On Ivy

This is going to be a highly professional and helpful article about removing ivy from one’s yard.  Let us begin with my first highly professional, helpful tip:

Don’t plant ivy.

Anywhere.  Unless you want it to be everywhere.  Including in the cracks of your sidewalks, the sides of your house, and down into your basement via some, invisible-to-the-eye crevice.  Let me repeat:

Don’t plant ivy.

Unless, perhaps, you are Princeton.  Then you have an endowment and can afford people to keep it under control.  I, personally, do not have an endowment, and thus it is just me versus the ivy.  It is not quite a fair fight.

All of this is to say that for the past two days, I have stood (more technically, leaned over) in 100 degree heat and yanked and pulled and cut ivy.  And then stuffed and crammed and finagled it into gigantic black plastic bags.  Because the internet promised if I did so, and then left the plastic bags in the driveway in the sun, the ivy would shrivel up and poof, disappear.  And believe me, I wanted it to disappear.

It didn’t quite, but it did shrivel enough for me to stuff it into the trash can.

My other highly technical piece of advice (besides rip!  pull!  stuff!) is to listen to an audiobook while doing so.  I think other, normal people could just listen to music, but I am not of that ilk.  I listened to Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, almost in its entirety, while battling the ivy.  It took my mind off the dirt, bugs, and general outdoor things that I typically avoid.

And now, before and after.  Though the “before” is technically from halfway through because I forgot to take a real before.  I am just so zealous.

Before: rustic, enchanting, but capable of ripping down my home

Also before: a close up

And here’s After…I still need to rake up the extra leaves and dig up the soil to get rid of stray roots, oh and do the other 80% of the yard, but well, still.


And thus concludes my article on removing ivy.  Let’s review:

1. Don’t plant ivy.

2. Seriously, don’t.

3. If someone else did (making you entirely innocent), put on some gloves.

4. Download some engaging non-fiction on your ipod (bonus points if it’s a super old ipod that your ninth grade students did not recognize when you showed it to them once).

5. Pull, rip, yank.

6. Take advil.  Your back (also arms, legs, and neck) hurts.

7. Stuff ivy into gigantic trash bags.

8. Sneak said trash bags into trash can, which is clearly labeled “Garbage ONLY; No YARD WASTE” (semi-colon mine; there is no semi-colon on my trashcan).

9. Repeat daily for the rest of your summer, probably.

10. It helps to have a job that lets you have the summer off to accomplish such tasks.  Ahhh education.

11. You’re done!  There’s no step 11.  It’s just my lucky number.

Now it’s back to the ivy for me, though I might wait until the sun comes out so I can get a tan while doing it.  Because I know what’s important here.


One Response to “On Ivy”

  1. Jane Says:

    Your house looks great and ivy is stupid. Good job with your hard work – it is paying off. Keep up blogging too!

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