I've been browsing the site and think you are just the people to help me. As my subject line indicates, I'm not even a novice, so please be patient. This will be a huge post, but I promise not to be as wordy in the future.
My husband and I have purchased an old homeplace. We are remodeling the house and I'm in awe of the plant life. However, I know next to nothing about gardening and want to restore this much neglected yard back to it's former glory. We purchased the house late last spring and had no idea what would be blooming this time of year.
Here are my basics - and the problems with them. There is an old fence row that is planted with everything - and has been neglected for years. It's grown up and weedy and I don't know where to start. Here's what I know I have so far:
I have three flowering quice - two pink and a white - the pink are completely enrobed with honeysuckle. Help?
I have two Japanese magnolias (didn't see these bloom last year) with lots of dead wood in them. How and when do I clean this out?
There is a Rose of Sharon that has not yet bloomed this year - and I'm actually afraid it's growing in with one of my Japanese magnolias - in and amongst the dead wood, so I'm afraid to get too brutal with my trimming just yet.
I have a wisteria in the midst of these - don't know what to do with it. It's sending runners everywhere. I have another wisteria that is in a tree form, so it won't hurt me to lose this one if I need to for the sake of everything else.
I have a crepe myrtle in this fence row - and tons of other ones everywhere on the place. Prune or not? I know it's too late this year, but I could use some advice anyway. They still have the seed pods from last year. They are deep pink, white, a beautiful lavender. What can I do to make these thrive? They are mostly tree-like - some taller than others. The lavender is still in the short bushy stage - don't know if it's stunted or just a young plant...how do you tell?
I also have an unidentifiable white blooming plant. It is short and bushy - with thin viney-branches covered in tiny white blooms - about the size of a pencil eraser. The blooms resemble babys-breath from floral arrangements, but I'm not sure if this is the same thing. Evidentally it spreads like wildfire - it's growing wild down an old driveway.
I have forsythia - one plant in the yard that's not doing well - and lots of wild plants down the same drive as above. Any advice for these?
I also have another unidentifable bush - I have one at my current home my husband planted years ago, but has no idea what it is. It also grows on short and bushy on thin branches. It has pink blossoms - resembling tiny chrysanthemums about the size of a quarter. We've tried to kill it for years, but it's hardier than we thought! Not that we didn't like it, it's just in a bad place. I want to keep the other one, but don't know what it is! Help!
I also have tons of daffodils, irises, and day-lillies. I have irises and daffodils that need to be moved - and I remember the day-lillies from last summer, but couldn't tell you where they are right now!
Whew! Anyone up to tackling this monstrosity? This is what my face looks like most of the time :shock: . I know I have a real treasure here - well established plants that are obviously hardy - I want to restore them as best I can and do no damage.
I've never used a forum like this - so I may need some advice on posting, etc. I can provide digital pictures if it will help identify and sort my problems out...although it isn't my fault the place looks like it does, I'm almost ashamed to show anyone. However, I suppose "before" pictures would be a good thing...right?
For extra information, I'm in south Arkansas - zone 8. I'm also in a rural area with abundant wildlife - we've seen deer, racoon, and rabbits - among other things in the yard. It's also a haven for birds - I can't wait to get some houses up. I've seen hummingbirds - 8 at a time on my feeder last year, as well as bluebirds, tufted-titmouses, and chickadees. You name it, we have it.
I look forward to any and all advice you can give me. I need to know what I have and when to work on it - and what to do to it when it's time! I need a gardening mentor...any volunteers? Thanks in advance!