We took out an assload of volunteer saplings, which opened up a vast tract of yard and revealed that, hey, lookit that, somebody tried to have a bed back there! A stunted dogwood fought for scraps of sunlight behind the invaders, periwinkle skittered over the ground under the wild grape, and a few valiant lirope struggled in the background (The previous owner loved her lirope. I was not so fond of it, but after a few months here, I have to admit, it lives forever, the flowers are pretty, it sucks up drought and heat and grief, and the foliage is dark and attractive all the time. There are worse traits in a plant.)
Our newly open space actually gets a good chunk of sun. I may get to have real flowers back here! As it is, I'll hit the nursery and see if anything sturdy wants to live back there. God, I could even plant a tree! A good tree! I've never had a spot for a whole tree before! I may not actually use it--only if I can find one that's sufficiently dwarf that the little dogwood down the way, who will probably explode now that it's getting sun, won't suffer any longer--but it's nice to have the option. At the very least, I'm gettin' some good shrubs.
Once the tree-weeds were out--and god, getting that damn silktree out was like a benediction, angels practically descended and sang "Tiiiimmmm...ber..." when it fell--I went to work ripping out English ivy and wisteria. They were so intertwined with an ancient, Lovecraftian wild grape, the periwinkle, and Virginia creeper, that I wound up ripping them all out in mats. It pains me a bit to remove the wild grape--it is, after all, native, and beloved of wildlife--but there's so much of it that I suspect I didn't make any kind of dent. It's welcome to large chunks of the yard--better it than wisteria or ivy!--but anything I've carved out with saw and pruning shears is mine, damnit.
And I promise to put something either native, or desperately well-behaved, pretty, and useful to wildlife in its place.