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17 messages
12/05/2013 at 08:47

I live in a block of flats so our garden is shared between 4 different households. However only myself and the lady on the ground floor actually use it. I don't have many plants, only two actually. A mint plant my grandma bought from the store, was only meant to last 4 months in the kitchen but planting it outside gave it a new lease of life and it's been going strong and flowering even.

My grandma then bought a rosemary and again it wasn't faring well indoors so I put it in the ground outside, again it's started to flourish from being outdoors.

The problem is that whenever it comes to summer and the council men come to do work on the plants in the area, depending on who's on the job I can sometimes come back to find the mint completely gone. Fortunately the rosemary hasn't been affected because I was able to tell the guy this time, but I'm not always around. Another neighbour on the opposite side lost her lavender to the strimmers and the lady on the ground floor lost her shrubs to it too. We have tried putting little fences around them but they just got mangled by the council guy's lawnmower as he went right over them and the plants too.

They also use weed killer so one side of my rosemary is all yellow (the side closest to the path, you can see the strip of yellow grass). I'm reluctant to even use it any more in case there are still poisons in the plant.

I have emailed the council many times about this right back at the first incident and they always deny that it happened but that they'll give their guys a 'talk' anyway. Nothing ever changes.

Do I actually have any rights to that bit of garden downstairs? Or is it owned by the council? 

12/05/2013 at 08:51

You'll need to look at your tenancy agreement and speak to your local Housing Officer about what can go on in the garden and who's responsible.  

Sometimes if you all guarantee that the garden will be maintained by the tenants, they can be persuaded to call the 'groundsment off (I won't call them gardeners).  

Good luck 

12/05/2013 at 09:04

Unfortunately councils these days - and other organisations - don't generally employ gardeners to do these jobs so they are rarely done with care and attention to what's there. It's why we finish up with cubed hedges rather than pruned ones. 

12/05/2013 at 09:16

Hm... how would I go about reaching this 'housing officer' character? I've never heard of it before. My grandma doesn't seem to know either and she owns the flat.

To be honest I feel most for the lady on the ground floor. She struggles a bit on her feet so garden work is difficult for her and her carer does some of it. No wonder I haven't seen her out there in a long time now, it must be disheartening.

12/05/2013 at 10:28

As the flats are private, I'd put up a notice saying "Trespassers will be prosecuted and that includes council groundsmen! Joking aside, could you not put up some kind of fence between your property and the path? I would send the council a bill for the destroyed plants!

12/05/2013 at 10:54

Sorry, hadn't realised they were privately owned - Housing Officer is only relevant for local authority housing.  OK, when your Grandma bought the flat there will have been some information with the deeds/lease about the garden and who is responsible for what - it may be that you have the use of the garden but that there is an agreement with the the company she pays ground rent to that they will maintain the garden - she must have some paperwork somewhere.  Good luck.

12/05/2013 at 14:40

Who actually does the 'mowing' and 'weed killer spreading'? - if its the local authority, they may able to be contacted via the relevant dept in the council, but this wouldn't be the housing dept.  They may be able to tell you who maintains the council property verges etc.  It may well be a contractor - largely not gardeners and just know how to use use mower.  A contractor can be contacted directly and may well be ameniable to doing slightly less.  Expecially if you know they are due to attend and a noitce is there expalaining you are trying to make the area more pleasant. 

The local parish or town councillor may be able to help and liaise on your behalf.    I know how you feel.  A local greening group put crocus, cowslips and other small plants around a seat and that lot got mowed and weed killered to 'tidy' it up - they could see they were not weeds.  Shabby and stupid   Good luck

 

12/05/2013 at 15:56

Dove has the answer.

13/05/2013 at 10:32

I don't have any further ideas I'm afraid but do hope you get it sorted

13/05/2013 at 18:32

If your flats are private then it would depend who the lease holders are, they could be arranging for the gardens to be cut etc. Or  I would have a word with your local BBC Radio Station and your local newspaper they may be able to do something for you. Hope you get it sorted asap.

13/05/2013 at 18:38

There is a strip of land outside my fence in Norfolk; .75m x 15m or so. It was covered in weeds when I moved here 2001, the council use to mow it once or twice a year. 2003 I weeded it and planted it; the council stopped mowing it. I guess the moral is; prove that you look after it and the Council might let you take over, though you might have to do all the mowing too.

Best of luck with this, and keep us posted on developments

07/07/2013 at 19:08

I live in a block of 12 flats my flat is the ground floor with a small communal garden 10ft X 14ft out side my lounge and kitchen windows and Lounge door I have two tenants above (women) and their whant to sunbed in front of my lounge,

Is there any I can do????? 

08/07/2013 at 01:17

If it is a communal garden, not a lot.

09/07/2013 at 07:29

Buy a sunbed and go and join them It's communal, nothing stopping you using it too

 

09/07/2013 at 16:54

Put your plants in decent sized pots. Then they cant mow over them. Its not right that they feel free to damage your plants, whether you own the land or just have right of usage, but the cheapest easiest solution my be potting. And mint and rosemary will grow happily, provided pots are of good size and you use something like John Innes, rather than multipurpose compost, which isn't designed for the long term.

09/07/2013 at 18:01

I would go for pots, even council 'gardeners' would not cut or poison those. My estate is private and we have communal areas that we pay for upkeep. The 'gardeners' do not know what plants are and cut the grass so low that it is mostly gone now. The borders are full of weeds most of the year and then sprayed (killing the shrubs!) in autumn. I planted 20 2 year old tree saplings, all grown by myself and kids and they ripped all of them out although it was clear what they where.

09/07/2013 at 18:15

Take some photos of them djbadboy sunbathing and post them on facebook, that`ll probably stop them.

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