Perhaps you remember way back when I introduced you to our backyard fountain.   When we first moved in, it looked like this:

Then one day I pulled ivy off and discovered it really looked like this:

Not long after that, one of our early house guests decided to restore the fountain to its previous beauty and set to work on it.  Unfortunately, during the intense renovation, he accidentally broke the lower basin.  Oops. (Which was okay, because I wasn't really excited about Fish Boy anyway.)

A weekend or two ago, I bribed the boys into ripping as many of the vines off of the fence behind the fountain as they could, and then Jason dismantled the rest of it.  (Actually, first I had to try the fountain switch that we discovered under all those vines, but all that happened when I turned it on was a loud crack, some impressive sparks and a big puff of smoke.)

The fence looked pretty good after the boys de-vined it, but I knew that I would need to dig out the roots of the ivy to keep it from coming back.  So I said to myself, "I'll just dig that ivy right out of there." Which I would like to say should forever be filed into the "Laughably Easy Things to Say" category of sayings.   You know, just like, "Oh, I'll just remove all of the wallpaper in the house and paint instead."  I think these type of sayings should be published somewhere - perhaps in a public service announcement.  Then if you ever hear someone you love utter them, you should rush to them and caution them about what they're really saying.  Friends don't let friends blithely commit to these kinds of projects.  That could be the catch phrase of the public service announcement. 

But I digress.   After several hours of digging, pulling, and general muddage, the space now looks like this:
Sure, the fence looks good, and the dirt looks nice and rich, but the truth is that that ground is still just crawling with big, thick ivy vines. They are especially thick underneath the fence itself.   In fact, I'm pretty sure that they are snaked under the very foundation of the house, and if I looked long enough on the other side, they would be growing out over there, just itching to cover something with their creepy viney tentacles. 

I had to stop the project after I found myself thinking very bad thoughts about anyone who would think about planting invasive vines in their yard.  I just had to - step away for a bit.

Be sure and notice the variety of tools I'm using.  Along with a shovel, we've also got the pruners, and my personal favorite - the hatchet.  Heh heh heh.

Let's take a closer look at some of those gnarly vines, shall we?

Of course (and in all fairness to the ivy-planter), I know that I don't even have to remove the ivy at all.  Kind of like I didn't really have to remove the wallpaper.  However, I've got some nice little morning glory plants and cardinal vines coming up that I would much rather have on that fence. 

So perhaps tomorrow or the next day I'll head back into the dirt for more root wrestling.  Because if there's one thing I've learned about renovations, it's that they're are usually worth all the work.


Sarah  – (1 May 2010 at 17:08)  

Well, if nothing else, I am marveling at what all you have done. I am trying to think of one home improvement project I've accomplished over here. I kind of cleaned out a cabinet... Your (non) fountain looks fabulous!

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