despite the constant influx of urban weeds, mainly invasive species, i am pretty proud of some of the things i've done back there in the past, mainly the trees i've planted. trees and bushes are a great defense against weeds. for example, i planted two honeysuckles at the side of the garage, and now they're full grown, and they block out all the garlic mustard and Ailanthus trees coming in from next door. plus they smelled terrific this year - which was actually my plan - i wanted to tame the next door neighbours with sweetness, so the jackass who lived there would stop shooting his gun off in the middle of the night. they've moved though. i guess they couldn't stand the sweetness.
the stupid city - (continuing rant) - only INVITED weeds into the dark little tree alcove in my lot next door, when they chopped down all the trees. now garlic mustard is going to have a field day back there. garlic mustard, which actually tastes like garlic and mustard, came in from china, and it has been taking over vast tracks of land - urban AND wilderness. it is a MAJOR environmental problem. hundreds pop up at a time - in the first year they are a carpet of nice little plants, in the next year they spring up about two feet tall, and each plant produces A THOUSAND TINY SEEDS! such invaders make gardening in the city a complete exasperation, and mayors should go on anti-invasive-species campaigns instead of a bulldozing campaign - it would be far more effective.
i try to plant trees and bushes that help native birds, squirrels and bees. however, the honeysuckles i planted were kind of a mistake, since it turns out that they are ALSO an invasive species in wilderness areas themselves. i've seen it first-hand. plus, they don't provide native birds safe nesting, as our NATIVE honeysuckles do, so their invasion continues to cause declines in bird populations, giving the edge to feral cats. unfortunately, there is virtually no one who sells native honeysuckle rather than the invasive ones that gardeners have been buying for decades. live and learn.
every year Ailanthus trees try to overtake my garden - especially my little area at the BACK of the garage. Ailanthus are an invasive tree weed from china that sprout up like the devil's business - which is weird because they are called the "tree of heaven". they stink like hell! their little branches just fall off and then send roots into the ground and instantly - more devil trees! so it's a pain in the ass trying to clear these out twice a year, along with the garlic mustard and some stinging weed. then having the city breath down your neck because THEY don't address the problems. weeds are not eradicated by simply cutting them down!
my arms were all red from pulling the weeds - mostly some aggressive stinging tiny-leaf weed that trails in huge batches and pull out extremely easily, but without the roots - DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THIS WEED IS? (It puts out tiny yellow flowers which bear tiny green tomato-cucumber-like fruit, and it smells tomatoey). Plus there was some poison ivy around - which i am extremely sensitive to. I used tea tree oil to treat my arms and that seemed to work well.
anyway - the little area behind my garage - i planted a turkish trazel tree, which is finally looking really cute. it will give off hazel-nuts, but they won't work as seeds. win-win. there is also a wild looking little red cedar back there. and a beautiful purple-red bush-tree (plum) which i created from the stump of a tree i had to cut down. and the area is now coated with day lilies and some wild grass. a really nice little wild area.
also proud of my almond tree, wild cherry, washington hawthorn, emerald green arborvitae, firethorns/roses, etc. and there were some big yellow irises which i found in a natural area, and now they are spreading really well - very nice flowers. i later learnt that they are from europe, but they're pretty tame. my redbud and eastern wahoo trees are coming along well in the shade of my house. i planted the almond tree banking on global warming to help it survive. it's very happy.
Ailanthus - "tree of heaven"
Garlic Mustard - actually the flowers don't look so prominent, and the plant is taller and thin looking. But in the FIRST year it looks totally different, a low ground cover plant almost looking like violet leaves. THAT'S the time to attack it with "Round-Up". But in the second year, pull it up before the flowers or seeds occur.