doodle by andre: coveting thy neighbor’s fence


LAST WEEK, SOME PLANTS TURNED UP DEAD. A week earlier, there was an incident involving a gun. Now it’s robbery (hopefully not armed with said gun), and I don’t know what in the world to think; maybe these things aren’t illegal in Nebraska? Best mind my own business, I suppose. But doesn’t the line in the poem say, “Good fences make good neighbors?” Oh, my, Andre the doodler seems to have veered off course. And you: Coveting anything that is thy neighbor’s there yourself, are you now?

  1. Abby says:

    Not too many people in my neighborhood garden, but I’ve been admiring the occasional purple leaf smoke bush so often lately that I finally bought one of my own.

  2. chigal says:

    A neighbor a few doors down has a gorgeous hanging basket of little purple flowers, spilling all over already this early. She had it last year, too, so my curiosity is piqued. Missed my chance to ask about it when she complimented my attempt to paint our dilapidated old wooden fence. It wouldn’t be much fun if we all had the same stuff, though, would it.

  3. andre says:

    I really do want the double loop wire fencing the old lady has next door! We have managed to find some but the shipping is about $150 plus! If anyone knows of a distributor in Nebraska, my wife and I would be eternally grateful

    Plus also I do not have a gun. I did go to walmarts when I first came here to look at the guns (we don’t have guns in english shops). But I did not buy one. There is nothing I wish to kill.

  4. Brian G. says:

    Some of the houses and apartment buildings around Gramercy Park in New York have their own little gardens. One of them has what I believe to be a climbing hydrangea, but this one has SILVER leaves. I can’t find it at any online nursery or google search. I walk past it every day at lunch time. I walk past it again, slowly. I look to the left, I look behind me. I want to jump the fence and STEAL A CUTTING! If the cops get me will you all chip in for my bail money? Please?

  5. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Squirrelgardens, and thank you for the resource. If you take the cemetery fence, probably best not to post a comment about it afterward (and I can delete the evidence of your previous comment, expressing the intention). :)

    @Andre: The gun counter in the WalMart startled even me, a lifetime American. And of course, I know you do not have a gun, lest anyone misunderstand our combo-jest, our banter here.

    @Brian G: Was it the climbing hydrangea lookalike Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight.’ I suspect so.

  6. Brian G. says:

    That’s it! I love it, it looks like it was brushed with silver paint. Your are a genius and you have kept me from a life of crime….Oh what the hell, I may steal some anyway!

    1. Margaret says:

      @Brian: I am here to keep you from crossing the line, that’s my mission. Glad to help. Just don’t give the nice officer *my name* if you get caught, as I would have to rat you out as definitely pre-meditated in this case, which would worsen the sentence. :)

  7. jenni says:

    I covet the neighbors lawn service. Oh… and the ancient Cast Iron Plant sprouting up in their back yard. I know they do not know what it is and I really want to jump the fence and dig it up.

  8. Amy says:


    I covet the yellow flowers that are growing all through your perennial beds. Luckily I live in eastern CT and not in your neighborhood.

  9. Oh…. neighbors. I don’t believe I covet anything of theirs. Definitely don’t have it in me to steal, that’s for sure. A couple weekends ago there was a village festival going on, where there was a good amount of foot traffic through the neighborhood. One of our beautiful perennial flower was dug right out of the ground. Good thing I personally never put any effort into planting in that part of the yard, it’s too far from the house. It’s hard enough to fend away the squirrels and bugs from ruining the plants… now I’ve got to worry about humans too?

  10. calgalinmichigan says:

    My neighbors have the most lovely old, rickety rose-covered arbor. Cecile Brunner or some similar rose. The rest of their yard I could leave untouched, but someday that arbor might just migrate down the road to my house!

  11. Margaret says:

    Welcome, Calgalinmichigan. Migrating rose arbors…I know of migrating birds but not roses/arbors. Very interesting. Of course you know if you moved it even an inch, it would probably fall apart…the rose is probably holding it together (I love garden architecture at that stage, too, by the way…not all new like a sore thumb). Nice to meet you and hope to see you again.

    @Jenni: I covet your neighbor’s lawn service, too, now that you mention it…I have to mow again, but it never stops raining, so I am spared for awhile longer (meaning it will be longer when I get to it, and that will mean raking afterward…sigh).

    @Amy: If you drove across CT on some garden-open day you never know what might travel home with you in a bit of wet newspaper and a plastic bag, you know. These things happen. :)

    @Sierra/ladynevada: I have had few thefts in 11 years of garden tours, but yes, I have heard horror stories from public-garden directors and so on about this. Insane, isn’t it?

