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Gardener Balks When Neighbor Expects Them To Keep Watering Her Garden After She’s Back From Vacation

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We always want to help our friends and neighbors when we can.

And sometimes helping out with little things while they’re away like watering plants or feeding pets will make a huge difference in their lives.

The idea that they would do the same for us is often the biggest incentive for offering our help.

But generosity should never be taken advantage of, nor should it ever be assumed.

Redditor Likely-An-Exit-111 was happy to help their neighbor out when they went away for a vacation.

But they were more than a little surprised when this neighbor expected them to continue this complimentary service once they got home, despite being fully capable of doing it themselves.

And when the original poster (OP) declined, things took a very unfortunate turn.

Wondering if they had, in fact, done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to water my neighbor’s garden?”

The OP explained how they really felt their generosity was taken advantage of by their neighbor.

“My neighbor always complimented me on my garden and says that I was born with a green thumb.”

“When we were talking, she mentioned that she was going on a vacation and leaving next week.”

“She asked if I could water her garden for her and I agreed to water her garden while she was on vacation for two weeks.”

“I watered + weeded her garden throughout the two weeks whilst not being paid for it.”

“When she returned from her vacation she said that her garden looked better than ever and I agreed.”

“Over the past few days there has been a heat wave throughout my city and so I’ve been watering my plants daily.”

“I also have an elder neighbor on the left so I’ve been watering her garden when I water mine.”

“I also noticed my neighbor’s garden was dying and was dry.”

“This morning I saw my neighbor outside and waved to her and recommended that she water her garden daily in this extreme heat.”

“She asked me why I hadn’t been watering hers, and called me selfish that I only water my own and not hers.”

“She called me a liar and an a**hole and said that I agreed to water her garden.”

“She said that she saw me water my other neighbor’s garden and I told her that my other neighbor was a senior and has many health problems.”

“I told her that she on the other hand was very able-bodied and fit enough to water her own garden.”

“I left to the store and returned in the afternoon to discover that my front garden had been destroyed and flowers were pulled from their roots and thrown across the lawn.”

“I have a pretty good suspicion it was my neighbor but she denies it was her.”

“So did I deserve this because I was the a**hole?”

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 absolutely should have stopped watering her neighbor’s garden when she returned from her vacation and was not the a**hole for doing so.

Everyone agreed the OP’s neighbor was being extremely entitled, with many urging them to take legal action against their neighbor for vandalism.


“Photograph the mess and file a police report.”

“Mention your conversation with the neighbor.”

“Since she monitors the neighborhood, she may have seen someone.”

“See if any neighbors have cameras that might show someone accessing or leaving your yard.”

“Get your own cameras.”

“We had some kids tear up the garden one year.”

“Drunk teens.”

“I took photos of the damage and a flyer and went around the neighborhood knocking on doors.”

“One lady showed her husband the flyer.”

“He’d seen the kids and reported it to the police.”


“Bonus: No more mystery shenanigans in the neighborhood, because everyone had an eye out.”

“You are not her gardener.”

“She’s way out of line to expect you to use your time and water on her.”

“Especially when a sprinkler and a timer would cost her like $15.”- Abject-Technician558


“But you need a camera or two, your neighbor sounds volatile.”- StellaSaysSo


“You agreed to water her garden for 2 weeks.”

“After those 2 weeks were up, it was on her to either water her own lawn or hire someone to do it for her.”

“She is one entitled AH to expect you to be her free gardener.”

“I agree with other posters, get some security cameras, and don’t be afraid to file charges if she’s caught doing anything on camera.”- SirMittensOfTheHill


“Call the police and report the vandalism.”

“Also, it’s likely that one of the neighbors witnessed this.”

“We just had new landscaping put in.”

“If a neighbor messed with it, I would make it my mission in life to see them prosecuted especially given the amount we spent.”- C_Majuscula


“My jaw actually dropped on this one!”

“I garden as well, and if someone did this my garden I’d see red.”

“Don’t mess with a girl and her zucchini.”- 1997bored


“The agreement was to cover it for two weeks while she was away.”

“Just for sh*ts and giggles, I’d tell her that you spoke to some other neighbors and a couple think they might have camera footage showing the front of your house during the time the flowers got destroyed.”

“And you figure that if it shows anything like where the persons came from/went to you’ll probably take it to the police.”- superflex


“Just wow.”

“That’s like babysitting once and then someone wondering why you didn’t continue to come feed and change their kids.”

“I helped you, I didn’t take over your life responsibilities.”

“Also, maybe we shouldn’t assume they’re the vandal, but with that backward logic it fits that they’d also tear up a yard during a temper tantrum.”- Major_Barnacle_2212


“Holy entitled rhymes with witch.”

“Sorry about your garden, but maybe put up a camera.”- guessmyageidareyou

“The entitlement mindset of some people absolutely astounds me.”

“You’re a total bro as a neighbor just by agreeing to water her garden while she was gone, on top of even pulling weeds.”

“If you were my neighbor and did that favor, there would be food/beer/etc coming your way.”-Promah1984


“But I really hope you or someone nearby had a camera set up.”- TemptingPenguin369


“She sounds like a nightmare.”

“You agreed to water her garden while she was on vacation for two weeks’.”

“How does doing this make you an AH?”- gratefulnothateful11

“NTA absolutely.”

“And you should file a complaint with the police so there’s a record of this vandalism should it ever happen again.”

“You might ask around and see if anyone else noticed your neighbor messing around in your yard and also install a camera to deter any future activity.”- gavrielkay


“Ask your neighbors across the street if any have a ring camera doorbell or cameras out front to see if any captured the damage.”

“Invest in cameras for your front and back yard, especially on the side of your garden closest to her to make sure she doesn’t through anything over to damage your back.”

“Also, she has burned her bridge and you never do anything for her ever again.”-WhoKnewHomesteading


“Tell her you charge able bodied neighbors $100/week upfront.”

“How would she like to pay you cash or Venmo?”- winesis


“File a police report and get a restraining order or expect more of the same, if not worse.”-A1askaKnight

“That sounds heartbreaking.”

“I agree with many other comments: get some cameras.”

“Hopefully she won’t do anything more sinister like adding vegecide, but I’d be surprised if this is over.”- 2oocents

“NTA and call the cops on her a**.”- DrMindbendersMonocle

“NTA and ask neighbors if anyone saw something, or if they have cameras.”

“Also file a police report.”

“Do not let the culprit get away with it.”- Commercial-Bad2904

“NTA time to get security cameras or just end ur neighbor they seem to be a pain in the a**.”-TwoTowerz

“NTA at all.”

“And I would gently probe other neighbors with a view of your yard if they saw anything and look into cameras, especially if you’re growing food.”- Crackinggood


“You need to get some outdoor cams.”

“What ridiculous and immature behavior.”- byebyelovie


“But what in this story makes you think you could possibly be the AH?”- Jjjt22

It’s always a shame when people take advantage of the kindness of others.

And it’s truly sad that the OP’s neighbor seemed to think they were deserving of having their garden destroyed all because they didn’t continue a free service.

Should it be proven that the OP’s neighbor did, indeed, vandalize their garden, one hopes part of her punishment will be to restore it to its former glory.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.