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my lovely old montana clematis has been sprayed with weedkiller by our nasty neighbour, thrown from her bedroom window, , the clematis is supported by a flowering current and forms a bit of privacy ,only just noticed it, but obviously was done a couple of weeks ago, you can see the line it has taken and also a dead patch of grass, will we lose it or can we do anything to save it, it is 10 yrs old. 

Sorry Baywood, but what a s*** your neighbour is.  

It depends on weedkiller used if your plant survives.  I would cut it back ASAP removing all top growth right back to where, hopefully, there are unaffected leaves.  

If it happened to me I would knock on her  door and ask what weedkiller she used ...just like that.  Your neighbour will know you know if nothing else.  I would also inform the police and ask them to call on your neighbour. Take photos too if only to show your other neighbours but at least let it be known locally.

What sort of neighbour do you have?   Clearly you are not on good terms!  



Oh dear - is it worth seeking legal advice or will that just make matters worse? 

As for the damage, it depends a great deal on the weedkiller used. If it was a systemic one and it was applied a fortnight ago it's likely to have spread to the roots by now.

Can you post a picture on here of the damage and the whole clematis and we'll see if anyone comes up with any ideas.  



It's criminal damage and therefore  a police matter but unfortunately these sorts of situations can escalate if they get involved so it depends on how well you know the neighbour and how they might react to a 'visit'.

I'd certainly follow Verdun's advice - cutting back etc and see what happens but it doesn't sound too good. They're pretty tough though, and if it's that age it might just recover with a bit of nurturing.

Why are people so horrible?

we have had ongoing issues with these rubbish people for a long time.

i have photos, but i dont want to put them on here because obviously we cannot prove that she did it , and the photos show her house and dont want any come back. this has been done before , about 3 years ago, but i saw her spray it with roundup, but we managed to cut it back and save it, but as we didnt see this happen, just wondereing if there is any chance of saving the clematis. I have cut it back as best i can, but it was just coming into flower 


We aleeady have cctv but we will be readjusting their position, but have to be a bit careful not to be seen looking at their property. Yes, they are scum, dragged up rubbish.


Baywood - do these people rent - privately or otherwise? If so it would be worth seeking out the landlord and informing him/her. If not, how about getting one of those fake cctv cameras and wait till you know they're in and can see you fitting it? Might be enough to deter them from any more criminal damage - perhaps 

No, they dont rent, unfortunately, this is long standing, explored all avenues, and not just garden damage lots of other things gone on, but cctv will be the answer i think, fake or otherwise

Busy Bee2

Baywood, do you think this was done as a random malicious act, or do you think that the plant has implications for your neighbour's garden?  For instance, we didn't realise that fronds from our enormous climbing rose were leaning over and tapping on our neighbour's conservatory kitchen roof, and so they asked us to cut them, in fact offered to come round and do it, but my OH did it at once - all very amicable.  A clematis montana is a prodigious grower, can weigh down a fence, or reach into a neighbouring garden.  Does your neighbour hate that plant, or does she hate you?  ie would she just as likely have poisoned your cat or slashed your tyres?  Has she ever asked you to take the plant in hand?  Does it shade her patio?  Or attract insects she doesn't like? 

I am not saying that her action is in any way justifiable, but if you do manage to save your plant, and I hope you do, and if you decide that escalating the conflict with legal/police involvement will only make things worse, maybe you could take avoiding action by making sure it is controlled on her side, or maybe asking her why she hates it so much, and if it is an issue of privacy, maybe think about other types of border marker, like a fence behind the plant. 


You have my sincere sympathy Baywood. This kind of thing seems to be escalating and the big issue comes when you want to move - you have to inform potential new owners if there's any trouble with neighbours or there are legal implications. If we could guarantee that police getting involved would resolve things then decent people would be able to use that route but unfortunately the law seems to have no teeth. I hope the camera works  for you - perhaps a real one  would be the best idea.

Let us know how you get on anyway with the clematis. 

The clematis is growing up a wall at the front of our house, it does not affect them at all, does not affect light etc, and it is clipped at least 3 times a year to ensure it does not encroach on their property, it is us she hates, not the clematis, . As far as moving, that will be more of a problem to them than us, and as police have already been involved before due to other incidents, one more wont make that much difference. 

i just wanted some advice to see if there was any way of saving my lovely clematis from dying, it was a present from my mum in law . We live in a very sad world.


We do indeed Baywood. Don't know how these people sleep at night. I hope the clematis survives - it's a well established one so fingers crossed it will have survived. Perhaps the weedkiller won't have penetrated far enough and the currant might have deflected some of it too. Good luck. 


Baywood, I can really sympathize with you as I have the same problem and the police did not help at all.

I was reluctant to react but snapped when it got worse. I knocked on their door and calmly said that I had witnesses and proof about their behaviour and have alerted the police too. They  denied it all and told me that "I was hallucinating as I was a lonely old hag and made racist remarks.....".I replied by saying that they were weak bullies  and that if they carried on I will "go further...." and then, despite their ranting, walked away. I must say, I was terrified but at my wits end.  But, it seems to have worked and they have left me alone for a few months.

Unfortunately, despite what people say about "the law etc." it is best to avoid a confrontation as people like them never change. So maybe you could cut the plant down and try saving it by watering it copiously  and see if it will shoot up again. If it does, keep it in control and do not give them a chance to aggravate the situation. Failing that, leave the area bare and see if it helps. Good luck.


Thank you for all you replies, sometimes it nice to see that i am not the only one suffering. Fortunately our local policeman is very good and is awaiting his chance! she is known for her sly and devious ways, and is very good and it, but give her enough rope, as the saying goes, just gets a bit frustrating waiting for it. I have cut back more damaged stuff this morning, but short of putting and umberella over it(haha) i cant stop her throwing more from her window.  definately looking at CCTV , and the clematis will be nurtured and fed and watered to try and keep it going.


So  depressing jatnik but well done for standing up to these horrid people despite the abuse you got. I hope they leave you  alone from now on. I think it comes down to how fortunate you are in terms of how much notice the authorities will take with this sort of problem. It can make people's lives a misery and make them feel like prisoners in their own homes.


Just like we have for the last few years, they have such an impact on your life, you try to take refuge in your garden and they try to destroy that too! 

Busy Bee2

Baywood, she sounds like someone who has the whole neighbourhood annoyed at her, so hopefully there is some solace for you in being able to let off steam to other neighbours.  At least in that situation you know it is clear to absolutely everyone that you are not the cause of the problem, and not even 50% of it.  She sounds like she has mental health issues - and from my experience, quite probably a personality disorder.  Estimates suggest that somewhere between one in ten, and one in twenty people have these - they are very common, and the one trait that all the disorders share is that the people who have them cannot properly empathise with others, and therefore see anyone else's point of view other than their own.  They have disordered relationships with everyone they meet, and there is no cure.  But they can function in 'normal life' well enough and there is no treatment for it, so most of them are undiagnosed.  Once you understand what these are, and read up about them, the strange and selfish behaviour of certain people in your life suddenly makes sense, and in my case, I have given people like that a wide berth.  Hard when it's a neighbour though.

Yes, got it in one to all of the above. we try to be left alone, and for a while its ok, then she gets bored so trys to do something else for a bit of attention seeking. We have a very long list! Thanks for everyones support


Sorry to hear your story Baywood. Just out of interest in terms of how your clematis might hopefully re-grow, where in the country are you ?

we are in the midlands, quite heavy clay, slightly alkaline