Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Ivy Wars

The day started soupy, the air it was moist.
The Tart woke up early, to blog was her choice.
Thing One, she was needy; it always is true.
And shopping was needed, the right thing to do.

Then mother and daughter, watched some vamps on TV.
True Blood had been borrowed, episodes four and three.
Dinner was uneventful, though Thing One had a date.
Then the Tart got to typing, because the Cozy is late.

Not long after dinner, Mr. Tart gave a shout:
“I chopped down the Ivy.” The Tart was put out.
There ensued strings of cursing, and a trip to buy rum.
He's lucky she's a pacifist, Or it would have been a gun.


You see... Mr. Tart and I have a deep philosophical disparity where 'growing things' are concerned... He likes thing neat and tidy. Like this:  (note:  it remains unclear where the income for such a garden would come from as he seems to be unwilling to make up the difference between 'barely making it'--the Tart's contribution, and this high life.)

Where I like to let things GO a little and see what kind of magic might happen:

But this battle of the pruning shears is old. My first recollection of it was with the Arbivida in Portland. Our house, at each corner (and because of the shape of the house, there were several) had arbivida... He wasn't overly fond, but I liked having something to break up the lines that was always green. Then one day he gets this pruning wild hair and they all ended up looking like Q-tips. GRRRRRRRRR!
One does NOT treat a shrubbery like poodles!

Erm.... unless that's the look you are going for, but no arbivida in history has ever pulled this off...

That was not the ONLY other episode of assault on greenery... there have been endless greenery assaults over the years (the butterfly bush ambush... the wonky pine assault...)... BUT THIS IS WAR!

The north side of our house has been home to Ivy—completely covering all of it (including, usually, the windows) but it has personality and LIFE. My husband gripes that it is bad for the mortar. Mortar, schmortar, I say! If I planned on living here 50 years, I might worry more. But the fact is, in 10 years, I plan to be obscenely wealthy, so I will REPAIR the blasted mortar before we buy our tropical island. Erm... or not... but I DO hold strongly to the belief that LIFE is about beauty and comfort, not about the freaking mortar. (not to mention I don't believe this is the kind of Ivy that IS hard on the mortar—it is on every University building in town, and I really doubt they would be so cavalier.) My REAL issue, is not being consulted. AT ALL. About him tearing away the life and personality of a place because he likes things 'neat'.

So until further notice, Mr. Tart is in the dog house. So there.  And next year... to get even... I'm planting BLACKBERRIES!  BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


Ted Cross said...

I, too, prefer to let nature go wild, though if I had the time I would try to keep the weeds out.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like it neat, too. But I hate yardwork, so it never looks neat all at once.
And sorry, the ivy on our house comes down because it's also poisonous.

Old Kitty said...

Oh no!! Oh I'm so sorry your ivy was cut down!! Oh naughty Mr Tart!! Naughty!! He should always consult you first - I mean it's a partnership but you should have been consulted! And a happy compromise would have been reached that both of you could live with!

And personally I love ivy - I love how creatures and allsorts find and make their home amidst all that ivy!! Awwwwwww. :-(

Take care

Mason Canyon said...

Ivy is such an interesting vine. It grows where other plants wont. What's not to like about it? I enjoy looking at the neat gardens, but when it comes to my own - it looks like your version. It kind of has a life of its own.

Thoughts in Progress

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I'm wishy washy and like neat and tidy areas and unruly areas. However, and please don't hate me, I agree that ivy on a house needs to come down. Not for neat purposes, but because it breaks down the building surface. OR THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN TOLD.

Be lovers not fighters. It's actually more fun. hee hee.


Hart Johnson said...

Ted-I'd prefer to keep the weeds out, too--mostly because they take over... though I am bad at that.

Alex, yeah, one part at a time might be manageable--but that's about all.

Jenny-Yes there will definitely be some spanking involved. (mostly, thus far, it has just been a lot of pouting) and YES on the creatures! One night at dinner we had a chipmunk join us--he was outside the window but thought he was protected from prying eyes by the Ivy, so there he sat on our sill, eating, and we got to enjoy him.

Mason-I like that resilience, too. I can enjoy wandering through a big orderly garden, but it all seems very pretentious to me if it's not someplace 'official'--like I loved the gardens in Edinburgh--those are amazing and orderly, but FITTING for where they are.

Cruella Collett said...

Poor Ivy! I like wild gardens too (mostly because I don't have the skill or patience to do anything else about them). Yay blackberries!

Love your little poem, by the way :)

Hart Johnson said...

Teresa-you snuck in there on me! I think there are KINDS of Ivy and some do that and others don't but I probably should look mine up before I get very insistent on that particular argument.

Hart Johnson said...

And Now MARI sneaks in! You people are tricking me this morning... Mari-ability may have something to do with my preferences, too. (and thank you!)

B. Miller said...

I maintain, I wish I could transplant some "southern ivy" to you... but kudzu won't grow about the Mason-Dixon. Too cold, says scientists. Good sense, says I. ;) hee... j/k

Hope the strife settles down in the Tart household soon... :D

LTM said...

oh, god, Tart. Not blackberries! I fight those buggers every time I venture into the yard, and no level of thickness of the gloves can fight those thorns!

