"Problem Areas"

BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)May 29, 2013

Hi, gardeners.

Today I'm coming clean about a "problem area" in my garden. You know, the area that is really hard to keep up with for whatever reason.

You probably won't be as bothered by it as I am. That's not the point. The point is it's MY problem area.

It just looks so cluttered to me. Like the tree and the lilac can't breathe. The part that looks like grass is actually a creeping flower that is beautiful when in bloom, but less impressive right now...although I still like it. There are some weeds in there, but largely they are all perennial flowers and ground covers.

Do you have any problem areas? Do you want to bear your soul and share them with me?

Whew. I feel better...

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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Here is another picture just to the right of the above. It also looks so crowded to me and not very neat. Some of it was not there last year (this is our second year in the house). Other things have just gotten so much bigger but I'm afraid to prune back until I know what they are.

(Ignore the brush pile, it is what's left after trimming our apple orchard)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 11:00AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

To me it doesn't look crowded at all but then I like a garden to be chock a block with no earth showing. The cherry tree and the lilac look great imo and just need some MORE plants around them to pull the space together. Everything else in there is lowish and greenish and rather homogeneous. I think you need some more intermediate heights and some contrasting shapes. Just my thoughts.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 12:12PM
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eclecticcottage(6b wny)

Yup. It's on the side of the house. I tried (vainly) last year to remove lily of the valley yet leave the poppies (both were there when we bought the house two years ago). I dug and cleaned and weeded, then planted in various perennials, only to find MORE lily of the valley than last year all over the place! It's also near a qunice that is insistant on suckering all over my gardens. I'm thinking of moving a few "choice" plants out then just tossing liberal amounts of "wildflower" seed in and letting everything just run amok. The problem is, it wraps around into the main garden, so I have to keep the chaos contained.

The garden on the other side is a bit messy at the moment because we were going to make a kitchen garden but decided against it after I moved a few things, so I need to fix it up. Then there's the picket fence gardens, that are just unorganized seeming to me. I like a cottage garden style, so that sounds odd, but I think the problem is too many varieties that haven't really grown in yet, leaving clumps and spaces and too much randomness in plant types. Those two should be relatively easy to fix. But the lily of the valley garden...ugh. Good thing it's the least visable of all of them, both for us and from the street! Maybe I'll put a big above ground water feature (no digging!) then direct sow the wildflower seeds and see what happens.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 12:23PM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Hi Flora! Thank you for your suggestions. I prefer a less crowded look typically. Although I do appreciate ground covers in some instances. This one has lovely purple flowers in mid summer. I quite like it.
Eclectic, I want to see pictures!! We also have lily of the valley and it definitely spreads.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 1:17PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

When we moved a few years ago, our new house had a very difficult problem area that affected 90 percent or more of the back yard. Nothing beyond a few scattered weeds would grow! And the previous owner liked the results so much, he repeated the âÂÂscaping in the front, too.

Can you believe the selling agent touted the very low maintenance yard? --insert snickering and laugh track here-- I called it a deal breaker, but my husband said it could be removed. It certainly was NOT a selling point. Then we discovered the concrete was 5-6â thick.

Thanks for offering the opportunity to growl about my problem areas in your thread, BlueBirdPeony. :) This week has been a big step forward progress-wise in the garden, and it felt great to see the dumpster get pulled out of the driveway this morning. Hooray!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 5:56PM
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BlueBirdPeony(5b NE Ohio)

Hi, Falcon! I see the issue. Are you removing all of the concrete? Seems like a lot of work! Or was the dumpster for removing the few weeds that grew there? I want details!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 8:52PM
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Yes... my problem area is called my back yard ha ha. I have more weeds than grass at this point which is hard to remedy with three dogs that do a lot of running and playing. Very nice set up and some good plants and trees but its overrun by weeds. I have dandelion borders and violet fillers... looked kind of nice at a blind glance -yellow and purple all over - but still... Its a slow going process to get it all in order... especially when the dogs like to trample on whatever they can. I'll have to try to take pictures

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:18PM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

Most of the concrete shown in that photo was removed, BlueBirdPeony. We estimate it would have taken 6 concrete dumpsters to remove it all, plus extra weight fees, so we got very creative working it into the landscape design as retaining walls, patios and walks. The concrete removed from both the front and back yards, that we did not repurpose, filled 3/4 of the single dumpster that left this morning.

It was a crazy amount of work over two years, between house update projects. And, of course, there are some future projects to complete. But after installing the 250 sq' sod patch this past week and watching the dumpster disappearing down the road this morning, the feeling that the problem area had finally been dealt with was such a relief! I can take an update photo, once I have planted some landscape plants lounging on the walkway.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:32AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

WOW Gyr_Falcon that is a lot of concrete.

My problem is the entire yard. I purchased a 3+ acre property that had not been cared for for several years. The couple raised their kids and when they finally were too old to take care of the property the kids put their parents in a home and the house sat with no care for years.

The wildlife moved in along with every sap tree in the state.

It is a work in progress. Acre at a time.

BlueBird I do not see anything wrong with your gardens. I think you just need some hardscape/focal point to pull it together. A bird bath, a statue. It is a room without decor. The plants and trees are good but a living room without a couch is a incomplete living room.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:02AM
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