Shitty Neighbours Pt.2 – The Donkeys are at it again.

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“…The fire fighters told me they received a phone call from my neighbours who said there was a fire at my home… the funny thing is they immediately asked me when would the pizzas be ready and if they could come over for dinner. They even asked, how I built the oven, what type of bricks I used, and where they could buy some!…”

Since I received a large number of requests for updates, I have been compelled to write a follow up post to my shitty neighbours post part 1

You may recall I’ve had numerous ongoing issues with intolerant neighbours, who continuously and incessantly go out of their way to be obnoxious pests, hurling verbal abuse and threats over the fence, taking photographs, poisoning my bamboo and breaking culms. They scream out to each other from the granny flat to the front house and whinge, complain and carry on at just about everything. They have nothing better to do with their time.

About three years ago I made a fire in a 44 gallon drum and my lovely neighbours called the fire brigade. In my opinion it was a waste of tax payer’s money and government resources. Wouldn’t common sense prevail? Wouldn’t the neighbourly thing to do is talk to your neighbour? Oh I forgot, hill billy’s lack that personal skill. When I went to speak to them and apologise for the smoke, the mum screamed “<Marge Simpson>There’s a total fire ban in all of Queensland! The fire brigade is on its way…</Marge Simpson>”. When the fire fighters arrived, they told me if I had a grill and sausages over the drum I would have been “sweet”.

This Monday, I fired up the wood fired pizza oven and the fire brigade arrived 15 minutes after I started the fire. The fire fighters told me they received a phone call from my neighbours who said there was a fire at my home… the funny thing is they immediately asked me when would the pizzas be ready and if they could come over for dinner. They even asked, how I built the oven, what type of bricks I used, and where they could buy some!

As a solution to this unneighbourly dilemma, I initially put up a 2.2 metre fence (with council approval) but it did not help deter this behaviour. I built a raised garden bed and planted two bambusa textilis gracilis along the boundary line. One plant was poisoned and the other was hacked (see below) – courtesy of my sweet shit-for-brains neighbour (I dearly call him Shrek because he looks like Shrek, minus the green skin and trumpet ears).

I proceeded to try to propagate my own bamboo with little success. Yes, I know, the first post was very effective, but unfortunately Gracilis is extremely difficult to propagate from a cutting. I talked with a Bamboo expert who said they had a 40% rate of success – and it takes a long time to grow roots. So I eventually bought another 15 plants at $60 a pop. Now comes the fun part – I knew Shrek would do more damage to my plants… and I bought some cheap video surveillance cameras off ebay to protect my investment.

The day came when my bamboo was hacked yet again (this is the third time) and yes, I do have video footage of the hacking… but I am going to play it cool. I am not going to divulge my plan just yet as things are still unravelling, but it is pure genius – AND most important of all absolutely legal! (I confirmed with the Brisbane City Council and my building certifier).

I have had a number of friends tell me I should poison his plants and break branches off his shrubs and trees, but the thing is, I refuse to stoop to this level. This poisoning and hacking a neighbour’s plants is a cowardly act. Only a gutless and pathetic donkey would do such a thing. Any decent or civilized person would at least attempt to communicate in a friendly, open and tolerant manner with his neighbour – not hide and carry out stealth missions in the cover of darkness or while we’re away from home. The last time we talked, he told me I “had a screw loose” and “wasn’t the full quid” – so apparently I am the one with the mental issues as I try to protect my plants from him reaching over the fence and breaking the culms. That makes a lot of sense and it proves my point.

Poisoned Bambusa Textilis Gracilis

Poisoned Bambusa Textilis Gracilis – 11 days after poisoning.

Poisoned Bambusa Textilis Gracilis - Poisoned bamboo

Poisoned Bambusa Textilis Gracilis – 19 days after poisoning

Other Gracilis before hacking

Other Gracilis before hacking

Hacked Bambusa Textilis Gracilis

Hacked Bambusa Textilis Gracilis

 

Bambusa hacked by neighbour again

Bambusa hacked by neighbour again

Closer view of my hacked Bambusa Textilis Gracilis

Closer view of my hacked Bambusa Textilis Gracilis

Close up of broken Gracilis culm

Close up of broken Gracilis culm

Bambusa growing nicely - note 1 plant hacked.

