Friday, October 18, 2013

What is this "yard work" of which you speak?

 We've lived in apartments for 17 years of marriage.  Now suddenly we have a yard.  And we have to figure out what to do with it.  This morning (after I got Andy on his bus for preschool) I went out and started whacking things. I was on the shrub pruning crew at BYU (best job ever), so I've done my share of lopper-wielding, but I don't know that I really learned much that is coming in handy here, so far. 

The previous owner seemed to have a fondness for invasive species (which are, admittedly, easy to grow). There's this huge pile of ivy along the street that's big enough to hide a Volkswagen, threatening to envelope the mailbox and strangle the two hawthorn trees.  We're hoping to get this all removed.

We also have these huge banks of Shasta daisies in front of the house. I've been hearing about how aggressively invasive they are, but I've also had several people tell me how pretty the house looks in the summer with all the daisies in bloom. I think we'll let them do their thing next year and then decide whether we want to try to take them out or not. Right now the dead stalks need to be cleared out.

In progress!

I found several of these little guys.

We also have moles. These were not there when we looked at the house. They seem to have moved in right before we did.

This is our yard waste bin. It only gets picked up every two weeks. I guess we'll have to pace ourselves. (I filled it up a lot more after taking this picture!)

After denuding the daisy beds I started poking at the ivy. I didn't have much more room in the bin, but I was curious about what it was going to take to get it out, and what it looked like underneath. Found some mushrooms and some very happy pillbugs. When I started clearing it away from around the mailbox, this is what I found:

The ivy is wrapped around very tightly, and the post is completely rusted through. I haven't uncovered the back post yet, but it's entirely possible that the ivy is the only thing holding the mailbox up.We'll have to have a back-up plan (or even a back-up mailbox) in place before we tackle that.  It looks like the ivy was planted right at the base of the post on purpose.  I imagine it seemed like a nice idea at the time--lovely little ivy tendrils twining romantically up the mailbox.  Yeah, not so nice now. 

The backyard is gorgeous but intimidating.  It's going to take us a while to figure out how to deal with it. I have no idea what I'm doing, but hey, I can rip stuff out!  It was therapeutic. 


Angi Rizzo said...

So, as I drove around for work on Friday, I was listening to NPR (as usual) and they were discussing how Vines seem to be winning the war against Trees. And somewhere in Japan there is a car that was covered in vines. They cut it free, started it up and are driving around in it. Apparently the vines are still quite lively so you just might find a Volkswagen in there somewhere!! :)

Helen in Australia said...

We want ... a ... SHRUBBERY!

Shari said...

I love Shasta daisies and ivy. They sure flourish in your neck of the woods!

I saw that article about the car overgrown with ivy. Amazing!