"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Privacy issues

"If thy eye offend thee..." Matthew 18:9

No, we're not going pluck it out, but we are going to block out what offends us...

So much for escaping to the country.  Enjoying the quiet and lebensraum (definition: space required for life, growth or activity) away from the invasion of privacy and hustle and bustle of city life.
We have also tried, unsuccessfully, to ask
our neighbour to remove the dead bushes
along the fence as the field mice have taken
up residence in them big time.  Why exacerbate
a mouse problem and encourage snakes
(He placed the bushes there originally
to prevent his free range chickens from 
visiting us - and our dogs)
Our neighbour, who has a smallholding which is one and a half times the size of ours, has, for some arbitrary reason, chosen to build his haphazard "house" almost on the border of our two properties.  Not only did he build his "dwelling" with absolutely no plans, foundation nor building inspections, but without any aesthetic consideration - for anyone, it would appear.
The position of the two houses on their
respective smallholdings
Added to which his place is becoming more and more cluttered with "spares".  which is all well and good if he was a tidy and organised person, but he's not.

We have tried, unsuccessfully, in a number of ways, to express our feelings in the politest and most "gentlemanly" ways possible via a friendly conversation or two (over the fence LOL)...

...so to 'block out' the "dwelling" and mess...

...we have planted a double row of Eugenia trees (which are taking far too long to grow to a decent height) and...
Eugenia trees
 ... a small grove of yellowwoods.
Yellowwoods planted to give some future privacy
They will all be our long term solution.

But... RMan has been busy again...

To finally resolve the problem in the short term, we ordered, and purchased, 1000 thin Black Wattle tree poles - 3.0 mtrs high.  By the time the wattle poles have degraded, the trees / bushes should be well enough established to take over the privacy solution.

No, it is not a cheap exercise, but it was the more cost effective of all those that we contemplated.

The poles were cleaned of side branches and stripped of bark...
Black wattle saplings stripped of side branches
and bark
... and they are proving ideal as a screen in that corner of our property.
There will be 23 sections in all - two more will
be added to the right hand side
The screen is not completely solid - there are enough spaces between the poles to allow strong winds through...
The screen after the first day of work
... and it is certainly effective as a visual / privacy barrier.

Hopefully, they, and the future trees, will also help mute the clatter of the noisy blades of old windmill he has just erected and the noise of both the 5.5Kw petrol and the 30KvA diesel generators that he has decided he cannot do without.  So much for going of grid...?!?!?!

A pity that our neighbourly relationship has had to sour to this extent.  But it is not pleasant to have the watchful eyes of our neighbour, his (new) wife and his two current live-in workers (he arbitrarily changes them for complete strangers every 2 - 3 months) apparently constantly trained our way - we are  aware of this because when we go outside we are inevitably called to the barbed wire fence for some reason or the other.  I also have a penchant for, and thoroughly enjoy, wandering outside in my gown (a flimsy one in summer LOL) to drink my first cup of rooibos tea in the early morning to hand water those plants which need it.  Not so pleasant with an audience.
Almost finished...
Thank goodness for the trailer that RMan
purchased a couple of years ago - it's been
put to more uses than we conceived of at the
time :)
On the plus side, we now have a bit more privacy - hopefully, a bit of a sound barrier, an effective wind break, and, lastly, we have also provided employment to the locals who cut down the alien Black Wattles, and who earned some well deserved income in the process.


Tami said...

sigh... And all my illusions of your "country" lifestyle are snuffed out.

What a pity, but I'm glad you shared this. It will help me keep my desire to run to the country in check.

No matter where we go, someone is on the other side of that fence. Looking at you and what you're doing.

Kris said...

Yep, I see neighbor's like your's all around me. People buy into a street with thick plantings, mature trees and lots of privacy. "Just what we're looking for," they exclaim. Then, with no time they've cut down the trees ("Can't stand dealing with those fall leaves."), cut down the shrubs ("They attract bugs."), and then they start piling up crap. These people should not be allowed to buy land or houses. They belong in APARTMENTS because that's what they are REALLY looking for!

