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Homeowner shares striking before-and-after photos detailing their 'ongoing' battle with non-native plants: 'A little less every year'

"It looks so nice."

Native plants lawn, lawn-transformation

Photo Credit: u/hello-gardening / Reddit

A homeowner on Reddit who has spent four years working to reclaim their yard from non-native plants posted in June to show off a view they can be proud of.

More and more homeowners are taking an interest in native plants, which are uniquely suited to their ecosystem. Some landscaping companies, like Yardzen, will help you plan and create a beautiful native plant garden — although some homeowners prefer to get their hands dirty themselves.

Native plants
Photo Credit: u/hello-gardening / Reddit
Native plants
Photo Credit: u/hello-gardening / Reddit

This Redditor is one of the latter. They recently shared before-and-after photos of their yard on r/NativePlantGardening.

The before photos show familiar but non-native garden plants like periwinkles, daylilies, hostas, arborvitaes, lilies of the valley, and English ivy. The ivy, in particular, was a problem for the Redditor as it spread over everything, including nearby plants. There were also large privet hedges blocking off substantial areas of the yard.

 "I removed everything on my own over the course of 2-3 years using different methods," the Redditor said, adding that the only exception was an evergreen tree. "My husband removed it safely and we had the stump ground down."

Once that was done, the Redditor started planting flowers native to the area, like sweet Joe Pye weed, several varieties of beardtongue, and lanceleaf coreopsis. They also created a thriving vegetable garden.

"Peonies are the only non-native," they said, and added in a comment, "It was the only plant I didn't remove."

Homeowners who choose native plants save money on water, fertilizer, and pesticide, all while spending less time on yard work. That's because those plants have adapted to grow in the local conditions.

Wildlife, like birds and pollinating insects, also appreciate the food and shelter native plants provide. The original poster shared a photo of one wild visitor: a goldfinch perched on their evening primrose.

Commenters loved the transformation. 

"It looks so nice; you did a great job!" said one user. "The backyard in particular really opened up."

Another commenter asked, "How was the lily of the valley removal? I have a bunch of that in my backyard that I've been slowly trying to remove, but I'm nervous it's going to come right back next year."

The original poster replied, "It's ongoing … A few still pop up every year." However, they say they're making progress and that fewer of the stubborn plants come up each time, adding, "There's a little less every year!"

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