To be ever so slightly offended(86 Posts)
A couple of weeks ago our neighbour offered to mow our front lawn as it was getting long. I politely declined as I was buying a lawnmower that afternoon. DH mowed the lawn the next day.
A couple of weeks later someone had weeded our drive. I had bought some weedkiller but was waiting for dH to get round to it as I'm pregnant an don't want to be using harsh chemicals. It wasn't that bad.
Today I got home from work and noticed that someone had not only weeded the drive again but had also mowed the front lawn. It really wasn't that long although it did need doing this week.
AIBU to be offended that someone (I have a very good idea who) is judging our front garden and feeling the need to take things into their own hands since it's not up to her standards? And it's not just plain helpfulness, it's because our lawn wasn't quite as perfectly manicured as the rest of the street's lawns. Bloody snobby naice village.
Now I feel the need to dig out a border and plant flowers just to prove actually I can deal with my own garden thank you very much!
<disclaimer: hormonal and probably over reacting!>
Are you obviously pregnant? Maybe he was trying to be kind
YANBU. Paint the outside of her house. Can I put in an early vote for black and pink stripes.
Make sure you offer first though. Then do it anyway.
Drop some small stones on your lawn, I guarantee that they won't do it again! YANBU
I have a neighbour like that. Last year he helpfully mowed ONE stripe into the middle of the lawn and cut half the hedge then buggered off.
I'd get a sign saying 'trespassers' will be prosecuted.
part of me would be glad that someone is that bothered about the state of my garden to do it for me
but part of me would be pissed off
So someone has weeded your drive and mowed your lawn and you're not happy? Can you send them to mine?
I think YABU. They obviously haven't got a lot on and want to help you out. And if it makes the front of your house and the street look nice, that's a bonus.
Can you not see it as a kind act?
Buy lots of joke plastic dog poo and plonk them on your lawn (maybe chuck a real one on there too just for much hilarity)
hang on - thats being neighbourly where I live - we all do each others lawns especially if we know someone is pregnant or infirm etc
perhaps they are just being nice?
I think that's just weird tbh (him not you).
On the other hand why not enjoy a free gardening service?
However that will come with strings attached I'm sure
Maybe plant flowers to spell out "stop cutting my garden". Plant them in his lawn for extra effect.
Go to the papers about "gardening fairy mystifies village"
Pop round and gush then say how much housework you have and if he could please start at 7 tomorrow morning that would be lovely
Ask for your weeds and grass cuttings back
Criticise the job loudly in the garden when he's in earshot
Cut his lawn. Badly.
Why on earth would this offend you? People play good money for gardeners, relax and enjoy your pregnancy
My DH always de ices and scrapes next doors steps when he does ours just out of courtesy
Turniptwirl your suggestions have made me laugh!
That's a real invasion of territory,and I'd be pissed off too.
Go around to whoever you suspect and ask them if they did it.They will probably say they did it to help you.Do not thank them.Calmly,and assertively,tell them that in future you do not want them to interfere with your gardening plans.
Alternatively,you could go around to theirs when they are out,and do something hideous,plant a leylandii or something...and tell them you were helping them create some shade.
I'd actually be really,really annoyed at this.
A neighbour has been mowing a bit of our grass. We would mow it ourselves but never get a chance because we can only do it at the weekend and they always get their first!
I do find it quite uncomfortable and unsettling - are they trying to be nice or having a go at us for not being up to scratch?
As you have already politely declined once, they are being U to continue - even though I'm sure they are doing it to be nice.
Given that, I'd do what Hilda said and set some clear boundaries early on.
I would love to have my territory invaded like this. Maybe they could get themselves a key cut and do the washing up while they're at it?
It's only nice if they have said it to you first ie 'I can run the mower over your lawn as well as mine while I have it out,that ok with you?'.
Waiting until you've gone out ,then coming in to sort it out,smacks to me of a perfectionist pissed off at the 'eyesore' that is your garden.
My neighbour did this to me. I think partly because he is a neat freak and partly to be nice...
So we've reached the stage where a kindness is suspect ?
I don't think its 'suspect' just unwanted and therefore undesirable esp as she's already said no thank you.
I think YABU. My neighbors sprayed my drive way with hard core weed killer recently, because they were doing theirs at the same time. Really appreciated it.
