Ivy League

I am really good at starting projects without telling Adam and then expecting him to help me finish them – or do more heavy lifting than he anticipates. Like that one time when we first moved in and I took a crow bar to our kitchen while Adam wasn’t paying attention.

Last weekend (Memorial Day) I wanted to try to clean out the ivy on the hill in front of our house. My intention was to use a light rake and pull out the 30+ years of trash. The next thing I knew I was cutting the vines up with a pair of pruning shears.

oh jen darling oh jen darling

The trash this patch of ivy was harboring was truly impressive: a Febreeze can, beer bottles, a beer can from before they invented pop tops, plastic bags and red solo cups. To top it all off, while I was destroying this poor hillside one of the neighborhood mailmen stopped in front of the house.

“So you didn’t like my suggestion to use napalm, huh?” he asked laughing at me sweating and struggling. “Sorry you got hammered about using pesticides.”

Turns out, he is in the Media Facebook group and had commented on my post about the pachysandra. I’m not sure if I should be excited that I’m apparently a Media celebrity/pot-stirrer-upper or a little creeped out that a mailman parked next to my house and started chatting about napalm.

The afternoon sweat on and Adam discovered me knee-deep in ivy and offers to help (what a great husband!). “It’ll only take an hour!” I promise.

oh jen darling

Two hours on Saturday plus a good four hours on Sunday and we had all the ivy cleared out. We took a break to walk Daphne, spray some weed killer on the pachysandra and water the front garden (which is still living!). I am no longer allowed to judge time. Anything I say Adam basically quadruples and then adds an hour for padding. Allocating time for a project and giving correct left/right turn directions appear to be my two biggest flaws as an adult.

oh jen darling

Sunday evening we popped into Home Depot and looked at our options for plants that would spread. We wanted maximum coverage with minimum cost and upkeep. We took home 15 one-gallon Juniper plants. Low-lying, they will allegedly spread anywhere from 3-6 feet in diameter.

oh jen darling It took us three hours on Monday morning to plant them all, and despite the bare dirt that you see, it will look really nice. And not store beer cans for 30 years. At the top of the hill we’re going to plant carpet roses that will spread out nicely and give a clean pop of pretty. Once all that crap is cleaned out.

oh jen darling

Look how nice our hill looks now that the juniper has settled! It hasn’t died yet either!

I said that clearing out the top of the hill was my task for last week. It didn’t happen, and I’m really glad I put it off. Turns out, both Adam and I got covered in poison ivy, and it took almost a week for it to show up on my arms and legs.

I am not going near that part of the yard until it’s cleared out, hopefully by some goats I am going to rent to clear it out. Yes, like I was recommended to do with the pachysandra.

When we were done, we headed over to Olivia and Ryan’s house for a Memorial Day barbecue, where this happened:

2015-05-25 ryan's fire Yes, that is a 6-foot-wide fire pit. We’re going to be hanging out there more this summer I’m sure. It was a great way to reward ourselves for a lot of hard work. Now I just have to find some goats.

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