Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Remove Ivy from a Tree

When we bought this house, the backyard had a serious ivy problem.  The ivy had probably started out as a nice groundcover for the woods where nothing but weeds would grow.  It it is a lovely shade plant when tended.  Clearly this infestation was out of control!


The giant pillar of ivy in the center is a poplar tree trunk.  :)  As soon the contracts were signed, my unstoppable mother began Operation Kill Ivy on the fence.  It was basically a combination attack of pulling it, cutting it and spraying it with Roundup until victory was achieved.  But the thing I hated most about the backyard was the tree covered in ivy.  Ugly ugly!  Some people (who shall remain nameless) were concerned that killing it would only make it uglier… but I would not be deterred.  Our plan of attack was to cut the ivy at the base of the tree and hope it died.  Well, clearly that worked… it died.  It was now ugly and dead!


Eventually the dead ivy leaves fell off leaving dead ivy vines covering the tree trunk.


Fast forward through five years and one day I looked outside to find that the ivy was finally releasing the death grip on the tree trunk!  Imagine that!


Gravity was pulling it down in a huge sheet and it was literally falling away from the tree!  A few weeks later after a big storm I found the great wall of ivy laying on the ground beneath the tree.  More chunks continued to fall over the winter.  This is just a small piece:


Today there are a few vines left clinging at the top and some stubborn ones stuck to the back, but for the most part, our giant poplar is ivy-free! :)  Whoo-hoo!


I never imagined it would take five years for the ivy to fall off.  I’m not sure I imagined it ever falling off, actually!  But now I know that great improvements require great patience and that it is possible to remove ivy from a tree!

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Joy of Springtime!

It’s my favorite time of year… Spring!  Pink blossoms on cherry trees, purple creeping phlox, white azaleas, and all those tiny green sprouts are sprouting into hostas, irises and lilies all over the yard!  I’ve been spending so much time outside I haven’t had a chance to post our Spring blooms until now.  We have been raking leaves, spreading pine needles and planting shrubs.  And I finally bought and planted the ornamental cherry tree I have been wanting for years! :)  Things are shaping up around here just in time for nice weather!

Mama replanted all the hostas that the greedy voles ate up last year.  Hopefully we have eradicated the buggers and these hostas will have a nice long life here in the backyard.



It is such a thrill when the creeping jenny starts popping up everywhere!  And the purple phlox are still putting on their colorful show.


The phlox in front are joined by a periwinkle explosion. 


We got new camellias for the front bed, aren’t they lovely?  The two I planted last year in the back were damaged by the cold winter, but they still managed to bloom a few flowers.  Hopefully they will rebound for next year.


My bleeding heart is gorgeous, too… this thing is massive, but I just can’t bring myself to split it!


More pink phlox on the edge of the wall.  I love this!



And here’s a look at our beautiful green grass that we reseeded last fall.  It looks great!


My new “Kwanzan” cherry tree is in the spot where the butterfly bush used to live up by the mailbox.  I love these pink blooms!



Pretty pretty Spring!


I’ll be back with more updates from the English garden once the snowball bush gets going!  Until then you’ll find me in the hammock soaking up this delicious weather!

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