Might be slightly odd, but I certainly wouldn't be offended. You could always go and thank him, and mention that you've now got a lawn mower, so he doesn't need to worry about it again, if it has really bothered you.
But like someone else has said... People pay for gardeners, and you've got one doing it for free!!
My mum does this. I call it "the gardening fairies" as she waits until we are out, and then weeds the borders, trims the edges etc.
I don't mind in the least. I'm busy, she's not so much. She likes gardening, I don't. I consider it a swap for all the "looking stuff up on the internet" I do for her, as she doesn't own a computer.
My next door neighbour often cuts my hedge and mows my lawn if he's doing his. I think it's bloody wonderful and tell him how grateful I am
and remind him I have a back garden too
But then, I really, really hate gardening.
I would not be happy at all.
What you do to your garden is your business. They asked, you said no. That should be the end of it.
I am really surprised at the response so far on this thread. To me it would be like someone tidying up my kitchen without asking. I would feel judged and intruded upon.
My old neighbour did this, I thought it was marvellous. She was much neater than us but very sweet.
my ex neighbour used to plant flowers for me
he is being nice i would buy him a bottle of wine
I would love my neighbour to do my lawn. I have to wait for DH to do it (due to health problems I can't do it myself) and as he works silly hours jobs like mowing the lawn have to wait. It drives me potty that our lawn is so over grown.
That said if you categorically said no they should respect your wishes.
I agree that it might just be someone who loves gardening helping you out - unless you love gardening as well, then perhaps it would be worth popping round and saying that you appreciate their help, but feel bad about not reciprocating and 'suggest' a job which you could do for them (to be taken as evilly as you feel appropriate - I would let them do it, but then I'm lazy and my neighbours never do anything useful, just drinking and fighting loudly!).
We live in a really pretty 'garden suburb' where there are competitions on the best roses and stuff and our neighbours hate us because we hate gardening! Yes, maybe we should rent elsewhere...
Anyway, I came home last year to find branches and stuff trimmed and chucked in our garden. I was a bit angry then someone pointed out it was free gardening! I was a bit though when someone came in our BACK garden and did the hedge!!! Oh well, more free gardening.
What I do take offence to is the neighbour coming round once and directing our gardener what to do! (When we finally got one in to do the hard bits)
Enjoy the free labour OP!
My in laws do this. They regularly run the mower over the neighbours garden and weed it when they are doing theirs. They also so ours, friends and our neighbours :-D they are retired and love gardening, helping people out - wanted or unwanted (grin)
Just thank them in person with a small gift of appreciation. Odds are they are just being kind
If I PM you my address, could you pop it through this neighbours door please?
<Garden like a jungle>
Your neighbour is only weeding your garden for selfish reasons. If they don't get rid of your weeds they will flower and spread their seeds all over his garden, giving him weeds. It is the equivalent of delousing your DC when they come over to play. However if our neighbours are reading this then you are very welcome to do our gardening for us. Our neighbours once asked us if we were leaving part of our garden as a nature area as it was so overgrown .
YANBU - they have crossed a line - they have no right. Whether they've helped you is irrelevant. If you give someone an inch they take a mile - what else might they decide to do?
We had a loose gravel drive in our old house and the neihgbour over the road used to come over and sweep all the stones tidily onto our drive.
She told me it was because the cars used to come past at such a speed the stones would fly up onto her windscreen (it was a 10mph with speed humps and her cars were diagonally offset from our drive anyway).
She just had her idea of how she wanted the neighourhood to look and if we weren't going to make it happen then she was.
Before I joined MN, I lived for many, many years thinking 'how kind' when people did nice things for each other.
In fact, I still do - to me it's the most natural and normal thing in the world to do something for a fellow neighbour / colleague / friend / relative / or, tbh, even a stranger...er, because you can, maybe you have more time, or a car, or - in this case - a lawnmower , or just because you can.
I love it when someone does something nice for me, and, if I can, I try to do nice things for other people. I always find that people are grateful in RL. I've only ever come across this attitude of being uncomfortable if someone helps you out, on MN. Weird.
Mixed feelings about this one - it is a bit weird, but at least they're doing the whole job, not highlighting your horticultural shortcomings by mowing one strip, as mentioned above!
