Exploring the site
Behind the cottage is a large section going uphill to a flat space with a brazier. These photos are from my first visit. Hover over the pic to read caption.
Start clearing and discovering
We gathered our tools on site to start clearing and discovering what was coming through under the weeds.
We piled the waste on site to make compost and improve the soil over time. There were so many pest plants that it wouldn't have made enough difference to take the considerable time to remove it all. Worst comes to the worst, we can weedspray the piles later.
Then we got planting.
Wharangi on the edges. Poa cita grass to hold the bank and for its feathery flower heads. Coprosma kirkii to cover the awkward corner and keep weeds down. Small muehlenbeckia complexa to reduce disturbance to the bank and to cover it. Perennials for colour and to enjoy. Dwarf toe toe to add continuity with existing ones.
My house backs on to a large sports park that slopes down to the road below. The large area between the road and the playing field is wildlands. Lots of rubbish. Lots of pest plants. Some natives.
Just through my back gate are several pine trees from which I gather cones and firewood.
Natives coming through
As for native plants, are self seeded pseudopanax, Coprosma robusta and repens, renga renga (probably from nearby gardens).
Of course there are way more pest plants than natives. I pull out the small ones, if they're too big I break the tops off so they don't seed or spread seed as far.
The menu comprises bear's breeches/Acanthus mollis, German ivy ( I saw only one plant), ivy, prunus, cotoneaster, broom/Cytisus scoparius and some Norfolk Island pines.
Weedbusters has info on how to control pest pants.
Such a pity I can't use the abundant pine needles for mulch or compost in my garden. There's tradescantia and many other weeds among them and I daren't risk them taking a liking to my garden.
While I'm scrambling around, I lay branches horizontally between trees to create a bit of a shelf. Over time, this reduces soil and water running down the hill and creates a shelf for seeds to settle and grow.