Gardening: Annexing the Neighbor

Between injuries and jobs, I haven’t really had time to work hard on my yard. At nearly a quarter acre (with a small house), I have a lot of plants – each with their own needs and ideas. Yes, their own ideas.

I’ve divided the various areas in my head to the lowland fens, the highlands, the front yard, the strip, the orchard, the back meadow, the pining angel, the dogwood, the backyard, and the jungle.

(Pictures taken 3/5/2023)

Welcome to my jungle.

Picture of backyard behind fence

Left to right are the weed trees, the thorns, the vines, and the bushes.

First the weed trees

These tree grow fast and are unstable. They need to go, but the vines … so many vines in the jungle, make them hard to get to. In addition, weed trees are hard to kill – they grow nearly as fast as I can cut them back.

Second are the thorns centered around the volunteer holly trees. Plural. And thorn vines, at least two types. I think the jungle has six different types of vines at this point – two types of thorns, the wisteria, the honeysuckle, and at least two more I don’t know other than die, die me-hardy vines.

In front of the holly trees are one of the many volunteer mimosas I’m trying to remove. Talk about weed tree volunteers. One is cracking cinder blocks near my foundation in the jungle area.

Third are the vines. Like I said, I got a lot of vines.

Last but not least is the bushes .. or bush. It’s really out of control. When I bought the house, the bush was a cute little ball in the corner of the fence.

It’s grown.

Part of me really loves the wildness of my jungle. It also hides my backyard, giving my corner house the only non-visible from the street area.

The problem is, it isn’t only “my” jungle. The jungle is actively trying to annex my neighbor’s yard. Here is a picture of the fenceline straight on, you can see all the bushes trying to come through. This is AFTER my neighbor hired a handyman to cut everything down and laid down some weedkiller. Two months later, it looks like this:

And the vines are in league with the oversized bush, running spies under and through the fence:

As I have time, I am attacking the jungle. This is my most recent pile … yes, the above pictures are after this pruning occurred.

One of my ongoing goals is removing my jungle and replacing the hill with azaleas, rock walks, and bulbs. Something maintainable, that won’t be trying to take over the world.


What the house looked like when I first moved in … needless to say, I got a long way to go.