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Monday, October 6, 2008

I Hate Ivy

I have spent the last couple of Mondays discovering that decorative ivy is a gardener's nightmare. We moved into our house two years ago, and the previous owner had set up several bird houses and bird feeders on posts. Around the base of several of them there was ivy. At first, I thought it was pretty, and left it there. But I have since learned that ivy isn't content to stay where it is planted. Several times I've had to trim it back, as it crept out of its bed to spread into the lawn. Most recently it decided to start climbing the posts. When I pulled it off, paint came with the vine. Not exactly fun or attractive.

So I decided that I would get rid of the ivy completely, and plant something different in the beds. That's when I discovered that ivy doesn't have a single root. My goodness, this stuff is tough! Tiny little roots everywhere, branches and vines intertwined, and multiple places where thick roots go deep. Removing it from six beds took hours and hours of cutting, hacking, and digging. I have several new blisters, and will NEVER plant or recommend ivy. Sure, it looks nice, but it gets everywhere, and its a major headache to remove if you decide you don't like it.

But the job's finally done, and the beds are free of the accursed ivy. In the spring I'm going to plant azaleas, aster, and perhaps some other things (I prefer perennials since you don't have to do as much work on them).

Tomorrow I'll have another "Ask The Vet" question!