My Spring Challenge (Clearing the Weeds and Planting a Slope)

Here is a picture of our new territory that I didn't quite know I had until a couple weeks ago. It is covered in a variety of weeds including notable family favorites like ragweed, goldenrod and Queen Anne's lace. Now if it were just the latter two weeds I would be OK with the area as a natural wild field area, but I declared war on the ragweed a long time ago.

I have a step by step idea for this area of the yard. I want to create paths and small to medium size circles of weeds that I can manage as I go. Each of these areas will eventually become a planting spot for perennials or ground covers. This will also let me map out where I want to place beds and give me a gradual feel for the area. Rest assured I will take out any ragweed that dares to stand in my way! Later I want to put a small bench/seating area so you can look down on the rest of our backyard. I will need to do much of this before spring gets into swing since it is all dead right now. Once spring gets going the weeds will start growing which will make clearing them all the more difficult. I'm also considering planting some evergreens on the top edge of the area. I've always liked spruces because of their shape and color.
Above you can see the mass of weeds that entangles this slope. In the background are two of our neighbors houses. It would be nice to provide them with something other than ragweed as a late summer and autumn display. For many of the plants I may go native but I like too many other plants to stick just to natives. Some ornamental goldenrod would be good, since it looks great and thrives in our area. Perhaps some Joe-Pye Weed, Rudbeckia, and loads of ornamental grasses. Nancy Ondra on her blog Gardening Gone Wild showed a picture of one area of her meadow garden that was filled with ornamental grasses. The second to last image is one I'd like to emulate in my yard. My area is a slope so it naturally will be different but there is such a great variety of textures in that image, who wouldn't want to emulate it?

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