Saturday, May 01, 2010

Taming an Ivy Bank

(This has turned into a long post so I’ll break it up into 2 parts. It’s the usual cleanup story with a twist. You’ll understand after you read part 2 on Wednesday.)

If you’re thinking of using ivy as a ground cover, I’d like to share the story of my ivy covered bank with you. It was called American Ivy by the neighbor who gave it to me many years ago. I usually work on the bank 3 times in the growing season. I didn’t keep it trimmed and weeded last year so it was quite a mess this spring. The ivy had grown over the rocks, into the heather and it was full of weeds.

After 3” of rain at the beginning of the week, I jumped at the chance to get the bank trimmed and weeded while the ground was still moist. It's Impossible to pull weeds up by the roots when the ground is dry.

In order to get the roots, I needed to reach down so grass didn’t break off. I was mostly successful. I also got the ever-present maple tree seedlings out. They are easier to get out if you pull them when they are very young.

I spent about 3 hours in a cold, biting, 20 to 30 mile-an-hour gusty wind on Tuesday and Wednesday. According to AccuWeather “real feel” dropped to the low 40’s. There was a freeze warning – not a frost warning - Tuesday and Wednesday night.

After the 3 hours, I had over half of the bed finished. Feeling frozen, I promised myself to come back the next day when the weather was predicted to be warmer. I was paying for last year's laziness.


donna said...

What a hard job to tackle, especially when the weather is cold and windy. I know what you mean about the little maple trees, we have them all over the place. The ivy really is pretty where it's tumbling over the rocks. And I like your gloves.


Marie said...

I wanted everyone to understand the work involved if they were considering using ivy as a ground cover. If left go, the ivy would crawl over the rocks and take over the lawn. I like the way it looks and it really holds the bank but it is not without it's downside.

I love the garden gloves. I bought them last October at Sears. They are "Bionic" (Hillerich and Bradsby Co.) gardening glove. $29 is more than I'm used to paying. A big selling point - they come in sizes. I need a small to fit my small hand. They seem to be holding up well and are very comfortable.