Garden overhaul, featuring many unidentifiable plants and weeds


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Hello!

First to provide some context. My mum lives by herself, her backyard is definitely way too big for her to maintain herself. Apart from paying someone to do the lawns, the garden beds have been overgrown with weeds and plants which have been planted by the previous home owner. We both know nothing about plants, so a lot of the plants I have no idea what they are, and whether they are invasive weeds or native trees and shrubs.

We probably need a landscaper to come and do an assessment of the yard. But I have been staying with her since our strict covid lockdowns returned, so I thought I’d help out and do the best that I can by clearing out some weeds and tidying up.

Any landscaping/plant suggestions and help with IDing some of these plants would be greatly appreciated.

Her garden is split into 3 sections so I’ll do a separate post for each section with photos.
 
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Section 1:
On the left hand side, is a raised garden bed with a couple of native trees with a lot of overgrown bushes and on the right hand side is a small garden bed with some lavender in the front row. Also on this side is another garden bed against the neighbours fence.

Apart from the lavender and grevillea, I have no other what the other plants are. We definitely want to clear a lot of the overgrown bushes.

Anyone have any suggestions on what they would do in this situation?

Thank you in advanced!
 

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Section 2:
On the left hand side, there rocky terrain, almost like a boulder of rock has been dropped there. Amongst this rocky terrain are a few random very tall palm trees. At the base of the palm trees, are what i assume a bunch of weeds. There is a patch of lawn in this section and also an empty pergola. The previous home owner had a grape vine growing, but we got rid of it cos it was getting way too out of control.
 

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Section 3:
One giant eucalyptus tree in the right hand corner, a mandarin tree and lawn. I believe there’s also a jacaranda tree in the corner.
 

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I recognize a few plants already, but it will help to have close-up shots of leaves, flower, fruit, etc.

• The shrub with the bright red flowers looks like Japanese Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles japonica or a hybrid).
• The palms look like Queen Palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana).
• Green and red-leaved forms of Ti or Cabbage Palm (Cordyline fruticosa) with long narrow trunks and large strap-like leaves.
• At least one Swamp lily (Crinum pedunculatum or similar) with a short thick trunk and even larger strap-like leaves
• Striped Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum')
• White African Daisy (Dimorphotheca fruticosa, formerly Osteospermum fruticosum)
• Pink-flowering Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum)
• Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)
• The ferny-leaved tree looks like a Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia or similar)
• The blue-green pointy-leaved rosette looks like either Furcraea parmentieri or perhaps a Yucca sp.
• Some kind of Sword Fern (Nephrolepis sp.)

I'll take close-up shots of anything but especially that fine-leaved shrub with the small pink flowers, and the tall broad-leaved small tree behind it. Also can you photograph the leaves, flowers and/or fruit on that Eucalyptus? Close up shots of the other trees would also be helpful.
 
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I recognize a few plants already, but it will help to have close-up shots of leaves, flower, fruit, etc.

• The shrub with the bright red flowers looks like Japanese Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles japonica or a hybrid).
• The palms look like Queen Palms (Syagrus romanzoffiana).
• Green and red-leaved forms of Ti or Cabbage Palm (Cordyline fruticosa) with long narrow trunks and large strap-like leaves.
• At least one Swamp lily (Crinum pedunculatum or similar) with a short thick trunk and even larger strap-like leaves
• Striped Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum 'Vittatum')
• White African Daisy (Dimorphotheca fruticosa, formerly Osteospermum fruticosum)
• Pink-flowering Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum)
• Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)
• The ferny-leaved tree looks like a Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia or similar)
• The blue-green pointy-leaved rosette looks like either Furcraea parmentieri or perhaps a Yucca sp.
• Some kind of Sword Fern (Nephrolepis sp.)

I'll take close-up shots of anything but especially that fine-leaved shrub with the small pink flowers, and the tall broad-leaved small tree behind it. Also can you photograph the leaves, flowers and/or fruit on that Eucalyptus? Close up shots of the other trees would also be helpful.
Wow Marck, that’s incredible you’re able to identify so many of them and so specifically!

I’ve attached some close ups. It was hard to get any better closeups of the eucalyptus as its growing so high up. But at the moment, there’s no flowers, just branches and leaves. I assume its a eucalyptus tree, or is it a gum tree? I dont know the difference between the two!
 

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My first goal at the moment is to try and get rid of the weeds. The 3 biggest culprits are these guys: the ferns, ivy vine and another plant with thin vines with small white flowers.

