Family condemned over their front yard in an angry letter written by an anonymous neighbour.

Ebony Ackroyd’s, from the Victorian suburb of Hamilton, has been warned to ‘shape up or ship out’.

An enraged neighbour, and obviously a gardening enthusiast, took pen to paper to admonish Ms Ackroyd and her family, who originally thought the letter was a Christmas card.

“Walk all over Hamilton and your front yard is the worst, a disgrace to both you and your husband,’ the letter reads.

‘People say they have never seen your husband doing any work, no excuse.’

The letter’s author then refers to another neighbour, an elderly lady who keeps her front gardened maintained ‘with little effort’.

“Throw those old tyres out. Look, all you need is six shrubs along the front, keep them watered and all weeds out.’ the green thumb advises.

‘If you and your husband can afford fancy haircuts, then you can damn well afford six shrubs.’

Ms Ackroyd is finally told to ‘shape up or ship out’ by the anonymous neighbour.

Ms Ackroyd says she isn’t letting the critical note get her down.

‘My mum had the idea of getting six cardboard cut out shrubs and sticking them in the garden,’ she told the ABC.

Ebony received the letter in mid December and has been working really hard on her garden both before and after she received the note.

letter re yard


Seriously. Some people have nothing better to do than try to make others lives miserable.

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  • I would refuse to do something in my garden just because I received such a letter !


  • The letter is offensive. Was it signed or was the writer to cowardly to do so? The swing set is a permanent fixture. Yes, children do leave toys scattered around. They probably play with them at some point every day. Personally I would make them put them away every night…..that’s your decision to make. Not your neighbour or other suburb resident. How does your “sticky beak” neighbour know whether or not the tyres have small plants in them or whether or not that is your intention. Obviously you are making some effort or the trailer would be empty. You have some groundcover and edging. You have started your project, not left your property looking totally neglected. How does the neighbour know whether or not you pay to have your hair cut? For all the neighbour knows you may cut each others’ hair, a friend or relative do it for you. My Mum was never professionally trained but relatives commented that she cut my hair better than the professional hairdresser did. She cut my hair for many years and after she developed arthritis in her neck I cut hers. She couldn’t cope with a hairdresser pushing her head around. I admit my effort wasn’t near professional but I could shorten it and cut it straight across the back, unlike the local professional hairdresser who often left it 2 or 3 different lengths. A lot of people are allergic to some plants, whether it be pollens or because of touching them – even with gloves on. To name a few they can cause hayfever, asthma (both can cause high temperatures), severely painful rashes and other ailments.


  • I had a neighbour who would complain about my front yard but he did not know nor ask why I did not get it all done & every time he complained I would stop doing the lawns & garden just to annoy him even more. I had some soil delivered which had to be moved around, the lawn had to be mowed & the gardens weeded so there was a fair bit to do. What no one knew was I was still recovering from a brain injury at that time as well as kicking my husband out & became a single Mum to 2 very confused & frightened children. I was trying to renovate an old home I bought after my divorce, so had a lot of work to do as well as trying to hold down a job. I had no family support & my X was no help with the kids so yard work was at the bottom of a very long list of things to do. My priority was my kids so the lawns & gardens had to wait till I was up to it. In the end I told my neighbour that each time he whined about my yard it meant I would leave it even longer & I told him why I could not get it done any quicker, after that he pitched in & helped lol.


  • How ridiculous – I would laugh at such a ridiculous and rude letter. Shape up or ship out – really what authority does a nosey neighbour have….none.


  • I have seen yards look a whole lot worse off than that, shame on that rude neighbour!


  • Incredible!! This neighbour surely likes to dictate other people’s lives!!


  • The yard doesn’t even look that bad. Yeah there’s no garden beds and there’s kids stuff laying around, but it’s not bad enough to get hate mail about


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