Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Friends With the Neighbors

Last summer was the first summer spent in our new home on Hazard Ave. If you've been following along for this long, you may remember the cyclone fence eyesore in our backyard.

I thought I'd be able to hide it with some evergreen shrubs, but the Holly I planted last summer didn't seem to take very well...
 Ironically, both our parents gave us the same suggestion. Remove the fence, embrace the neighbor's garage, and install some window boxes on those windows. My mom and dad even sent us this inspiration picture of a garage they saw on a home tour (Again. gotta love how the parents scope out home improvement projects for us).
 The only problem? We'd need to introduce ourselves to the neighbors, confirm that the fence is indeed ours to remove, AND see if it is okay to plant flowers on their garage.

Chris and I both dreaded this task. We're introverts.

Yesterday morning Chris apparently had looked at that fence one time too many and announced that he was heading to Home Depot for some wire cutters. That fence was coming down! So I hopped in the truck with him and we swung by the neighbor's to confirm.
Turns out that our neighbor is a very sweet old lady who's lived here for over 40 years. She said she's certain that the fence was installed by previous owners of our house. "If I don't know who installed it, then no-one on this street does!" she said.
I asked her about the window boxes and she was excited about the idea. She even acknowledged that the windows of her garage could use replacing and promised to get to it...

Needless to say, I'm glad we made introductions.

More on beautifying our backyard to come...

30 comments:

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

That is great. I am bit of an introvert, too so understand. I know you are excited to spruce up that area.

Holly said...

We've been in our house about 3 1/2 years and we've seen a few neighbors move, but for the most part we have really great neighbors and it's nice to know a little more about our neighborhood. The woman that lives next to us has been in her house since the 80s and does know a lot so it's nice to chat with her too. The woman we bought our house from had been there since 1945! So she would have known a ton about the 'hood. Adding those window boxes is going to be so nice and once that fence comes down it will look really great.

Maury Kilgo said...

That's so great! I'm so with you about meeting the neighbors!!! We've been in our house for 1 year as of next weekend (crazy!) and we have yet to meet the neighbors on our left. We just met the neighbors across the street from us a few weeks ago when my husband offered to help him with some trees he was cutting down. He didn't even ask his name! So then i had to go introduce myself and find out their names.

Cathy Wall said...

What a perfect way to "improve the view" in your backyard....and now you have a new friend! Love that your parents were the "inspirers" on this one!

Tiffany @ {Living Savvy} said...

HAHA! I am the same way.. I hate talking to people I don't know and about things that I want like that! Seems funny that we write a blog and tell people what to do all of the time! I am glad that worked out for you! Can't wait to see the reveal!

Ashley said...

I love how helpful your parents and in-laws have been with the renovations. And how wonderful to have a friendly neighbor!

Anne said...

Aww, how nice that you were able to meet and make friends. I'll bet you get a whole lot more out of this small step (or large step!) than you realize now.

Can't wait to see the windowboxes!

Tiffany said...

I love the inspiration pic your parents gave you. I totally know what you mean...I'm a total introvert. I'm lucky though since my husband is the face you see when you look up the word extrovert. We have a different type of fence on each side of our backyard and they're all falling apart and/or ugly.

Kirsten said...

Love the window box idea...glad the neighbor is on board! Will you eventually need to put up some fencing to the right of the garage for Harry & Georgia?

Me, Ed and Pea said...

Aww she sounds so sweet :) And with window boxes put up and the fence taken down it will look sooo pretty in your backyard!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that is so sweet! i am so glad it worked out and i love the idea- can't wait to see it implemented.

Amy@BuffaloRoam said...

I feel like that will be the perfect solution and I can't wait to see!

Laura@happyroost said...

Yes, removing that fence will be a huge improvement. My yard is a mess as well with a dead tree and a missing gate. Currently we're using a shipping palatte to block the opening to keep our dog in.....really classy. I'm sure our neighbors hate us!

Laura
www.HappyroostBlog.com

Nancy said...

so nice to know a sweet ol' lady lives next door! It is going to look lovely with your good taste applied!
Nancy
Powellbrowerhome.com

Katie said...

You never really know what you're going to find when knocking on a neighbors door... how fun to meet a sweet little lady!

Looking forward to seeing your progress!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Good for you-and for your neighbor, she sounds like a sweetie.

LindsB said...

Its so nice to have great neighbors- I wish we had some nicer ones actually :)

Jamie said...

I'm an introvert too - so I don't make much of an effort with the neighbors, but have always found that when I do it is totally worth it.

Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication said...

That area is going to look so cute when you guys finish! And it'll be a space both you and your neighbor can enjoy! :)

Erin @ His and Hers said...

I wish we knew our neighbors! I had this weird idea that when we moved in, they'd show up with baskets of muffins. We are muffin-less. Do they only do that in movies?

Lyndsay @ that 70s house said...

wow you guys are brave! dan and i are total introverts as well and i am not sure we would have gotten up the courage to go knock on the door!

DecorandtheDog said...

I've been debating an introvert post. After reading these comments I think I should go for it!

We've lived in our house for 3 years and I don't know our neighbors. I wave when I see them out. They half wave and look the other way. Introverts.

I like your plans!! Your parents are better than pinterest!

Lisa - A Room with A View said...

It is funny how sometimes nobody knows who owns a tree or a fence or a certain part of a property border. We have had such issues and have ended up splitting any costs for maintenance with good neighbors.

momto8 said...

good for you!! good luck and have fun with your new project!

Cre8ive Motives said...

Raising hand-another introvert here,ha. Your neighbor sounds so sweet! Can't wait to see your backyard :)

Lyndsey said...

I only the neighbors that I've met live next to me, my boyfriend has met everyone the street. I'm pretty sure they think it's his house since when they knock on the door he answers it. I do wave if I see them driving on the road.

Lisa Scibilia said...

It's so great to have a nice relationship with the neighbors who buffer your house. You never know when a tree might come down or you might need each other's help for something....plus if they know you they'll be more likely to know if something is amiss on your property.
That garage could truly be so charming with the fence gone! I love your parents' inspiration picture! Exciting project Carrie!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Carrie, In a former home my backyard was backed by one garage and "sided" by another (wish I still had a picture!) No fence or anything - just built right up to the property line. One was siding and I painted it blue and one was stucco and I painted it with a yellow/golden wash. I hung lots of hanging baskets from the overhang on the yellow one and built a small trellis/pergola from the wooden one - loved it. It actually made my yard look like it was much bigger because they looked like my own little "out buildings". I also made a huge piece of art out of a pallet and hung that on one wall. All that to say, your idea is a perfect one. Glad you met your neighbor!

Barbara@HausDesign said...

Putting yourself out there is so hard (we are struggling to take that first step with our new neighbors too) but then look at what you discovered! I think you have found a wonderful neighbor and I love that approach to the design challenge...looking forward to seeing it! Thanks so much for the tip on the Ballard curtains recently too!

Rachel@hammeringourwayhome said...

I can SO relate to this! Everyone on our block has apparently been there for ages (our next door neighbor is 96!) so being the new kids on the block means lots of introductions, which is not my thing. I've been avoiding it to date, but I really have to get on this! Hope they all turn out as friendly as yours sounds!

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