  12. Susan says:

    Andre, after this doodle I really hope that your wife has a large bag of cash, you seem to be heading for the tank.
    I would miss your weekly humor, so please do not take the fence.

  13. Deirdre says:

    The only thing I have ever coveted from my neighbor was a particularly pretty primrose, and she gave me a piece of it.
    I have ordered some of that hardy geranium you love so much; Samobar or something like that. I also found a fabulous new one, Cheryl’s Shadow. It has wonderful leaves.

  14. woody plant girl says:

    From the other side of the fence: my neighbor took down a jointly owned fence and has incorporated my stonewall into her garden. She has built a retaining wall (2″ on my property) she refuses to move calling it ridiculous and that I shouldn’t worry about what I can’t see. In that vein, I plan to cover the 82 feet of my stone wall with chicken wire and rebar. I don’t plan to worry about it.

  15. MiSchelle says:

    For 11 years I have been trying to establish foxglove on my property and I won’t even go through the details of my obsession and the lengths I have gone to that extent. Meanwhile, my non-gardening neighbor who never ventures outside has it growing like mad on her backyard slope. I have to admit to stealing seeds from her stand, but for some reason they refuse to establish a mere 300 yards away on my property. There is no justice in the world.

  16. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    Brian G. If you want to “Plant Russel”, this is how you start a new plant from a “cutting”. 1. Look at the volunteer plant for growth that is not NEW, nor to old. Look for a place where there is kind of a “Y” or “V” shaped amount of growth. The growth, that you are harvesting is side grows off of a main leader. 2. Rip, do not cut the “Slip” from the plant leaving what I would call the tail (that is a bit of bark from the plant still there). 3. Take that “slip” and plant it in the ground under a bush, or some shaded part of the garden. The slip MUST be covered by a glass jar, to act like a green house. Water the plant a couple of days a week, to keep it’s surrounding soil moist, so it can start setting roots. If the plant survives, it will start to show some new growth. Keep the plant covered by the jar, giving it a drink , kind of every few days, until winter comes. Keep it covered all winter. Next spring you can move the rooted “slip” to wherever you want to put it in your garden. My Mother, Grandmother, and Aunts were ALL really good at using what I have just said, to start all kinds if rose bushes, evergreen trees, azalia bushes, spirea, and hydrangeas. My hydrangeas came from Newport, and Nantucket, via soda cans, to the garden. This process works best in the spring through early summer. Towards fall, the plants will not be so prone to set roots. They are getting ready to go back to sleep.

  17. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    MiSchelle…To get foxgloves growing in your yard, you have to plant them TWO years in a row. The foxglove is a biannual, which means it starts from seed the first year, and just forms a green plant. The second year it comes back, and produces the flower, set seeds, and DIES. I wonder if you are TOO neat? Your neighbor sounds like (he, or she) does minimal maintenance, so seed is there to grow. Are you dead heading the plant??? Also if you put something, like Preen on your beds, the seed will not germiniate. Foxgloves like it a bit shady. GOOD luck, and TRY again!

  18. Squirrelgardens says:

    Woody Plant Girl…you are nicer than I.

    Why would someone not observe the property lines. I own 2 feet of my neighbors driveway. So when he complained about my cottage garden attracting bunnies every year another complaint. So when he bought his son a BB gun it was a great time to protect those bunnies.

    We put a chain link fence along the property line. There is no question that he has a chain link fence through part of the driveway. Not so nice in Minnesota.

  19. woody plant girl says:

    Maybe I need to live in Minnesota! You are my kind of woman. I’d take up arms to protect bunnies, too. As to your question “Why would someone not observe the property lines.” Greed. Jealousy. Not believing in consequences. I really don’t know.

  20. name withheld says:

    Neighbors, you can’t live with them, eh? Our neighbor installed their cleanout on our side of the fence and then has the nerve to report my husband to the city for feeding squirrels AND complain about supposed lead paint on our house while building a 2-story garage that blocks sun to my yard. The only thing of theirs that I coveted was the lilac bush in their front yard that they cut down last year.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Name Withheld. Sounds like there’s trouble in paradise top say the least. Oh, dear. See you soon again and here’s hoping things resolve for the better.

  21. Jo Ann says:

    I don’t envy any of my neighbor’s yards or plants they have growing I just wish I could afford to put in a pergola and a little hardscaping. The garden just seems “bare or naked” to me.

  22. Broken Barn Industries says:

    I have major envy for my neighbor’s water lilies. I don’t have a pond. What’s worse, they’ve put No Trespassing signs all along this pond’s edge. Picture Monet’s waterlily painting with those signs and you get the idea. It looks horrible AND it makes me want to sneak over there in my wellies to nab a few to float in martini glasses. They’re in bloom right now…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.