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Gas powered flower pest

 
pollinator
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Hello all,

Urban homesteading has its joys and pitfalls. Last night we had an SUV drive through our front flower bed because "they thought the house was abandoned" and that "they were tall weeds" and "we wish you'd stop giving us a hard time about parking in your driveway."

We have a good relationship with this neighbor, but her guests are always driving and parking in our yard and driveway. Now that we're losing plants, we're starting to figure out how to keep this from happening. Our street doesn't have on street parking, but there is a large public parking lot at the end of the street. My neighbor's guests refuse to park there, and prefer my driveway and flower beds.

In the past, I have texted my neighbor and let her know that her guests are not welcome on my lot. It keeps happening, and we're unsure of what to do now.

Some suggestions from friends and family so far:

Cameras (not sure what I'd do with this)
metal spikes in the flower beds for popping tires
calling a towing company
traffic cones
reflectors on long sticks in the flower bed

Anyone have any experience with discouraging these gas powered pests?
 
pollinator
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Are gating and fencing possible options?
 
master gardener
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If I was in your shoes, I would be a bit frustrated.

If I had made the contact with the neighbor to try and settle the matter privately and was not succeeding, I would utilize what is in my control because at the end of the day it is my property.

Get their vehicle towed. One or two tow bills I would imagine would get the offender's attention.

Signs are only good for the people who read them, I would never encourage creating 'traps' because it puts yourself into a losing side of a legal battle.

 
gardener
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Hi Carmen,
Some of it would depend on your comfort level. I would first post a sign. This takes away any excuses from the perpetrators. I don't think signs or reflectors would help people who are so inconsiderate as to do the things you are describing.

One option would be to make it as annoying as possible to park there. Personally I like the idea of spikes in the flower garden (honey locust thorns are supposed to be strong enough to put holes in tires). Perhaps start digging a large hole for a tree and run out of time. It would cause a bit more damage at the beginning, but having someone get one of their tires stuck in the hole might provide some satisfaction. Putting a large boulder at the end perhaps. Maybe "fertilize" that area heavily with the freshest cow manure you can just before they normally show up. Hopefully these would cause them to park elsewhere.

The only other option would be to use the authorities and simply call the police every time these people tresspass or damage your property. A few tickets would probably help them learn.

***Edit, like Timothy mentioned, some things you do on your property are legal, but could start a legal battle. I'm not a lawyer, but if you have asked them to stop, and posted a sign, I feel like its their own fault if their vehicle is accidentally damaged by parking somewhere not designed for vehicles.
 
rocket scientist
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I like the idea of large boulders as they are almost unmovable, however they require machinery to set in place.
Logs are a much easier obstacle to put in place but are also movable by your trespassers, they might also be hard to get in a city.
I would only call the sheriff if all else fails, starting a revenge war in the city can get ugly fast.
My best suggestion is to move rural where your neighbor is 1/2 mike away... no issues with parking.
 
Carmen Cullen
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Update:

A neighbor asked me how I was doing and I told him that I was sad about my flowers that got run over. The offending neighbor came out screaming at me about how she's so annoyed that I text her when people park on my property.

Things got heated, lost a friend. Pretty bummed.
 
Timothy Norton
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Sorry to hear Carmen.

I view it as a matter of respect. If they arn't respecting your property, are they really a friend you want to keep? I hope that this gets settled for you without much more hurt.

Try and stay cool with this heat coming in.
 
Carmen Cullen
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John Weiland wrote:Are gating and fencing possible options?



Looking for fencing options now, especially since we are not friends anymore. No more need for a short fence to talk to the neighbor over, and we'd rather her not see anything going on with us anymore.

For the flower bed, it's trickier. It's the area between the sidewalk and the road. We've been thinking pretty little short wrought iron fencing. Dual purpose, since it's cute (we like that) and pretty dangerous for a tire. It doesn't appear to be a trap, and it really isn't. It's a cute little fence, and any reasonable person (or cop) would say that if your tires popped because you drove on your neighbors wrought iron fence, you're pretty SOL.
 
pollinator
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Call the local police and the local towing companies. Explain the situation and ask them what options you have for getting unwanted vehicles off your property when it happens again. They should be able to let know what steps need to be taken (e.g., private property / no parking signs).
 
John Weiland
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Carmen Cullen wrote:

John Weiland wrote:Are gating and fencing possible options?



Looking for fencing options now......

For the flower bed, it's trickier. It's the area between the sidewalk and the road. .....



Just a quick note that I think some places have ordinances about that space between sidewalk and road...?  Is this technically still your property?.... in some places may not be so just checking before you build.  Alternative to spikey fencing might be those thick arborvitae.  These will be a bit vulnerable still when young, but might even damage an offending car when more mature.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0059/8835/2052/products/AmericanPillarArborvitae.png?v=1628114386

 
Carmen Cullen
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John Wolfram wrote:Call the local police and the local towing companies. Explain the situation and ask them what options you have for getting unwanted vehicles off your property when it happens again. They should be able to let know what steps need to be taken (e.g., private property / no parking signs).