Bambusa growing nicely – note 1 plant hacked.

Gracilis slowly growing...

Gracilis slowly growing…

24 thoughts on “Shitty Neighbours Pt.2 – The Donkeys are at it again.

  1. violet

    It’s almost comforting that EXACTLY the same thing is happening to you / a bunch of your commenters, as I was feeling like I was in my own very unique nightmare.

    My neighbour was really put offside when I begun to do renovations to our property – I got the impression that he wished to be consulted prior… which was odd.. but, you know, everyone has different ~feels~ about these things. I did go out of my way to say to let him know I was open to having a chat about any of his questions or concerns about what I was doing (which was really basic landscaping and painting the house).

    He has taken every opportunity to attack the bamboo I planted along the boundary. When the gracillis were smaller (same as your pictures), he snapped them off in EXACTLY the same way. Each season as they grew taller, he would find new concerns with the bamboo, to which we would happily respond with a solution.

    Last year we caught him hanging out his kitchen window (his house is built right to the edge of the boundary) hacking at the bamboo. We asked him not to do this and told him to come and have a chat if he had any issues and we would sort it out for him. He has not brought one issue up with us to date but continues to attack the bamboo as he pleases.

    We put in horizontal supports to keep the gracillis beyond reaching distance away from their house. Last week we found him reaching out the window with a long broom to latch on to the gracillis, bringing it closer to him to snap the tops off. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY.

    I have outdoor Bose speakers in the garden bed nestled amongst the bamboo and I caught him filling them up with water. It’s full-tilt crazy because when I catch him doing these things he denies it – even though I just saw him.

    I’m looking to put in a huge fence, ideally 2.2 like you, but I’m no holding my breath for this craziness to subside.

    It’s interesting that you raise the poisoning, as I’m having a time with another type of bamboo on my property, it’s yellowed and looking rotten and not throwing leaves out of it’s culm. I might have to get some security cameras up asap…

    Reply
    1. Henry Gomez Post author

      Hey Violet,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having to endure this from your shit-for brains next door. Have a look at my blog post part 3 here as it might give you some ideas on how to protect your investment from your neighbour’s stupidity.

      I think in your case a 3 meter type 10b structure will be very effective (support structure for climbing Vine). It won’t stop their stupidity straight away, but it will initially serve as a deterrent and over time, they will give up. I too can’t understand how some people gives themselves the liberty of tampering with their neighbour’s property and then expect them to obey and “fall in line”.

      Rest assured Gracilis is extremely hardy, and very hard to kill. He may break culms while the plant is young, but once it’s matured and by the third year, you need some serious power tools to cut through the stuff – and it would definitely take a lot of effort to harm Gracilis.

      I strongly recommend getting some CCTV cameras. Your neighbour sounds extremely unreasonable, just like mine, so it’s always best to be prepared for a court or tribunal battle.

      I wish you luck!

      Cheers,
      Henry

      Reply
  2. matty

    Can’t believe the audacity of your neighbours.. cutting these beautiful plants.. We have planted them down one side of our yard (first 6 3 years ago – have reached 6m height and are going crazy) l.. the only neighbour issue I have is that they are envious and want them also..

    Solution:

    I will try and propogate from Rhizome.. Seems like people have better success/ strike rates with this technique.
    Have you looked into this at all? any information that you are able to share would be great as they are a costly plant.

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Henry Gomez Post author

      Hey Matty,

      I just propagated two plants by division last week. I have previously propagated one culm this way, but it has a much slower growth rate than propagation via cuttings and it doesn’t grow as aggressively for the first 2 years.

      I have created a new post for growing Gracilis via division here: Growing Bambusa Textilis Gracilis via division.

