1. A mat-forming, evergreen shrub (Vaccinium macrocarpum) of eastern North America, having pink flowers and tart, red, edible berries.
2. The berries of this plant, used in sauces, jellies, relishes, and beverages.
1. A small, single-storied house, especially in the country.
2. A small vacation house.
cran·ber·ry cot·tage
1. A tiny house in the woods in the north of Holland.
2. Peace, quiet, paradise.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What a difference a year makes!

Welcome to our garden a year later. When we moved to our new house three years ago, the garden was very plain and could be seen in one blink. Jos and I love to garden and enjoy creating a secret haven to rest and relax in.

We loved the quietness of this neighborhood when we moved here. Times change as neighbors do but I guess that cannot be helped. When our new neighbors moved in last summer, we had to start a major job of putting in a new fenced boundry. We had also built two pergolas and had a vision of this becoming a green oasis creating various areas of the garden that would not be visible all at once. This would make you want to walk around to explore the different areas. Here is a photo of our garden from the same spot with before being taken in December. You can see the bare bones of the fence and pergolas.

The long pergola is finally starting to become a green walkway. Next summer should see it totally covered. It leads to our second terrace where we now have our table and chairs. It is shaded for most of the day, very private and a perfect place to enjoy eating al fresco.

I have also added more garden junk onto the fencing to give it character. A vintage 'mestvork' or manure fork is a perfect place to use for a garden vignette. I added a plant, little lantern and a wooden heart. It looks really nice from the sitting area we now have on the first terrace.

And now for a slight rant so you can stop reading if you would rather not hear this...

Unfortunately, this has created a problem now with our new neighbors. We put up a fence with a trellis fan in each section. The fence was to be planted up from both sides. They only put in about 5 plants along a 12 meter long fence. Jos planted 40 English ivy's just on  the first four sections along with various other plants. It is not filling out at all on the first section which on our side looks right into my studio and part of our living room. The neighbors also have a set of rules for themselves and a set for us. First, the laundry was hung right in front of this fencing in our full view while I was told in what my neighbor mistakenly takes as charming humor that I was not allowed to hang any laundry or he would call the police. Then his wife stopped putting her rack there and it became the spot his two children play who have a tendency to be very loud. Often he and his wife stand there looking at their plants. It began to feel very intrusive and I stopped using my studio. Jos works from home when he can and finds it very distracting to be in the studio where he loves to work.

Last weekend, we added this half fence which is visible on their side only in part of the fan trellis. It is exactly the shape of the fencing already there so as not to look strange for either of us. But I think it made it very obvious to them that all the planting is our own. They showed up the next day to complain about it. They told Jos we had to come to them and basically get their approval before we do any changes. I must say I disagree with them. It is our garden and we think having privacy is a basic human need and right. You cannot please everyone and I love my garden and want to spend time in it when we can. We have already noticed for ourselves how it feels to have our privacy back once again in a week.



  1. Unless both of you have some sort of legal agreement (written) or if they are the landowners, or if there are restrictions in place by the neighborhood association (if there is one) or city or county where live as to what and how your landscaping can look, then tell your neighbors to bugger off! Your garden looks lovely and it is for your use, not theirs!

  2. In USA, no neighbor would have the guts to tell you what to do in your own yard. Holy cow, they need to get a life. If they don't like it, tell them to move. They wouldn't like it much if I was the one to answer the door. tee hee.
    I think it looks great and super you have some privacy back.
    You go......
    Love you, Mom

  3. I agree with the writers, above. It sounds like you have some very nasty neighbours.

  4. Well, maybe I should stand next to your Mom, when they ring the doorbell again.... I think they would start packing within 2 minutes. LOL
    But maybe you have to let the read this..
    So they will shut up... Because you did put the fence on your property, they can not complain.
    Big hug

  5. Your garden looks so great. Don't let them spoil your enjoyment. Your garden, your rule.

  6. How unpleasant for you. Don't bow down to them, you have rights and it sounds as though they are just determined to be unpleasant.
    It looks lovely.

  7. Oh dear! Why do others have to cause problems? I think your fence is exactly what you needed for privacy!

  8. Your garden is so nice. My motto for years has been, 'people are weird'. I do include myself because I'm sure I can drive others batty too, but not so much. I love the new fence. They'll have to find their own entertainment now.

  9. Lovely garden, so glad that you have reclaimed it and your studio! Hugs.

  10. I love, love your garden! Sounds like you had jerky neighbors. I don't see why you need their approval for doing things to YOUR property.

  11. It seems there are always some people in every neighborhood who try to spoil the neighborhood for everyone. They decide what is right for themselves and never think about anyone else. It seems like you and Jos have made wise decisions when it comes to making your garden the peaceful and private oasis you desire it to be. I am sure laws are much different in Holland than they are here, but do what you can to document those negative encounters with your neighbors in case you need it later. (The house across from us just sold & I admit to being slightly apprehensive about our new neighbors!) Meanwhile, enjoy your lovely garden!

  12. Love your gardens and am so glad you have recovered your sense of privacy!


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