Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: An end to a sad saga?

Last week I took a few wide shots of my front garden looking northwest toward the street.  Pretty as I think the view was with the trees lit up by the setting sun, my garden wasn't the real focus.



My focus was the white house of a neighbor three doors up.

The house circled in the middle of this photo


That neighbor, who has at regular intervals over the past five years registered complaints about how my trees interfere with her view, has put her house up for sale.  She hasn't planted a "for sale" sign at the end of her drive but another neighbor steered me to the listing on-line.  All I can say at this point is that I wish her well and godspeed with the sale of her home.  If those of you who live nearby feel the earth move in the coming months, never fear - it's not an earthquake but rather me doing an epic happy dance to celebrate my neighbor's good fortune in concluding her sale.

This is my Wednesday Vignette.  For others, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

34 comments:

  1. OMG - Hooray!!!!!!!!! If I were you, I would take the opportunity now, while the future is up for interpretation, to plant all the trees you ever wanted. That way, if the new owner is as tree-averse as the current one, you can argue that your trees were already in place, and would have been part of their due diligence. What wonderful news - I am thrilled for you!

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    1. It's funny but, when we found out about the listing, my husband said maybe I should delay the tree trimming I scheduled for late November (which I promised the neighbor I'd do the last time she harassed me about cutting the trees) - he said it might set appropriate expectations for a new owner. Unfortunately, the city ordinance sets a height limit regardless of when a tree was planted.

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  2. Ah, gee whiz, Kris, this is so hard to believe. All that nonsense she protests and she's leaving. Take pity on her new neighbors. Unfortunately you can't put those trees back. I'll join you in your happy dance. Blasted neighbor anyway, maybe the raccoons will enjoy her house more now.

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    1. PS I'm glad your blog list is back to chronological order. I use it a lot. Nice selection.

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    2. From the real estate listing, I learned that the neighbor has lived there 50 years. If rumors are to be trusted, she may be moving because she has a new boyfriend - perhaps he has a better view to offer!

      Re the blog list, Blogger had a problem with the chronological sequencing for a time, which is why I went alphabetical for awhile. Whatever the glitch was, it seems to be fixed now.

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  3. you win! ding, dong, the______ is moving!

    And that is a gorgeous view of your front garden, BTW.

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    1. Ha! At lunch yesterday, when I told a friend I was planning a post on my neighbor's decision to sell, she suggested I title my post "Ding, dong...".

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  4. Bye Bye B_tch! (sorry I had to) I like Anna's tree planting idea, and agree with Denise, beautiful view!

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    1. I did buy a 'Purple Royal' Cotinus on Saturday and promptly planted it. The neighbor should be long gone before it gains height but planting it without worrying about it made me very happy.

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  5. That is the best news I think I will get today! I think many in blogdom will be doing a happy dance along with you.

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    1. Now I just have to worry that she's overpriced that house. The local market is supposedly hot but I'm not counting the deal done until she's really, definitely out. Some of the neighbors contend she's already moved out and I haven't seen her in a week or so but a "sold" sign would be even more comforting.

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  6. Great news, Kris! Doing a happy dance out here in Arizona for you; that's got to be such a relief!

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    1. It will be, Amy! It'll be nice to work in the front garden without regularly looking over my shoulder. The neighbor was prone to ambushing me when I was working out there.

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  7. ambush - eek!
    With your trees I am delighted.

    What is the height limit for your trees?

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    1. She was prone to sneaking up on me when I was gardening to make her complaints. The last time, she asked if I would help her with a problem and, after an internal sigh, I agreed, only to have her tell me that she wanted me to come by her house so she could point out the trees she wanted me to cut down. Since I'd already taken out 2 trees and was annually thinning the remaining trees and reducing crowns where I could without killing the trees, I refused and told her she was welcome to take her concerns to the city.

      The height limit is 16 feet or the roof ridge line, whichever is lower, but the application of the rule is complicated. It refers specifically to the protection of views as these existed in November 1989, when the ordinance was enacted. It also doesn't protect each and every sight-line but only the complainant's most important view and there are a host of guidelines for establishing that too.

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    2. that is interesting as Cape Town has no legislation to protect views. Leading to unpleasant confrontations unless you can be good neighbours. I remember my father cutting back the New Zealand Christmas tree for a higher neighbour, and in turn asking two houses below to trim for us. Which was why I was willing to remove a medium sized tree from our garden.

      But our remaining trees are staying with us, and I still plan to plant two more!

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  8. A better view all around. How nice that you might have new neighbors. I agree if the new owners see the fuller trees during their tour they can't say they didn't know.

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    1. Yes, I agree, although that may not matter much given the phrasing of the ordinance. I'm hoping that whomever buys the property is more reasonable. To my knowledge, she's the only one in the entire neighborhood who has pushed the issue hard (and I'm not the only one she's gone after). Most of us are more than willing to trim trees and foliage periodically to accommodate neighbor friendly requests. She pushed the envelope and followed up with threats.

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  9. I love a good happy ending. You deserve it after so many trials and tribulations. Here's wishing for good new neighbors.

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  10. Woo-hoo! Hope you get some awesome new neighbors to move in to remove the bad juju! Onward and upward, please God. :)

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  11. Looked up the listing (I'm kind of a real-estate nerd) and the house interior is lovely with all that classic mid century furniture but the yard is pitiful. Can you imagine what Loree would do with that house ? I hope the new peeps are good neighbors !

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    1. I think the home interior has been staged. I liked the furniture but wasn't thrilled with the layout, especially the garage entry and the step-down living room. My friends, who also checked the photos on-line, complained that the kitchen didn't fit current standards (but then I expect they feel that about my kitchen too). The garden (if one can even call it that) is AWFUL but then I already knew that.

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  12. Hooray! What fun it would be to garden in your hood!

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    1. I hope it'll be a lot more fun soon! I'm frankly tired of looking over my shoulder to head off another ambush every time I work in the front garden.

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  13. I love your attitude. I don't think I wouldn't be quite so magnanimous. The audacity, HER view is more important than trees on your property? I hope she finds a very nice home near a cliff. :) ... I hear you're getting rain. I hope it is enough that all of your plants can get a well deserved drink.

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    1. She really has no respect for the value of trees, even in a drought. She has just one tiny tree, practically a bonsai specimen. Unfortunately, the rain shows signs of passing us by. Yesterday's 60% chance is down to 20% and fading fast, although Santa Barbara and Ventura have reportedly got some.

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  14. Great news Kris! My fingers are crossed for an early sale but even more that you get some good neighbours; hopefully ones who will want to learn from you about suitable planting for the terrible garden. It must be a wieght of your mind.

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    1. Any additions to the neighbor's garden will be an improvement, Christina. I knew there wasn't much of a garden there but the photos attached to the real estate listing on-line proved that - there's a scrappy lawn, one tiny tree and some junipers.

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  15. The music of Handel's Alleluia Chorus came immediately to mind.

    Best of luck for a new neighbor who is a serious plant nerd and suggests you plant Metrosideros 'Springfire' ASAP. :)

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    1. How funny you mention the Metrosideros - I was just thinking again yesterday about where I could place one!

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  16. Best wishes for a speed y sale of your neighbor's house, and may a plant lover move in!

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