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To be ever so slightly offended

(86 Posts)
Madratlady Wed 10-Jul-13 21:28:39

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!>

HumphreyCobbler Wed 10-Jul-13 22:03:13

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.

MsMunch Wed 10-Jul-13 22:04:20

My old neighbour did this, I thought it was marvellous. She was much neater than us but very sweet.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 10-Jul-13 22:04:59

my ex neighbour used to plant flowers for me

he is being nice i would buy him a bottle of wine

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 10-Jul-13 22:07:05

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.

DoJo Wed 10-Jul-13 22:07:33

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!).

outingmyselfprobably Wed 10-Jul-13 22:08:11

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! grin I was a bit shock 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!

InsanelyBrainDeprived Wed 10-Jul-13 22:09:23

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

AmberLeaf Wed 10-Jul-13 22:11:08

If I PM you my address, could you pop it through this neighbours door please?

<Garden like a jungle>

katydid02 Wed 10-Jul-13 22:13:12

Make the most of it!

breatheslowly Wed 10-Jul-13 22:14:43

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 blush.

lottieandmia Wed 10-Jul-13 22:15:25

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?

DespicableYou Wed 10-Jul-13 22:19:31


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.


BackforGood Wed 10-Jul-13 22:22:45

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, 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.

Optimist1 Wed 10-Jul-13 22:23:20

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!

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 10-Jul-13 22:25:22

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.

JackNoneReacher Wed 10-Jul-13 22:27:32

Next thing they'll be trimming your bush.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 10-Jul-13 22:28:57

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!

Boggler Wed 10-Jul-13 22:29:11

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...

Madratlady Wed 10-Jul-13 22:33:20

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!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 10-Jul-13 22:43:56

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.

Madratlady Wed 10-Jul-13 22:56:22

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 blush

Madratlady Wed 10-Jul-13 22:58:16

Neo I will mention it and thank her though. It was a favour even if it was unwanted.

usualsuspect Wed 10-Jul-13 22:58:54

I wish someone would cut my front lawn.

babybythesea Wed 10-Jul-13 23:11:15

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.

Eilidhbelle Wed 10-Jul-13 23:19:28

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.

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