I did exactly this and this is what I got (which is highly dependent on municipality):

I called a towing company and they said that they cannot tow residential properties or settle civil disputes. If they were to come out, it is because the police called them.

I called the police, which they told me that they would come out and talk to my neighbor who would then move the car. They said it's rare they have to call the towing company, but that is an avenue they would take if they could not find the car's owner. They did say that, at this point, I should just call instead of working it out with the neighbor. She has since taken to screaming at me from inside her own house. When I called the cops about that one they said "she has every right to act like a fool on her own property" and took my statement. They told me, "if she or her associates wander onto your property again, go inside and call us right away."

I haven't really been a cop caller up until this point, but my taxes pay their salaries and I'd like people to stop parking on my lawn. The cops view this as pretty cut and dry, but she's not breaking the law right now. She's very clearly in the wrong in everyone's eyes and just making a fool out of herself.

In other news, I'm still very sad about my flowers. Many of them I traded a rabbit for, or collected throughout the season from neighbors and friends. Many of the flowers were started from seeds I received as wedding gifts, and I cared for them in the early spring while there was still snow on the ground. My petunias were just wisps of smoke this morning. I know it doesn't matter that they mowed down my jerusalem artichokes, but I liked them and they haven't even flowered yet :(
 
Carmen Cullen
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John Weiland wrote:

Carmen Cullen wrote:

John Weiland wrote:Are gating and fencing possible options?



Looking for fencing options now......

For the flower bed, it's trickier. It's the area between the sidewalk and the road. .....



Just a quick note that I think some places have ordinances about that space between sidewalk and road...?  Is this technically still your property?.... in some places may not be so just checking before you build.  Alternative to spikey fencing might be those thick arborvitae.  These will be a bit vulnerable still when young, but might even damage an offending car when more mature.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0059/8835/2052/products/AmericanPillarArborvitae.png?v=1628114386



I appreciate this, and I think that this may be true for me. However, the city gives tickets for driving and parking there. They don't really care what's growing, even though it may be theirs. They do care when people park on it, which is my primary complaint.

Since I'm in a pretty rural-minded city, most would find it appalling that someone drove through your flower bed, no matter where you planted it. The cops were sorry they couldn't do anything but take my statement, because they view me as someone who is friendly and just wants people to follow the ordinances that are meant for keeping peace between neighbors. I'd like to keep peace between me and my neighbor, and they know that. She's just not being peaceful.
 
master steward
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The only thing I would add to the ideas presented is that using spikes present serious legal concerns that need to be addressed in advance.
 
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We settled similar issues with a nice board fence.
Our problem was neighborhood mowers who thought they were 'helping' and when asked politely not to mow on our property were offended.
The fence also solved the loose dog problem...it's wonderful what a physical boundary like that will do for peace of mind and comfort working in the yard.  

We also had the visitor parking overflow from the neighbors for awhile and that was solved by long 6"X6" cedar beams on concrete blocks as a boundary...not permanent but gave them a clear edge to our driveway.

We have the blessing of the city to do what we like landscape wise on the verge between the street and our fence so I have roses climbing over the fence and a few other things and we let the grasses there grow long and then scythe them for the gardens.

I've considered signs and tire damage and all sorts of (mean ) things but in the end I think a substantial and pretty fence is most effective.  

Unless your neighbor's are totally unreasonable they will respect it.
 
master steward
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I'm sorry for your losses. If you have problems with your neighbour it may be worth keeping an incident book just in case - abusive shouting is not OK, running over your flowers is not OK.
Hugs.
 
Rusticator
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Nancy Reading wrote:I'm sorry for your losses. If you have problems with your neighbour it may be worth keeping an incident book just in case - abusive shouting is not OK, running over your flowers is not OK.
Hugs.



I concur. A journal of every interaction has helped me IMMENSELY, in the one serious case I had to take to court. It was nothing to do with this type of situation, but my lawyer said that this type of journal, kept diligently, as soon as things start to get ugly, can make all the difference in the world. It takes the emotion out of the issue (because, by the time something gets to the point of going to court, emotions tend to be high), and lays out all the facts. I hope and pray it never comes to that, and that maybe this will all settle down sooner, rather than later, so the two of you can, at the very least, be cordial again.
 
steward
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This is a sad situation and I am sorry that this is happening.

If I had this problem I might get some white plastic chain similar to this:



Source

This plastic chain comes in white, yellow and black though the white or yellow would stand out more.

