I have a little problem.
You may recall that the neighbors’ trampoline is right next to our shared fence. Their kids are out there all the time.
One of their favorite games is to have one person on the ground throw a football “high” to the person on the trampoline, who then has to jump to catch the football. This game was posing a problem, because the football often ended up in our flower bed. It was irritating to see a football sitting in the middle of the rhubarb, or to see broken stems that I knew I hadn’t caused…but we didn’t say anything about it.
Not too long ago, the game changed. One of the basketball hoops was dragged from their front driveway to the side of the trampoline, and now the game is to jump around and "dunk” the basketball through the hoop. It actually looks pretty fun, and I was happy to see the basketball hoop placed in the way of the football-throwing path…but now we’re seeing basketballs in the flower bed.
A consequence of these games has been two “broken” solar light stakes so far and broken plant stems. I say “broken” solar lights because I was able to put one back together and the other one I just shoved the broken stake deeper into the ground.
I’m concerned that any new plants this year as well as the second-season plants will take more damage this summer as they get larger. And I’m hesitant to put any other decorations or a drip system back there for fear they’ll get clobbered by a basketball/football or stepped on when the kids retrieve their balls.
We also don’t have a relationship with the parents because we never see them, and the kids seem to have a bit of a grudge now that we’ve asked them multiple times to stop jumping the fence (to use the gate instead.)
So……I’m a little apprehensive about how to deal with this.
My plan is to ask the parents if they could put up some kind of barrier to prevent the balls from coming over the fence as often. Something like a net, or tall pieces of lattice or something, between the trampoline and the fence?
Does that sound reasonable? I don’t want to rain on their parade or imply that they need to stop playing games like that…I just don’t want anything in our yard damaged by their games. And I certainly don’t want the adults to feel we’re being unfair.
I could use some wisdom here from folks more experienced than me.
What would you do?