But then, it is helpful, isn't it? I'd go round and ask your neighbour if it was them, and if the response was along the lines of "You young people have such busy lives, and I love to be busy in the garden" I'd thank them nicely. If, on the other hand, their reply was something like "We've always prided ourselves on our naice village being properly maintained" I'd be tempted to ask them to
fuck off stop!
I think it bugs me as well, because we are people that like to garden, and we are happy with a slightly wild garden - we've been making all sorts of changes (slowly, tbf, because we don't have loads of time) and turning that bit of grass from lawn into something else - maybe a bee/butterfly sanctuary is totally up to us!
By continually mowing it they're removing that choice.
Next thing they'll be trimming your bush.
My FIL sneaks around doing this....he likes it and he's bored. He means no harm I promise but sometimes he's weeded ALL his own weeds and looks longingly at other people's and can't help it!
I'd love someone to pop round and do my garden, as DH normally waits until it has to be done and as for weeding...
It's a she not a he as everyone has assumed and the reason that I'm bothered is a) she could have asked and b) she's a huge busybody.
it's just a bit presumptuous to do someone else's gardening for them without checking first.
I accept that I probably am being a bit unreasonable by the way!
I think then, you need to tell her "You were SO kind to think of us and do some gardening but please don't do any more again. We enjoy it ourselves and while we sometimes take a while to get round to it, we always do. So leave it alone." and give her some bunch of flowers as a thank you. But don't mince your words.
I do honestly think it's more because our garden isn't up to her (perfectionist - her house and garden are immaculate) standards more than anything, although I imagine she means well really. It's just a little embarrassing that our garden is being judged by the neighbours!
She keeps her house and garden spotless, works and has a husband and teenager, surely she has better things to do with her time than stealth mow my lawn!
Thing is she was probably noseying through the window while se mowed and the house is really untidy today
Neo I will mention it and thank her though. It was a favour even if it was unwanted.
I wish someone would cut my front lawn.
I'd be hacked off if someone randomly used weedkiller on our garden without asking first, as we do things organically. I'd be even more hacked off if they asked us, we said no, and they did it anyway. And we deliberately cultivate 'wild' areas of the garden to encourage pollinators etc, so would again be very pissed off if someone took it upon themselves to mow them.
If you've spoken to someone, you're friendly with them, maybe mentioned in passing that you have no time for XYZ, then they decide to do it as a nice surprise, great. That's not the same as someone asking you if they can do something, you saying no, and them going ahead regardless.
YANBU, I'd be furious. Totally different story if they'd asked and you'd said yes - that's a lovely neighbourly thing to do. But not sneakily doing it while you're out, that's weird.
Crikey, my neighbour does this and I love him for it. He even painted my fence when it needed doing and refused to take money for it. I think YABU.
I think it's rather kind if them.
I went out to my car one day and my lovely elderly neighbour was just collecting his tools - my number plate had slipped and he had fixed it for me.
I think it's rude to reject people's helpfulness.
Mixed feelings. Its overstepping boundries. But perhaps she see's your pregnant and remembera how hard it can be.
Is would not be happy and would not be giving them wine, flowers or even saying thank you. It is not nice if someone asks can they help y
Frick. Try again:
I would not be happy and would not be giving them wine, flowers or even saying thank you. It is not nice if someone asks can they help you, you say no and they ignore this and do it anyway. It is patronising, annoying and overstepping boundaries. I would be telling her in no uncertain terms to stay away (and littering my lawn with stones). I wouldn't want weed killer all over my drive either.
It's not a nice thing to do. It's a demeaning, patronising thing to do. It's a nice, kind thing to do if the neighbours had offered and OP had accepted, but she didn't, they offered and she turned them down. They should accept her rejection graciously and drop it.
I'd be royally pissed off because OH can't sit in the garden if it's been mown because
long story short his lungs can't deal with the dusty grass clippings. I also wouldn't be comfortable with DD playing on a weedkiller'd lawn and I'd be furious if someone used weedkiller on my garden without me knowing.
Do some MN'ers really going around chopping peoples gardens up without permission? Or once turned down? It's creepy, an invasion of privacy. Definitely not neighbourly.
