These are the good ole days

We had glorious weather here this weekend, and Mark and I used it to our advantage to make a concentrated strike against the Chameleon ivy still in sections of our garden.

This is a photo you may have seen that I took in April when Mark was preparing the soil to plant new grass along the edge where we had to kill about a foot wide border of grass that had been infiltrated by the ivy.

In April we spent a week or two clearing the right end of this garden of ivy. This panoramic view shows about 2/3 the length of the garden. The grass seed has been planted, and a large section of the garden has been mulched. The left end of the garden that is not pictured here still has a lot of ivy.

If you look closely under the hydrangeas on the right, you can see how the ivy has moved up the hill and into the wooded area. I’m not sure when we will get to this section, but every passing day the ivy creeps further into the woods, and back down the hill into the garden. A person could get paranoid.

You can see here where we stopped. This was taken in April, so the ivy doesn’t look all that pronounced, but all the brownish red you see in the grass and among the perennials is the ivy.

By the end of May this garden looked like a weed jungle. Mark is removing ivy from the top section. He had already spent a couple of days working at the very left edge of this garden. You can just make out a patch of brown dirt along the far bottom curve where he’s been.

I spot some salvia that we planted last year struggling to get it’s blooms above the wave of ivy.

Oh look. There’s a daylily in there.

We worked Friday and Saturday and got this far. It is time-consuming work. You can’t just yank the weed out of the earth. It is attached to long runners that are all entangled with each other under the soil and deep down into the clay. We have to double-dig. Mark fills my cart with shovel-fulls of the ivy-filled soil and/or clay and I hand sift through it clump by clump, pulling out every blooming last little piece of runner. Even the tiniest piece will grow if left in the soil.

We spent the entire day outside on Sunday and got pretty far.

What’s left is basically this section of perennials, which sadly, we already did once. It was one of the first sections we worked on last year before we understood the full extent of the problem. We will have to go back in and double dig to try to get all the runners.

You can see all of Mark’s new grass here along the finished edge of the garden, and why we have to stop the spread of this ivy. Truthfully, it is infiltrating the grass and will take over the entire yard in a few years if the super heroes don’t stand together to battle it back.

Here’s the good part of the story. There was a nice breeze blowing and birds were singing. I had set up my i-Pod speakers in the garage and was blaring music out of there so that it would be audible where we worked at the far end of the garden. Sometimes Mark and I  talked and sometimes we worked silently together. It reminded me of early in our marriage when we worked together to refinish a hardwood floor in the dining room of our first house. I remember reading at the time that it was good marriage therapy for a couple to work on something together.

I was sitting there sorting the dirt, saving the worms, watching out for spiders, when “Anticipation” by Carly Simon starting playing over the i-Pod speakers and into our yard. Yes. I thought. These are the good ole days.

21 thoughts on “These are the good ole days”

  1. that ivy is like a borg weed! Gerard and I plastered walls together this weekend and I had the same thought as you, how nice it is to work on a project together. good days indeed.

  2. We had a gorgeous weekend in Lexigton, as well. Unfortunatey family activities kept us out of the garden–though it was wonderful having nice weather for that, as well. It’s just so nice to work outside when it’s not so hot. Your garden is looking lovely, Christine! One of these days we’ll invite yu and Mark to come down for lunch and see our garden. It would be fun to meet.

    1. Thank you. I would fee better about it if we weren’t re-doing some of what we’ve already done. But we’ve learned from our mistakes. It is satisfying to see the cleaned up, grass lined, mulched garden.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful day — and I am always so impressed with how hard you guys work and how much you accomplish. Our yard is 90 percent weeds this year…. and now with three days of rain behind us and at least as many ahead, I’m ready to throw in the towel. Still, yes, these are the good ole days!

  4. Weeding is hard work! Anything with runners is difficult to rid. I thought periwinkle was pretty and took a few strands from my MIL a few years ago. I decided this year to get rid of it. I’ve twice pulled it all out of one bed and I’m still finding it!

    1. Thanks for the tip about periwinkle. We actually have a lot of it in our woods, but it is nice up there. I guess we’ll just have to make sure it doesn’t find its way down into the gardens.

  5. I love that tough little salvia fighting back against the ivy. 🙂 I can’t imagine the hours you have put into getting rid of the ivy. Hubby is clearing ivy from an area where it has grown for years. It doesn’t seem to be quite as eager to tackle the lawn as yours.

    1. I am convinced there is nothing as bad as this Chameleon ivy. I’ve rid my gardens of many things over the years and this one is truly a bad apple.

  6. Nice post, Christine. The garden is solely my territory unless I have a big job that requires another hand. But we built a house together and worked on all the finishing touches together to save money. Yes–nice memories. In reference to the chameleon ivy: I planted trumpet vine and am still trying to pull it out as it appears here and there in the lawn 😦

    1. In our old house we did the same. The garden was mine unless I needed help with something. I had a fenced in garden that I liked to think of as an English Country garden. i like a little wildness about it. Mark is pretty neat. So I’m fairly certain our ideas would have clashed. This garden really feels more like landscaping. And there is way too much of it. I’m glad we’re working on it together.

      My parents have trumpet vine. It looks beautiful, but the little bush sprouts of it scattered throughout their lawn and poking up through their bushes, not so much.

    1. The beauty of nature is that we can often enjoy it other places for free, without the effort to maintain a garden, or the expense of owning a property with one. I have seen very charming gardens that are quite small. I guess it partly depends upon your vision and energy level. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. This seems like a mammoth task Christine as Ivy is so hard to get rid of, All of that hard work and still it comes back.. Im wishing you luck with winning this war… xxx Hugs

    1. Thanks, we’ll take all the help we can get. We’ve stalled out for a while. We went out of town and now it’s hot. I’m not sure when we’ll get back to it. Frustrating.


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