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Thread: Just venting over destroyed garden

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Just venting over destroyed garden

    Came home today to find that the people putting up our vinyl siding had destroyed the entire 16 by 10 foot garden area that I had spent all summer fall and well into winter planting. I moved 5 tons of soil by myself, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, to fill in the sides of the house. When we agreed to the siding back in November(they had to wait for good weather to start), I told the salesman that I had garden areas all around the house and he said they would be careful. I knew they were coming today but I trusted their intelligence to see the planted areas. What made it so bad is that it is extremely muddy. We had snow 2 weeks ago and it just now melted. My garden area looked like someone had rototilled it. I have to admit even though I'm a grown adult that I cried for almost 2 hours and still tear up when I think about it. I lost so many plants--literally--there are empty spaces where there were plants. I had many 'rescue plants' in there too--how ironic what all I went through rescuing them from a home being torn down and the land levelled and they ended up being destroyed anyway. I lost 'homestead irises' that the person who gave them to me said were 100 years old(well, not that same exact plant-the original ones were probably brought by settlers to homesteads out here). I had lily bulbs in there too that I planted right before Christmas. I had a row of dianthus all along the outer edge that they managed to rip up--how in the world can you miss a row of plants. My blue sapphire salvia, snapdragons, veronica, coreopsis, rose of sharons,etc.--all gone ! I feel like someone trashed the inside of my house. I showed the one guy where all the rest of the plants are and he said they'd do what they can to avoid them. What makes me so mad is that he said 'he didn't see the plants he destroyed' and 'no one told him'. If he's that blind maybe he shouldn't be hanging siding or driving for that matter! I wish he was just honest and said, 'well, we don't care, we just hang siding, too bad'. That would have at least been more honest than 'I didn't see them'!
    I've always been the one to gage the gravity of any situation saying 'well, did anyone die ?' And of course, no one did here. But this is more of feeling like someone else just didn't give a hoot about your property. And I still have 3 more sides to my house to worry about. I'm going to call the salesman tomorrow and see what can be done about the destruction. I'm also hoping that some of the plants will have somehow survived in the mud and come back. Thanks for letting me vent.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Santee-Cooper Lakes, South Carolina
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    You do not have to put up with this.

    Raise hell with the owner of the company. Raise hell with the salesman. Call your Homeowners Insurance Company and have them raise hell as well.

    Lawn care company once assured me they could treat lawn without hurting flower bed -- they couldn't.

    They turned the claim into their insurance company and I got a check to use to replace the plants.

    If you had to go to the nursery and replace all of those plants you would be talking big bucks. Dollar wise this is probably as much as knocking a big hole in the wall of your house.

    You do not have to put up with this.
    Jim Lang

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
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    1,462

    HOW HORRIBLE!

    Cathy,
    I am sorry for your loss. Hopefully it's not as bad as it looks. Seems like the company would have to have liablility insurance for just such occurences. If not them, then maybe your homeowners insurance would cover it. Just a few thoughts.
    If you send me a e-mail in the spring when you see how bad the damage is. I could send you a box of plants to help you out. I love to share! I have numerous varieties, this is the 3rd year for alot of them and can hardly wait to see them! Of course it'd have to be a little later in the spring for me as you're in a warmer zone.
    See you guys are going to make 60 tomorrow. Wow no snow, sure wish I could say the same, we probably have at least a foot to a foot and a half on the ground. Not to mention the huge snowbanks!
    Have faith alot of perennials are really tuff!
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
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    221

    Not just your problem

    Cathy--I've been contracting residential roofing for 30 years. Like Jim said, this is the siding company's problem. No way could I just shrug off damage to gardens, any more than a damaged window, driveway or scratched vehicle. All of this is part of the contracting business, taking proper precautions to protect customer's property.

    I have met many people who are very reticent to pressure the contractors, but believe me many others jump at the chance to argue about anything. It sounds like you're very reasonable, so just refuse to pay until this is settled properly.

    All this will not bring back many of your babies, of course.

    As both a gardener and contractor, I can see both sides of the situation. I feel and share in your loss, wow....financial settlement won't bring the little guys back,but you are definitely entitled.

    Glen in BC

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Spoke to the salesman and got a 'I'm upset because you're upset'. At first he started with the 'Gee, your husband said to come on out and let's get started'(actually, it was them saying we are on the way and my husband asking if it wasn't too muddy).
    The salesman gave me a "We've never had any complaints about Jerry" and "I'll have to talk to him." I told him that I didn't want him to get Jerry so annoyed that now he does a bad job and I also told him, thank you Glenn, that a part of a contractor's responsibility is to protect the customer's property. Twice I indirectly mentioned ballpark dollar amounts assessing the damage to the one side and the potential damage to all sides. About all I got was a fuzzy "I'll come out there Saturday and we'll talk". Followed by 'sometimes I run over my wife's flowers by mistake with the mower and they come back--hopefully they'll come back' and the icing on the cake of my day was his parting words-'I hope your day gets better'.
    OK, I'm believing he'll ruminate on all this and really come out Saturday and in the meantime I'm going to tally up the damage.
    While I do have the money and appear to have the upper hand--the installer has something called a mechanic's lien that trumps my having the money in my hand
    Thanks all for the input--it really helps.
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 02-19-2004 at 11:33 AM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
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    221

    liens

    Cathy--I wish everybody was as scared of a lien as you might be.

    Maybe it's different there, but here I have to pay to put a lien on the property, have to renew it I think it's every 30 days to a max. of I believe 1 year, and it does nothing for me unless the customer sells their house (in which case it would be disbursed out of the selling price). Otherwise, people can just ignore it.

    You really do have the upper hand, both morally and practically. The salesman is more worried than he lets on.

    Glen in BC

  7. #7
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    Aug 2001
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    Western Michigan near Muskegon
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    Cathy,
    I know it works that way here in Mich. where I live, also.
    Glenn is right you are the victim. Don't let them get away with it!
    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West. Mich.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Well, the salesman came to pick up the check for the job today.
    My husband had pretty much negotiated an amount for the destroyed plants before I got home. The salesman said something about he'd prefer a dollar figure about half that but we got the amount my husband was going for. It was actually lower than what I had tallied up- I had a list with quantities and dollar amounts but if I buy smart(and PROPAGATE & trade ;-) I should come out OK.
    Thanks for the advice--you were right.
    Last edited by Dazed_Lily; 02-27-2004 at 08:50 PM.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  9. #9
    Enjoy your shopping trips. Sometimes I think thats the best part of gardening.

    Jim Lang
    Manning SC

  10. #10
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    LOL- How True ! I usually overbuy and then think , "Oh shucks, now I have to plant them, too."
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Oh, and where to plant them?

    'Tis the feeling I get when my propagated cuttings root through the pot into the ground!

    LAS!


    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


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