YANBU OP, your neighbours should butt the fuck out. If it were me, I'd be dropping off a bottle of wine whilst gushing "thanks sooo much, but please don't bother again, because my garden is fine
you judgemental dickheads ".
FGS don't give her a present! She'll take it as encouragement and keep doing it! Or she will just assume you've only told her not to do it as you don't want to be a burden or something, not that you actually don't want her to do it.
I can't believe how many people on this thread think that it is "kind" to do something someone else has asked you not to do. What is it with people who can't her the word "NO!"? It is extremely rude, particularly as it forces YOU to be rude as you may have to be really blunt to stop them.
babybythesea has outlined a number of really good reasons why someone might not want their neighbour coming around and interfering with their garden.
I think to show your appreciation you should paint her fence.
I'd be furious and point out the legalities of her activities!
Do not give any present whatsoever.
Thank her for helping you out but point out that your DH was waiting fr weed killer/new lawn mower and was looking forward to having time for his gardening hobby, but was somewhat upset to find that someone had taken over when you had clearly said no. An excuse, however it would get the point across - get orf my land!
My DH doesn't have much time for gardening but he loves it. And would hate for the local busybody to come in and garden to her standards, especially if he had set some time aside for him to spend working in the garden.
An unwanted favour is still helping you out and means you don't have to do it yourself. Similar thing happened to me and whilst I was offended that someone had taken it upon themselves ultimately my garden was mown, weeded and hedge cut. I spoke to a couple of friends who told me IWBU. However, to avoid it happening again you should thank her
through gritted teeth then say something along the lines of we enjoy doing the gardening when we have the time so although we may not do it as often when we do it is a real pleasure. That should help her realise a) that it will get done if she's patient b) doing it herself would prevent you experiencing the happiness of your garden which she would be a cow to deny.
I'm torn on this one. We have a neighbour who has a lot of time on her hands and has been known to do all sorts of helpful jobs in our garden, including refilling tubs in our front garden with new plants, cleaning up bits of our back garden and even letting our chickens out to free range when we are out. The last one drives me mad because if they get got by a fox I will be straight over there to tell her whose fault it was. With the other bits I try to just see it as her being neighbourly and recognising that we don't have as much time as her to do all the fancy bits. However underneath it all I know it is because she feels we are being lazy.
Just give her a bunch of flowers every six months and say thank you.
There's more in life to worry about - and you never know when you'll need a good neighbour.
If it's the neighbor doing it after you've told him not to, then that's rude.
I would not over think this.
And certainly not get into any neighbourly garden competitiveness.
Take it as a lovely neighbourly thing to do and say thank you.
Have you recently moved to this area? Perhaps they just want to get to know you.
I have a feeling that it might also be annoying me because I'm kind of getting a nesting instinct and want to make my home nice. She messed with my nest! (Like I said, I may be a little hormonal)
Ah well there's much worse things she could do than some sneaky mowing. As I said, I'm going to plant some flowers to make the point that actually I can do my own gardening.
I think this depends in neighbourly relations - if my neighbour on one side did it I'd think he was being kind, if the other side did it I'd think he was being a prick. Not sure whether that says more about me or them!
Good point Littlepeas, if it was Mr next door I wouldn't have been offended because it would have just been a simple kindness. This lady lives 2 doors down and as I said, is likely to have done it because it didn't meet her standards.
I wouldn't mind Maybe you could leave a box of ironing out and see if they'll do that too
I wouldn't like this. You said no, they did it anyway. That's not being helpful, it's being intrusive.
I have relatives in a small naice village who report stories like this all the time. Like the man who painted his fence white. Another neighbour painted it brown while the man was on holiday, because the colour white 'wasn't in keeping with the character of the village'.
Another neighbour received anonymous hate mail for putting Christmas lights up in his front garden.
Do you live somewhere like that, OP?
YANBU, I'd be very offended and very very annoyed.
OP, when you plant those flowers don't be surprised if she doesn't like them and pulls them up.
That's what a neighbour did with another neighbour's window box of red geraniums. She kept complaining about it and one day it was gone.
My red geranium neighbour didn't want to make a fuss, but I did when the woman sent her cleaners to sweep up my front garden because she thought it was messy. I asked her politely not to. She ignored me.
She was just being helpful, too. Why couldn't I see that? As it happens, her personal appearance didn't meet my standards, but I refrained from telling her she was lowering the tone of the neighbourhood by going out in daylight hours.
