Star Wars’ Obi-Wan said it: “The force is strong in this one.” He wasn’t talking about English Ivy but he might as well have been.
Some plants may be well behaved at home, but transplant them to an environment that’s a little too hospitable and they’re off and racing. That’s ivy. When house-hunting, I thought the yards covered in ivy were gorgeous. I thought ivy would be a low maintenance ground-cover. What’s a little trim from time to time, weighed against the watering and weekly mowing that grass needs, I thought. Think again.
This house has ivy in front, at the shady top of the hill. At first, I was all for planting more. Then I noticed how often it needed to be trimmed off the walks, how quickly it climbed the trees, and how the ivy from my neighbors’ yards encroached on all sides. “The first year it sleeps, the next year it creeps, the third year it leaps” — the saying goes.
It can also hold surprises — “Snakes,” said an article in yesterday’s newspaper, “… are just now waking up and can sometimes be found in thick patches of ivy.” Following that were these quotes from the owner of a lawn care company:
“In Georgia, you’re only about 10 feet away from a snake at any given time.”
“Snakes eat insects, rats and other vermin. Got a nice yard? Thank a snake.”
Snakes? I have made overtures. Here are some photos from a “Walk and Talk” program on snakes that Sam and I went to a couple of summers ago.
Snakes aside, it occurs to me now that the indoor equivalent of ivy is clutter, yet another force of nature that sleeps and creeps and leaps, putting out tendrils of messiness. I’m striving to get both indoor and outdoor forces under control. I won’t be inviting any snakes to help with the indoors, though, but now that I think of it, didn’t the ancient Greeks have “house snakes”?
More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Force of Nature