Is it better to keep up with your landscaping? HOA would not approve
I have been in this house for almost two years and I am still dealing with the previous owner's landscaping. Once I get the landscaping resolved, maybe I can grow food in the ground instead of pots. I am not planning to touch the 3/4 acre of undeveloped desert.
They did a charming job of landscaping but did what many do and planted little cute plants close together to fill in spaces, not taking into account what the full grown plants would look like. Then apply some water and neglect...this would not happen in a homeowner's association. (For the record, I never want to be in HOA.)
So, having hacked away most of the overgrowth, I have discovered a good reason to let your landscaping go: native plants are allowed to grow undisturbed. It has taken me a while to identify plants. I have discovered a Rocky Mountain Maple growing in my Red-Tipped Photina forest (watch out for the photinas, my photina hedge plants are now 15 feet high.) Two of my Texas Ranger shrubs are kinda stunted; I found Thin Leaf Cottonwood trees coming up from beneath them, probably why they are smaller than the others. (I have a volunteer Texas Ranger growing in the desert with no supplemental water.) I have a huge Red Yucca with TWO cottonwood trees growing up from underneath. There are other cottonwoods crowding other plants. My best find is a prickly pear cactus growing on the edge of backyard, next to two native shrubs that were ignored.
Anyways, I hate to kill healthy plants, although a couple are on my list. I also favor native plants where possible.
So, I have native plants that have a good start because of the neglected landscaping. The maple stays right where it is, partially protected by the photinas. Should I keep any or all of the cottonwoods? Your input would be appreciated.