Then I would hang sign off the chain like the slogans from this thread:



https://permies.com/t/249204/Positive-don-mow-signage-Burma

I hope you find a solution to this situation.
 
Carmen Cullen
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I put up some reflectors so it's clear that this part of the yard is cared about, while I generate funds for low fencing. I also stapled up one of those cheapie "NO PARKING" signs. Went to market.

Came home to one of my neighbor's family members seemingly staking out our house until we got home. Parked his car in the road so I'd be forced to drive on her lawn, but I persevered and did not drive on her lawn. Once my spouse came home, he promptly left. I'm pretty at a loss of what to do about all this, I'm the one whose lawn got driven in! It seems as though someone has tried to damage one of the reflectors already, but I'm over it.

We've decided to show her God's love day in and day out, though we really do not like her anymore.

I love the firm welcome sign. Tomorrow, I'm going to drum up some art supplies to make a sign. A cute one with painted flowers and frogs and it will clearly, and adorably say "KEEP OUT". Still considering

I have seen the cinderblock/4x4 combo before, and we are going to give that a shot tomorrow. We are going to put a temporary gate over the end of our driveway for when there's less than two cars, which will keep them out of the driveway.

Really grateful for all of you. This really has been a years long saga, and this is the most I've ever gotten done on it. It all came to a head, I guess.

Edit: and I'm keeping careful notes. I've done so before for other reasons, and it worked out then too. However, being Mennonite, makes litigation pretty sticky spiritually. I think it's sticky spiritually for everyone. I also just really hope it doesn't happen.
 
master steward
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I would just like to add for everyone - please, please, please, when you're planting near the road or adding fencing etc, be aware of sight lines for people backing cars out. I nearly lost a kid I was biking to school. He was biking responsibly ahead of me, but he was too short for the lady backing out to see easily between her fence and some shrubs. I yelled at him to stop, but it was against the wind and he didn't hear. Luckily, the lady's little preschooler who was in the car, heard me yell and said, "top, Mommy top!" Mommy topped!!! The shrubs were chopped down within a few days and replace by very pretty, but shorter flowers. She was going slowly enough that there's a good chance it wouldn't have been lethal, but it would have been traumatic for all concerned.
 
Carmen Cullen
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Things have calmed down a bit, but she makes strange comments about us spending so much time in the backyard to her family. I was sitting on the back deck when she moved in, and I haven't really stopped. She's right that we're always out there, we always have been. If that's all she's doing at this point, fine. I've still got work to do.

Thinking about  this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Greenes-Actual-15-ft-x-2-ft-Cedar-Spaced-Picket-Garden-Woven-Wire-Rolled-Fencing/50074001?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-lwn-_-ggl-_-CRP_SHP_LIA_LWN_Online_C-D-_-50074001-_-local-_-0-_-0&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwydSzBhBOEiwAj0XN4IFjbevzUQZ4Xal7cG9F0jYEWgzc2_EMOHJRuylewzsL9nJ7XwUEhxoCO1AQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Anyone ever used this kind of fencing? I'm thinking about putting it around the flower bed.



I'm thinking about ways to heighten my fence with little cash outlay. I have energy and gumption, but not a lot of money. I'm considering this very ugly solution: https://www.uline.com/BL_3128/Silt-Fencing

I'm thinking I'll tack it to the top of my fence, which would end her comments about me quietly enjoying my property.

We are also buying a class c rv soon, and I just want to park it in front of our fence. I feel that it would solve all of our problems, but my spouse thinks it would be uglier than extending the fence. I'm not convinced.
 
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Carmen, here is an old country saying;  Good fences equals good neighbors.

Good luck.  Hoping things will work out for you.


Peace

 
Jay Angler
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Carmen Cullen wrote:I'm thinking about ways to heighten my fence with little cash outlay. I have energy and gumption, but not a lot of money. I'm considering this very ugly solution: https://www.uline.com/BL_3128/Silt-Fencing

Personally, I wouldn't go there, because I'd have to look at "ugly" too. Do you have charity shops around? Could you buy used flower sheets or old curtains, cut them lengthwise, and get enough material to do the same idea as the Silt Fencing, but much prettier? Do you know anyone with an overgrown yard who could give you lots of straight branches you could use creatively to act as a visual barrier?

It probably doesn't need to be completely solid to do the job.

I'm glad to hear that things seem to be calming down at least a bit. I think you're right the being less visible may help things calm down more.
 
John Weiland
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Carmen Cullen wrote:.....I'm thinking about ways to heighten my fence with little cash outlay. I have energy and gumption, but not a lot of money. I'm considering this very ugly solution: https://www.uline.com/BL_3128/Silt-Fencing

I'm thinking I'll tack it to the top of my fence, which would end her comments about me quietly enjoying my property.



