Post # 1
Let me start by saying I’m (we) are complete gardening novices. The clostest real garden experience we’d had: we grew a bunch of tomatoes in our apartment balcony last year and grew all of them thinking some would die … it ended up like a tomato jungle out there!
Now we have our very own yard and expected to find a barren wasteland without even grass and we moved into a garden runamok! It’s stocked full of all kinds of plants! You literally just have to look hard enough to find a small (sometimes large) version of what you want. The previous owners just let it run wild! They weren’t gardeners so they never knew what they had (I think most were planted by the original owner or the ppl before them – we’re the 4th owners).
Here’s my dilema: how should we battle this? Weeding just by itself would take all summer! It doesn’t help when there’s some rare and nice plants amongst the weeds. I have trees growing in my hedge (name it, we have it) and pretty flowers growing in gravel, not including the vines, weeds, berry bushes, etc, etc.
What’s your advice on how to tackel this? Should we ignore most of the overgrown plants until the autum and prune like crazy? Should we make a temporary area to save the nice plants growing amonsgt the bush and gravel?
So far I’m categorizing and taking pictures of all plants to identify them (I actually have a huge interst for this, I used to study botany books for fun in high school). So we mostly know what we have now, that way we can decide if we want to keep them BUT we will have to move most of it since they’re everywhere!
What we’ve done so far:
- identifying plants, trees, flowers, and weeds
- pulling out the nastiest weeds (stinging nettle, berberis, thristles, creeping bellflower, and any vines growing into the house)
- Fi is hacking away at the ginormously wide hedge. He’s cutting it down and (the hard part) digging up the roots
- pruned any flower bushes are just dried up and funky (like wilted wild rose clusters, peonies, azaleas, rhododendrons
- Fi took away 2 huge bushes/trees suffocating our pretty False Acacia tree
There’s still so much to do and any one thing will take all summer (and I haven’t even mentioned the home improvement projects we’re planning)! There must be a way to make sense of it all that I’m missing. Please give your gardening advice, encouragement, feedback, or tips.
Here’s a sideview of our hedge to give you an example.
Post # 3
My last house was like this too when I moved in…It sounds like you are off to a good start tho. I just started pruning and cutting back everything that I could. Then it was easier to step back and figure out what was there and what I wanted to keep. I had to pull out and pot quite a few things until I could come up with a good layout and re pot them in a way that made sense.
Good luck with it…It was a long frustrating process to get it to look good.
Post # 4
We are kinda in this situation with our backyard as well.
I would almost recommend giving it a year, seeing what can live on its own (besides the weeds obviously) and then deciding what to take out/move.
Post # 5
@Derbybride @caszos I’m happy to hear I’m not alone! I’m waiting for the last bunch of the flowers to bloom, but even after IDing them all, I still don’t really know where to go from there since there’s just so many of them. They’re all suffocating themselves.
I heard you’re not supposed to do any massive pruning until after the flowers die down? Is that true? I think by late Sept I can start pruning the heck out of everything.
As for seeing what lives on its own – they all do since the previous owners didn’t seem to tend to anything at all. I’ve got lavender growing on the pavement, 3 different kinds of jasmines in at least 5 different places, columbine’s growing on the driveway gravel, and tiny poppies that’s popped-up in the middle of the lawn, plus a whole bunch of other wonderful flowers — just all scattered in places they really shouldn’t be.
Almost everything I have is either old or new shoots that’s scattered everywhere. The new plants are obvious because they still have their tags on them and mostly dead. They only seemed to plant stuff in an open area with stones around it and it’s all roses, the only new addition I really like are the peonies that seem to be doing well.
I guess it’s just gonna take lots of time, weeding, digging, replanting, and more weeding.
Thanks ladies for the reply.
Post # 6
Here’s pictures of Fi’s progress with the hedge:
The 2 “trees” that are propped up are actually currant bushes that were growing inside the bush so they’re more like trees. The green stuff under the hedge is perwinkle (vinca). We’ve identified at least 20 different plants growing inside our hedge alone! It’s insane!
Post # 7
Oh dear. It sounds like you are off to a great start with what you’ve done so far.
First, I would reccommend making a checklist of the things you need to do and the things you want to do and make a timeline of when the best time of the year it is to complete each task. Then focus only on one item at a time.
I’m afraid you will get burnt out and overwhelmed pretty quick if you don’t portion it off.
Next I want to say that I love perrywinkle, but it can become invasive under the right conditions (like getting more sun). I’m all for you keeping it around, but you may just have to keep an eye on it to keep it at bay if it starts spreading.