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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!>

BrianTheMole Wed 10-Jul-13 23:26:03

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.

formicadinosaur Wed 10-Jul-13 23:34:21

I think it's rather kind if them.

PrettyKitty1986 Wed 10-Jul-13 23:39:41

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.

mumofweeboys Thu 11-Jul-13 02:11:17

Mixed feelings. Its overstepping boundries. But perhaps she see's your pregnant and remembera how hard it can be.

ChasedByBees Thu 11-Jul-13 02:40:04

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

ChasedByBees Thu 11-Jul-13 02:42:20

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.

olidusUrsus Thu 11-Jul-13 02:51:38

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 ".

lisianthus Thu 11-Jul-13 03:02:55

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.

glastocat Thu 11-Jul-13 03:16:47

I think to show your appreciation you should paint her fence. grin

scripsi Thu 11-Jul-13 03:22:24

I'd be furious and point out the legalities of her activities!

CSIJanner Thu 11-Jul-13 03:52:07

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.

CalamityJ Thu 11-Jul-13 04:35:41

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.

Jaynebxl Thu 11-Jul-13 06:01:16

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.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 11-Jul-13 06:42:35

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.

ANormalOne Thu 11-Jul-13 06:48:45

If it's the neighbor doing it after you've told him not to, then that's rude.

8thplace Thu 11-Jul-13 08:43:46

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.

Madratlady Thu 11-Jul-13 08:47:28

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.

littlepeas Thu 11-Jul-13 08:59:41

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!

Madratlady Thu 11-Jul-13 09:05:45

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.

TheMoonOnAStick Thu 11-Jul-13 09:10:27

I wouldn't mindconfused Maybe you could leave a box of ironing out and see if they'll do that toowink

FruminousBandersnatch Thu 11-Jul-13 09:14:49

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?

miffybun73 Thu 11-Jul-13 09:34:41

YANBU, I'd be very offended and very very annoyed.

limitedperiodonly Thu 11-Jul-13 09:35:21

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.

limitedperiodonly Thu 11-Jul-13 09:36:31

She's buried under the geraniums now

Wbdn28 Thu 11-Jul-13 09:40:02

> 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.

This ^

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