Neighbors Work Together on the Suburban Frontier

| 4/1/2015 9:03:00 AM

Tags: suburbia, permaculture, community building, Jan Spencer, Oregon,

This quarter acre suburban property has been under transformation for fifteen years. The site is flat, good soil, great solar access, Northwest Mediterranean Climate. The house is mid '50's. A suburban neighborhood. The intention from the start has been a permaculture make over of house and landscape – home economics - to take care of more needs closer to home.

For this blog, I would like to describe a very productive collaboration with my neighbor who shares the west fence line. This neighborly cooperation story is a segue to a broader look at neighbors working together.

Eight large old growth laurel shrubs bisected 40 feet of property line on the west side of my property.


The laurel hedge before removal. 2010

One day about five years ago, I was walking to the back yard between the hedge and west side of my house and my neighbor called out. He was only ten feet away, but the hedge was so thick, he was unseen. Bill called out, “Jan, what do you think of this hedge. Do you think it should go? ” I said it gets bigger every year, even after pruning it and I have had those kinds of thoughts but didn't know where to begin.

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