my property.

Documentation of incidents and dates is important should you need to go before a judge and get a restraining order in the future. I think you're doing the right things so far. Stay the course.

Someone once told me "Living well is the best revenge". It's their goal to take you down. If they don't, you won.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 4:06PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Stadium lights AND mirrors. The combo that guarantees "For Sale" signs go up in the neighbor's yard.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 4:17PM
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Eric in Seattle: Amatueurs? I have been dealing with this bad neighbor for years. Stadium lights was the ticket. Our local ordinances allow these lights and the guy was so ticked off he threatened to come over and @$#$@ me.Too bad I was already on the phone with authorities and he was the one who has the record now.After planting leyland cypresses and bamboo his view is not of me anymore...documentation is key plus it's good to have an attorney in the family who will put a harassment suit on them if they continue to threaten you..

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 5:01PM
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eric_in_west_seattle(8 Seattle)

Koniferkid NJ:

No offense intended by my "amateur" comment. When you go through this stuff it seems like you're the only one. It's good to know there are others who have endured this kind of situation and come out on top. The trick is to not be damaged by the whole affair even if you do win.

I see you are in NJ. I grew up in Brooklyn, where if people mess with you they can assume there will be repercussions. In NYC and I'm assumin NJ, people will tell you what they think to your face and you get take it from there. Here in Seattle, there's much more passive-aggressive backstabbing and behind your back aggression. It's a cultural thing.

I'm glad he didn't come over and @$#$@ you!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 7:36PM
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Being a former military veteran , I would have loved it if he tried.
I am 10 minutes from NYC.Your right, here it is a different culture.No offense taken Eric.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 8:22PM
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I wouldn't wish for him to topple over while mowing the lawn. Suppose you were the only one around, the moral obligation would be for you to go over and give him CPR.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 11:27PM
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Most people don't know CPR. So the obligation is canceled. Isn't there a law that says let the dead be dead.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 11:32PM
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getyourleash(z7 Mid-Atl USA)

Seriously, I do NOT know CPR. But you know I would call 911 after I finished trimming my bushes. That could take a while, you know!

What brainless jackass would mow their law when it's 100% humidity outside, it's the 3rd day of an excessive heat warning, and he's older than dirt???

Just as he would allow me to fall over and croak, I would let nature take it's course! It's the GardenWeb, after all! :P

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 11:47PM
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lelanddunne(7a N.C.)

yep i know what your talking about the grass is 2feet deep now since the heat has been so bad, im heading out right how to mow before the sun comes up. the neighbors dont like the grass so high around here, but i wonder now if they would like being woken by a lawn mower.,

you would be suprised how many people would mow their grass in heat like that , the 8 neighbors i have, normally mow once if not at least twice a week, and have been turning their noses up at me since i havnt. of course i have the temp in the house turned down so low it looks like ice is hanging from the ceiling , and wave at them through the window while sipping ice tea. :) cold you say? what can i say, im a meat cutter by trade and 40/45 degrees temp is a way of life for me ;)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 6:35AM
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rfgpitt(z6a Pit PA)

CPR - remember, broken ribs happen frequently if CPR is performed correctly.

Koniferkid - didn't know you served, Thank You!

those of us who don't have these problems should be thankful.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 8:35AM
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getyourleash(z7 Mid-Atl USA)


