Life would be much easier if in addition to being able to choose where we live, we could also choose who we lived next to.
While some people, for better or worse, barely say three words to their neighbors the whole time they lived next door to each other, others might hear from them on a regular basis.
Only their visits are seldom happy occasions, and often feature more complaining than anything else.
When Redditor FewOwl5771 received a visit from their new neighbors, what at first seemed like a friendly introduction quickly shifted to a complaint about their choice of landscaping.
With the newly arrived neighbors even going so far as demanding the original poster (OP) remove a specific plant from their yard.
Something the OP flatly refused to do.
Worried they could have handled the situation better, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA? my new neighbors don’t like my honeysuckle.”
The OP explained how their neighborhood’s lack of plant life prompted them to give their own yard some extra life, regardless of the opinions of others.
“I don’t think I’m an A, but I am open to other Points Of View.”
“When my neighborhood was built, it pretty much ruined the natural flora and fauna.”
“I’m no botanist, but existing farmland, trees cut down, all green gone, animals gone.”
“The soil is useless hard clay.”
“I hate it, but It Is What It Is.”
“My backyard is big, and I hate lawns.”
“I built a subsistence farm and converted front yard into clover.”
“While the clover was not in direct violation of the HOA rules, it was frowned upon, by the concerned looks from neighbors and the cars slowing down by my house.”
“I don’t really care.”
“Everyone violates rules here.”
“To try to mitigate some of the damage done, I do everything I can to attract pollinators, especially bees and birds.”
“I planted a whole ton of honeysuckle.”
“From training and soil fortification, it has taken off.”
“The smell and the vines, the hummingbirds and the bees, listening to them when they come around are heaven for me.”
“Dear husband and I are respectful, introverted neighbors.”
“We only socialize if our kids force us to.”
When a new neighbor moved in next door, they informed the OP that one of the plants on their property would have to go, which the OP was less than inclined to oblige.
“Old neighbors didn’t care.”
“New neighbors (NNs) move in with two kids.”
“About three months later, NNs wife knocks at my door.”
“She introduces herself and tells me all about her and her family, unsolicited, by the way.”
“While talking, she looks at the honeysuckle draped over my porch.”
“NNS wife, Out Of The Blue: ‘you know, NNs husband could help your dear husband take all those vines down’.”
“What The Fudge? Me: ‘Why?'”
“New Neighbor wife ‘because it’s honeysuckle’.”
“‘Honeysuckle attracts bees’.”
“Me: ‘yes ma’am’.”
“‘I planted it for that reason’.”
“And the hummingbirds’.”
“New Neighbor wife: ‘You want bees in your yard?'”
“Me: ‘Yes ma’am’.”
“‘They’re important for fertilizing this area’.”
“‘I’m pretty proud of the progress’.”
“Obviously everything I say from this point on is making her uncomfortable.”
“But… my porch and my yard and she invited herself on it to talk to me like this.”
“New Neighbor wife: ‘Well, NNs daughter is deathly allergic to bees’.”
“‘We have to travel everywhere with an Epi-pen’.”
“‘You have to stop attracting bees to your yard’.”
“Me: ‘Ma’am, I am sorry to hear about NNs daughter’s situation, but no ma’am’.”
“The world is filled with bees, and wrecking the vegetation in my yard to possibly prevent bees from coming near here is futile’.”
“Yep really said that.”
“NNs wife stated that if NNs daughter gets stung she could die and it’ll be my fault.”
“NNs wife tells me how having weeds in my lawn is unkempt and lazy and NNs wife’ll be talking to the HOA to report me.”
“Me: ‘You’d best run on home fast before a bee starts chasing you’.”
“Dear husband thinks I could have been nicer, but to be fair, he doesn’t care about the clover or the honeysuckle.”
“He does worry they could have a legal case against us should NNs daughter get stung near our house.”
“I have not talked to a lawyer, but surely I can’t be sued for not harnessing bees?”
“No fence, per the HOA.”
“Maybe ‘beware of bees’ signs at the edge of our yard?”
“Slightly concerned that NNs wife may ‘help’ us trim the honeysuckle, nowhere near NNs wife’s yard.”
“Thank God I work from home and we have cameras all around.”
“For what it’s worth, NNs wife’s house is about 300′ away.”
“The honeysuckle was literally dug up from one location in the southwest of a southeastern state in the US and moved to the southeast of that same state, not two hours away.”
“I didn’t buy it online to take over the world.”
“The same exact honeysuckle is growing on fences and sides of houses not 5 miles from my house I live in now.”
“I’m not introducing something that isn’t already here and I’m not letting it encroach anywhere near land that’s not ours.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to take down the honeysuckle in their yard.
Everyone agreed that the OP should leave their honeysuckle exactly where it is, not only as they can do what they want on their property, but that planting the honeysuckle was good for the environment.
“NTA, was she blind when she moved next to you?”- Ok_Yesterday_6214
“Even if you took down the honeysuckle, there would still be bees in the neighborhood.”
“Bees fly around to different vegetation and do their thing.”
“I’m sure they are even in the NN’s yard unless they put a big bubble around their house.”
“Let them try to prove that any bee sting came from a bee that you attracted!”
“And yes, beware of midnight pruning.”- Ducky818
“Deathly epi-pen allergic to bees here.”
“Honey bees are NOT aggressive!”
“It sounds like Mom is overwhelmed by the allergy and is trying to control it by controlling your yard.”
“Maybe don’t buy a house next to another house that is covered in flowers and honeysuckle if your child is deathly allergic to bees.”
“OP, GET CAMERAS.”
“This person is going to try and poison your yard, I guarantee it.”-
“You’re doing a wonderful thing and I’m over here taking notes, since I also want to convert my front and back yards to be pollinator-friendly.”
“Your neighbor has some nerve talking to you like that.”
“I don’t know enough about honeysuckle to comment on that plant but she can’t prosecute you for having bees in your yard.”
“Bees are an important part of the ecosystem.”
“She picked a fight she can’t win.”- 11treetrunk
“HOAs and the awful nosy neighbors who love to participate in them are the scourge of the Earth.”
“Don’t even put a beware of bees sign in your yard, because that just makes you look liable if a bee sting related lawsuit ensues.”
“As you said, bees just exist outside.”
“Don’t give them a reason to sting, and you won’t be stung, simple as.”-Misterfrooby
“I live in Canada at least where I love we don’t have HOAS what is the exact purpose of them and why are there so many silly rules.”
“I remember one video and a family couldn’t fly there pride flag.”
“I’d say NTA I have tones of milk Wii’s and been balm and other pollinator plants in yard it’s something that is important to me.”
“I had a friend who was allergic to bees she carried her epipen with her all the time and had a medical bracelet never got stung by a bee.”- Usagiiscute
“You are not responsible for protecting your neighbors from bees.”
“Bees are natural and important pollinators.”
“They are not inherently aggressive so even with bees attraction to your yard they should be fine with minimal caution.”
“The epipen is an option for emergencies.”- LadyCass79
“Good luck with eating if no one has any bees, lady.”
“She can keep her child her in her yard and away from yours.”- akzcinzow
It’s natural for parents to worry about their children, particularly when it comes to deathly allergies.
But that still doesn’t give them the right to tell someone what they can and cannot do on their own property.
It seems the easy solution would be for this neighbor and their daughter to avoid the OP’s home and yard.
Something one imagines wouldn’t bother the OP one bit.