The Longest Yard

South Carolina Summers can be brutal.  The payoff comes this time of year, when it’s typically about 60-65 degrees during the day.  Mild weather means we get to bust our humps out in the yard, again.

Since we moved to Main Street we’ve eradicated a lot of the intrusive overgrown vegetation within a few feet of the house.  Most recently our efforts have been concentrated on the area between our property and our neighbors’ property.  Most of the invasive growth is now under wraps thanks to an enterprising man with a Thrash Mower.  Who knew that was a thing?  It just sounds like an awesome Metal band.

Here is a picture from just shortly after we bought the house.  The picture is taken from further back than the others in this post, but it best conveys the insane amount of overgrowth we were dealing with.

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Plants Gone Wild!

Here is what the area looked like after we knocked down some of the vegetation but before the Thrash Mower had its way:

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Better, but still a long way to go.

This is what a Thrash Mower can accomplish in just a few hours:

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Cleared and ready for a makeover.

Now we have to work on suppression.  We’ve been attacking this area on and off for the last year and hadn’t made a dent.  Feeling much more optimistic now.  So optimistic that I decided to draw up a planting arrangement.  I only had pen and crayons, but it gets the point across.  My goal is to have low maintenance plants that will die back in Winter or that can be cut back to the ground once per year.  This will allow us to keep up with the invasive species that have made this part of the yard their home for the past decades.

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I’m no artist, but it gets the job done.

Eventually we will add some evergreen vegetation like Ajuga to crowd out the weeds.  This area has been dominated by azaleas for decades.  They were overgrown, unhealthy and they only flower for about a week per year.  Time to move on.

The new garden will provide months of colorful blooms that will be attractive to hummingbirds, as well as other birds, and bees.  Once established, the plants selected will need little to no care. Over time we will have opportunities to add additional flowers, ground covers, etc.

I’ll post an update once implementation is well under way in the Spring.  Do you have any suggestions for plants you think would work well here?  Zone 8-8b, east side of the house, mostly shade.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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