P.S I think I spotted another patch of that orchid you helped me ID in the other thread.
 

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Some more plants identified

• The tall shrub with the fuzzy fruit is a member of the Family Melastomataceae, perhaps Tibouchina lepidota, but I am unsure.
• The pink-flowered shrub is Breath-of Heaven (Coleonema pulchellum) in the Rue family (Rutaceae). It is native to South Africa.
• English Ivy (Hedera helix)
• Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum or similar)
• Camellia (Camellia sp.)
• A green Bromeliad (possibly a Neoregelia sp.)
• Yes, Eucalyptus are Gum Trees. I'm not sure which species you have. There are many species in Australia. The ones with white bark are somtimes known as Ghost Gums. If a local Eucalyptus expert tells you what it is, do let me know. I'm always eager to learn more about them.

The vine with the pinkish-white flowers is on the previous list above. It is pink-flowered Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum). You might want to keep some of it. The flowers are deliciously fragrant.

Wonderful to find more Dendrobium kingianum. That is truly a choice plant.
 
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Some more plants identified

• The tall shrub with the fuzzy fruit is a member of the Family Melastomataceae, perhaps Tibouchina lepidota, but I am unsure.
• The pink-flowered shrub is Breath-of Heaven (Coleonema pulchellum) in the Rue family (Rutaceae). It is native to South Africa.
• English Ivy (Hedera helix)
• Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum raddianum or similar)
• Camellia (Camellia sp.)
• A green Bromeliad (possibly a Neoregelia sp.)
• Yes, Eucalyptus are Gum Trees. I'm not sure which species you have. There are many species in Australia. The ones with white bark are somtimes known as Ghost Gums. If a local Eucalyptus expert tells you what it is, do let me know. I'm always eager to learn more about them.

The vine with the pinkish-white flowers is on the previous list above. It is pink-flowered Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum). You might want to keep some of it. The flowers are deliciously fragrant.

Wonderful to find more Dendrobium kingianum. That is truly a choice plant.
Thanks Marck, I had no idea there are so many type of Eucalyptus’. This tree has been the bane of everyone’s existence, its grown so big that any dead branches falls into our neighbours yard which they get angry about. They have consistently insisted we log it down completely, but the cost and hassle of doing that was far too much.

If it was your backyard, is there anything you’d get of and replace with something else? There seems to be quite a few species of plants at the moment, but there’s rhyme or reason to anything. It’s all a random allotment of plants scattered around the yard!
 
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I could go on a tangent about what I would do if it was my garden, but since it's not, I won't. Rather the best way to start any design project is to ask questions. For example, how do you want to use or interact with your garden or backyard? What kind of plants are you interested in growing and why?
 
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I could go on a tangent about what I would do if it was my garden, but since it's not, I won't. Rather the best way to start any design project is to ask questions. For example, how do you want to use or interact with your garden or backyard? What kind of plants are you interested in growing and why?
Very good point and good questions for me to consider.

I just have one more ID question if you dont mind. Do you know what this plant is? The flowers are starting to bloom and are light pink in colour .
 

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This is a pale pink form of Weigela (Weigela florida or a hybrid) in the Honeysuckle Family (Caprifoliaceae).
 
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Found another discovery, as soon as we started to water the garden, the old grape vine where the pergola is started shooting sprouts from its (what we thought was dead) root stock. Makes me wonder what other hidden plants are lying dormant or undiscovered!
 

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Good news. I would let your grape vine regrow on the pergola. If it gets too unruly, you can prune it back, but keep a framework of main branches so that it can provide quick shade and greenery in Spring.
 
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Good news. I would let your grape vine regrow on the pergola. If it gets too unruly, you can prune it back, but keep a framework of main branches so that it can provide quick shade and greenery in Spring.
They grow at crazy speeds! The grape vine plant is probably 20+ years old. Will it still be viable in producing fruit?
 
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Pruning a grape vine back to the ground is a process of rejuvenation. Grape vines produce best on younger stems, which is all you will have now. You may begin to get good crops as soon as next summer (2022-2023), especially if you continue to prune correctly into the future. Of course, the shade and appearance of a grape arbor may be just as pleasant as the fruit.
 
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I inherited a grape vine that filled a greenhouse, read up about pruning them and looked at the mass that I removed last year and the short stem left over with some trepidation. It's back in strength this year and bearing plenty of fruit, so keep watering :)
Lucky you having a climate that does not need a greenhouse.
 
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