Alice, My Plant-Loving Neighbor is Watering My Deck to Death

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

Last year, my amazing landlord built private decks for each of the four units in my building. They are wonderful and I am so grateful. However, my deck is directly below my neighbor’s and she has loads, and loads, and loads of plants. She waters them daily with a hose, completely soaking my patio space in the process. The patio isn’t weather proof and I don’t keep anything out there that must be kept dry, but the daily soaking really wears on the space, not to mention that it’s a bummer to venture out with a glass of wine on a nice evening only to find the deck soaking wet. My neighbor is generally a considerate person and I admire her green thumb, but her plants are killing our deck joy. What would you do? It seems like a lose-lose situation: her plants vs. our patio space.

Sincerely, Patio Lover

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Dear Patio Lover,

That sounds wonderful! But yes, I can see that a daily soaking is not good for your deck and equally bad for your moral. It’s possible this neighbor doesn’t even realize that her hose addiction is causing you inconvenience. It sounds like you already have a good relationship with her so maybe you should try something a little sneaky: Invite her over for a glass of wine one evening on your deck. She’ll quickly notice the problem and you may not need to bring it up at all. If she says anything about the water pooling on her chair though, feel free to casually say, “yes, I’m a little concerned about the water damaging the deck!” She could easily switch from spraying down everything in hose range to a more precise watering can.

I doubt you’ll need to proceed further but as a last resort, I’m sure your landlord wouldn’t be thrilled to learn that his property is being damaged and would probably put a stop to it immediately.

Enjoy your new deck this summer!



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