What you are describing is exactly the situation in my neighborhood too. I have refrained from mowing my grass until the weather breaks. It broke early this morning so I will be heading out there sometime before noon. I simply do not care what these people think with respect to my grass, as I know that the county ordinance which I am subject to says that my grass cannot be any longer than 8 inches tall. Currently, my grass is about 5.5 inches tall, and it will be taken care of!
What the folks in my development fail to realize, (save a few) is that I am a serious gardener, and I have made it my mission to plant things of beauty all around my home and property. I've lived here 8 years, and started transforming my little piece of the landscape the day I moved in! The bamboo is just about my final step as far as altering my landscape in a major way. Once the pool and pool house are built, they will get the same kind of treatment with native plantings and flowers as the rest of my place has done. Not to sound arrogant, but I WORK at my yard, it did not come easy and I've killed many plants and learned lots in the process. I have no doubt that those who garden a lot and post in this forum have worked equally as hard at their own gardens and in particular, growing and nurturing bamboo.
The final step for major landscaping will be planted today:
I have a fig tree that I have babied for 4 years and it is ready to grow up on it's own and join my grove of fruit trees.
Nevertheless, I am looking forward to a complete bamboo hedge and not seeing my nosy and abhorrent neighbor over the fence.
By the way, if any of you would like to see any of the flowers I have planted on my property, take a look in the Butterfly Garden Forum. :)

All the Best to you,


    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 9:15AM
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Yes: Gardening is manipulation of natural elements, anything but letting Nature take its course.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 12:07PM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

I'm sorry you have neighbors like this.

Several people mentioned making police reports, but not why. Basically, a police report is one of the few things a court looks at which officialy documents a case. Your notebook and your word are worthless in a court, you are assumed guilty (as a liar). This said, make a police report if he threatens your plants or bodily harm.

Re: the voice recorder. Here in Michigan you can secretly record a conversation in public because the person has no resonable right to privacy in a public place (like in his or your own yard). So record the neighbor's attitude and threats. It is illegal to record a phone conversation without the person's knowledge (consent is another matter, you may or may not need their consent.)

Next, I suggest moving all or part of the bamboo if you don't want to find it dead one day. That's just common sense. The neighbor obviously thinks he's a tough guy because he can kill a bamboo. Yay for him.

Also, re: the salt on his lawn. Interesting idea because it kills all plant life, but illegal if you are caught. You are destroying his property.

Yes, walk away if neighbor starts to get abusive. He is not man enough to control his temper and you can't control him. It takes a bigger man to control his temper than to fight. It also takes a bigger man to make peace than to make war. War is based mostly on emotions, peace is based on overcoming and managing those emotions.

Try not to do anything on the offensive. Just make police reports and talk to a lawyer. It might be worth it to spend $200 to find out what you can do legally. Don't you spend $200 a year on gardening? Just reroute those funds for one season.

Also, when talking to the police, calm yourself down before they get there. If you are upset it just makes you look like a wacko. Then when they talk to the neighbor, he will be so upset, HE will be the wacko with the police as witnesses.

Also, a personal example from me. I had a neighbor get pissed off because we (me acting for the association) took him to court because he wouldn't pay association dues (special assessment for an upcoming maintenance project). He told one neighbor "I'm going to kill him." The neighbor told me. I called the police.

I would have loved to see the guy's face when the police pulled up in his driveway! But he never made another threat again. I guess he wasn't a TOTAL idiot.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 1:02PM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

Did I mention giving gifts sometimes helps? Give them some toilet paper, which has been tested first with poison ivy rubbed all over it.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 1:07PM
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lelanddunne(7a N.C.)


sounds like your neighbors think that a good mowed lawn is to go out and clip the grass with finger nail clippers!and dont beleive in planting nice plants around the house... butterfly bushes are great!and it at attracts such wonderfull butterflys also. cant see why anyone would not like such a thing....

anyhow, i know what you mean. this is what happened to me today when i started to mow at 7am this morning. the neighbor behind us was picking squash and tomatos (sorry about the bad spelling) and saw me getting ready to start mowing, she yelled over and said, its too early to mow, the grass is still wet!!!! i just looked at her and told her , if you would like to mow my grass at 4pm when its dry and its 100 degrees, please feel free to do so.

she yelled at me again and said, well its too early and the GRASS IS STILL WET! DONT MOW. well being the person that i am, i nicely looked over to her and said, if her husband and her would like to start mowing my grass when they though it should be done, tell me now and ill let them do it from now on.. she didnt say anything, so i asked again in a semi-dark tone, well? are you going to mow my grass? HUH?
didnt get no answer , so with that, instead of using my lawn mower, i uncovered my farm tractor cranked her up and bushhoged the lawn...

i could have used my lawn mower but, what the hey, they hate my tractor and thought it would be a good way to put my point across..

