So here's a quick tour of the new yard, such as it is. As you can see, I have my work cut out for me.
Coming into the backyard from the carport:
Right, so the overgrown shaggy-bottomed tree is the lilac. To the far left is the garden shed. Will have to set up some sort of trellis screen to hide the ugly-ass air conditioner on the right.
Back of the house:
This is going to be a tricky area because while the deep overhang of the eaves means we don't have to worry about water pooling at the foundation, it also means that it is bone-dry next to the house and nothing grows there for a good two feet out. To the left you see hydrangeas of insanity; not sure what the other shrub is.
Better view of the lilac:
I wonder how old this thing is. What's particularly awesome is that it blooms right outside the upstairs windows, so the baby will have lilacs smelling up his or her room in the spring.
West side of the yard, behind the shed:
This is so overgrown it's hard to pick out individual plants. There are some daylilies, and invading grape vines from the neighbour's yard, but that's about all I can identify. Nice and sunny in this corner, though, once you get out of the shadow of the shed.
Back of the yard, west side:
Something to disguise the compost buckets would be nice (also, why two of them...?) To the right is an insanely massive anonymous shrub that I will be pruning the hell out of.
Next to the massive anonymous shrub, hydrangeas of insanity:
On the other side of the big white pine, though, I have started to beat them back:
They are much less intimidating once you actually chop them down to the base. Soil is deep and soft, which makes it relatively easy to pull them up after digging around them with a pitchfork. This area will make a good shade garden, I figure; the rhododendron and azaleas should love the pine needles, and the thriving of the hydrangeas of insanity proves that the tree doesn't rob the area of too much moisture. Now I just need to find something tall and shade-tolerant to put right against the fence, because otherwise I will have rather a lot of empty vertical space back there. Or else maybe I could crib from the Empress of Dirt and hang some mirrors and/or garden art.
This spot on the east side of the yard also used to be occupied by hydrangeas of insanity:
Despite the chopping down of hydrangeas, there's lots of digging up of stuff to do yet along here - other than some ferns, the only thing I've been able to identify along this side is rhubarb, which I should chop down soon and make into something yummy. There's also something that looks like goldenrod, but I'm not sure if that's actually what it is or if it's a more deliberate/domestic cousin. I'm thinking I might put the roses here, since there's dappled but fairly constant sunshine. Probably a good place for the honeysuckle to climb, too.