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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!>

meganorks Thu 11-Jul-13 11:19:37

Please send them round to mine!

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 11-Jul-13 11:14:42

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.

lisianthus Thu 11-Jul-13 11:02:33

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.

RevoltingPeasant Thu 11-Jul-13 10:18:36

baby exactly.

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.'

SarahAndFuck Thu 11-Jul-13 10:15:25

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 grin

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 grin

babybythesea Thu 11-Jul-13 10:14:40

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.

Wbdn28 Thu 11-Jul-13 10:13:31

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.

pinkr Thu 11-Jul-13 10:07:15

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.

Damnautocorrect Thu 11-Jul-13 10:00:35

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!

Wbdn28 Thu 11-Jul-13 09:53:12

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).

schobe Thu 11-Jul-13 09:44:49

Hit her where it hurts and pressure wash & valet her car for her.

That'll teach her!

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 ^

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

She's buried under the geraniums now

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.

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

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

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?

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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