Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It All Started With A Bird Turd

It started with a bird turd, and ended with a 10 hour long workday. About 15 years ago, I'd planted English Ivy on the house. What could be sweeter? More charming? The Devil himself could! That's who! This ivy has been a pin in my ass for years, but I put up with cause I loved the look of it. It was SO charming as it finally circled the windows, framed the door.....pushed it's way inside the attic, warped the windows....

Every spring, I'd get out our biggest ladder and climb it to tame the ivy, pulling it out of the windows, away from the sashes, where the wood meets the brick. Wheelbarrows full of ivy would go to the burn pile. Every year, trim trim, wheel wheel. I didn't mind it too much. This year, I noticed bird turds all over my back porch. I began to worry that company would be 'shat on upon arrival'. Something had to give. Birds had made a nest in the top, and would sit and poop all day long.

Up the ladder went Glenco, and down came the ivy. We decided that we'd better get rid of it all while we were still able. I couldn't imagine trimming that ivy in my 70's, but I could imagine being a prisoner of the house, covered in ivy, being cut out by a rescue team, too late, only to be found dead in my housecoat, clutching a dead cat and a shriveled up English Muffin.

This picture really doesn't do it justice. That main stem was as big around as my ankle. MY ankle! That's big.

These pictures also do not do justice to the amount of work it was. I have a feeling I'll be pulling ivy til I'm pushing daises. The back of the entire house is now covered in root hair fuzz. I really have no idea how it's going to come off. I don't think a power washer will do it. It's going to need sanding, priming and painting. NOT what I had planned on doing this year.

I should also note here that the ivy looked especially crappy this spring. Usually by this time of the year, the new growth is all flushed out. It really was practically evergreen. I still like the look of ivy on the house, and I MIGHT try to find an ivy that isn't from hell. Does anyone know if Boston Ivy would be so aggressive? I have it on the garage, and so far, it doesn't seem to be too evil, but it's only a few years old.

Having an old house is wonderful. It's charming. It's small. There are no closets. There are lots of windows. There are lots of projects. NEVER ENDING. Call me crazy, but I like it.


  1. Oh dear...that is some insane ivy! Isn't it amazing how powerful a plant can be?

  2. So Jayme, I have spent too much time today, reading your blog. Decided to go to the beginning. I have laughed a lot. Just had to leave a message on this one. Too freaking funny....... We have had the same vine problem. I admire from afar now. Been several years that we decided this wasn't doing our house any good, and still find the stuff trying to sneak around. Love your blog..........


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