The biggest of our overwhelming number of potential fall gardening/landscaping projects, and the one we've actually taken steps toward, is doing something about what we've always called The Way Back. Our property is a long rectangle (slightly skewed and vague about its boundaries) and the part in back of our parking area was, when we moved in twenty-three years ago, a mess of weed trees and weedy underbrush and just weeds. There have been improvements over the years; the vegetable garden is back there, and we've taken down undesirable trees and planted possibly more desirable ones (including one that conveniently shades the vegetable garden) but our attention tends to be on the parts of the half-acre closer to our house, especially after the unpleasant man known to threaten neighbors who stepped on his property, sometimes with a gun, bought the lot in back of us and built a house. That house has changed owners twice since Mr. Unpleasant upped and moved to West Virginia.
The current inhabitants own a driving school, and park many and sometimes large vehicles on an excess of blacktop. Last winter when we had snow, one of the little locust trees that had resurrected itself (as they tend to do) on the back slope fell over and landed on one of their small trucks. No damage done, but it did lead to some thinking and some tree removal, and we decided to Do Something about the back slope, which was covered with locust and multiflora rose and Japanese honeysuckle and poison ivy and every goddamn thing we didn't want there, and now (after two Roundup treatments, a lot of mulch, and some initial planting), looks like this:
So, starting over, after the fall Roundupping to kill all the stuff that had grown back after the spring dose (by the way, I am not a crazy sprayer, but there are times that herbicide is the only solution, and this was one of them - that whole slope was covered with stuff that had to go), and after some digging out of pokeweed and such that resulted in a nasty swipe of poison ivy down my neck, I started planting again, this time with the strategy of 1) Free Or Very Cheap; and 2) Aggressively Self-Seeding. I did buy 25 daylilies and 100 daffodils from Gilbert H. Wild, very cheap, and I'm also going to transplant a bunch of other daylilies from around the yard. Also self-sown buddleias, eupatoriums, baptisias and orange butterfly weed. Some of those are already in (I still have to get to the daffodils) and I'm also thinking lemon balm, fennel, that sort of thing, anything that spreads and takes over. Ground that is not covered... will be. And what's lurking in that green area to the left is not grass, mostly, or where it is it's often Japanese stilt grass.
The branches you see to the upper left are of our dawn redwood, which is magnificent:
So - Someday Screening. It will take a little while. If only we'd done it years ago, etc. etc. I am now suffering guilt over not buying natives, but hope to make that up with some understory shrubs in the spring.