The Considerate Gardener Keeps His or Her Neighbours in Mind
In these times of townhouse and cluster developments, we are all living close to one another, and it is important to be considerate of your neighbours when it comes to maintaining your personal garden.
Living in such close proximity to each other, whether in a townhouse complex or cluster development, means that everyone is guided by the Rules set in place and, while these Rules generally outline those of the complex or development, it is up to each person individually to abide by the Rules and be considerate of their neighbours. Granted, there will always be someone who tries to go around the Rules, but if everyone keeps in mind that they live on top of each other, there should be a peaceful harmony where you live.
From burning garden waste to loud music and parties, it is important to keep in mind some garden etiquette over and above the Rules set in place. By being mindful of your neighbours will prevent any disputes and keep everyone happy. With that in mind, let us look at garden etiquette and see how you and your neighbours can enjoy close living and avoid conflict.
1 | Use garden and power tools at convenient times
Noise levels are the first thing that sets off most neighbours, especially when it is at certain times of the day, say early morning or evening or on weekends. This becomes more important if you use a garden service since the tools they used are all in use at the same time and they usually use petrol-operated garden tools that make far more noise than electric or battery-operated tools. If the Rules specify that noise may only occur after a specific time, make the same arrangement with your garden service, or only operate tools during the hours specified. Investing in quieter tools, especially a lawnmower or weedeater/edge trimmer, will also help towards reducing noise pollution.
2 | Where to place the braai
Before setting up the braai for entertaining family and friends, check which way the wind is blowing before you fire it up and smoke out your neighbours. And if you are planning a long day or night of it, don't forget to inform close neighbours of the event and show them due consideration. Even though the event might be held during the times specified by the Rules governing the development, there are people that work nights or have young toddlers that keep them awake all hours.
3 | Train your dogs
With noise pollution being the number one complaint, the next in line is dogs and barking or whining. I love my dogs and I make sure that my neighbours aren't bothered by excessive barking, but I can't say the same for some of my close neighbours. A dog that is well trained won't excessively bark for long spells and be cause for complaint. Dog training is a good idea when you get yourself a pet - small or large - and behavioural training will ensure your pet won't be a nuisance.
4 | Contain your garden
Planting over-sized trees and shrubs, prolific climbers or creepers are another common complaint if these are not regularly maintained. When a medium-sized tree decides it loves its spot in the garden it tends to grow to heights that may block out sunlight on neighbouring properties and make a mess if it is a deciduous species. It is important to know what you are planting in the garden and to make sure it won't get out of control and intrude on your neighbours.
And as an addendum to the above, also consider when using a chain saw or hiring a tree feller to cut down large trees and shrubs. This service makes a lot of noise, so check in with your neighbours so that they are aware of what will be happening.