Borders, Boundaries and Shady Dealings

NOT the local Mafia (or, as we’re in Wales, the Taffia), but a look at the problems caused by my neighbour’s overgrown trees.

First, the vew from my study window – for the wider angle looking across the conservatory roof. The brick shed is ours, the greenhouse and field is the neighbour’s. as are the trees.


The view from my husband’s study – the trellis is ours (the Shady Rear Border), but it is not the boundary. That is a stone wall behind the trellis and along the side of our shed.



Five years ago, we helped our neighbour cut back overhanging branches, he being younger than us (but not that much) shinned up the tree. We cut back what we could – upwards and outward – by standing on the shed roof. It helped, but of course, trees grow and our shady garden is now the dark garden.


The original thinning – October 2015.

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We need to catch our neighbour first as we want to trim the branches behind our shed – blocking our light but not, unfortunately, crossing our boundary. But catching him out and about in his garden often proves tricky, so on Saturday evening, Mr O abandoned his dish-washing duties to come and tell me our neighbour was cutting his grass.

I immediately went outside and hovered by the trellis waiting for him to switch the mower off. I’ve learned that I have to approach things delicately, so once we’d had a chat about lockdown, the state of our broadband, his father’s caravan, and holiday plans, I broached the subject of wanting to cut back overhanging branches, including those at the rear of the shed.

To be fair, he said he’d give us a hand (heard that one before) but wasn’t sure when (heard that one too). But a few minutes later as I was warming my mug of tea made an hour earlier, I noticed some branches moving. He’d got his extendable loppers out and cut back several branches, raising the canopy. Mainly, I suspect, to stop us dropping brash on his logpile (leaning agains our shed) and his greenhouse.

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On Sunday morning, once we established it wasn’t likely to rain (it did later), Mr O climbed onto our shed roof with my extendable loppers, and set to work.

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Then we had to clear all the branched he’d chopped off.

11 am

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2:30 pm – and we’ve filled five bin liners with leaves and small stems to take to the Recycling Centre, a plastic crate full of larger stems to dry out for kindling, and a log basket full of cut thick branches, again to dry out. I also have approximately 15 long straight thinner stems to take to the allotment to use as bean poles next year.

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It doesn’t look as though much has been removed…

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…but we can see the difference, especially in the kitchen!

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A job well done, even if my back is protesting from all the bending – and we missed lunch.


6 thoughts on “Borders, Boundaries and Shady Dealings

  1. Job well done indeed! Let there be light.
    Yes, neighbourly relations can be tricky and best approached slowly, preferably by the female of the species.
    Dish-washing duties? Did Mr. O seriously abandon just to help get a tree trimmed? Yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, no. Mr O only abandoned dish-washing to tell me our neighbour was outside – so I could go and ask! It’s the same when the doorbell goes and we’re not expecting visitors. He always looks at me and asks who it is. It’s me who has to go a brave axe-murderers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses 😀


  2. Trees have taken my attention this year also and we have raised the canopy of several in the garden. It has left in air, light and rain to place which had become very dry and a challenge for growing anything. It has made a great improvement. I’d continue annually with your trees – it is much easier to take off light material than to be faced with heavier branches and, let’s face it, being on top of the shed is not the best place for himself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. Himself is a health & safety hazard 🙂 Unless our neighbour pulls his finger out and reduces the height and spread of all his trees, we will – as long as we are able – trim back more regularly.

      Liked by 1 person

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