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to not feel like I can go in my garden when the neighbours are in theirs?

(29 Posts)
KirjavaTheCat Sun 28-Apr-13 17:07:56

We have a 4ft wall along our boundary, so we can see eachother from the waist up when we're both out there. They're not big gardens, big enough for a shed and a table and chairs, so it all feels really cosy, and like I'm invading their space if I go out at the same time.

Right now they're having a barbecue. DS would love to play in his sandpit, and I'd love to sit out there with a glass of lemonade, but feel like I can't sad

Last time, I thought I was being stupid and went out there to play with DS, and they stopped their (previously loud and jolly) conversation with their friends and went inside after five minutes, looking really uncomfortable, so it's not just me.

My landlord won't allow me to install a trellis. Even if I knew them better, I'd still feel obligated to make conversation with a wall that low.

...Shall I put a trellis up anyway? <naughty>

usualsuspect Sun 28-Apr-13 17:10:33

Just go out there.I would. If they go inside that's their problem not yours.

NinaHeart Sun 28-Apr-13 17:13:10

We have similar small gardens and I know what you mean. But I have grown a whopping great rose up my fence and that has done the trick.
I'd go out there anyway - you have just as much right.

MousyMouse Sun 28-Apr-13 17:13:47

just go and claim your space!
you don't have to talk to them, just acknoledge them with a friendly nod.
enjoy!

Tee2072 Sun 28-Apr-13 17:14:42

Just go. It's your garden. Don't be silly.

Walk out, wave, and sit down with your glass and enjoy the evening.

minniemagoo Sun 28-Apr-13 17:14:49

Definitely not your problem if they feel uncomfortable. If they own their house then they can put up a trellis if they are bothered, otherwise go out smile, sit down with your lemonade, let Ds play and read a book or something. Enjoy

NutraxForNerves Sun 28-Apr-13 17:15:04

I have a bigger fence but you can hear every word over it and the yards are very small.

I understand the feeling but I think you shouldn't give in to it. A cheery Good Afternoon, Lovely Day should see you right with the neighbours and then you can get on with ignoring each other, in true British fashion.

StuntGirl Sun 28-Apr-13 17:15:36

If they're silly enough to go inside just because you've gone out then sod them, go out and enjoy your lemonade! grin

saintmerryweather Sun 28-Apr-13 17:17:10

Thats bloody rude of them to go in pointedly because you went out. You go out and enjoy the evening!

DeepRedBetty Sun 28-Apr-13 17:19:52

Totally off topic but Nutrax I think you're only the second Lord Peter Wimsey referencing NN I've ever seen on here! There's a HarrietVane around somewhere too.

OP I know exactly what you mean, but neither you nor your neighbours should let it stop you. Remember you are British and these situations are exactly what Talking About The Weather was invented for.

chrome100 Sun 28-Apr-13 17:21:56

We don't even have any divide between our garden and the neighbours', it's effectively the same lawn (and a very small one at that). We just both go out at the same time and ignore/talk to each other depending on our moods. You just need to stop being so awkward and English about it grin

CruCru Sun 28-Apr-13 17:22:30

Problem is, the more you avoid going into the garden, the less you'll feel like you can. Just go and sit in the garden.

kinkyfuckery Sun 28-Apr-13 17:25:15

I would probably feel the same, but you'd be doing nothing wrong by going out there. If they go in, ah well, enjoy your garden!

quoteunquote Sun 28-Apr-13 17:27:36

Do you know anyone with big bamboo clumps, lots of people who have planted it in their garden find it gets out of hand, so are very grateful when someone offers to help dig some up,

put in large pots, old bins, old roof storage water tanks (just make holes in the bottom for drainage),and stand on bricks, makes a really good temporary barrier instantly.

You could also stick some willow screening in attached to poles in the back of the pots to help until the bamboo thickens up.

if your landlord would let you, willow screening attached to wall on a frame would be a quick easy way to solve the problem.

