Aussie gardener's surprise 'confrontation' with furious neighbour

Gardener Nathan Stafford had to 'stand back' as a man yelled at him while he was working.

Left, gardener Nathan Stafford working on the home he was hired to tidy. Right, Nathan Stafford being confronted by the angry neughbour.
Gardener Nathan Stafford said he was stunned when a neighbour suddenly unleashed on him while he was working at a home in Ryde. Source: Supplied

Shocking footage has captured a gardener's wild confrontation with a resident at a neighbouring property who began “yelling” at him while he was tending to overgrown hedges on the boundary line of the two homes.

Disputes between neighbours about overhanging branches and hedges are common, and Sydney gardener Nathan Stafford found himself in the thick of it when clearing up a customer's yard in Ryde, in the city's northwest.

Despite seeking permission from the woman in the neighbouring property, as he cut down an overgrown hedge and cleared its debris, Stafford later copped abuse from another man on the property.

“I asked if it was ok if I quickly came through the fence and cleaned it up, all the mess would fall into their side. She [the woman inside the home] said, ‘Yeah sure, go for it’,” Stafford explained.

The gardener admitted he was in his “own world” working away with his protective ear muffs on for about 30 minutes before commotion began.

“I had to quickly come over and clean up the mess, it literally took about one minute, and then this guy came out and he started yelling at me,” Stafford said. “He was yelling, ‘Get off my f**king property, you have no right to be on here, I’m going to smash you’.”

Stafford admitted he was “startled” and explained to the man he had spoken to a woman, who he understood was the man’s partner, to get permission but the angry neighbour wasn’t having it.

“It’s obviously not nice, I sort of stood back a little bit,” he said. “This one was probably the worst confrontation on the job I’ve ever had.”

Far left, the unkempt garden Nathan Stafford worked on in Rye. Centre, Nathan Stafford during the job. Right, the Rye home after being tidied.
Nathan Stafford said it wasn't his first angry encounter with a neighbour while working but it was the worst. Source: Supplied

The gardener said he has had his fair share of interactions with angry neighbours while cutting down overgrown trees and hedges, especially when they’re occupying more than one resident’s yard and there is contention around who is responsible for it.

Several years ago, a resident confirmed to him that the next-door neighbour was happy for an overgrown hedge to be removed. However, he was forced to abandon the job halfway through when the neighbour started shouting at him, similar to what occurred in Ryde in mid-April.

Despite the interaction taking place a few months ago, Stafford said he felt compelled to share the footage online on Sunday to highlight just how strongly some Aussies feel about what side of the fence they stand on in the debate.

“The joys of this job, you don’t know what’s gonna happen,” he said.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.