Monday, May 30, 2011

Eng-hell-ish Ivy

When I started professionally landscaping about seven years ago, I learned the evils of English ivy.  Luckily, it never grew in places I lived and I only had to remove/kill it for other people.  One of the first things I noticed about my property when I was considering purchasing is the prolific amount of this foreign nuisance.  It's covering several trees, part of the side yard, and had begun trying to creep under the siding.  Even about 1/8 of the back of my property is so covered in it that some of the leaves are the size of my hand and it has blanketed the area to kudzu-like proportions.

borrowed from

 Now, I'm all about letting things grow and be happy and letting nature take its course.  However, when it comes to invasive plant species, I draw the battle lines.  I don't like chemicals but would be a huge advocate of aerial spraying of glyphosate if it could be targeted to only hit invasives.  The landscaping I once did professionally was focused on native plants, so that's what I decided to do at my new house with the exception of Foxgloves, my floral weakness.  The areas I've glyphosate-ed are still waiting to die, and I won't be able to do anything until next year both because of money and to let the area attempt to rest for a while.  In two spots small enough to manage manually, I've removed the ivy and planted new and more desirable annuals.  As I was pulling ivy from this particular spot, I had no idea there was that much driveway underneath.  The ivy was probably 3' out from the edges of the new bed.  As I was clearing, I kept finding all these big rocks that Ms. Laura must've used as flower bed edging.  This gave me the idea to reuse her items and make a raised bed of my own.  Through coincidence and Murphy's law, it took every last rock I found to create the bed.  The little girl statue was found in another part of the yard and it, too, was mostly covered in ivy.  She looks much cleaner and happier in her new space.  Here's one of the areas and a good close-up of a native.  See?  Natives don't have to equal weeds! 


The side yard, another ivy wasteland (and no, I'm not pregnant as my shadow would suggest).  This ivy has been mowed down and allowed to regrow to a small degree before I sprayed it. 

More natives, including rudbekia and lobelia.  This is where the foxgloves are, also.  Although not native, I didn't have the heart to remove the existing irises.

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