      I think my neighbours are also envious and “want them also” as they are breaking culms along the joint boundary line.

      Cheers,
      HG

      Reply
  3. Eamonn

    Nice Blog.I just put x6 plants in front of a large rain water tank.They were 400mm pots 2m high.At $145 each they were not a cheap option.
    Adelaide

    Reply
    1. Henry Gomez Post author

      Hey man,

      Yes, they are not cheap! It’s probably due to the fact they’re so difficult to propagate…

      Good luck with them, hope they bring you as much enjoyment as they’re bringing me!

      Cheers,
      HG

      Reply
  4. Nancy

    I believe the technical term for my neighbour is “dickhead”, when it isn’t “complete bastard”. After he broke up some branches, purportedly from our tree, and deliberately threw them into my vege garden flattening it, we have been looking for a solution to the limited fence height rule – and I am hoping Gracilis will be it! My solution to the hacking and poisoning problem will be to, hopefully, plant them far enough away from the fence that he won’t be able to reach it.
    Thanks for your entertaining blog!

    Reply
    1. Henry Gomez Post author

      Thanks Nancy I hear you loud and clear.

      The word “dickhead(s)” is a massive understatement! Unfortunately people like these never had nurturing and loving parents and probably don’t know any better. They grew up in some remote village, away from civilisation and don’t know how to act when they find themselves in suburbia.

      It is a shame though, they could have been invited to many parties and dinner events such as wood fired pizzas, charcoal grilled chicken, roast pork and Argentinian style beef short ribs. But due to a combination of pure envy, ridiculous stupidity and the lack of humility – neighbours like these often get the raw end of the stick – which is what my neighbours have received.

      Hopefully, the death of one of theirs will make them realise that life is too short to be so bitter and vindictive.

      Reply
      1. katie

        I feel bad I happened to you or in fact to anyone at all ((((
        I do have some sort of similar situation ( next door is from Filipinas) and my Bamboo of same name growing so nice and tall now)))) covering 2 story building))))
        even after been broken many many…………many many many …times)))))
        ps I don’t this nice people of Siberia (Russia) – if this’s that you meant ))) would like them at all
        take that from me -Russian girl)))
        best of luck
        ))))
        k.

        Reply
  5. Rebecca Weston

    Hi there, Your blog is brilliant and it is inspiring me to write my own. Everything you are going through is exactly the same as what we have been going through for the past three years. We are in the process of getting our lovely neighbour charged as we decided to film one of rants and the police have finally decided to take us seriously after she told my husband that he was going to die. So what is the end result for you has anything worked we need help ha ha. Would love to hear from you :)

    Reply
    1. Henry Gomez Post author

      Hey Rebecca,

      I strongly recommend having a foolproof plan of attack, and gathering as much evidence as you can before embarking on this adventure – because believe me, the day will come when they will ask you to cut it down, and you will need to have valid and good reasons why the bamboo should be there. I have plenty!

      Cheers,
      Henry

      Reply
  6. Peter

    What a hoot…..I have the typical court ‘gorilla’ next door i.e. everything has to be his way or the highway. After 8 years of enduring finding him eavesdropping on our conversations and accosting our visitors as they drove up our driveway to hacking our fence line trees back (he came from Sydney and the first year the Blues won the State of Origin so the last 8 wins by QLD may have been a contributing factor). He embarked on a program to have our 40mt Blue Quandong removed in 2010. We were OK until the govt changed the laws in late 2011 which bought a tirade of pressure and QCAT involvement. End result we removed the tree and planted 30mt of Gracilis in Dec 2012. It is now 4mt high…..his response was to start hacking it back by leaning over the fence….my response was a few expletives and the offer to inflict some permanent pain & suffering. To follow up I emailed our intention to take him to QCAT for trespass and destruction of property. Problem solvered…for now!!
    Look forward to your next update Henry
    Cheers

