Please help me - Overgrown yard, where to start?

Discussion in 'Gardening Other' started by happymonkey, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. happymonkey

    happymonkey New Seed

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    I just moved into a house where the previous occupants kept a very lovely yard full of flowers and trees and shrubs. And then they divorced and the guy let it go. For about a year and a half.

    How do I - where do I begin? The entire yard is seriously overgrown and I, unfortunately, am the killer of plants that cannot be killed. I don't even know how to approach this.

    I have flowers growing out of control everywhere, a bush that has completely overtaken an entire corner, another bush that has inundated a tree...it all seems so overwhelming. Don't yell at me, but would it be appropriate to just mow it all down with the lawn mower? Will it grow back? If not, how do I thin this out? I live kind of far out from the center of town- 17 miles- and I've played heck getting anyone out here to look at it and I can't stand to look at it myself anymore. What can I do? How do I start to clean this up?
     



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  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Good gracious you do seem to have a real problem on your hands HM!!! Is there any chance that you could post a photograph of your yard so that we can see exactly how things are? It's much easier to give advice if we can see for ourselves exactly plants are causing the problem then we can tell you how to go about tackling them.

    BTW WELCOME to our forums - I'm sure you're going to love it here. :-D
     
  3. Frank

    Frank Happy Gardening Staff Member Administrator

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    I agree with Eileen happymonkey, a photo or two would help immensely. Mowing down the whole thing may be a bit extreme, there are likely to be some treasures there to make us all jealous :)

    Welcome to GardenStew by the way! Why not introduce yourself officially?
     
  4. reggaefan

    reggaefan Official Poet Laureate

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    Welcome I concur pics would be a begining to help us see what kinds of plants etc. Welcome again from south Louisiana
     
  5. pondlady

    pondlady Young Pine

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    I agree re photo. But when I encountered the same thing years ago, I tackled it by setting a goal of pulling weeds in a small section until I could see what was there. The following day or weekend, I would tackle another section maybe 10' x 10' or even smaller if necessary. And the first thing I built was a compost heap for all the stuff I pulled out. It could be a work of art worthy of restoration.
     
  6. Primsong

    Primsong Young Pine

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    I did what pondlady did - my place was a jungle when I got it too, and I found all sorts of cool plants under the weeds as I just went along pulling one section at a time. The only extra thing I did was sending my kids out to snap off the tops of the weeds before they could go to seed, to break the cycle as I knew I would never get them all pulled before they reached that stage.

    You might pull the weeds around a bush, then once it is cleared away you can take a better look at it to trim it back as needed.

    I also used some basic weed spray on some areas, because after I had pulled them, some had new weeds coming up while I was still working on another area, because of all the weed-seeds in the ground. I killed them while they were still sprouts so it didn't "un-do" behind me.
     
  7. happymonkey

    happymonkey New Seed

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    Jane of the Jungle

    Thank you for the welcomes!

    I'm still unpacking so I will have to go dig my camera out of one of the boxes- I know it's here somewhere. I have been working in some sections but some of it- I just don't know how to approach. I'm in Texas right next to the ocean (I can see the water from my front porch) so I have some palm trees and hibiscus trees and some ivy; there's some aloe vera plants- but a whole bunch more that I'm not sure what it is. It's pretty- but who knows what it is!

    Not to mention I'm afraid of what's living in this stuff. I saw the biggest spider I've ever seen in my life when I was messing with this one bunch of flowers...this thing looked like it could lift a Volkswagen and chunk it at you! (That was the end of my expedition into the yard for the day, I can tell you!) We named it Aragog- after the spider in Harry Potter!
     
  8. glendann

    glendann Official Garden Angel

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    I must say your yard sounds very interesting .I am in Texas also .I wish I lived close to you I would help pull weeds and help remove spiders or capture
    them .Snakes another matter I would kill them but not catch them.Lol or call someone to help.
    I agree with everyone else please don't mow it all down as I feel like you really have some fantastic plants hid under all of that.Sounds like a yard to die for.I would tackl;e it it little by little untill I could find what I have.
     
  9. happymonkey

    happymonkey New Seed

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    I found the camera!

    But now it's raining and blowing like the devil outside! (Knocked over one of the trees in the yard!) I will get pictures up soon as I'm able.
    Thanks everyone!
     
  10. glendann

    glendann Official Garden Angel

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    Sorry to hear you lost a tree.Sounds like a really bad day there.Its cloudy and over cast here in Madisonville but not raining yet.
     
  11. Frank

    Frank Happy Gardening Staff Member Administrator

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    From the sounds of it the wind may do the clearing work for you happymonkey :shock: I hope it gives you the option!
     
  12. pondlady

    pondlady Young Pine

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    Now you can cut up that tree and have firewood, happymonkey
     
  13. happymonkey

    happymonkey New Seed

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    Ok.. pics

    I found my digital camera and I also found it is on the fritz. I used a disposable camera instead. The pictures are AWFUL and you won't be able to see ANYTHING. The best that can be done might be to just tell me how to clear all of it up- and I would be so grateful if anyone could do that. It rained probably for 2 weeks straight off and on and enough so that we haven't been able to mow the lawn for all the standing water. It's starting to rain again right now. (ARGH!)

    I apologize for the quality but you will see I have a jungle in my yard and I honestly would like to whack it all down because it's causing a mosqito problem- BUT we probably have the most frogs and geckos of anyone around- and those I like! lol

    Please excuse the sloppy captions on the pics- I'm in a rush most of my waking moments and I'm not interested in sitting all day captioning photos.

    Thank you all so much for any words of advice. I truly appreciate it. I can't get any landscaping companies to come out here to look at it. I schedule, they never show up. I'm out of patience! So you are truly doing me a great favor here and I thank you immensely!
     
  14. pondlady

    pondlady Young Pine

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    You have lots of work ahead of you. And landscaping companies are going to cost many big green dollars. $40 - 65 an hour usually for all that hand work. Looks like you have lots of aspargus fern growing in and around bushes and trees. Hard to tell from so far away. You can cut that down to the ground and it will return. After that you can keep it under control. I would advise removing the one under the tree and growing through the fence.
    To trim those shrubs growing together, I use a good old hand powered hedge clippers, but maybe you could use either an electric one or gas powered one to get some space between them. They would thank you for it.
     
  15. happymonkey

    happymonkey New Seed

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    Bless you, bless you, bless you!

    Thank you SO much. I wish the quality had been better because some of the flowers are really neat. Between rain, storms, hail, tornadoes, downdrafts and microbursts you can't realy see any of it. I was guessing I would have to just cut it all down. There didn't seem to be any other way. It's all one big congealed mass.

    Well, if the Gods will smile upon me this weekend- I guess I'll get down to it! IF. :rolleyes: