We put the shovels away

Friday and Saturday Mark and I did a blitzkrieg on the Chameleon ivy. The weather was dry and in the seventies here, so it was perfect for gardening. We worked all day both days. A couple of sections of the garden we re-dug for yet again. Some of these plants have been uprooted and re-planted three times. These sections are now largely free of the ivy.

Where the daylilies are planted, we only worked around the perennials. I didn’t want to uproot these plants and risk delaying or destroying their blooms. You can see them under one of the hydrangea bushes.  We will pull these out and clear the ivy rhizomes from their root systems in the fall.

And the section to the very right under and around the Oak Leaf Hydrangeas is misleading. Under the mulch, under the top layer of soil, a tangled maze of Chameleon rhizomes thrives. Mark has started using Roundup herbicide to kill the emerging ivy in the sections we have cleared. We know it is only a matter of time before this section is inundated with the ivy again. All of those rhizomes are underground generating new growth as I type.

But we’re having a little family reunion with our children and grandchild here this weekend, and I have things to do inside our largely neglected home to prepare. So we put our shovels away. (If you look closely, you might notice my gardening fork planted in the ground, just in case I can’t help myself.)

The daylilies are rather limp from battling for light and water with the Chameleon (and perhaps the assaults by our shovels). I hope they will regroup. I found a little identification tag in the soil. These daylilies are called JoAnn or Joan something. In our gardening fervor, the tag went the way of the trash can. Perhaps you recognize them and can enlighten me.

They have a pretty vanilla-colored blossom. If you look closely at the bottom flower, you will see a little morning hitchhiker.

I used to be afraid of the praying mantis. Now I’m fascinated by them. This is a young one. They are supposed to be excellent garden companions because they take care of the undesirable pests.

Here is a little attention-seeker in my St. Francis garden. This plant came with the garden.

These lovely golden daylilies were also here.

But we planted these daisies last year. They are the same variety as the ones we planted at Annies gravesite. Now that they are blooming I hope to make the trip north to Piqua, Ohio to see and photograph the flowers there. My dad is the one who insisted we plant daisies on Annie’s grave. He won’t be able to go this year.

Mark and I installed a few of the birdhouses I purchased online and from an Amish store on Murphin Ridge.

We put this one in the cleared section of the woods below the garden. Mark drove the four-by-four post into the ground using a metal mailbox spike. I have spotted several birds checking out these new residences.

I bought this little acorn bird house at the Amish store.

We hung another house, not pictured here, from a tree in our front yard, and we still have three cedar bluebird houses to install. I’m a little concerned because we want to put them on trees, but I read about it online and the experts suggest you install them on a 1-in diameter metal pole to protect them from predators. I don’t know what bluebirds do in nature. I’ve never seen a naturally occurring 1-inch metal pole with some kind of naturally occurring birdhouse on top. On the other hand, I don’t want to feel responsible if a bluebird moves in only to have her nest ransacked by a snake, squirrel, cat or raccoon. It’s a dilemma.

For now, I’m just glad to be done with the shovels and the mud for a while, and relax of an evening on the front porch with my man and my little white dog.


See more posts about gardening in my series.

17 thoughts on “We put the shovels away”

  1. Whew! What a battle that ivy has been.
    We have something called nutweed here in AZ. When we first bought our house here it was rampaging through several beds in the backyard. We had to pull back rock and plastic (it’s got sharp leaves, so it cuts right through even the heaviest plastic), then take out all the plants, then go through all the soil to get all those little roots and bulbs of nutweed out. Then we put the plants back, put down fresh plastic and pulled the rock back into place. It took us weeks!
    Your garden looks lovely, Christine. Love the little acorn bird house.

    1. It sounds like you know how it is. Back-breaking work. People who sell these invasive plants to unsuspecting home owners should be arrested and fined.

  2. Beautiful story and photos. It’s so dry where I live that I just look at your posts when I want to see some lush greenery. LOL

  3. I’d much rather work outside in the garden, but I might need to bring that shovel inside to clean if I don’t get busy!

  4. How gorgeous! Gardening is definitely a life skill I missed. 😦 And now I just don’t have the energy. Maybe when the kids are older and I want something else to GROW.

  5. Wow… I have really enjoyed this journey of your garden as you have cleared it from all that Ivy.. amazing transformation.. and it must feel good of an evening to sit and admire your hard work seeing the colour you have … I know I love my Garden.. x

    1. Totally agree! May take some of your gardening tips insofar as simplifying mine. Have been trying for the English garden look for years thinking that if I grow lots of plants, they’ll crowd out the weeds. Well, sometimes it works…and then sometimes it doesn’t. If I don’t get out early in the season and pull the weeds as they emerge, the rain here helps them thrive. And we’ve had a very long wintry, rainy season this year. So the shovels won’t be put away…

      until this coming winter…methinks…hugmamma. 🙂


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