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Friend of Hog


I wondered if anyone else has a neighbour who is trigger happy with the shears and how you have dealt with it?  My neighbour is a nice guy but he doesn't like things that grow...a shame when you have an 80 foot garden.  He has only been in the house a year and didn't wait to see what the seasons were like before taking down 4 trees and a lovely honeysuckle.  There have been various birds that have nested in the trees the last few years and now it's all very bare.
He also hates ivy and insists on cutting at it whenever he can even though I try and tell him that robins have started nesting or that he could leave it for over wintering insects. 

I think he thinks I'm mad.  I know I should probably let him do what he wants but I wondered if anyone else has subtly 'trained' a neighbour into gardening more wildlife friendly?



I'm afraid I don't think its possible to force your beliefs on how a person should keep their garden on anyone.

Friend of Hog

Hmm very helpful, cheers.  I wasn't suggesting I force anything on anyone...merely wondering how to helpfully point out that trees and shrubs do grow and that they are benficial to wildlife.  And that cutting things with shears at certain times of the year might actually harm wildlife.


Don't say anything - just lead by example   


I'm afraid that some people are oblivious to the needs of wildlife and very ignorant about gardening and plants.   All you can do is show him by example.    Keep your garden looking good and wildlife firendly - but not too wild as most people detest the wild look and think it's all weeds and out of control - and maybe one day he'll twig.


Friend of Hog

Thanks Dove and Obelixx, I think you are probably right.  Leading by example is the way to go.  He's often quite chatty in the garden so perhaps if he asks about anything I can tell him why I leave my teasel heads on over winter and don't rake the leaves from under the hedge etc 


Hi Friend of Hog.

It does work. I explained to my neighbour why I had left a section of my lawn to grow up nice and tall for the wildlife. He then did the same in his front garden! (previously there was nothing but very short lawn and a conifer hedge). He even put some bird feeders out, and if he or his family find any wildlife they run over and tell me so I can go and have a look!...

Wondering I can convert the whole street now..

Good luck.




Maybe take a few pictures of the wildlife in your garden and show them to neighbour ( might have to be in the Spring when chatting outside is more likely) say it is your hobby, and also say how few slugs / snails you have due to them...a little white lie won't hurt  

Secret Squirrel

Hi, you could try sowing and growing a few extra wildlife friendly annuals, that don't look like, 'weeds' and give him some to plant in his garden.


Good idea Mark

I agree with Mark............subtle does it ..If your neighbour is fairly new and not much of a gardener, when he sees yours looking good and full of life , that'll be the time to slip in a few pointers.  Maybe your other neighbours could help influence him too.  Most people who buy a house with a garden don't want it to become a desert  - with any luck, your neighbour just doesn't have a clue and you can gently educate him.  I find commenting on the good aspects ( if your neighbour has left any standing ) can work wonders. Giving plants is also a good bet (most decent people then feel duty bound to at least keep them alive ).  If the Ivy you mentioned was the common green, how about suggesting one of the variegated - do the same job but maybe more attractive in his eyes ?  You can but try and the best of luck. 

As I understand it, disturbing nesting birds is an offence (if this applies to your situation) - obviously you can't tell him that bluntly but maybe you can work it in somewhere.....

Oh Hog how I sympathise, I have a lovely new couple next door who by their own admission aren't gardeners but they love to go out and tidy as they put it. They lollipoped a rowan and some shrubs and cut back hydrangeas etc. they admired my plants and that opened a gap for me to suggest I'd be happy to give my very amateur advice but still the tidying goes on...the latest was giving their Muscari a haircut...I hope I can influence them a little as time goes on.


Am half way between the two. I leave wildlife alone (Toads, frogs, beetles, birds) but do not go out my way to make a wildlife garden as it is my space after all. If non destructive wildlife thrive, then great. Some birds have nested in a hedge and I leave that wild for them in spring to autumn. Balance is the word.

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