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 1:14PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

I would let loose my noisy, squawking geese and let them graze the lawn, instead of mowing.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 3:09PM
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weskar(z9 Fl)

I too , have one of those neighbors. He starts drinking early, to get rid of the shakes from the day before.
He just completed rebuilding his hurricane damaged house, put on a second story with a wrap around porch. However he can only live upstairs as the bottom is only storage. His routine now is to shout obscenities as vehicles drive by on the dead end road, then turn around for a second helping of yelling. You get the picture.
There is no reasoning with a drunk, he is either right or more right (lol).
His house sits directly across from a marina, which is family owned. So the yelling at boatowners is common.
Since he is being stupid, I moved a dumpster, within my property directly across from his front door, maybe 60 ft away. To sway the auroma of the dumpster I plant society garlic between the dumpster and fence. Ahh the pundget fragence.
With the tropical breezes I hung two metal wind chimes, to enhance the feel of paradise.
He has complained so much to the local board of alderman that his word is *@&%#.
Maling boo will be planted this march/april.The singing bamboo as the wind goes through it is so soothing.
Just another day in paradise.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 5:50PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)


    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 5:23PM
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meat(z6 MO)

I know how you feel my neighbor is a nutcase. Seh starte din on me the day we moved in about how her property line is actually 6 inches this side of her fence so on. When i went to build my privacy fence she blew up threatened sicking the city on us kept citing incorrectly i may add the local building code . Any ways I noticed shortly after an argument about her weed farm taking over my garage that the trees on my side were dying all at once. I finally bought a cheap webcam and set it in my window aiming down my property line. I set it to record only when there was motion . I finally caught her dumping chemicals on my trees. I confronted her with the pictures and video . She ended up covering the cost to have them removed and also removed her weed forest . This is a little different htan your situation but the point is if he damages your property then he is breaking the law prove it and you will be fine.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 10:20PM
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I am amazed at the way people have jumped on the bandwagon, each one adding a more extreme retaliatory suggestion, many of which are malicious, illegal, immoral, and some possibly lethal. All this assumes that the situation is basically as you described it and that you are in the right. Even if you are in the right it would be impossible to determine this strictly from your posts on this forum, so I think it's a bad sign that others are so willing to jump in with you. Furthermore, you have stated that you respond badly to stress and that your husband seems at least occasionally to be able to converse sensibly with the enemy. I suspect that they are not as crazy as they seem, and that you are burning some bridges for the short term thrill it gives you to call them crazy ***holes.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 6:21PM
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People who like their privacy will eventually have problems with neighbours. Some people just have to know what their neighbours are doing. I, personally, don't care what other people do, but some people can't seem to exist without knowing what's going on at the Jones' or just like to cause problems, especially over property boundaries.

I believe in living, and let live, but I have had some neighbours in the past who now have wished they never would have started a problem with me. I always got the last word in, or pulled the final 'stunt' that silenced them. It's sad that people don't try a little harder to get along, but after they drew first blood(more than once), I put an end to their harassment, once and for all. I am sure they now wish that they never had messed with me. I won't post what I did in each situation since it might bother some people, but hey, if you mess with fire, you will get burnt. I consider myself a calm and very rational person but everyone has their limits, and when attempts to reason with some people fail again and again, and they keep up the harassment, then hey, they bring it on themselves, and need to be dealt with by the only means that they seem to understand.

I have had my share of bad neighbours, that's why I live in the country. Neighbours can be a royal pain in the 'you know what'. Even if they tried to spy on me through the distant trees, they can't see through my thick bamboo screen planted around my backyard.

