Saturday, April 25, 2009

Green Thumbies Help Me!

Can you successfully keep plants alive? Can you take care of your yard and your shrubs? Then you just might be the person who can help me. I am in desperate need of some landscaping tutoring. And, since I am very unwilling to part with my almighty dollar (unless it's for some Diet Coke), I am turning to my faithful readers.

Now, I know I can do vegetable gardening. For some reason, I just get it. But flowers? and trees? and shrubs? I am TOTALLY lost.

So, my backyard is not too bad. It's not a landscapers paradise but it isn't awful either. I have lots of grass, with sections that are enclosed with landscape edging and has some type of vine growing inside it and trees.
Here's a close-up of the vines inside the enclosure:
I am wondering if it is bad, good, okay, or just my choice to let the vines climb up the trees, like this:
Now, we also have some weeds growing. Here are pictures of them:

Any idea what those weeds are? I have no idea. I don't think they're poison ivy because I pick them with no gloves and have never gotten a rash or itchy. They definitely grow on a vine (not a single weed plant.) Don't know if I need to know what it is, but I'm just curious.

Now, also, I have these other things growing in my vine-area.
They kinda look like tulip leaves, but I'm fairly sure they are not. I thought they might be Yucca plants but I haven't seen any of those stem-things growing out of the center. Of course, we've only lived here since last April so some of these landscaping mysteries are going to remain just that. So, if these things ARE yucca plants, do I really want them in the middle of my ivy area? They are kinda just growing at random and spreading out and I don't really care for them much.

I'm really just kinda at a loss about what to do with this whole ivy-area. Truthfully, I like the shade in the back yard, but there's SO much shade that I'm having a hard time finding a place for my tomato plants (in pots because there's really no good place for a garden.)

Okay, I'm ready for the advice. Hit me.


Halftime Lessons said... this dept, as in many others, I am of no help.

However, I will say that whatever it is, it looks damn good and healthy!!


jen said...

ok, so having lived in this area for the majority of my life one would think I would have more knowledge. The only thing I have heard about vines on trees is if you let them go they could eventually choke out the tree. It would take a number of years on a good size tree. Just might want to trim the ivy every once in a while. Everything else, I have no clue.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

If your trees are much older, the ivy should be ok.
The weeds look a lot like 'baby trees'; I'd just yank them out.
The last one--not sure what it is but I am almost certain it's not yucca. They look kind of tall so I would just yank them out.
For tomatoes, maybe try putting a mirror ball by the containers to get more sun?

Sturgmom said...

I know nothing, but I need some help too! We're renting, though, and J. is totally against BUYING ANYTHING that might improve this place. Bah.

If it were me, I would take the ivy off the tree, but I don't like the way it looks, personally.

Wendy said...

Um. If you don't like it, remove it. Poison ivy has three leaves in a bunch, not five. And it doesn't look like pot. Look up the ivy (what kind it is) to make sure it won't kill the tree. Some are harmful, some aren't.

Other than that, I dunno.

Natalie said...

i think those last ones that look like tulip leaves to you are actually irises. i have some growing in my back yard and they are not quite ready to bloom but are pretty when they do. they are bulb plants so they will spread and thicken. you can move them safely in the fall if you decide to. the ones growing in my backyard actually were originally my great grandmothers that my grandmother moved to her house and then moved some to my house. like i said, they multiply like other bulb plants (tulips, cannons, etc).

anymommy said...

My thumb is black. Flowers shrivel and die when they see me coming. So, I can't help is what I'm telling you. But wanted to say hi!

Jennifer said...

I'm clueless.

Meadowlark said...

I'm with Natalie... I think they're Bearded Iris. Husband hates them because they brown in fall in my climate, but I love them dearly. My grandma had them.

Now rip everything out and put in a garden, K?

Dawn said...

I'm totally a black thumb, so no idea about the plants but I have to say, I am so envious of your lovely lush, green yard! We are still getting snow here. Boo!

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I personally hate IVY, so I have nothing for you on whether it is good or bad. I would dig it out. The grassy looking things look like Irises to me. I also hate irises because they bloom for about two weeks and just leave that spiky looking grass stuff.

The weed looking things look like sprouts of new trees, but you said they are growing on a vine, so they probably are not. Probably just a very invasive hearty weed that needs out NOW.

I would dig it all up and plant hostas in that shade spot. Hostas are pretty easy to care for and provide a nice green color. I also have almost no shade, so I have hosta envy.


Bridgett said...

The weed is virginia creeper. It is often confused for poison ivy because its new sprouts have three leaves instead of the mature five leaf clusters. It is a native plant to most of the imdwest and south, but it is invasive. It will grow in the dark, too, and so it almost pulled our deck down from the inside!

I would bet that the stiff leaves are iris, just from seeing the photo--if you separated them, they might bloom (if they are iris).

Your tree vine I would tame down if you can. It looks like a lovely ground cover but climbing vines can become a hazard to the tree's health. I can't name the vine for's on the tip of my tongue. It used to grow up a sycamore down the street.