Jump to content

Neighbour's garden is out of control
And my DS loves to visit...

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 hicoco

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

We have truly lovely neighbours.

Their youngest child is friends with my 3 yo DS and frequently plays over here with him. However just recently he has started going to her house as well. Normally I would not have a problem with this as we live in a very small and close-knit neighbourhood. However their garden is COMPLETELY overgrown. Think wandering dew over everything competing with lantana and five foot weeds for a chance to overtake the house, pool, trampoline etc.

They have a dog who they admit is "full of fleas" (I have seen them jumping off the poor thing), plus there is dog poo lying on the only clear path to the house. The grass is waist high on an adult. DS gets allergies lying on plain old Buffalo so I know he is going to come out in hives being in a garden that has not seen a mower or clippers for years.

I will clarify this by saying that I believe there is more going on with the parents than just an unwillingness to garden. I have never been in their house but can see the front verandah and it is piled high with all sorts of stuff (just a narrow path so you can get to the front door.) The same is true of their carport, and anything and everything is just dumped in the garden and is very soon overtaken by the weeds. Perhaps there are hoarding / MH issues - I just don't know, and we are not really close enough to ask.

So how do I go about my son wanting to go over there and play? He has no concept of neat or tidy, just thinks it is fun to play with his friend. Which is great except for the risk of allergies, ticks, snakes, spiders and god knows what else. We have seen a brown snake in the driveway so we know they are in this area.

How do I keep an eye on him without hovering and looking like I am really concerned (which I am)? I could flat out refuse to let them play together but how do I explain that when the parents are around? What can I say to indicate I am concerned about the state of their yard? I continually suggest the kids play in our garden - bushy with lots of areas to run and hide, but still very much under control. But naturally they want to run around the fence and occasionally end up at her place.

For those of you who think I am overreacting I say again - brown snake hiding in the long grass vs 3 year old? Who do you think would win that battle?

#2 hicoco

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:10 AM

Sorry - should have posted this in WDYT? Can anyone advise me how to move it? Thanks.

#3 Flaxen

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

Snakes next door just as easily means snakes in your backyard, you can just see them coming! That asn they do like to bask on mowed lawns too.
Snakes are attracted to rats and mice, and love piles of things to hide in, so I would speak to neighbours about the yard and your valid concerns, and offer, sincerely, to help clean it up.

Should that not work, at last resort I would contact council to request they do something, as snakes are not somthing you want to encourage in your neighbourhood.

Edited by Flaxen, 19 November 2012 - 10:19 AM.

#4 hicoco

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:26 AM

Thanks Flaxen, you are right of course that the snake/s can just as easily be in my garden too but as you note we would definitely see them lolling about a bit more because we have cut grass, clear paths free of weeds on either side etc. But in their garden you could quite easily lose a small-medium sized child in the weeds, letalone miss a snake or some delightful paralysis ticks.

#5 Natttmumm

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

I just wouldnt allow a 3 year old to go with out me present to anyone house unless I knew them so well I was happy for them to babysit.

We have neighbours who have a little girl and they invited DD1 (age 5) and DD2(age 3) over to play when we first moved in (i had only met them once for 5 minutes). The first time I went over too but got the feeling the mother didnt really want me hanging around - she was happy to let the kids just play. The next time she rang to see if the girls could come to play i decided to be honest and up front with her. I said thanks for the offer but I wasnt comfortable with leaving DD2 as she is only 3 and still very little. I said I was happy for her DD to come over if she wanted to. Her DD came over and she hasnt asked us over again.

To me 3 is too young for playdates without the parents.

#6 (feral)epg

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:36 AM

I think any snakes are likely to stay well clear of 3 year olds! I'd be more concerned about any refuse - particularly any rusted metal objects, or unstable piles of junk that the kids could pull down onto themselves.  And a disused pool - is it fenced?  Empty?
It's a difficult one, because an overgrown garden can be an absolute paradise for kids if there aren't any significant dangers.

