Our Native Landscape Story (Part 4): Removing Invasive Species

This is Part 4 of Our Native Landscape Story.

Each of the posts in this series has showcased sections of our yard and what we've done in each section including before and after photos.

Part 1 and Part 2: Removing Impervious Surfaces

Part 3: Removing Stone Mulch

This post will highlight removing invasive species and smothering lawn to create native plantings.

Along with removing the impervious surfaces in Part 1 and Part 2, we had started on eliminating invasive species, especially European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) that was along the south side of our lot.

In the before photo below, European Buckthorn was intermixed with Red and Canada Elderberry, Red Osier and Gray Dogwood under Black Cherry trees. We removed the Buckthorn as well as Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) and Garlic Mustard (Allaria petiolata) that was growing along the edges of the mowed areas.
The paved area in the foreground was eliminated as detailed in Part 1.

The lawn on the left was dominated by Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) so we decided the best approach was to smother the lawn with paper and add mulch on top. Read an earlier post about smothering grass.
Early spring, second year after planting

The lawn was smothered in the fall so we spread extra leaves on top before laying down the paper. This helped build up the amount of organic matter in the soil and also created some air pockets to allow the soil to "breathe" while the grass was smothered. 
May 2010

Smothering lawn is so easy and and results in the least amount of soil disturbance. The beneficial soil bacteria and fungi, and plant roots are not disrupted.

American Bladdernut
Staphylea trifolia
On the left is Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) and common blue violets. On the right is Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera), Canada Anemone, American Bladdernut and ferns. 
In the background we planted bareroot shrubs including American Hazelnut, Red Elderberry and American Cranberry Viburnum. Downy yellow violets, False Solomon's Seal, Wild Ginger, Early Meadow Rue and Jack in the Pulpit were planted amongst these bareroot shrubs.