UPDATE: Last night I went over to the neighbors and kindly told them my concerns about the water diversion system that had installed. Kris, said neighbor, seemed to be very understanding and even acknowledged that she though that might be a problem. Her boyfriend, however, seemed to be a little defensive, and kept trying to explain to me that they had no other choice because otherwise the water would just flow under their house and make the foundation unstable. At this point I kindly explained to him that he did have other options, pumping it up to the street, or wrapping the long hose around closer to their house and down into their own back yard, or, since they are selling the house, do nothing and let the next owners figure it out. Either way, this morning the hose was disconnected (yay), but the ditch they dug was still there. I'll give it a few more days and then if it's still like that, I'll fill in the ditch that is in my yard and fill it with rocks to block the water. Thanks for all your suggestions!
This past weekend while my parents were in town, we did quite a bit of work on the house. Well I should say that my dad did quite a bit of work on the house, including cleaning up my back yard. I guess because I don't go out there that often, I tend to forget about it. Either way, it looks great now. We, and I stress we here because I actually helped with this part, even sprayed the whole yard with weed killer and then fertilizer. I think that's the most attention my yard has got in a very long time. But in addition to all this, yesterday we made a trip to Lowes and picked out some nice plants for my yard.
I suppose at this point I should mention that about a year ago I also planted about 10 new plants around the house, only to find Austin in the middle of the worst drought in years... they all died. This year I'm hoping for a better year. This year I'm hoping to have my plants stay alive through the summer. And so it is for this reason that I'm blogging about it now, so I can keep track just how many days I have managed to keep them alive. So far I'm off to a great start (see photos below). They have been planted (step 1), watered (step 2) and fed (step 3, and usually the one that gets neglected the most). In addition to the flowers that so nicely cover the once empty bed in front of the house, I have planted an herb garden. Rosemary, basil, sage, chives, parsley. I already have an oregano plant, but that was there when I moved in, and it was already quite hardy, so I can't really take credit for growing it, even though I should take credit for not killing it. So today is it, day 1. I hope to post back around day 30 with new pictures of my wonderfully blooming flowers and large garden, but lets not get our hopes up.
Finally I'd like to ask your advice on my predicament. Yesterday I noticed that my neighbor put a drain hose on the bottom of her downspout coming off the front of her house. Said drainage hose wraps around the side of her house, crosses over into my property line, and points directly onto the side of my property. By which I mean, that the water will flow exactly into my yard and down the side of my house into my back yard. Now, I already have issues with the back of my house, because everything seems to collect in the back left corner, as that's where the natural flow of water leads. And I have gone to great lengths to create channel regions around my back walkway so the water doesn't wash away my walkway, but I don't think that I can handle both her water and my water. So how do I go about nicely saying "hey, you better move your drain pipe or one night I'm going to come out here and cut it since it's on my property and conveniently redirect it under your house." Any thoughts?