May I ask your advice?
We just moved to a new home which we bought as a fix up. The home and gardens were neglected for many years and we are trying to figure out where to start some of the garden rehab.
One thing in particular has us stumped. There is a rather lovely old field stone retaining wall along the back of the home, behind the patio. It is about 4 feet high, and all along it the previous owners had planted purple bearded irises, and a couple of stray, scraggly peonies.
These plants are entirely overrun with crabgrass and weeds. It is hideous. Since you see this area from the kitchen window, as well as the patio, it is where we want to start. But we really aren't sure how to proceed.
Our plan, so far, basically is -
1) Dig out all plants and weeds along the wall
2) Put down some sort of weed barrier
You can see, it is a pretty basic plan!
The things we're wondering about -
1) What should we use as weed barrier? In the past we've used black gardener's plastic, which did not stay down as well as we'd like, and started to let weeds through after a couple of years - and, garden cloth. That lasted only one year before we had weeds again.
So, is there a better choice? We have Ranger (Round Up) and we could spray, but is that the way to go? The weeds will be dug out, and we don't think the spray will help anything. But that is what the garden center here recommended. We obviously need to keep weeds away from the wall as much as possible.
2) We're not sure that the irises and peonies should be replanted along the wall. (We could move them elsewhere)
They both have a fairly short bloom period, and this is a very visible area. We're thinking we should plant something that will bloom over more of the year. But what might work? We aren't fixed on any type of plant, or color. Just something that will look nice along the old wall.
Thanks for any ideas you might offer.