This is looking west toward the house from the east edge of the property. It's deceptive, because this is a year after the previous photo, and a lot of work has been done to cut down all of the mulberry and buckthorn, and get rid of the old rotting railroad ties. Many applications of Roundup have been done back here. For a long time I wasn't sure how to get rid of the weeds, so I didn't do anything at all and they kept taking over. That strategy didn't solve the problem. I'm not a big fan of chemicals, but something had to be done. In the long-term interest of restoring native species and eventually not having to use chemicals, I decided to use Roundup.
Toward the middle of the photo, along the privacy fence and going back toward the house, are many native flowers and grasses planted the previous year. These also extend along the patio and the entire south side of the house until meeting the front yard (nothing has really been done in the front yard yet.)
This back area is about 1500 square feet, and will be planted from seed. It was the most problematic area, and it took about a year and half to get rid of all the invasives and weeds, to the point where I could start planting back here. The raised garden bed used to sit between the edge of the planted area (middle of photo) and where pile of brush (cut up buckthorn) is sitting. The dirt is a little darker in that area. Bottom left is the weed wrench, and over to the right is the chainsaw.
Way back toward the house on the patio, are 6 northern white cedars purchased from Outback Nursery in Hastings. They are my favorite local nursery, and often have really good specials and deals on plants, especially toward the end of the season. In this case it was buy 2 get 1 free on trees. It's worth a trip out there just to see the huge selection of plants they have in stock. These northern white cedars are replacing the wild grape that was located where I'm standing when I took this photo. Eventually they will act as a natural privacy fence and give the birds a nice place to roost.