    Reply
      1. Peter

        Hi Henry
        The gorilla is still with us although feeling a bit bruised as we have erected a new 2 mt fence along the boundry………..we had to take him to QCAT where he argued against the fence and demanded the removal of all the bamboo. Magistrate ruled in our favour, new fence (he had to pay half) and bamboo still intact (now 6mt high). He had been harrassing our neighbours who have given in and removed two 30 year old gums because the leaves kept blowing into his pool.
        I just don’t get it when people move to our area for the flora and fauna and then demand it be cut down. They are nothing more than a blight on the rich tapestry of life………. at least the IQ of the area will lift significantly when they leave either in a box or of their own accord.
        Cheers

        Reply
        1. Henry Gomez Post author

          Hey Peter,

          That sounds friggin’ awesome about winning in QCAT! I too am preparing to go back to QCAT with the donkeys next door. I recently responded to their letter demanding I reduce the fence height and cut down the bamboo “twice a year”… I gave 22 bullet points why the bamboo should stay (and a bunch of photographic evidence including aerial photographs from Google Earth). They’re so stupid, they don’t even bother reading up on bamboo’s growth cycles before writing dumbass letters – such a pack of brain-dead rubber-neckers. I responded over a month ago and still haven’t received a response. I look forward to teaching them a lesson or two.

          One of them already kicked the bucket and left in a box, and our neighbourhood’s overall IQ has since increased considerably. That’s slowed them down a bit too, but I wouldn’t trust them as far as I can throw them.

          I might post the letters on here in the future for comic value.

          Cheers

          Reply
  7. john

    Ha Henry,
    those sorts of neighbors are everywhere. Mine leans over the fence and cuts my gracillus before it grows above fence height. Say she does it to help it thicken up.
    Not much we can do except plant more

    Reply
  8. Darrell

    Very nice pics and blog. I like the way you integrate the pics and the history.
    Looking forward to read part 3.

    Cheers.

    Reply
  9. Nathan

    Hello,

    Thankgod my neighbors are alright however I am still going to grow some Gracilis down the back half side of my property. I live on a 2078 sq/m property in Brisbanes north and have 4 neighbors along one fence and a park on the other side. The whole back yard used to be fully overgrown with trees and shrubs and now I have cleared it out we have no privacy left. I believe Gracilis will be the answer. and also some Timor black in the back yard for some shade. Would love to hear anymore stories of these pathetic neighbours you have and also hope they havent upset your life too much. by the way, thats an awesome looking rock raised bed you have along the fence.

    Reply
  10. Kurt

    Henry, really enjoy your blog!
    I suppose every neighborhood has at least one troublemaker, fortunately mine lives across the street, needless to say my bamboo is safe…as is my privacy.
    I have 13 varieties on my property, mostly clumpers – pure Zen.
    How is your Gracilis doing? I figure at some point, when it’s into its third year or so of growth, it’ll be far too beastly to contend with, futile to try to harm it. But, sounds like you’re dealing with a caustic neighbor, so good luck.
    Vicasinus … classic!
    Kurt, Orlando Florida

    Reply
    1. e-regular Post author

      Hahahahaha Kurt, your words are like music to my ears. They are still poisoning my bamboo on a regular basis and I’ve been forced to protect my plants from their idiocy.

      I’ve extended the height of the joint fence with a privacy screen to a height of 3 meters and it is now covered with plastic to stop spraying and sprinkling from their side… I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve but that’s secret and I’d love to share but it’ll have to wait until they try something new. Obviously they’re extremely upset about the height of the fence and the screen, but if they’d been decent and civilized neighbours, and they learnt to mind their own business, things would’ve been different.

      Cheers,
      Henry

      Reply
  11. Matt

    Great story but to give you $100 to read part 3 seems very rude… Fact or Fiction im thinking just to make some money…. Fiction..hmmm

    Reply
    1. e-regular Post author

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your response. It is immensely appreciated and I must deeply apologise for being so rude so as to try to provide a service for a fee on my own personal blog – I had no idea this concept would be “very rude”.

      Cheers,
      Henry

      Reply

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