Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Roe vs. Wade.  Brown vs. Board of Education.  Joe vs. the Volcano.  Anna Kate vs. Ivy.

As in, leafy green English ivy.  Ivy is such an oxymoron.  It is beautiful and delicate.  It flows gracefully from planters.  The variegated kind is especially beautiful with its mix of dark and light green.  Visually appealing.  But ivy, like kudzu and wisteria, has a deep dark secret.  It kills.  It sucks the life out of trees and plants.  It rips the paint off of your house.  It will even dig its way into mortar and cement.  It is evil.

Our house has a very nice yard.  It is beautifully landscaped with an array of lush southern foliage.  It was well maintained 12 – 15 years ago.  The base plants are still there but it is now overgrown and leggy.  And there is ivy everywhere.  It is on every tree, in every bush, and twisted around every branch in our yard.

I am on a mission.  When I am done, the ivy will be minimal and the plants will be free.

My father got me started about a month ago.  He is a master gardener and I am jealous.  My father can grow anything.  I hope to get there someday.  Anyway, we were walking through the back yard looking at the ivy roots on the base of the two big trees back there.  Before I could blink, he was hacking away at the roots.  This ivy had grown roots about 2 inches in diameter.  They had grown so far into the bark of the tree that it took all our strength to pry them off.  Luckily we got the roots severed so the ivy in the tree is starting to die.  Whew.  Trees saved.

This past weekend was our first bout of great weather since we moved here.  It was 65 degrees and sunny.  Prime yard work weather.  On Saturday, I headed out to the front yard in my grubby clothes to liberate the Japanese maple.  I pulled ivy for about 4 hours.  The ivy was wrapped around the base of the maple like that was its job.  I pulled and yanked and yelled and wrestled and grunted and wailed and moaned and gnashed my teeth.  Three leaf bags full of ivy and I was done.  Spent.  Over and out.

That was Saturday.  Today is Monday.  My back feels like someone beat me with a Louisville slugger.  My palms are sore.  My yard gloves have more epithelials than your local crime lab.  I walked to meet the bus and I’m sure the neighbors thought Igor was on the loose.  I’ve taken more Advil in the last 48 hours than I have in the last 4 – 8 years.

But that will not stop me.  I will win.  I will shut down the ivy operations.  I will save my yard.  It will be beautiful.  I might have to look at it lovingly through the windows from my traction set up in the living room but I WILL WIN!!!