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Re: Bizzarre neighbor

Cyndy - The first question that comes to mind is whose fence is it?  If the fence was built by the church on church property, it is your fence to grow whatever you want on.  If the fence is on the neighbor's property, however, I suppose they have the right to tell you to keep your plants off.  It is unfortunate the relationship with your garden's neighbor must be this way, but the minor landed gentry of suburbia have a narrow view of what is acceptable in behavior and on the landscape.  Community gardens just don't conform with suburban norms - they're too communal and, let's face it, we've never seen one next to an estate in Dynasty or in a Scott's lawn care commercial.  It is always important, however, to be considerate of those from different cultures, even if from the culture of materialistic self-absorption.  Although I doubt it, you might learn the problem is that your flowers are invading the neighbor's lawn and you need only grow something less invasive.  As we've all learned, the right to bear lawns is guaranteed by the Constitution.  Count your blessings, nevertheless, at least these neighbors aren't leaving syringes.  Bruce
 ----- Original Message -----
From: Cyndy Ross
Sent: Saturday, May 27, 2000 11:19 PM
Subject: [cg] Bizzarre neighbor

I had the most bizarre encounter with the neighbor of the community garden today.  This time it was the husband.  He called me over to the fence while I was watering my potato plants, "Can I talk to you?"  I nodded, "sure".  He introduced himself as "Buck" -- wait, it gets better....  He then asked me "Are you going to take care of this, this year? (he pointed to the area along the fence-line)".  I just said "yes".  He then proceeded to tell me he "didn't like (our) 'stuff' growing through the fence & hanging in his yard."  He then asked me, again, if I was going to take care of (the area).  He then said if "(we) don't, (he) was going to spray 'them' & kill them (meaning the flowers growing along the fence).  I don't want to have to, but I will if you don't take care of it."
The conversation ended & I walked away dumbfounded -- these people claim to be avid church-going (Methodist) people.  I had answered his question 3 times.  Yet, he still followed up with a threat to destroy church property.  These are the same people who called the W. Bloomfield code enforcement officer.  The C.E. officer came out to the church property about 2 weeks ago & said he had received 3 complaints from the neighbors.  Bottomline:  We are not in violation of any codes, ordinances, laws, etc.  However, the woman next door wants us to move the garden back from the road 60 feet to be in line with her setback --since the garden area is in our 'backyard', this does not apply to us. 
Our congregational president was not available.  So, I called our trustee (ex-mayor of Sylvan Lake & current police auxiliary) & our new Pastor.  The trustee said to call the police to have a record.  Our pastor said to put it all in writing, don't call the police, & she will talk to them next week.
Anyway, on Sunday, June 4, we are blessing the garden during the services.  Would you like to join us?  Services are 8:15 & 9:45 AM (Summer hours).
I'd love to hear what you all have to say about the above!
Peace Be With You,
Cyndy Ross, Chairperson
Fellowship, SLLC Organic Community Garden, Memorial Garden, & 'Welcoming Wagon' committees
Sylvan Lake Lutheran Church
2399 Figa Avenue
W. Bloomfield, MI 48324-1808
Zone 6A 

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