I moved into a rental home last July 2002. The same family had lived here for over 25 years. The mother passed away 8 years ago. From what I have been told and what I have seen before she died she had gardens and flower beds. I have been told that in the last 8 years NO care has been given to the yard, not even mowing. The back yard was a jungle when I moved in. What I thought was a big pear tree was a 1/2 dead pear tree and 16 small 1"-3" diameter trees, which all but a few have been cut down, but bushes keep coming back up.
Honey suckle has taken over one fence by where she had rows of beds with trenches lined in wood for irrigation along with white pipes sticking out of the earth. This is on the inside of the North fence and I think was a veg. garden, but now has at least 6 oak and pecan trees and about 5 more that I keep cutting, but limbs keep growing back.. It is all shade now. The back row (West) looked like it had tomatoes plants (I found the wire support some with trees though them). But now there is 3 larger trees and four small ones so it is all shade. In the other back corner (SW) there was a rose bush or rather rose trees that did well, till I pulled the weeds from around it and started watering it. I was told to trim it back waist high last winter, but could not go that far down due to the size of the stalk and my pruners. It did good till I watered it and sprayed it with water.
She had the rest of the South side of the fence lined with brick and a compost bin (tree grown into one of the pallets.) And that side has two patches of 4-5 trees about 2-3" in diameter and about the same amount cut down. or trying to cut down, they just keep growing back. There is also a ground cover that is growing good, but I have been told it was poisonous, i think it is Carolina creeper?
She also had a few small gardens (raised areas with cider blocks around them in the yard which I have moved the blocks and most likely will try to level. I have a big beautiful crype myrtle growing back there as well. She seems to be doing good.
I have been told that most of the trees were probably not planted by her, but her soil was good and mother nature did her thing once it was neglected? Is this correct? I have tried to work in one larger round garden, and when I dig I get roots ! When I cut down trees I get bushes? I have worn out a small chain saw and now I have an axe. What can be done about the roots and the stumps? Most are small 1-3" and some appear to be growing horizontal to the ground?
There is a large Mulberry tree on the side that had a fence to the front of the house, but now it stops back by the back of the house. Will it berry each and every spring?
In the round bed, after I cleaned it out there seems to be some plants that came up. One the leaves look like onion or garlic, but it has a a white seedy looking ball at the end, and have been told is garlic? and what I think is yukon holly, and something that looks like ivy, but has thorns on the vine. How do I try to save these plants but dig to plant others when I keep running into roots? Up by my window, (facing West) there were two grape vines growing, but one was cut down to get the bugler bars down, the other is doing well, but right by that is 7 more small trees, and a small, not doing well rose bush. Do you know where I could get an older grape vine and transplant it? Do I leave the trees, if I train the grape vine to go across the windows on the trees or will it kill the trees? if i use chicken wire and nail into the trees?
Trees, trees, everywhere. They are small and skinny, with leaves about roof top, I have been told that they are pecan and oak. I do see that the leaves look like pecan, but they are small. The only full sun is in two small areas in the middle of the yard. I like the privacy of the trees, but does that mean I limit all "full sun" plants?
The grass is in bad shape, but looked good this last winter. The front is doing great, pretty St. Augustine, and a large oak (I think) that has a lot of small frail looking limbs. And there is a lot of roots showing. Can I lay down sod on roots or do I have to build up the soil? Is shallow roots from the tree searching for water?
There is a covered back porch that has signs at one time of being surrounded with lattice and vines and a willow tree that was in tanged and growing horizontal that we cut down, the other side of the house is narrow with a lot of trees from neighbor and many in my yard I cut down, some I should have left, but it is still all shade. Do I keep all this shade, cut more trees? How do I get rid of the stump and root problems. I have given up on this season, but I am trying to vision what I want so that I can prepare beds this fall. Any suggestions would be helpful I am over whelmed