Be a Good Neighbor
Follow these etiquette guidelines in your garden for a harmonious neighborhood.
Whether your idea of the perfect neighborhood involves annual block parties and over-the-fence chitchat or simply a quiet wave hello, it’s a good idea to form positive relationships with the folks who share your property line.
Of course, this applies to apartment and condo dwellers, too. In those situations, you may have views of each other’s balconies or patios, or maybe the outdoor spaces are shared. So it’s just as important, if not more, to be considerate.
Use these four best practices to stay on your neighbors’ good side. Others are likely to follow suit, and everyone will live in harmony. To be an exceptional neighbor:
Always be mindful of noise. No one likes to wake up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to the sounds of power tools or lawn mowers. Keep noise to a minimum and garden parties under control. Better yet, invite the neighbors!
Use the same respect when you’re planning a major yard change, such as removing trees or planting near a property line. Yes, it’s your own space, but be courteous. Give your neighbors a heads-up before you make any changes that could have an impact on them or their yard.
Practice diligent yard upkeep. Mow frequently, keep your lawn free from unsightly or invasive plants and vines, and be sure chemicals stay out of any shared spaces. Visit the Invasive Plant Atlas website to make sure whatever you’re adding to your landscape can be safely grown in your area.
Clean up after your pets and keep them in your own yard. At the end of the day, put away toys, bikes and other items that could be safety hazards.
Brighten a neighbor’s day with a basket of homegrown veggies or a bouquet of fresh flowers from the garden, lend garden tools, and give (nonpatronizing) advice on their roses.
Welcome any new neighbors with plants from your landscape or a homemade meal or dessert. If your neighbors are going out of town, offer to water and weed the garden, gather the mail and keep an eye on the house.
Pay It Forward.
Good-neighbor etiquette should be taught to future generations, too. Encourage your kids to mow the lawn or shovel snow for an elderly neighbor. Make a meal and deliver it to their door together.
Being a neighbor is more than just sharing the same street address; it’s creating community and showing consideration for people you see every day.
Get to know your neighbors by hosting a garage sale, plant swap or social event.
Keep your outdoor space tidy. Your neighbors will applaud the effort.