The city of Atlanta and its more leafy, eastern reaches would have long since fallen victim to a devastating invasion were it not for a few hundred of us gardener-homeowners holding back the vines. Kudzu is the most well-known, but I probably have 2-3 different types of invasive vines along the back and side perimeters of my yard. Today I battled them to a stalemate for 45 back-breaking minutes. They had wrapped around my neighbor's rose bushes on the fence line and were threatening some day lillies on my side as well.
It's not yet summer, but we did not really have a winter and the heat started some time ago. It's getting more intense now. It's my fourth year owning this house. I've learned to be a bit more hard-hearted with my approach to the garden. For example, I am now much more inclined to give-up on a plant or shrub that is not thriving. All the care in the world will usually not help. It's best to move on quickly and try something else in that spot. The same goes for my time commitment. I now garden in much shorter (but more frequent) bursts. Following the lead of a few of my more seasoned neighbors, I also now use weed-killer on occasion.
Like most other things in life, gardening is all about the products one can buy. I have a nice collection of shears, rakes, loppers and shovels. Gloves are the most important. You'll need some vases too!