I'm moving to a new house where the previous owners were
fairly uninspired in terms of keeping up the property.
I want to redo a lot, but wonder about setting priorities.
What should I tackle first, and what can wait?
As background, the green area consists of a small, somewhat
shady front lawn about 30' x 10' and a backyard about 30' x 30'
with a big maple (unknown species) about 3' in diameter, a
lawn which looks like it has some ground ivy and other weeds
mixed in. The whole property is surrounded by a fence and
pretty tired hedge (unknown deciduous species). The back
is fairly sunny right now, but I don't know how much shade
our tree and the neighbors' trees will yield.
I'll be moving in early April. There is a stream abutting
the property, and I have a toddler, so I want to avoid or
carefully target pesticide and fertilizer use.
Here are some things I want to do:
-- Rejuvinate the hedge
-- Remove some lawn for vegetables, herbs and annuals
-- Plant some flowering shrubs (Rose of Sharon is a
favorite of mine, wife likes butterfly bush)
-- Plant a fig tree and possibly paw paw
-- Weed and rejuvinate the lawn
-- Add some kind of interesting landscape feature, such
as a stone wall or raised garden area
The big question I have, though, is how to prioritize,
given limited time to garden (alas).
Should I forget about the lawn for this year and commit
to double digging the vegetable garden? Or am I better
off digging out a big section of the hedge and putting
in the flowering shrubs? How long should I wait to get
a sense of the sun patterns? Maybe I ought to get the
landscape feature in place first and then build around
it? Or is it most important to get the weeds out of the
lawn before they take over even more?
Obviously, there is no one right answer, and anything I
do will be an ongoing process, but I'd certainly be
interested in knowing how other people tackle a major
garden/yard renewal project like this.