“Good Fences Make Good Neighbours” When Robert Frost referred to the old proverb in his famous poem “Mending Wall” published in 1914 he was in fact questioning the need for walls. He was not saying that fences aren’t useful sometimes, to stop animals straying for example, but that we build them unthinkingly without reason. Fences separate and divide people: they uphold individuality and exclude commonality: they create boundaries that rebuff hospitality. Everyone cheered when the Berlin wall came down and then went home and built more and higher fences around their own properties. Like the neighbour in Frost’s poem we do not ask whether the fences are necessary, we merely repeat what we have been told.

Years ago we could talk to our neighbours over the back fence, now the fences are so high we never see each other. There is better security to be had in neighbours who watch out for each other than in high fences. We made need fences sometimes to keep in pet or for privacy, but the time has come to question whether it is always appropriate swimming pool design ideas; whether a lower fence might suffice, or if we could at least put in a gate. As the population of cities grow the size of a block of land shrinks. By merging part of our garden with our neighbour’s we would each gain a larger area to use and enjoy.

Neither of us may have enough room for a concrete swimming pool construction but together we could build one to share. Inground pool prices would be halved with each of us contributing; as would the time and cost of maintaining a pool. Such a pool would need a lease and an agreement to protect the investment in the event of a sale and to provide a mechanism for resolving any dispute. Approval from council may be necessary if the pool is built across a boundary; or the swimming pool design could take into account the boundary line, with a spa on one side perhaps and the pool on the other.  Pool landscaping ideas and general landscaping ideas could be adapted to meet the needs of each neighbour; a clear view from each house to allow parents to share supervision of children in the pool, or a pool fence and plants to screen and provide privacy.

It’s not just a large investment such as a pool that can be shared. For a small garden it makes sense to share garden equipment such as lawn mowers and mulchers. Sharing the cost of these could add up to a considerable saving. Garden produce could also be shared. A lemon tree on one person’s land will produce more fruit that that person needs and leave the neighbour with space to plant another type of fruit tree that both will enjoy.
This all requires a degree of cooperation and might not work with every neighbour, but when it did the advantages for both would be considerable, not just in material or financial benefits, but also the sense of community and mutual support it would create. It is an option worth exploring before the next high fence goes up:
”Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,”