I mowed the lawn today; well actually, that’s a bit of a white lie because whilst the grass was cut it was not cut by me, I had to call on a neighbour who happens to be a gardener and luckily owns an industrial sized petrol powered strimmer. Because that’s the other white lie, the area in question could never be classified as a ‘lawn’ and even calling it grass is being generous. I call it the ‘scrub’.
Gardens and house renting don’t always sit comfortably together because the landlord or lady doesn’t want the bother of a fancy garden or investing time/money in something they are unlikely to enjoy. The tenant is similarly unlikely to invest their time/money in something that doesn’t belong to them and they always have the risk the tenancy will not last long enough to see the daffs emerge.
No, gardens and rented houses are not best mates.
However, when you rent a house it is not unreasonable to expect the garden to be tidy, low maintenance and hassle free. You don’t expect to have the remnants of two very large bonfires where someone has obviously tried burning every bit of garden and household rubbish they could find including fence posts, chicken wire and garden tools, the charcoaled remains of which were simply left in an untidy black cindered patch. Hopefully the tree that was scorched by the inferno will survive although I have my doubts as it is showing no signs of spring activity.
When we viewed the property the agent assured us the garden rubbish would be cleared enabling us to cut the grass as per the terms of the tenancy.
After we had moved in it was still there so the agent suggested we ask someone to get rid of it.
But whilst that may have removed the charred debris, that wouldn’t have solved the underlying problem; the entire area is littered with huge rocks and various bits of household rubbish that had been slung on another dump to the side of the garden and were slowly migrating across the scrub.
I did try to run our robust petrol driven mower over it but the combination of different wild grasses including the awful Bermuda grass, rocks and other debris made it impossible to use.
In the meantime we got to know our very lovely neighbours and discovered one of them was a gardener so after a quick look he was able to offer a solution.
So on a dull spring day he soon reduced the overgrown scrub into less of a paddock for ponies and more of a domestic patch. I’m also very pleased he paid particular attention to the odd clumps of pretty primroses that have survived, despite the neglect of their surrounds.
It’s never going to be anything other than a rectangle of scrub and the burned remains can stay there for the next tenant.
It’s all part of the rental package that we have experienced
On another note, I received a response from the civil servant in response to Jamie Pogson’s petition (see Week 10). Not surprisingly they have wheeled out all the old nonsense as justification to ignore the demands of over 100,000 people. No surprises there.
Also, I see another family sized home has been sacrificed by a wealthy property owner; a large double fronted grade II listed house in Lyme Regis is being completely renovated with no expense spared including closing off the road for 4 weeks whilst the work is done. What’s it going to be? No longer a warm and loving home for a family of four; the top floor will be a flat for the owner then the rest of it is going to be four holiday lets.
I wonder what his/her garden is like?