Fence etiquette questions
Need some advice....
My neighbor has installed approximately 140 feet of 6 foot vinyl privacy fence.
She informed us that she would be installing it, and it would be WELL into her yard and wouldn't bother us a bit. This meant it would be on the other side of the evergreens and rhododendrons that I planted 15 years ago.
That was fine, since I wouldn't have to see much of it. I am not a fan of plastic(or white) fences.
The fence company would not install the fence without a survey of the property line, and once the survey was completed to our surprise the property line was 15 feet further into my yard than I realized. That's all fine, though because she said would never ask us to move our mixed border of plantings, she said. She knows I am an avid gardner and keep a pretty yard.
So I'm getting used to the idea of losing some yard(technically not mine anyway) as long as I don't have to look at white plastic.
A few weeks later, she tells us that the fence will be installed one foot into her property from the property line. It was June and she told me I had three weeks to move what I could move. This also meant that I would have to stare at naked white vinyl fence. And the worse part-----the fence would cut diagnolly across my backyard.
So I lost all my rhododrens because I couldn't move them, and all my evergreens.
I didn't have anywhere prepared for all my plants and shrubs, so they all had to be potted up on the cuff until the fence was installed and I could get a new bed prepared. I was a little annoyed since June/July isn't a great time to be holding plants for transplant, but after the installation I would pop them back in the ground.
Weeks went by and my plants withered in pots....no fence....In late July I went to find out about the fence....oh it could be months, she said; the installer was running behind.
Needless to say, I lost some perennials and shrubs, since they had to sit all summer in pots.
I guess I'm just irked because it went from "I'd NEVER ask you to move your plants because I'm not the kind of neighbor, and the fence would be well into my yard!" to me losing a bunch of plantings and staring at a sea of plastic.
But yes, I do realize it is her property and she can do as she likes. Still stings a bit.
The fence was not installed until October. A great, big, shining wall of 6 foot plastic running from the street diagonally to the rear of my yard. My neighbor had a second fence company come to install it, since the first was a continual no show.
I was also surprised to see that it was installed directly on the property line, not the one foot into her property as I was told. Perhaps the second fence company did not get the memo on one foot into the property?
I'm not pleased, but I have plans for a mixed border heavy on the evergreens, with perennials at the front.
Now the problems.....
I have about 40 bags of leaves that are bagged and waiting for compost. I put them next to the fence temporarily and two days later got a phone call from my neighbor asking me to please move the bagged leaves; she's afraid they could hurt the fence. She said she knows the fence is a very strurdy fence, but she is still afraid the bags of leaves could bow it out.
Ugh. But that's fine, I pulled the leaves away leaving one foot between them and the fence. Is this legally enough room?
I have also begun spreading the leaves as mulch for the new border(lasagna-style gardening), can she tell me I can't have a layer of leaves near her fence?
I also put my small trash barrel shed and an outdoor storage bin one foot from the fence, and I foresee this being a problem. These things are on my property, so what exactly are my rights?
I am also worried about my plans for a mixed border. Since she is afraid of anything 'touching' her fence. How close can I put plantings to her fence, which is smack dab on the property line? I'm a little freaked out that this very nice neighbor is now dictating my plans for that side of my property.
Do I have to maintain my side of the vinyl fence with pressure washings, etc? I know attaching anything to the fence(such as a trellis) is a big no-no, but if I were to put free standing trellises in front of it(such as two posts buried with lattice attached), can she dictate how far from the fence they must be?
I am also worried that the fence was installed under a large scrub pine in my yard that regularly loses good sized branches during storms. Am I correct in that we are responsible for damages from this tree, even though it was already there?
I need a little landscping advice, too. My plan is to create beds that are wider/deeper at the front of my property tapering down to be closer to the fence at the back of the property to off-set that 'triangle' look that I now have going on. Does that make sense? The fence runs north to southwest, and half of it is in part shade, zone 6. I would like to have a lot of evergreens, but nothing superwide as this whole fence thing ate up so much of what I thought was my yard. I will post pics in a bit.
I want to be a good neighbor, what are the fence etiquette rules? What are my rights being on the other side of the fence?
Thanks for any and all advice!