I totally commiserate with you. And, as you've seen on my blog, more privacy fences and evergreens are always on top of my annual to-do list. Hope your new fence holds up to your fierce winds. Another good job, Rman. :-D

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Privacy is a precious commodity and I am glad that you've found a way to give yourself some and help the local economy as well. I think your wattle fencing looks very nice.


JaneofVirginia said...

I am sorry for this. I can tell you that no matter how much land you have, there will always be at least one neighbor who is a problem. We are on a farm, and have no neighbors you can see, but a tenant who rents, quite a distance away burns plastic trash and tires. Oddly, the wind brings this noxious snoke to us. The burning is illegal, but local sheriff only take care of "blood crimes" here. The result is my lungs are irritated, and this week I was diagnosed with pneumonia.
I think your screen looks very nice, and I am sorry about your neighbor.

Dani said...

Tami - LOL However, being 30kms outside town, and a further 5kms at the end of a sand road, together with being one of the roughly 17 "permanent" residents in our smallholding "suburb" (which is approximately 345Ha in size) we reckon we do live a country lifestyle. And we wouldn't go back to living in town again if we could help it.

Yeah, guess fences do potentially pose problems. But we are happy with how we have solved this one :)

Dani said...

Kris - That makes no sense. Firstly, why chop down trees in this day and age when everyone knows they help to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Secondly, trees are probably the "scene setters" which made the property appeal to them in the first place. Thirdly...

Yeah, we've already had gale force winds without the fence budging an inch... :)

Dani said...

Lorraine - Thank you :)

Dani said...

Jane - I'm so sorry to hear of your pneumonia - hope you feel better soon. My tennis elbow has not responded to three weeks of physio, so I've just (today) been forced to have a cortisone injection...

...and there's so much to do in the garden to prepare for winter and my winter crops

Thankfully, our neighbour doesn't burn plastic here - it is against the law i this country too.

Feel better.

DFW said...

Sorry about the neighbor. I agree w/Jane, there's always one .... Ours doesn't live anywhere near, but he owns the land next to ours & leases it to commercial farmers who run diesel powered pumps (from his pond) in the dry part of the summer. And, they run & run & run until they run out of diesel, sometimes all day & all night.

p.s. Love the fence.

Dani said...

DFW - Yeah, I know - there's always one...! Yeah, his 5Kw and 30KvA generators are also diesel powered and he's also using them to pump water. They make a hectic noise, don't they!

1st Man said...

Yikes! Sorry you have to go through this but I definitely think the fencing actually looks cool! Heck, without the house behind it I think it'd be a nice addition until the trees get big.

Your experience and the comments of others above, remind me that even though we don't have neighbors on two sides, behind us there is a large piece of property that has nothing but cattle on it, right now. But I am thinking now that I should plant trees along the fence line as "future insurance" against new neighbors. At least that will give me a few years of growth. And if someone comes in sooner, I might have to have you ship some black wattle, LOL!

Dani said...

1st Man - yeah, it's a good idea to plan now for your future privacy requirements - will be terrible if just as you're enjoying your farm to find you have neighbors "too close".

We love the effect of the black wattle screen - sort of like the type of fence they have round boma's on the game farms in this country :)

Quinn said...

Sorry to hear this, and I hope your lovely screen will be enough of a solution to improve matters. Some people think I'm crazy when I say my place "used to be quiet" but it has changed so much over the past 15 years that I am ready to relocate...not an easy undertaking, as you know!

Dani said...

Quinn - We love this simple screen too. Yeah - relocating IS comparable to a divorce / loss of a family member / losing a job - initially - but then the rewards kick in and it's value comes to the fore. Thankfully, we have been able to "screen out" our neighbour successfully :)

P.S. A formal welcome - and thanks for hitting the followers button :)

Astra said...

Ugh thats like when you go to the beach and someone comes and 'sets up camp' like 2 meters away from you - except worse coz a towel is easy to move... Well your screen looks great and should really do the trick!

I made you a snow angel! Cant remember exactly how the promise came about but theres a video on my blog :) enjoy lol xx

Dani said...

Astra - LOL - yeah a towel is easier to move.

Thanks for the snow angel - and I love your little tiny babes :)