01 June 2009

Garden Project #4: Clearing the jungle

Today was the day to tackle the dreaded "garden" area at the back of our lot. Of all the areas in our yard, this one has bothered me the most because 1) it's so visible and 2) it's actually attached to our neighbor's garden, so our weeds tend to spread into their professionally landscaped plot.

While I don't have a comprehensive plan for this area yet, the first step was to "clear the jungle" so I could see the extent of the mess. If you click on the collage above (BEFORE), you'll see that the area was rather overgrown. A thorny crimson barberry bush sits
menacingly at the front of the garden, its prickly stems serving as a warning to anyone hoping to pull a few weeds. At the back of the garden was a patch of iris, given to me by a friend a few years ago and hastily planted there when I ran out of room in other flower beds.

We started by trimming back the bridal wreath, which will encourage new growth and blooms next year. (Spouse did that part because a power tool was involved and somehow he didn't think it would be a good idea for me to operate it! He left the rest of this little project to me.) Next, I took out the iris -- no small task, I might add. (I'm normally opposed to getting rid of any type of flower, but they really didn't belong there and none of my neighbors wanted them. Plus, I have several other patches of that same type of iris.) I also pulled weeds and dug out as many small trees as I could. I left the vinca groundcover in place, hoping that it will continue to spread this year.
Once all the hard work was done, I planted another crimson barberry bush in place of the iris (I swore I would never do that again, but it is pretty and matches the existing bush). I spread new mulch over the entire area, then sat back with a Diet Coke to admire my hard work. :-) Click on the collage above (AFTER) and see if you notice any improvement...You might have to look closely!

It's far from perfect, but at least now it's not quite as embarrassing. I'll see how it looks over the coming weeks and make adjustments as needed.


Sarah C. said...

Looks great! I'm so impressed with all the yard projects that you've tackled lately. :)

Sharon said...

A very good job, Janet. Did you get rid of the yellow iris completely or are they still in the trash bag? I would like a few if they are still around. All my irises winter-killed or some critter ate the bulbs.

Darcey said...

Looks great! You must feel so good when you look at your yard! How nice:)

toners said...

Oh, Janet - this looks super!

Kristina said...

Looks wonderful! That must have been alot of work.