How Not to be an Annoying Neighbour

Neighbours who get on your nerves

A recent survey revealed (revealed!) we are all annoyed by our neighbours.

The reasons are varied, but the most common is spending too much time in the garden and this constituting an invasion of privacy. And having thought about it, maybe this survey is right.

Garden I-Spy

I spend a lot of time in the garden and quite rightly, my neighbours pop out into theirs to potter. The problem is my garden is higher than next door so I naturally look down on their plot. I can’t help it. I might be there picking beans, cutting dahlias or tweaking my gladdies when I see in the corner of my eye movement. I look. Of course I do. Right at them. I can't help it. I guess I’m getting on their nerves.

Unfortunate Timing

Everytime I put the rubbish out into the outdoor bins I always, without fail, time it as my other neighbour is either saying an emotional goodbye to a close family member or leaving for work. Everytime. There they are with their fond farewells and there where i am, a scrunched up black bag oozing detritus from a week's worth of argument about who should put the bag out because the smell is beginning to get ‘a but much.’ I guess I’m getting on their nerves.

Noisy Neighbours

Other reasons as to why people don’t get on with each other is using machinery at unreasonable times of the day and night. OK, I’ve mowed the lawn at seven o’clock in the evening having checked the weather forecast, but is that annoying? Perhaps yes considering my neighbours do like an early evening soiree with close friends.

Under Pressure

Pressure washing was also mentioned in the survey. I do like a pressure washing session and to be honest, it does take a long time if I do my legendary gold service ie veg patch, all hard surfaces, wooden furniture and block paving. And yes, pressure washers are a little bit vigorous when it comes to water. Maybe I might have sprayed a fence and perhaps the water did go through. And perhaps the incessant whine of the pressure washer is annoying.


So, I do hold my hand up and admit that, yes, I do look at my neighbours and, yes, I do mow in the evening and, yes, I do pressure wash. I always end up putting the rubbish bins out when my neigbours are outside.

Not Guilty

But what I don't do are the following reasons for annoying the neighbours:

  • Have a weedy garden.
  • Have an overgrown garden.
  • Leave shopping trolleys and derelict cars in the garden.
  • Nor do my children bounce up and down on trampolines screeching and screaming. At least not for a few years.  

Some Advice

I would like to add a couple more reasons that might get you annoyed with your neighbours.

  • Neighbours having better plants than your own especially when this is pointed out by friends visiting your garden. Humph.
  • BBQ cooking smells wafting over the fence when you are waiting for someone to come home with the key they mistakenly took resulting in you being locked out of the house.  At lunch time. Humph.
  • Neighbours not spending lots of anxious time in the garden yet producing award winning onions and leeks. (Where am I going wrong with the allium family - the plants, not my neighbours?). Humph.


Are you a good neighbour? Or will someone be thinking of you while they read this? Go on, be honest.