|English Ivy creeping (or should I say LEAPING) through the fence.|
The same neighbors that are cultivating running bamboo also have a gargantuan spread of English ivy growing a few feet from the fence that divides our properties. In moderation, I like English ivy. The waxy dark green foliage is a nice counterpoint to the gray skies of the typical Oregon winter. I said MODERATION. But this plant doesn't do moderation. It's an invasive monster that must be kept in check with regular pruning (or blow torch) to keep it from eating the neighborhood.
Of course, I neglected pruning it last summer, in lieu of more enjoyable pursuits. Dealing with ivy was too much like work especially in this part of the garden which sees temperatures that are at least 50 degrees warmer than the rest of my spread. While I was otherwise occupied, the sneaky stuff had rambled its way over the fence and into our wood box, located just to the right of the photo above. I cropped it out for your protection and my vanity.
In November the ivy bloomed and despite the fact that Mother Nature had turned the temperature to something more doable, I couldn't disappoint the swarm of honeybees taking advantage of what appeared to be delicious ivy nectar.
Then we had our arctic event, then Christmas and here it is January. Of course, the ivy flowers are long past their prime and the bees have vacated the premises. With decent weather this past weekend, I figured it was finally time to tackle the beast. Besides, indoor pursuits (read: taking the Christmas tree down) felt too much like work.
First I had to remove all the wood from said wood box. In case you're wondering, the box is bigger than a small car. It measures roughly four feet tall, five feet deep and about six feet long, and weighs close to five thousand pounds.
On Saturday I tugged and heaved and tossed the wood out, creating a giant pile. Picture the painter painting himself into a corner. There are purposely no pictures so you'll have to take my word for it.
Then with everything out and with the hubby's help, the wood box monstrosity was relocated away from the fence so I could get to the aforementioned monster ivy. But I was tired so I called it a day.
Sunday meant restacking the wood which took a few hours, several cups of coffee and subsequent trips to the bathroom which meant stepping over piles of logs and scrap wood with exposed nails. Yeah. I had to be careful, which is why the coffee was so important.
Finally, with the wood neatly (sort of) stacked in the wood box, I could tackle the ivy. I was mistaken. A few hours into it, I realized that taking the Christmas tree down was not work.
Today, I'm fine, as long as I don't move. My muscles are annoyed with me.
It was too late in the day to get an "after" photo so you'll have to--again--take my word for it. Despite my excessive bitching, the results were worth the effort.
Moving on, I thought I'd do like the many talented bloggers out there and share a few of the highlights of 2013.
|Here is a photo of what I call the "South Lawn" in the dead of last winter.|
The sticks in the foreground are raspberry canes awaiting my pruning prowess.
|Here is the same area in July of 2013.|
|And just for fun, a different angle of the same border.|
So, are we ready for spring?
|Bleh! Here it is in October.|
In April, I was lamenting to my friend Joy the plight of my 'Tiger Eye Sumac' (Rhus typhina). Basically I thought I'd killed it when I dug and moved it. Joy encouraged me that it was alive and that I needed to exercise a little patience. She was right, of course. Thank you Joy.
|Tiger Eye--alive and well, with rose foliage|
Part of the deck is behind this jungle of plants (below).
|Stage 1 -- Crazy Jungle|
|Stage 2 -- The taming begins,|
Deck removed, no patio yet
|Stage 3 -- Much better, patio installed|
(If you look closely, you'll see the aforementioned English ivy behind the umbrella.)
A few weeks ago I posted a photo of my Winter Sweet (Cimonathus praecox) almost blooming.
|Stage 1 -- Buds!|
|Stage 2 -- Fragrant Flowers! Hooray.|
In closing, I rarely get good photo of my kitties (not enough patience) but I just happened to be at the right place at the right time to capture Nala in her basket. The photo is a little grainy which proves I'm not a photographer.