Rosy Neighbourhood Relations

Out in his front garden, Val ignored both the police officer who had handed him the injunction, and his neighbour, who had to be responsible for it.

Eyes flying over the paper, he muttered, “Vandalism? Ridiculous! What am I supposed to do, build a hermetically sealed greenhouse?”

He only realised he’d spoken alound when his neighbour said, “Don’t forget to get a construction permit. And don’t expect me to agree if it casts a shadow on my garden.”

“Maybe you could switch to plants Mrs Friend is not breeding?” the officer suggested.

Val let go a breath that would have turned into a rant. Don’t shoot the messenger. “Thank you. I’ll consider it.” Scanning the document for a due date, he found that it came into effect immediately. Of course.

His rose bushes were doing rather well, for plants cheaply bought at discounters over the years. They ringed the small garden, alternating between yellow, red, and yellow-with-red-edged-petals, most now hip-high and in full bloom thanks to Val’s care.

With a sigh he told the officer, “I’ll cut off the blooms and buds today. That should stop the cross-pollination for now, and leaves me more options than destroying the plants entirely.”

“Thanks for your cooperation.”

Later, Val paused in beheading his own flowers for a look at his neighbours’. Those had fewer blooms, since for breeding new varieties she let them go to seeds rather than removing anything that started wilting. He bowed his head back over his work to hide a smile. Fantasy or not, the thought of poaching for some really fancy rose hip tea cheered him up a little.

Inspired by the prompt "Law and Order, the unnatural forces" by rix-scaedu.


What a great parable of using the rules for evil ends. It reminds me of the court cases brought against independent farmers by the big agricultural corporations.

May her fictional roses get fictional black spot!

Thank you. :)

The irony of a name like Mrs Friend for a crotchety neighbor works in this short piece. I feel like some rose hip tea myself now!

Thank you. I have some trouble coming up with names, so, whatever works. XD