Those of you who have read my Facebook posts in the past are well aware of my documented loathing of the strawberry vine that perenially plagues the ivy bed that runs along the side of our house. It is, in a word, my nemesis. And I thought that there could be nothing worse.
Until this year.
This year the ivy bed was visited by a new, even more twisted, weed. It is in the strawberry vine family, I am sure, as its leaves are similar. But there are no berries, and this one has a nasty habit of rerooting itself about every inch or so. It wasn’t until I began working with it that I understood how dense it was, and how it had choked out a large section of the ivy. It’s hard to remove this weed because it’s thick as thatch and, if you want to get all of the roots, you are tugging every inch, and then rolling it up to pull up some more. Every once in a great while you run across one of the mother weeds which have roots about ten inches long.
I have to admit, when I find one of these mother weeds my heart begins to beat a bit faster and when it finally releases its hold on the soil you can hear me scream, “Ha!” as in, “Ha, take that!” As in all battles, collatoral damage is sometimes sustained. Still, we mourn the loss of each ivy vine that was lost, torn up along with the evil weeds. When I find a section of ivy still alive underneath the weeds my heart swells with pride for it, holding out until help arrived, sigh.
I, myself, sustained several injuries, mostly do to the heinous hawthorn thorns buried amongst the ivy. Nothing like reaching in for a handful of weed and grabbing one of those daggers! For those who have never had the pleasure of seeing these thorns, they are sturdy, about four inches long, and honed to a deadly point.
Along with this new, evil, viny weed came a whole biosphere of bugs, from tiny, albino spiders, to translucent green grasshopper-type bugs that manage to look both space-aged and primitive at the same time. Of course you still have the nasty earwigs, lots, and lots of ants, and I even had a wasp poking around. I’m like, “Dude, like I don’t have enough to worry about without you getting your little brown wings all up in my business.” He didn’t listen.
I also had several run-ins with the dreaded chip-a-munks that lurk in our garage. One ran over my gardening gloves, (I’m pretty sure the neighbors heard the scream on that one). Later I saw one run out from underneath the base of our basketball hoop. It puffed up its cheeks in what most would find an adorable way, but I know is just an attempt at intimidation. I told him, out loud, to take his cute, furry, striped backside and hit the bricks.
I spent well over twelve hours weeding the ivy, but it is finally finished. It looks good now, in the places where it survived, but where the weed prevailed the hillside is now barren. The ivy will grow back eventually, and retake those areas that it was pushed out of.
As for me, I’m sore. I took two showers today to wash off the sweat and dirt. I have puncture wounds on the palms of my hands. But, I am victorious.