Old, overgrown yard is making me give up...
For 3 yrs, I have lived in a 1792 house with almost an acre, and tried to do something with the yard. It was landscaped nicely many years ago, how many I can't guess, but has nice bones. It also has many segments/sections to it, which I like, but some are relatively nice and some are out of control.
The people who lived here before us did not care for this house and yard. Old trees fell down and they had them cut up, but left the wood piled up way back in the yard. Too much for firewood, and left to rot and attract mice. It's far away from the house, but I want to get rid of it. For a year or so I would throw away a bit every week, but I had young children and got too busy too bother.
Now even the parts that looked relatively good when we moved in (relatively, relatively...the weeds were gone in the major flower bed area when we first saw the place but had attacked by the time we took possession) are out of control. I need to hire someone to weed and mulch, and begin to reclaim the yard...but it is so large, I want to do it bit by bit, as we don't have the money for it (we have to do the gutters, paint the house, work on a bathroom, etc.) What can I do for approximately 2400/yr, not counting the lawn, which we have mowed? I don't need to pay for design, or plants--we have more than enough plants, and if I want more (i.e., if we decide to reclaim some weeded portion of the lawn, and need to plant something there) I will buy them. We only have one "garden." Most of the yard is either wooded, wilderness, lawn, or bush/ivy/fern/pachysandra and thus does not need mulch. But we need to have large numbers of bushes cut back, etc. Should I give up? How should I proceed? Is it realistic to hire a firm to reclaim one section of the lawn at a time? Does anyone know of a reasonable firm that might do this for me?
I don't mean to grouse. We are lucky enough to have beautiful dogwoods, a wonderful red maple, an old but beatiful brick patio, a stone porch, a whole area with beautiful ferns that cheer me up every year, and probably 100 trees of various sorts all over the place. I don't mind overgrown when it's pretty (I don't like a single plant in a huge area of mulch at all). But weeds skulking up the sides of trees--that has to stop, right?