It's get to know your neighbours time!

It’s firecracker weekend, a weekend I usually have to keep my dogs indoors and play nature sounds so they can’t hear the constant popping outside which scares them. I put up with it because it’s legal to buy fireworks and for some reason, I have many neighbours who seem to really like blowing things up.

I also have a neighbour who every year kind of looks around at my over grown bushes and trees and remarks at how beautiful the property used to look when Mr. So and So lived here for decades. Well it turns out Mr. So and So lived here his entire adult life and had a passion for gardening. I, on the other hand, hire someone to cut my grass and clean up the leaves once a year and the rest I pretty much leave to Mother Nature. My free time is generally spent in the studio or at swan harbor, and I apologise to the bushes and trees for it, but I don’t apologise to my neighbour for my overgrown English garden, because she is living in the past and has neglected to embrace who her new neighbour is. I’ve lived here since 2003.

I did however feel an inkling of guilt or inspiration, call it what you will, when I was purchasing my usual Mother’s Day presents – 2 big beautiful hanging baskets for either side of my mom’s front door. I purchased some plants and flowers for my yard. YES! I intended to garden!!! To date, they are still in the planters I bought them in and I have the added task of bringing them in every night and letting them out again every morning.

I’m sure my neighbour is waiting in quiet anticipation, wondering if THIS will be the year.

I remember when I was on the road with a band and our tour had happened upon where my parents lived. They invited the band over for some backyard bird viewing and a BBQ. Our van, stacked to the rafters with the needs of ‘the road’ was parked in their driveway for a few hours. The band had been working in tandem with a homeless organisation in Montreal, providing much needed meals and warm escapes for the homeless there, we had raised enough funds to open and operate a food kitchen. We were working hard and travelling far to accomplish this. Not long before we were getting ready to leave we had a complaint from a neighbour, about the van in the driveway and how unsightly it looked. My parents did in fact live in a well manicured neighbourhood, but we were after all, just visiting.

This is a time of year for neighbours, for sure. We all get outside and try to enjoy a bit of what earth has to offer.

These are my suggested rules for a happy neighbourhood:

  • Do not play your music, argue loudly, or yell at your kids nonstop, so everyone in the neighbourhood can hear it, that is just plain rude.
  • Don’t dispose of anything toxic in the neighbourhood.  
  • Be respectful and agile if any neighbour needs you, especially in an emergency.
  • Keep your properties to a standard that doesn’t negatively impact the value of someone else’s property.
  • Understand your neighbours likely have rich stories that may be preventing them from achieving your silent expectations of them.
  • The more you know about them, the fewer these perceived outages may matter to you. 
  • Understand that gardening is a hobby, like knitting, fishing, quilting or bungee jumping – not everyone has this hobby, and THAT’S OK!

Wishing you a FABULOUS outdoor season!

 

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