#7 MissButtercup

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

I would discretely call your local council and ask for them to issue a clean up order if there is a risk of snakes etc.. as they could quite easily move to your yard too. Sounds like it maybe a fire hazard as well...

#8 Therese

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

I have moved this to WDYT for you original.gif

#9 Avidlearner1

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

If he suffers from allergies from grass, then simply explain this as a reason he is unable to play in their garden. And explain your concern about his reaction to the fleas and his tendency to break out in hives.

Any reasonable person, would understand this. They can then choose to do something about it, or simply accept their child can only play with your son at your house.

#10 EssentialBludger

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:45 PM

I wouldn't let my 3yo go on playdates without me anyway, unless it was someone I knew and trusted. At 3, it's babysitting IMO. They need supervision and can't just go and play like older kids.

Edited by EssentialBludger, 19 November 2012 - 12:46 PM.

#11 J*mistletoe*B

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

I would just be saying to my child, "sorry but you cant go over there and play as you will get sick because of the long grass, how about he/she comes here to play".

That way you arent having a go at them AND you are protecting your own child.

If the parents say anything, just tell them honestly that he has grass allergies and its healthier if he doesnt come into contact tall grasses at the moment.

fwiw - there is no way I would be sending my 3yr old over to a place where I didnt know the parent well enough to know if they would supervise adequately or not.

#12 Ice Queen

Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:47 PM

I wouldnt let my kids play at a house like that.  So dont feel bad about your instinct.  At the end of the day OP, you need to trust your feelings about things and if you are unsure dont do it.

I was recently living interstate and knew noone.  We lived in a small street and I had seen a van with a mum and small kids across the road a few times.  One day they knocked on the door and invited DD over for a play as their DD was the same age and really wanted a 'street friend'!  I was a bit taken aback but said yeah sure but wandered over, kind of stuck my head in, chatted to the mum for 10minutes while the girls played.  Anyway it was enough.....I knew my DD was going to be great!  They were lovely people, normal home (not freaky tidy but not dirty), nice kids kinda naughty but normal.....you get what I mean.  I had a good feeling.  I left her for an hour, came back got her and then next time I had her DD etc etc.  it was great but we were 2 mums with very similar parenting, DD's with similar interests, I knew the mum was always supervising etc.  i would never have done it if it didnt feel right.  Sometimes you have to trust your judgement.

#13 luke's mummu

Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

I would be phoning the council and asking them for advice re a clean-up order. Our vacant next door neighbour's house was being auctioned recently with dead birds in the swimming pool! I rang the council and a health inspector came around and had a look over our fence and called the real estate agent and that same day a boy came around and fished out the dead birds. I hope they paid him well......

Edited by luke's mummu, 20 November 2012 - 09:52 PM.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Essential Baby & Toddler Show Brisbane (4-6 March). Register online now to save $20!

Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.


What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.

Mum's desperate plea as whooping cough alert issued

A desperate mother has shared a heart-breaking video of her baby struggling to cope with a coughing fit caused by pertussis.

Coffee could help you live longer

New US research found people who report drinking three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The joy and dread of playdates

To live vicariously through your child is to rediscover anxieties you thought dead and buried.

Sick baby could die without scarce special formula, mum says

Lizzie Cann is down to her last three tins of a special formula in short supply.

Adorable toddler's strop foiled by squeaky shoes

We're probably all familiar with the pouty bottom lip and tightly crossed arms of a tot mid-strop.

More sex during World Cup created more baby boys

More sex during South Africa's World Cup meant a disproportionately high number of boys were born nine months later, a new study has found.

ABC Shop perfect for Christmas gifts

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Do fitness challenges really work?

Fitness challenges aren't new. There's Michelle Bridges 12WBT and a bunch of other programs if you really want to lose weight.

What are pregnant women Googling?

Pregnancy is a huge change for any woman, so it's natural we'll have questions - and turn to Google to ask them.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.