With summer and school holidays in full swing, making the most of the sun is on everyone’s agenda. William Hanson, regarded as the UK’s most trusted authority on etiquette, has teamed up with the UK’s leading housebuilder, Barratt Homes, to help homeowners master good manners in the garden with the Barratt Homes’ Guide to Garden Etiquette.

Offering advice on all things outdoors, from when to say hello to what time to mow the lawn, and even how to deal with others’ children, Barratt Homes has created the Guide with William, to help keep relationships on an even keel.

On getting to know your neighbours, William says: “Don’t be too pushy when it comes to making friends in your street. Read peoples’ signals – are they making eye contact or do they look like they want to run for the hills? Body language will give you a good gauge of the kind of neighbourly relationship you can expect. It’s okay just to wave or smile in acknowledgement.”

When it comes to dealing with a football that’s come over the fence one too many times, William has some sage advice too: “Consider talking directly to the person and up the stakes appropriately if your patience level is being tested. Get creative – how many times a football can go over the fence without being an issue is up to the individual, but if you’ve had a football land in your garden too many times, hold onto it for a bit. They’ll soon get the message.”

William also offers advice on:

  • Garden parties – think about the tone and context of any party and be considerate of the language being used. Part of the bargain of buying a house is to be respectful to those nearby
  • Make sure your front garden is up to scratch compared to the rest of the street – there’s no such thing as being too manicured!
  • If needed invest in pet training to stop your pup barking or pulling up a neighbour’s plants
  • Keep your decorum when sunbathing, even if it is in your own back garden

It might seem like a minefield to navigate, but William has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to offer and all of his tips in Barratt Homes’ Guide to Garden Etiquette are available here: https://www.barratthomes.co.uk/library/Barratt-Homes-Garden-Etiquette-Guide-with-William-Hanson/

Barret Homes say if you stick to William’s advice and there should be no reason why you and your neighbours can’t get on perfectly well, creating an enjoyable community and living experience for the whole street.

We say, be yourself, enjoy the garden party, play with your pup, and cuss if you want to in your own home! Of course, we don’t think you should be a neighbour from hell, but in your own slice of England you should be able to sunbathe naked and talk how you want to. After all, wherever else will you be able to enjoy that freedom if not in your own back yard…?