Do you need a full 100 ft of fencing?  For around the same price but for 50', we use the fence in the link below (3' X 50') for topping an already 4' tall fence.  The bonus here is to let wild grape or other such climber grow through the open spaces of the fence providing a natural green barrier when  fully grown.  There is the unfortunate issue that if the fence is exactly on the property line, you will be creating foliage on their side of the fence once the vine cranks into high gear.  But if the fence you are planning is well within your property line, some fall trimming should keep it in check.  Hope you find a good solution!....

https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/fencing/utility-fencing/50-welded-wire-fence/1712656/p-1539153028956-c-5768.htm

 
gardener
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Carmen, I'm sorry this is happening to you. It sounds like you're trying to take the high road, and I'm glad the police have your neighbor on your radar.
I also try to avoid conflict, and eventually my 'bad neighbor' situation cooled a bit. We won't be having tea together anything soon, but i'm not worried about her poisoning my dog anymore, for example. We keep to ourselves.
Unless you are required by law to post a no trespassing sign in that area, I wouldn't put up any signs. Your neighbor seems unhinged and it's just another reason for her to scream. I like Anne's idea of the posts and high-visibility plastic chain for your front area. It's cheapish and low effort, and no visitor is going to want to damage their car running something over. [Take pics of it new, so that you have proof of damage if/when your neighbor's guests run it over. If that happens then you can escalate to metal chain that will scratch their car, for example.]
You'll always have new flowers, and maybe with some luck sooner or later you'll have some new and BETTER neighbors too. Hang in there.
 
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My 2 cents. If I understand correctly (don't mean to offend!!!)
1. your property ends at the sidewalk,
2. Then, there is a sidewalk which you don't own
3. Then, there is a boulevard which you don't own,
4. Then, there is a road/street which you don't own.

If that's  so, then plant what is dear to your heart, fence it, dig, or what ever  you like, on the part of the land you actually own, not the strip of land that you don't, regardless how  the city/municipally "feel is" about it.

However, when it comes to actually parking on, or blocking your driveway there are laws to protect you. You can argue that in case of an emergency (ambulance or fire) those vehicles endanger the lives of you and family.
I don't want to sound so melodramatic, but sometimes.... when talking to "Lords of the law" , one has to present a  melodramatic scenario so "they" can compute and understand.
I wouldn't mention any disputes with neighbor. Safety is the key word. Your health is more important then any plant! Hugs

Also, if you have any pets, you don't want to be held hostage by the bad neighbor.
I could have this situation all wrong, but that's what I understood reading about it.

 
Carmen Cullen
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Ela La Salle wrote:My 2 cents. If I understand correctly (don't mean to offend!!!)
1. your property ends at the sidewalk,
2. Then, there is a sidewalk which you don't own
3. Then, there is a boulevard which you don't own,
4. Then, there is a road/street which you don't own.



I do own that strip, it says so in my deed. The city has a right of way, and the right to do whatever they wish on that strip. So do I, because it belongs to me. A right of way does not transfer ownership to the city, but access rights. I am okay with this. My neighbor, however, does not have a right of way on my property. I appreciate your advice for those whose city ordinances are different from my own.

We ended up getting some privacy fence fabric panels, and we're going to post them up with 2x2 lumber. Good neighbor style, where she gets the nice side and we have to look at the lumber posts. We feel it's economical, and can be attractive if done well. We had to cover a fence with it earlier this season, and we're going to give it a go as a fence extender.
 
Ela La Salle
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Carmen Cullen wrote:

I do own that strip, it says so in my deed. The city has a right of way, and the right to do whatever they wish on that strip. So do I, because it belongs to me. A right of way does not transfer ownership to the city, but access rights. I am okay with this. My neighbor, however, does not have a right of way on my property. I appreciate your advice for those whose city ordinances are different from my own.

We ended up getting some privacy fence fabric panels, and we're going to post them up with 2x2 lumber. Good neighbor style, where she gets the nice side and we have to look at the lumber posts. We feel it's economical, and can be attractive if done well. We had to cover a fence with it earlier this season, and we're going to give it a go as a fence extender.


Oh! See it now.  Wow, it is a different situation.  I hope the fence will work out for you  
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial, clay/loam with few rocks 50" yearly rain
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Carmen, I hope things are going smoother for you now and the fence is working it's magic

When we moved to this small rural town we knew there would be adjustments but the last thing we considered was that neighbors with loud riding mowers would encroach on us thinking they were 'helping'.

'Good fences make good neighbors' is my mantra now.
 
pollinator
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Caught up on this thread I think.

As I see it you want to deter vehicles using your land, especially as they are crossing your planted beds. I would look at using a few largish rocks, painted white for high visibility, on the corners. You don't need many of them; just enough to make a clear notional boundary line that would deter casual parkers. You could put a couple of high-reflective panels on them to improve visibility at night.

Landscape boulders

 
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