• Home Home

Homeowner shares photo of barren yard left by previous owners ahead of yard revamp: 'This is your little plot of land now'

"You definitely can make progress on this space."

"You definitely can make progress on this space."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Saddled with a neglected yard? You're not alone — and you're not hopeless, either.

A photo recently posted to the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit shows a backyard crawling with invasive weeds like creeping Charlie, depicting the plight of many new gardeners.

"I want to pull up the majority of this corner garden," the original poster wrote, "but I just don't know where to start. In the fall my mom helped me weed everything we could see (which was a lot) but last week the entire back yard was covered in invasive weeds."

Invasive weeds like chickweed, bittercress, dead nettle, and speedwell have overtaken the lush corner garden. Making matters worse, the original poster shared that the previous homeowners intentionally cultivated many of these weeds. With the plot filled with invasive plants, starting a new native garden felt daunting.

"I have someone local who can provide me with some native perennials like black-eyed Susans and creeping phlox," they explained, "but is this a good place for them?"

"You definitely can make progress on this space."
Photo Credit: Reddit

When invasive species outcompete native plants, local pollinators are left homeless and hungry, affecting the entire local ecosystem. Removing invasives takes persistence, but the payoff has far-reaching effects.

If you've found yourself in a similar situation, don't panic. Start by identifying problem plants, wearing gloves, and digging out roots. Bag and trash the plants so they won't reroot. 

Then, amend the soil with compost to create an environment where natives can thrive. Planning a garden around the conditions of a specific site ensures plants are well-suited for sunlight, soil, and moisture levels.

Commenters empathized with the original poster's struggle.

"Take some time coming up with your grand vision for your space, and then break it down into manageable bite-sized pieces each season," one suggested. "Fall in love with your design and you'll get little flashes of joy whenever you see a vision start to be realized. This is your little plot of land now, so you get to work on the timeline that works for you. You got this!"

Another commenter agreed. "You definitely can make progress on this space and turn it into a lovely (mostly) native garden. But you do have some work to do."

With persistence and planning, this overgrown corner could transform into a haven for native species. Facing the challenge one season at a time brings the reward of a garden uniquely suited to local ecosystems. In the hands of caring stewards, gardens cultivate resilience.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider