Tuesday, March 13, 2012

emily vs ivy

Since I've moved into my new house, I've posted a few pictures of my yard, but nothing that gives you a really great idea of how wonderful it is -- and how much work I have to do. This is where you say "But I thought you weren't going to do any planting the first year, just see what comes up?"  True.  Aside from planting veggies in an existing raised bed, I'm not doing much 'planting'.  OK, maybe a little in the rock garden I'm sure is bare, and a few containers, but that's it.

BUT, that doesn't mean there isn't work to do.  I have yellow boxwoods that are in desperate need of TLC.  I have a tree that needs to come down, and numerous bushes that need to be trimmed. And I have ivy.  Lots and lots of ivy. I have ivy on trees, I have ivy in the foundation of the house, I have ivy in the yard, I have ivy in the kitchen garden, I have had ivy in the rock garden.  I may not know what I want/will be able to plant yet, but I know the ivy has to go.

Invasive plants are a pain.  The thing about this ivy is that I'm convinced that some of it is older than I am - and since my great grandparents built the original house (well fishing cottage) in the 1920's, this is entirely possibly.  As I've worked my way around the back of the house into the sideyard and towards the woods (which are solidly covered in ivy) the vines have turned into chords, and I've discovered large nodes.  The chords are dense in this part of the yard, criss-crossing over each other like a game of pickup sticks, just  underground so you can't see the sticks to know which is on top.

I have declared war on the ivy, and I have a strategy to get rid of it. Working from the outside (the youngest vines with the smallest leaves) towards the center, has been the most thorough approach with respect to leaving no vine left behind.  I may have bled a little bit, and I might be sore, but I am making steady progress.  While I'm sure I'll be pulling ivy for many springs to come, I'm hoping that it will be less intense than this year, because the ivy is putting up a good fight.  This was expected though, after all, it's been living here since before I was born!

So far, I've cleared the rock garden, the most desperate of the boxwoods, the patio garden, and I'm working on the sideyard.  I have at least one, if not two more full weekends worth of work to do to get all of the ivy cleared from around the house.

That deserves a reward right?  A Julie Darling Donut Breakfast Sandwich at Foodworks perhaps?  I'll take that and a mimosa. WHO KNEW scrambled eggs and donuts are a match made in heaven!


  1. look out for hidden poison ivy (I learned the hard way). I hate that stuff too, but if you chip away at it, you'll be really pleased! yummm - I can't believe that sandwich!!!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Wendy. I like what I've done so far, and I've only got one section left to tackle this year. The rest can wait for next fall. I am going to stay as far away from the snakes as possible!


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