Bamboo good, neighbours bad.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 8:30PM
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Here is a link, that might be useful:



*** Pimp your garden - grow bamboo!!! ***

    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 3:30AM
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Great website, VanDell! Can you recommend them from experience? You know how it is, I don't mind spending money, but not for poor quality service! :)

Thanks for the info....problem solved.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2006 at 7:59PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Continuing with the theme I discovered this year that one of my neighbors reached well over our back fence and lopped off part of my black bamboo, throwing the cut material on our side. They have also cut branches from a rhododendron and thrown them over the fence. These branches were on their side so it is certainly normal for them to feel entitled to cut those. However, I do not agree with disposing of the trash on our side. I threw it back. Since then, they have thrown it back over here, where it remains.

Last time I was out in the garden the man of the house was too. He stood and stared at me like a deer, as though amazed to see somebody there. With his current hair and moustache from some distance he looks like Saddam Hussein. I won't be lobbing any 1000 lb. bombs into their house, however. I will be planting a bunch of new, big screening plants back there. Their place looks and smells (he smokes) like a motel, with a Scorched Earth Policy yard of bark, widely spaced rhododendrons pruned into tight balls and a viridescent, over-fertilized lawn--you know, like nearly every other "well-maintened" 'home' around here. If they think my place is an overgrown mess now, just wait...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 7:32PM
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If its your plant, then its your clippings,too.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 1:08PM
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I sit here at my computer watching the fence company put up a legal, 8-foot-fence between us and our neighbors. I was looking for a type of bamboo that grows a bit taller to give a bit more privacy. And I came upon this "long VENT."

Yes, I too thought I was alone with horrible neighbors. We'd ignored their doing whatever they wanted to do for years -- until they added on a bathroom with clear glass windows overlooking our yard and into our house. And they got BB guns to shoot the hawks that are attracted by their flocks of birds, They allow their kids to shoot, and not just at hawks and not just into their own yard.

So, I found this discussion and the suggestions enlightening. We did a re-survey as the neighbors wouldn't believe the survey we had done when we moved in and of course had destroyed (and cemented over) the original survey markers. And we had to pay for an attorney.

I know it's not the end of the rancor between us. I called the police twice when we were nearly hit by their shooting -- and they still continue to shoot[illegally as any kind of pellet gun is illegal and it is against US law to even point a gun at a wild (non-game) bird.] But I feel better with the privacy of this fence. And if a bullet ever comes over this fence, we will file a complaint and request a restraining order (as suggested here).

When you deal with passive-aggressive people, such as my neighbors, who smile at the police and calmly say they have everything under control, it's better just to stick with what's legal and to not even try to have a discussion with them. They do what they want and how they want, and the best thing is not to allow them into your life. But when they intrude illegally and maliciously, then legal action is the only way to go.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 3:41PM
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I feel for you! We have bad neighbors on all sides of us, luckily there is some space (we're in the boonies, but you still get bad neighbors who burn plastic and let it smolder all day and the wind blows the stench into your house). I planted A LOT of bamboo, mostly to hide the ugly view of the one neighbors property that we can see in winter (and see all the garbage they have piled everywhere, along with the 30 dogs he has (he runs a puppymill, and do the authorities care? NO.). Destruction of property is a bad thing. Maybe you can get some form of mediation involved? I think that is cheaper than a lawyer. Sorry to hear about your neighbors, ours are really bad. One we have property bordering with tries to steal our land by putting up goat fencing on our side, he's built tree stands (with boards and lots of nails)in our real nice oak trees, their one son was in it and when my husband went up to the kid, he pointed a bb gun at him! The little jerk never even apologized (neither did his parents, no surprise), the kid started ARGUING with my DH about where the property line is (Sorry, but my DH knows how to read a topo map, as well as survey maps too, and WE know where the line is). Of course we called the police on these jerks, after all the other stuff they've done, it was time.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 2:32PM
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Dear All,

I want to tell you all, that the bamboo sprout is one of the most DELICIOUS vegetable in the world. It only come out of ground in spring time between April 5 and April 30. You can harvest them when they are about 1 to 2 feet tall. Peel them and cook it with meat. It is the one of the best vegetable in the world.

