I’m tearing out my garden plot.
It’s never been a wonderful producer, but I’ve done what I could because DH offered the garden to me, in spite of his dislike for them. He gave me a shady corner, but I didn’t want to look the gift horse in the mouth. Recently he asked me if we could take it out. I was going to try one more summer until today.
A year or two after our garden went in, the neighbors added a basketball court. They poured a cement pad and painted the lines on it. It’s in the corner of their yard just off of our living room. We are in town on a 1/2 acre lot and our back yard shares border with their yard. Our hearts sank when we realized what was going in.
In our early years of marriage, we lived in a large apartment complex with our apartment situated above the basketball court. Every child who lived in the buildings spent their every waking moment in this space. The boys would even pee in the bushes to avoid having to run home to do so. We constantly heard bouncing balls and yelling kids. When we started our house search, we paid attention to how many basketball nets were near the house for sale. Homes were rejected without ever crossing the threshold, based on the numerous ball nets.
Fast forward to today, and a court located less than 100 feet from our living room. Winter is now the most wonderful time of year. We’ve even thought about spraying down the cement to render the court unusable even with heavy coats. The incessant bouncing is bad enough – especially as this is the home of a youth pastor and we’ve counted no less than nine balls in play at once when a large group of teens is over. The crucial thing not included in their basketball court was a net to catch the balls.
The neighbors actually cut a hole in their fence to make a gate to retrieve the balls. Strange boys are often in our yard. They’ll even stop to try to make the shot from our yard on their way back.
My garden, pathetic as it is, has suffered.
Last summer I had to reinforce the rabbit fencing with bamboo stakes because no one has ever used my garden gate when getting their balls out of my garden. I added tall metal stakes to protect the beds from balls slamming into seedlings. A couple of those are now bent at a pretty steep angle.
Today I looked out in my yard to see a strange boy looking at my garden gate. It’s now broken. I huffed outside to inspect the damage then saw the ball still in the garden. I whipped it back into their yard. Four boys just looked at me. No one apologized for the damage.
So now I’m giving up. My garden will come down soon. A physical barrier along the fence line will be going up in exchange, however. Something fast growing that forms a hedge. We’ve been talking about it for two years. While the plants are growing, they will be protected from careless kids as well.
The really sad this is that before the basketball court went in, we really liked these neighbors.