The following year, they got rid of the canoe and planted a flower garden in its place. Even though I no longer needed the vines, they looked so beautiful that I kept them.
Now, three years later, they are a magnificent backdrop to the rest of my flower garden. It's a backdrop to their flower garden too, and they didn't even have to pay for it.
During teh Christmas holidays, I invited these neighbors over for a holiday drink, and James said "Michelle, you're going to have to do something about those vines." When I asked him what he meant, he said that the vines were growing into their yard and are strangling their plants.
I told him that it's a vine, and all vines need trimming occasionally. I told him I trim my side of the vine every two or three weeks in the summer, and it only takes about five minutes each time. I said that's a small price to pay for having such a beautiful plant that is covering what was an ugly chain link fence.
He told me that he and his wife shouldn't have to trim it at all, because it was my vine. He said if I were willing to trim it on their side of the fence from now on, they wouldn't have a problem with it, but if I don't do this, I'd have to "do something about my vines". He of course means I should kill the plants to make him happy.
I changed the topic and wasn't the same for the rest of the evening. I was insulted that they would come into my home, drink my wine, and use it as an opportunity to criticize me. Plus, it's winter! Why is he bringing that up in the middle of winter?
I have already decided that I will trim the vines on their side of the fence. But now I'm wondering who is right, and who is wrong, in this situation? Am I right to think my neighbors are cranky? Does the law obligate me to trim vines that enter my neighbors yard? Should they accept the minor chore of vine trimming in return for having such a beautiful backdrop (their words) to their garden?