In a Quandry

4 May

I have a dilemma. And before I even get started, it just occurred to me that it might only be a dilemma because that is how I’m viewing it. hmmmmm.
OK. So I’ll say, I have a situation that I’m viewing at the moment as a dilemma. OK

I have new neighbors behind my house. Actually they’re not moving in until August but they’re already doing things. A few months ago they had a few trees culled. Rotten trees I heard from the tree cutters. But gradually the tree cutting effort expanded. Slowly. Maybe 2-3 trees a week until one day they were all gone. I had to keep reminding myself that this really was none of my business–but I definitely had opinions. And I was sharing those with anyone who listened.

By no the yard was left with no trees but huge rhododendron shrubs–huge because they were OLD. Probably 10-12 feet in height. I don’t need to say it, but they were beautiful. And by now, I am speechless. Because the rhododendron was ripped from the ground–with a big back hoe.

The next thing, a bulldozer is out there for one solid week, pushing around huge mounds of red clay. Thrusting forward for a bit, and then backing up–with the attendant beep beep beep–all day long. OK. I’m still trying to keep my heart and mind open. Yeah, I had thoughts that ran along the lines of–“how could they do this w/o even living in the house for a while? How could they destroy that wonderful wildlife habitat for critters and birds?” And finally, “Why would they want to look down into my back yard, rather than into a semi-forest vista?”

Before the “landscaping project”–it looked like this–like the lot on the other half of the yard:

This is what it looks like now:



There’s a part of me that’s going, “How can I fix this?” I can’t re-forest the ground. I can’t reconstruct the eco system. But is there anything I can do to regain a semblance of privacy.

So I thought about that. I thought about how I could buy and plant leyland cypress. They grow quickly–in 3-4 years they’d be a good screen. But I started calculating and realized that it would probably cost over $750 which I don’t have…and then I thought–and this is where the dilemma is escalating because I’m thinking stuff like “Why should I–big I–have to pay to restore something THEY destroyed?”

Do you see where this is going? I’m getting bitchy and little minded. Because not only am I thinking that I shouldn’t have to do it but I’m also wondering what I can do to make the yard so unattractive that they’re not going to WANT to look at it.

My son has lots of old junker car parts kicking around. Engines and bodies and stuff like that. He said I could have them, but he lives in WV. Yesterday while the dirt devas were weeding, we discussed it. I’m thinking about weaving cloth through the chain link fence–butd I really don’t have cloth that I’d want to sacrifice for this purpose. One of the dirt devas suggested we garden topless. Topless is legal here in Asheville, within the city limits. That’s still a possibility.

But the best idea yet–and I have to give credit where credit is due–came from my brilliant sister who suggested going to Goodwill and purchasing a huge volume of large large bras–as in 48 DDD–and the largest pairs of women’s under ware I can find–oh, and yes, huge xxxxxll jockey shorts. Then, after washing of course, hang them on the clothes line and leave them there.

I don’t know. It’s funny and they’d probably hate looking out their rear windows–problem is I would find it pretty aesthetically unpleasing myself.

OK. That’s almost all for now. Except for this sudden realization. In the simple act of writing this down, expressing my angst/anger and sending it out into cyber space, the whole situation now seems absurd and almost meaningless. I notice I’m able to shrug my shoulders and cock my head with an “And so?” attitude (which translates as “so what”). But I’ve got to tell you, I can’t help grinning thinking about the undergarment scenario.

Nothing has changed in the minutes this took to write. But I’m hoping someone will have a solution that I’ve overlooked.

18 Responses to “In a Quandry”

  1. Bobbi May 4, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    Start weaving if you build it the cloth will come…Thanks for sharing


    • Patricia May 5, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      still considering options! a cloth installation could/would be kinda fun.


  2. Mo Crow May 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    plant a mixed row of fast growing native shrubs & trees on your side of the fence, you don’t need to spends more than $50 on plants if you buy them in tubes and they won’t take that long to establish if they are endemic to he area, in the meantime use the cleared fence line get some tall sticks and string and make a trellis for runner beans, peas & those fast growing mini gourds


    • Patricia May 5, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      hi Mo. it only get 2-3 hours of sun but I am going to go this route–moving — vegetation and whatever is out there that i can move to the back.


  3. Patricia Danco May 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    I feel your pain! How about planting some ivy that will grow up the chain link fence? I did that and within a year or two I had complete privacy! Good luck!


    • Patricia May 5, 2014 at 8:00 am #

      hi Patricia! there is a bit of ivy already–on the ground in front of the fence. i’ll work on training it to go in that direction–right now it’s wanting to grow downhill.


  4. Carol May 4, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

    You are such a gentle soul and that is why I have to say, “LMAO.” Yes, sometimes it just helps to write it all down and read it in print.


    • Patricia May 5, 2014 at 8:00 am #

      me too–i thought Jennifer’s suggestion was just pefect–must be the residual WV girl in me!


  5. Nancy May 4, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Honeysuckle will cover that fence in no time and smell so good while doing so! I know how these tree removal events are, it’s happened here too (you may remember). I’m lucky that the neighbor on the right put in more trees and the one on the left just planted some too. But, I just came across old pics of the way it was…it was sooooo green! (((sigh)))


    • Patricia May 5, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      i’ve got lots of honeysuckle in other parts of the yard. will work on transplanting some today


  6. Sharon Tomlinson May 5, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    This came to me in the night after reading this yesterday. I think you should wait because someone who spent that much to remove the trees surely has plans for adding something back. And obviously the means to do it. They may just want what they want. They may want more of a visual barrier than the forest gave. They may have plans for an installation of something wonderful. Or not. In the meantime, I like the honeysuckle suggestion.


    • Patricia May 5, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      you know–i’ve had that thought also–that they may be planning to “design” something. the woods did provide an almost perfect barrier, but maybe they want something more “controlled” looking? the only thing, i’ve talked to them twice–once when they needed permission to dig through my yard because their sewer line ran through here at a diagonal and it nd was plugged up–no problem as long as it didn’t involve the garden, and it didn’t. the second time we talked, i asked them if they were building a garden. they said no, thought they’d just put out some sod. but who knows? still, i’m going to work on getting honeysuckle back there.


  7. jude May 5, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    oh geez, so familiar. It could be the first step in their landscaping, still, why?


    • Patricia May 6, 2014 at 4:43 am #

      why? good question. i’m trying to understand.


  8. Linda May 5, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    I love all of your ideas–especially the clothes line, but sadly they will probably be watching TV and never notice a thing…on the other hand, you may get to know them and find they are wonderful people, just misinformed—ugh….wait it out and see what happens—then erect/plant your privacy as required.


  9. karmadondruplhamo May 6, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    i was voting for the topless gardening until i read this morning’s post…


  10. debbie.weaver May 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    I agree with Mo and please, please don’t plant Leylandii, you will regret it, it ought to be banned, native hedging/trees is so much more environmental and critter friendly but the bra idea would be fun in the meantime.


I appreciate your feedback:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: