See what happens when we don't pay attention to the landscape?
This is a pretty landscape gone bad. The natural form of the crape myrtles has been compromised by repeated 'pruning', the 'Shillings' hollies are almost dead from the drape of vines that covered them, and this crape myrtle has become a trellis for honeysuckle, smilax, Japanese climbing fern and other opportunistic fiends.
When I first saw this landscape three or so years ago I admired its elegance. As time went on, it looked shabby, and then downright terrible. It doesn't look as bad in the pictures only because winter freezes have defoliated the vines and saplings.
The gentleman who lived here recently died, and I guess he was the one taking care of the yard work. That happens, sometimes, and I guess this wasn't the kind of neighborhood where someone would send their teenager over to lend a hand keeping things up when he became too... whatever... to do so.
Thanks goodness its wintertime, and cool. I hate tackling jobs like this in the hot summer.
After hours of work, we have dug out vines, dug up saplings, weeded, and dug out more vines. My right wrist has broken out in what could have been a major case of poison ivy. Thank you, Tecnu! The landscape looks a lot better, but we still have miles of weeds to go, and then we will have to prune the shrubs, clean up the sago palms, and give everything a good thick layer of mulch. Oh, and those yaupon hollies really need to go. I don't think they would even rejuvenate.
The moral? If you get too sick, old, or busy to take care of the landscape yourself, hire someone sooner rather than later.