3/52: minimising english ivy

woven ivyTrying to yank out huge hunks of ivy doesn’t really work, because with years of growth the vines are interwoven and become stronger and almost impenetrable. You need to tackle it in stages and small quantities.

The way I do this is to sit on a cushion and work in the area immediately in front of me, which saves stress on both the back and the knees. Headphones for my music and a sun visor complete the image.

think ergonomicallyTaking up a small handful of vine, I snip both ends, and put them into a bucket or bin. Do this a number of times and then you can pull up the roots more easily. Continue the process until you have had enough and the recycling bin is fed.

tools of the tradetools of the trade

take hold of a clumpgrab a handful

cut at each endsnip each end

sometimes thicker secateurs are requireduse secateurs for older, thicker vines

a handful to recycleanother clump for the recycling bin

then dig out the rootsdig out the roots

off to the recycle binthat won’t grow again

Countless hours have been spent by me working on downsizing the ivy population. I have equated managing the garden with eating an elephant before, and once again, little by little is the key.

break on thruthe last part made me think of the lyrics “break on through to the other side”

the path is clearthe finished path

mulchedanother area completed

It has been worth the effort, with a good sense of achievement at the end, but why can’t we manage to just keep on top of things in the first place? Because:

1) we are human and

2) life gets in the way

Perhaps we should be a little more gentle on ourselves and our expectations.

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364/366: containment issue: english ivy

You might plant an innocent little cutting, and within a few months or years it has insiduously taken over part of the garden. However, some of these plants are very attractive, so it becomes a containment issue, such as with seaside daisies, fishbone fern and in this case, English ivy. Left to its own devices up in the top tier of the back yard, it spread to such an extent that it was becoming a pest.

looking between the plum trees before minimising ivy

My circle of shame was testament to its hostile takeover, but that transformation will be revealed on New Year’s Eve. Last time it was mentioned it had become a semi-circle of shame.

The giant mountain of mulch has helped spur me on to create places in which to spread it. It’s a win-win situation, getting rid of both the pile in the driveway and creating a new look for the back yard.

last piece of ivy containment

a sense of order restoredA sense of order has now been restored, and will allow much easier access to pick plums.