Thingymajigs Sun 28-Apr-13 17:28:44

We have the same sort of gardens but my neighbour and I also hate each other which makes it really uncomfortable. She has a Staff, I have 3 cats so theres a long history of issues there.
I have taken to putting earphones in when I do the gardening so I don't have to listen to her bad mouthing me or even if its not on I can pretend to be far too absorbed in a podcast to make small talk. It seems ridiculous and petty but neither of us can move at the moment so we are stuck next to each other practically living in each others pockets but both pretending the other doesn't exist.
Don't let the close proximity stop you from using a part of your home. Definitely consider trellis, it does make a difference.

ItsYonliMe Sun 28-Apr-13 17:29:21

Go on, go outside.

You could also keep an eye out for big outdoor potted plants that people are selling/giving away and buy a couple of them to shield you. You might feel more comfortable with some sort of physical barrier ( I would).

What about buying a cheap room divider or similar and putting that outside between the two gardens? Better to do it now before summer starts properly.

MrsLettuce Sun 28-Apr-13 17:34:48

Yes, just go and enjoy the garden!

Have you spoken to them about wanting to put up trellis but not being allowed? Maybe you could come to some agreement - you buy it and they claim responsibility put it up?

digerd Sun 28-Apr-13 17:38:49

I read the thread and did not infer the neighbours were being rude going back indoors. OP you said " they looked uncomfortable". Seeing you and DS in your garden and knowing you could hear their conversations with their friends made them feel more uncomfortable than you, it meant to me.
They probably went back indoors so as not to disturb you. Very considerate, actually. And they would prefer their jolly conversations in private. I am sure you preferred your peace and quiet in the garden.
And wish you many more of them smile

marjproops Sun 28-Apr-13 17:45:46

yes, if they own their home they could trellis, but yy to tall plants in pots, your landlord cant object to that.

OrbisNonSufficit Sun 28-Apr-13 17:57:34

Our garden was like that. It eventually got to the point where we moved (rental) as neither DH nor I felt we could ever use the garden. I've concluded I just can't live in suburbia... [spoiled by childhood on 5 acre block]

KirjavaTheCat Sun 28-Apr-13 18:09:09

Yeah digerd, I don't think they took offense or anything, just think the awkward feeling is mutual. Low walls should be abolished in this country, we're just too snooty wink

I didn't think about the bamboo screening! Brilliant idea. Though I'll have to find a way to put it up without drilling the wall, because that's what the landlord's opposed to. It'll cause the brick to crumble, apparently...

cardibach Sun 28-Apr-13 18:10:51

I'm just jealous it is nice enough to sit out where you are <misses point>

Bridgetbidet Sun 28-Apr-13 18:13:18

My days you need to move to Yorkshire! We were horrified when we moved up because everyone uses their back door and their is a shared alleyway between 4 houses and everybody walks through your back garden to get to their house. Some people don't even have fences!

Anyway our neighbours are constantly walking actually through our garden while we're in it! I hated it at first but now I'm used to it and love to see my neighbours for a little chat.

You'll just need to get used to it, you'll be surprised how quickly you do. If they're out there doing noisy things like barbequing they're not going to mind your son playing out.

marjproops Sun 28-Apr-13 18:28:16

bamboo screening- just tie each end to a long pole and put each pole into a plant pot filled with earth, should be sufficient, and wont be on the walls. thats what i did a couple of places ago and it worked a treat.

and if theres a drainpipe on the wall just tie a piece of wire round it to the top of the fencing.

itsnothingoriginal Sun 28-Apr-13 18:35:57

You could get a long wooden planter and attach a trellis to the back of that. Then it's not attached to any wall or fence - a few quick growing climbers and hey presto a bit of privacy!!

I know the feeling though as we have a small garden which seems to echo due to being enclosed by house walls so feel similarly uncomfortable being outside at the same time as the neighbours.

Oh for a huge garden in the country <and a decent summer!!>

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