Our yard is happily a mess--like your dream yard. But thankfully, former homeowner knew what she was doing. So it's a self-maintaining mess. Lots of fern. Lots of ivy.

Formerly Angel trumpets.... wah wah waaahhh... :D

LTM said...

IMO, the only time you want topiaries shaped like animals is when you're visiting Disneyworld. :D

Rissa said...

You know, Scott and I have this same argument about putting ivy UP on the house! I've wanted to since we bought this house; I think it looks comfy and quaint,and he flat out refuses.

My favorite house near us is this two story yellow house. It has a wrap-around porch and it's set back from the road under tall,umbrella type oak trees. It has elephant ears the size of beagles climbing up the porch, hanging off the gables of the roof, and a matching plant on the tree in front. It looks so homie. Scott just doesn't get it at all. He thinks its just an ugly yellow house.

A few weeks back I drove by it, and the man there must have pulled a Mr. Tart and went highlander on the vines. They are all gone, and now when I look at it I see the same thing as Scott .. . nothing special. :(

I'm sorry your home lost some of it's muchness. Husbands just don't understand.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Ha! Bushes like Q-tips!

I think I fall somewhere in between the two of you.

I could see a Mr. Tart character in a certain gardening series that I know of...

Jan Morrison said...

Ha Ha Ha! I love it. You should see our spot (I can't call it a lawn because there is NO grass - I will not have it - I'm politically opposed - I think the powers, the evil powers, like us to spend all our spare cash and time on grass which has no redeeming factors unless you lawn bowl or play croquet. So. Our perrenials aren't bad - a little wild but between and the area going down the hill under the cliff feature and the house is NOTHING but trouble - rag weed and yes I am a sufferer. This year I plan to go roll in it and see what happens. I did that with poison ivy when I was a kid and always afflicted and haven't gotten it since. Ya baby - willd it up!

Helen Ginger said...

Mr Tart is a bit like my husband. He listens, then does what he wants.

Blackberrys take over, I warn you. We planted a couple in our garden this year. They are reaching out and taking over. Only a few berries this year, but they'll be bigger, thornier, and hopefully with more berries next summer.


February Grace said...

OMG forgive me I'm undercaffeinated but is that picture of those perfectly shaped flowerbeds really your garden? Cause it looks like something out of EPCOT and I'm in love with it!

As far as free-bird type plants- fine, so long as they stay outside. We had this thing growing at the back of our building, and it decided to come in the window in the basement and set up housekeeping overnight. It looked like something from a friggin Doctor Who episode and was severely creepy.

Then the maintainance crew came and yanked- YANKED it away from the building.

Completely dessimating our U-Verse wiring.

"Hello, AT&T? Yeah, you're never going to believe this..."


Hart Johnson said...

B... DAMN the Mason Dixon line denying me my Kudzu! *snicker*

Leigh-I think blackberries this far north aren't QUITE the same problem, but YES, blackberries... and raspberries... maybe blueberries... And that is totally what I want-- a self-sustaining mess that gives me fruit with no work. THAT is what I want.

Rissa- I think we established that Scott was one of the Bob clones... sounds like he is living up to it. I LOVE houses like that! So sad the Mr. Tart had to take hold!

Elizabeth--I kid you not. Q-tips... They were so bad! And he totally didn't see the problem, because they were 'more orderly'---He WOULD be a PERFECT character!

Jan, I LOVE your yard! It is like Nirvana! That is exactly what I would do, if I could.

Helen--taking over is my GOAL, though we do have a section separated by railroad ties that I have planned for it, so take over within a contained space. Blackberries remind me of Oregon.

Bru-NOT my yard... none of them. I was showing what Mr. Tart would LIKE. I keep telling him he has Martha Stewart goals, but married a JC Penney's budget wife... *giggles and plant conspiracy* TAKE THAT plant descecraters! (I like the creepy sci-fi feel)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Which reminds me of the time my husband mowed down my whole raspberry thicket. That's not the kind of thing you can do accidentally...


Southpaw said...

The blackberries will surely do it. Awesome poem, but I am conflicted. I love nature growing wild and free—except for ivy. It always seems to harbor rats.

Hart Johnson said...

Patricia--that was TRULY rotten! I hope you punished him appropriately!

Holly-We've never seen a sign of rat. Chipmunks and mice, yes (but never inside, and I like both). The rats in Ann Arbor seem to specialize in sewers.

Cheeseboy said...

"Don't mess with the ivy" should be the warning to all us men. For my wife, it is her hair. If I mess it up, I am a dead man. I wish we had ivy.

Natasha said...

Rayna M. Iyer said...
And here in India, an obscenely rich aunt by marriage spent a fortune importing ivy from the US, and creating a frame (yes, a frame) for it to grow on. The amount she spent on the ivy that now fronts her house would have fed a middle class household for a year.

And I can feel nothing by pity for people who cannot enjoy nature as it is meant to be enjoyed. Sure those beds are beautiful, but a bit of wilderness is even more beautiful because it is a part of you.

Helena said...

Hart -- I'm totally with you. We wild women need some wildness in the nature around us. That's why the ivy growing all over my living room window is staying right where it is.