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My yard and garden are a mess, need some major help

Posted by ksviatko 5a (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 28, 09 at 23:40

I am in NW Burbs of Chicago. We just bought a home on a very wooded lot, in winter, so we had no clue what the lawn looked like. There is plenty of shade, and unfortunately, no grass below that shade. I wanted to plant English Ivy as a ground cover, but started reading not so pleasant things about that particular plant. I also have a ton of Trout Lily taking over my front lawn as well as Trillium. I do not care for either, so I have posted on Craigslist and have takers already..

My question is: What can I use as a pretty groundcover that will be easy to maintain?
Also-there is a huge flower bed in the front yard that is exploding, but again, I have no identification except tulips and hostas, but there are many other plants there that look like they belong in the woods. I don't know what is what and half of them look like weeds, so I want to just rip half of it out!
There is also a grapevine in the back. Are most grapes in this area eatable, or more for wine making?
Obviously, I am a newbie. First house, first time dealing with a lawn, etc. When we bought the house I dreamed of a gorgeous lawn with beautiful flowerbeds and pretty smelling flowers everwhere.

I apologize in advance if this is too much to follow. I just can't afford to hire a landscaper to come here and tell me what I have and what to keep. I want to learn, and I want to be able to do it the right way.

Thanks everyone.
ETA- I would be more than happy to post pictures first thing tomorrow morning.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My yard and garden are a mess, need some major help

Back off and take your time to identify your plants. Then start moving the ones you want to keep to an area that you have set aside for your flower beds. You probably have some treasures that people would drive miles for.

You and people with a similar mind set are one of the reasons my hubby has instructions to call my friends for a massive digging party shortly after he plants me in the ground. I have seen too many people buy a property for the plants and then rip out everything and plant grass. I have like you probably have and do not know it many very expensive plants.

I am not diss'ing you but you have a ground cover that should be easy to maintain but it is not what you want. So you want to put something in that your do have to work on. Wait and see until the flowers bloom to see if you like them. Ask your neighbors if they know what the plants are and would they like them. This is a way to meet your neighbors and perhaps get rid of what you consider trash.


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RE: My yard and garden are a mess, need some major help

Thanks everyone!
The people that came to take the trout lillies and trillium were able to help me identify some of my plants. Some are actually strawberry vines, raspberry shrubs, Lily of the Valley and unfortunately, creeping charlie. I'm very happy about the Lily of the Valley. There are a lot, and they are so pretty!
I will wait and see. I know patience is a good thing. So I'll try really hard to wait before I pull anything out, except I did remove what I could of the creeping charlie.


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