In a 4 x 8 raised bed, I’ve managed to plant six hills of zucchini. Left to right, “Gold Rush”, “Ambassador” and “Gold Bar”, two hills of each. Behind that bed is a 2 x 8 foot bed with green beans, which, by some miracle or due to my clean living, have been left alone by the rabbits. The bed in front is where the peas and lettuce were, where I need to plant a second crop of green beans or something. And then there is my fence back there.
It’s a nice fence, well constructed, well maintained and nicely aged to a silvery gray color. It’s specially treated to resist rot so I have no intention of trying to stain it to protect it or to darken the color. I even consulted a good painter and he advised that staining it would more or less be a “slippery slope of constant staining for years to come”. So it will stay its natural color until it needs to be replaced, and then it will be replaced.
I love my fence. It allows me to garden right up to the corners of my yard and not feel as though neighbors are constantly watching me. Because of the slope of the yard up to the patio, I don’t have complete privacy, but enough.
But some neighbors do not like my fence. In fact they don’t like fences at all. And they got themselves elected to the neighborhood association board and now they decline all requests to build new fences.
The summer of 2007 is shaping up to be the Summer of the Fence War, at least in this neighborhood. I won’t bore everyone with the details, but suffice it to say that requests for new fences are being turned down, even though they are within the guidelines set forth in the covenants.
One neighbor built this “Taj Mahal” of swing sets this spring, supposedly with approval from all the neighbors around him. While it looks like this might be on the lot behind me, there is actually another yard between it and me.Once “the swing set that I would have loved to have had when I was little, wouldn’t you” was built, the neighbor next door to it wasn’t too happy because they put it two feet from his property line and he thinks if a kid falls off it into his yard and gets hurt, he’ll be liable. Plus his 80 year old mother who lives there with him won’t go outside anymore because she feels like the kids are playing in her yard.
So the neighbor requested approval to put up a privacy fence around his back yard. And it was denied.
Did I mention right now all fence requests are denied? And mine, which was put up in 1999 with full approval of the powers in office at that time, is always referred to as “grandfathered” and they will not be approving any more like it. I suspect that if they could get away with it, they’d make me take it down!
I’ve had no less than four notes put in my mailbox this spring and summer about fences, as have all the residents of the neighborhood. Two from the association board and two from concerned neighbors who think the board is out of control.
The board is out of control.
Since they are out of control, or at best extremely controlling, I’m thinking that I can get a few other neighbors to join forces with me to secede from the neighborhood association and write own covenants to require privacy fences and also allow outbuildings, which are currently prohibited. Then I can get that little garden shed of my dreams, with a suitable display area for my hoe collection.
Yes, if I keep my head low and stay behind my fence, maybe I can avoid direct hits from the “fence wars” and come out of it with a garden shed!