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Communal garden - council keeps destroying our plants

I live in a block of flats so our garden is shared between 4 different households. However only myself and the lady on the ground floor actually use it. I don't have many plants, only two actually. A mint plant my grandma bought from the store, was only meant to last 4 months in the kitchen but planting it outside gave it a new lease of life and it's been going strong and flowering even.

My grandma then bought a rosemary and again it wasn't faring well indoors so I put it in the ground outside, again it's started to flourish from being outdoors.

The problem is that whenever it comes to summer and the council men come to do work on the plants in the area, depending on who's on the job I can sometimes come back to find the mint completely gone. Fortunately the rosemary hasn't been affected because I was able to tell the guy this time, but I'm not always around. Another neighbour on the opposite side lost her lavender to the strimmers and the lady on the ground floor lost her shrubs to it too. We have tried putting little fences around them but they just got mangled by the council guy's lawnmower as he went right over them and the plants too.

They also use weed killer so one side of my rosemary is all yellow (the side closest to the path, you can see the strip of yellow grass). I'm reluctant to even use it any more in case there are still poisons in the plant.

I have emailed the council many times about this right back at the first incident and they always deny that it happened but that they'll give their guys a 'talk' anyway. Nothing ever changes.

Do I actually have any rights to that bit of garden downstairs? Or is it owned by the council? 



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,876

    You'll need to look at your tenancy agreement and speak to your local Housing Officer about what can go on in the garden and who's responsible.  

    Sometimes if you all guarantee that the garden will be maintained by the tenants, they can be persuaded to call the 'groundsment off (I won't call them gardeners).  

    Good luck image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • quercus_ruburquercus_rubur Posts: 334

    Unfortunately councils these days - and other organisations - don't generally employ gardeners to do these jobs so they are rarely done with care and attention to what's there. It's why we finish up with cubed hedges rather than pruned ones. 

  • Hm... how would I go about reaching this 'housing officer' character? I've never heard of it before. My grandma doesn't seem to know either and she owns the flat.

    To be honest I feel most for the lady on the ground floor. She struggles a bit on her feet so garden work is difficult for her and her carer does some of it. No wonder I haven't seen her out there in a long time now, it must be disheartening.

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    As the flats are private, I'd put up a notice saying "Trespassers will be prosecuted and that includes council groundsmen! Joking aside, could you not put up some kind of fence between your property and the path? I would send the council a bill for the destroyed plants!image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,876

    Sorry, hadn't realised they were privately owned - Housing Officer is only relevant for local authority housing.  OK, when your Grandma bought the flat there will have been some information with the deeds/lease about the garden and who is responsible for what - it may be that you have the use of the garden but that there is an agreement with the the company she pays ground rent to that they will maintain the garden - she must have some paperwork somewhere.  Good luck.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • daffygardenerdaffygardener Posts: 109

    Who actually does the 'mowing' and 'weed killer spreading'? - if its the local authority, they may able to be contacted via the relevant dept in the council, but this wouldn't be the housing dept.  They may be able to tell you who maintains the council property verges etc.  It may well be a contractor - largely not gardeners and just know how to use use mower.  A contractor can be contacted directly and may well be ameniable to doing slightly less.  Expecially if you know they are due to attend and a noitce is there expalaining you are trying to make the area more pleasant. 

    The local parish or town councillor may be able to help and liaise on your behalf.    I know how you feel.  A local greening group put crocus, cowslips and other small plants around a seat and that lot got mowed and weed killered to 'tidy' it up - they could see they were not weeds.  Shabby and stupid image  Good luck


  • Dove has the answer.

  • I don't have any further ideas I'm afraid but do hope you get it sorted

  • donutsmrsdonutsmrs Posts: 486

    If your flats are private then it would depend who the lease holders are, they could be arranging for the gardens to be cut etc. Or  I would have a word with your local BBC Radio Station and your local newspaper they may be able to do something for you. Hope you get it sorted asap.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    There is a strip of land outside my fence in Norfolk; .75m x 15m or so. It was covered in weeds when I moved here 2001, the council use to mow it once or twice a year. 2003 I weeded it and planted it; the council stopped mowing it. I guess the moral is; prove that you look after it and the Council might let you take over, though you might have to do all the mowing too.

    Best of luck with this, and keep us posted on developmentsimage

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