I love ivy. I love holly. I love holly and ivy. So much so that my nice husband planted lots of both when we bought this old farmhouse in 1990. Within a few years we had enough of each to use generously in decorating for Christmas--ivy dipped in liquid floor polish makes stunning greenery to use at Christmas.
Eventually the ivy grew into a Christmas tree shape around a light pole. You should see it when covered in snow. Every once in a while the barber has to give it a little trim and December is the perfect time for this.
Then it covered the well house, almost looking like a large topiary animal draped across it.
Guess where else R.H. planted it? My husband's wife talked him into planting it around the base of the big, large, huge elm tree. His pride and joy. The tree that sold him on this property.
I thought that all that bare bark hulking beside the deck could be improved on, prettified. R.H. didn't think so, emphatically he did not think so. He thought it would hurt the tree. I convinced him that as long as we kept it trimmed to about head-high there would be no problem. Absolutely no problem. So he planted one flat of ivy at the base. And it was so pretty.
Remember that old song about turning around and your kids are all grown up? Ivy does that too when you're not looking. R.H. did take a good look at it one day, and I guess you could say he blew his stack. He spent hours, hours hacking away at that ivy as far as he could reach on a ladder.
Did you know that ivy's vine can grow really big, and tough, like a rope? It does. But I hope it doesn't have ears because it sure heard some sailor's language when R.H. was destroying it.
Then it was time to call in the younger generation.
Time for our sons to help Dad out when he rejected Mom's idea to just let the remaining ivy dry up and die. Any further ideas from me about ivy and R.H.'s pet elm tree were obviously not going to be entertained, at all.
Gurn and Zack erected the scaffolding. And then they began meticulously cutting it away piece by piece.
What do you want to bet that this was a fun job? Think they might have been a little hot and sweaty when they finished? Felt like bugs were crawling on them for days?
The men at Valley View smiled at me again, after a few days.
The elm tree was a little scarred in places but there was no more ivy digging into it.
Now it's forgotten all about having creepy ivy crawling all over it. It's happy again. R.H. is too, only I don't dare tell him about a pretty vine I saw a picture of on a blog.
Maybe if I kept it far away from his elm?
The moral of this cautionary tale?
You might not want to grow ivy on trees?
You might want to listen to your husband, especially if he was in the garden center/nursery business for most of his life?
It's not easy being green?
Take your pick.