She later progressed to photographing the garden, with rubbish thrown in by her to make it look worse, and circulating the letters to the neighbours complaining about the 'filthy' state of our garden and our un-neighbourliness.
She's buried under the geraniums now
> It's not a nice thing to do. It's a demeaning, patronising thing to do. It's a nice, kind thing to do if the neighbours had offered and OP had accepted, but she didn't, they offered and she turned them down. They should accept her rejection graciously and drop it.
Hit her where it hurts and pressure wash & valet her car for her.
That'll teach her!
Buy some gnomes, gargoyles, huge spider ornaments, prickly plants and place them around the lawn and drive. Then get a lockable front gate (get a secure metal mailbox so the post(wo)man can still post stuff).
If take some flowers round and say 'thanks, dh is on his marching orders to keep your hard work up, now you've done such a lovely job'
Basically 'thanks but don't do it again'
Although I do think its being done with nice intentions, my nan used to do 4 neighbours gardens in the end!
I'm surprised at the number of people here who clearly have no sense of what it its to be a good neighbour!
I'm 34 Weeks pregnant and my lovely neighbour helps with our garden...we are keen gardeners and put a lot of effort in but it is huge so its a never ending task. If she sees me out working she pops out with her clippers or trowel and we work together. St the moment she helps me sweep up trimmings etc as I can't bend easily and she often helps by letting us fill her bin, she only has gravel and a few roses.
I love the sense of community we have...we work full time in a mainly retired people street so we don't have the same time to devote. She has always offered a hand even before pregnancy as she likes to garden but had hers gravelled as the commitment was too much for her.
I love my neighbour. My neighbour is 78....we look out for her and dh helps her if she needs wee jobs and she looks out for us and takes on parcels etc.
I think your neighbour I'd maybe just trying to help and that's got to be a nice thing.
pinkr of course it's kind to help your neighbours, no-one is disputing that! But discretion and privacy are also part of being neighbourly. It's not neighbourly to intrude without even asking, or to persist if your offer is declined.
We also live in a beautiful little village with wonderful neighbours. Everybody helps each other out. A bloke three doors up does the gardens for the other two elderly ladies who live in our row of houses. He pops round and cuts grass etc when he has time. That's wonderful. They want him to do it.
He doesn't come here because we don't want him to because a) it's our garden and we enjoy doing it and b) we're doing it our way, leaving patches to grow, not using chemicals etc.
We are all being great neighbours in our own ways - he's being a wonderful neighbour helping those who want it, and being a wonderful neighbour to us by not fiddling around in our garden. We all get on really well and ask for help when we need it, offer help repeatedly, and take no for an answer!
I have a good sense of what it means to be a good neighbour - that just doesn't include going round to someone's house and doing stuff they've asked me not to. Just like I wouldn't re-organise their kitchen cupboards, or clear out their wardrobes unless they'd asked for help.
Is she Monica from Friends? It's like the episode where Monica went to visit Ross's untidy ex because she'd been thinking about the mess in her flat and wanted to clean it. When the ex shut the door in her face she cleaned the door
This is my second Friends reference of the day. If I make one more can somebody send me an emergency DVD box set of any other television programme as I've clearly watched far too much of this one
This would hack me off massively, because I don't like super-manicured gardens. We are cultivating some wild areas which are good for pollinators, and also we allow some 'weeds' to go because we like the way they look (they are wildflowers, really!).
I do not use weedkiller and similar chemicals in the garden.
I hate confrontation but I would go around, ascertain it is her, and then say 'I really appreciate that you were trying to do a nice thing. It was a very kind thought. However, I like to do my garden my way and I feel uncomfortable with people coming onto my property whilst I'm out. I'm sure you understand.'
A good neighbour is someone who will take no for an answer, not someone who insists on doing things despite being told that you don't want to do them.
You are feeling as if you should plant flowers to gain her approval? This would tempt me to leave a dead, rusting car on my front lawn.
YANBU, I would be weirded out in that situation. She asked, you said no, that should be it. There are also numerous reasons why you would want to do things a certain way - not using certain weedkillers, grass treatment that means you shouldn't mow for a few days etc.
Please send them round to mine!
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