When I first moved in, the alleyway was full of invasive Japanese knotweed. I spent a summer digging it out as much as I could. I then laid tarps over the area and sprayed anything that popped up with Roundup. I still get occasional stragglers. That stuff is hard to kill, but I'm no longer terrified of it as I once was. If I see it in my neighbors' yards or another part of my yard, I quickly poison it. You have to be vigilant.
So over the years the alleyway was neglected and became completely overrun with weeds. It's a tough spot to photograph, so you'll have to trust me that it was full of pokeweed and other huge and numerous weeds.
|A complete jungle.|
|Deutzia, on the left, looking dead.|
|Invincibelle (brown blob near middle) looking quite vincible.|
|Hydrangeas with spirea in front.|
|Hydrangea tree between hollies (they got a haircut).|
|Side view of the rhody, looking a little bedraggled.|
I decided to use hay as mulch since it's so much lighter and easier to lug down there. In the future I'll probably use wood chips like in my other gardens. Lucy really enjoys the hay.
As I'm typing this I realize that I designed the garden as if looking at it from my neighbor's yard, instead of from my perennial garden or looking at it head-on, with the narrow part as the front. Did I mess that up?