Chinese food store would sell it for very expensive price of about $4/lb.

If I live close to your house, I would go to your yard during spring time, and harvest them for free! AND I could cook some for you to eat.

I would suggest you, invite some Chinese friend to harvest them for you during spring time, and let them cook some for you to eat.

Or, you could start a business, harvest them in large amount, and sell them to Chinese food store.

Or, you could learn to cook them by yourself. Just harvest them when they are about 1 foot tall. Peel them. Cut into short pieces. Stew them with beef chunks of about 1 inch cubic and 3 to 4 teaspoon of soy sauce. Put some cinnamon and bay leaves. Stew it for 2 hours.

Oh! Yummy!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:16PM
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Can you not see that your bamboo is driving your neighbor crazy. You will not have a relationship with your neighbor until you start listening to what they have to say before dismissing them as irrational. My neighbor has bamboo and she thinks I can just mow it --wrong, bamboo have roots. I have many flower beds ruined by bamboo, guess you can't mow flowers. Wake up, and put a barrier down for your own bamboo, take responsibility for your own choice of plantings and be a good neighbor--maybe this justice would bring about some good will and sanity for your neighborhood. All it takes is to listen to one another--let's say the bucks starts with you.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:17PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Let's not. In my case, no underground invasion of their property by my plant was involved. And there was no relationship before they damaged my plants. Clearly they have no interest in us other than to try and interfere with us on occasion, like the time I was thanked for digging out my bamboo - and then asked to re-orient my flood lights (over 100' from their house) so that they did not point in their direction.

The first thing they did, soon after moving in was alter our back fence. When informed of our displeasure, they replied that the realtor told them it was their fence.

And then took no steps to smooth things over with us.

After decades in this same location, with a succession of occupants having passed through adjacent parcels, there is not one of the four sides or our lot that has not had offensive behaviors coming from beyond at some point. Clearly there are a lot of Americans who think being jerks is the way to go about daily affairs.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:54PM
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getyourleash(z7 Mid-Atl USA)

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but I posted this note back in 2005. Lots has changed. The man who drove me crazy about the bamboo died about 6 months before I sold the house in December of this year. I think his wife still lives on the property, but does not have the same inclination to bug the neighbors as she did when her husband was alive and they worked in tandem. So, problem solved.
For those who have difficult neighbors, I feel for you and I've been there. Keep up the good fight.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 7:14AM
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Oh Boy..When you dont get along with your neighbors it is just plain H#ll...we put up with ours for 25 years...Miserable..We moved to a farm 40 acres..aahhhh.This guy was security officer watching businesses when closed he was bringing home full coils wire,cutting up selling to scrap yard.Who knows hat he stole of mine,use to burn garbage 2-3 in morning when we had company etc so we moved..Now we have horses,texas longhorns donkeys for neighbors

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 12:05AM
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wildbillgt(Z8 WA ST)

Everyone left out the flaming bag a poo..........

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 6:25PM
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I am very glad I decided to get involved with bamboo because I surely needed this laugh and ideas. Count your blessings, folks-my lousy neighbor is big oil that has turned a deadend dirt road to 24/7 access for big trucks. 'bout 60' from my home.

Though I rarely have the patience for it, I have seen reverse psychology work wonders. If you can come up with even one relatively nice thing to say, it will floor them. A trick I occasionally use is unrelated response, then when they repeat themselves, keep right on talking about whatever you chose just like it's a dialogue. This can be fun and really makes them wonder. Do it every time. They won't bother you for long!

Plant more bamboo.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 1:25AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

A positive assertion technique is fogging, wherein - in a polite tone - you repeat the same statement regardless of what the other party says until you get the desired response from them. This is for situations where the other person is trying to divert you from what you are asking for.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 2:08PM
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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

Has everything been settled? I know its been like 6 years but I hope everything is settled now.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 7:24PM
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