We spent a couple of hours this weekend yanking my dreams out by the root. How’s that for drama?
It’s always been a dream of mine to live in a brick house covered in ivy in the English countryside.
With a white picket fence and flowers growing in the yard.
3 out of 4 ain’t bad. Sure, it’s no English countryside, but we think rural Pennsylvania is pretty charming, too. And we were smitten by our ivy-covered wall.
Sadly, it turns out ivy growing on a brick house is bad news. It creeps up the wall and pushes mortar out of the way, which loosens the bricks. It grows under window frames, through screens, up chimneys. In general, ivy is a really pretty pain in the butt.
Really, really pretty pain in the butt.
We noticed that our ivy had torn down a rain gutter and the wall was wet all the time. If we had drywall walls, we could be in serious mold-and-water-damage trouble. Yipes. Good thing we haven’t redone the walls on that side of that house yet. The ivy had to go.
We woke up early one morning and got to work. It was pretty brainless work (the best kind for early mornings!). Grab a vine, pull, toss, repeat.
Our ivy has been growing for a while, and some of the vines were an inch thick. We had to resist the urge to go all George of the Jungle on them. We’ve been living in the neighborhood for less than a month, and should probably wait a while before letting our neighbors see the full extent of our nerdiness.
We found some surprises in the ivy. An old bird’s nest:
A gross dead bug that fell on my arm, causing me to have a minor hissy fit:
There was also an empty one-gallon milk jug and a second old bird’s nest that I totally forgot to photograph because I was distracted. Bradley introduced me to some neighbors and I died from an overdose on cuteness:
Bradley was yanking out some vine roots when he heard a rustle under the dead leaves. He checked it out and discovered the bunny hideout. 3 palm-sized fuzzballs live in a little burrow on the side of our house. These are, without a doubt, the most adorable neighbors we’ve ever had. (No offense to any previous and also very cute neighbors.)
We’d both heard the old myth that if you touch a baby bunny, their mother will abandon them. A quick check on the iPhone confirmed that it really is a myth, so we carefully reached in and checked out our adorable little neighbors.
We wanted to make sure that our vine-yanking didn’t hurt the bunnies. They were fine, but probably a little scared. I would be too if someone lifted the roof off my house and pulled me out to coo and squeal in my face.
There was a lot of talk about putting bunnies in our pockets and taking them everywhere with us, but we carefully put them back in their bunny hole and covered it back up. We left the roots of the ivy near the bunny hideout in tact for now. We can dig them up in a few weeks after the bunnies move out. We were also planning on spraying some Roundup around the area, but we’ll save that for later, too.
We got most of the ivy de-rooted. Now it’s just a matter of getting a big broom to clean up the rootless ivy that’s still hanging out up top. Hopefully that’s going to be dead by the time we get around to it.
Before we left the house the next day, we checked up on our bunnies to make sure they were OK. That was the official story. The real reason was because we wanted to say goodbye. By the time we go back to the house, our bunny neighbors will be old enough to move out.
The bunnies were doing well. It seemed like their nest was a little more built up than the day before. Their mom had taken some of our downed ivy and piled it on top of the bunny hole. The bebez were warm and seemed calm and….snugglier. The one we lifted out of the burrow nuzzled our hands. When I scratched the spot behind her ear, she closed her eyes and leaned into my fingers. I think my next DIY project will be gluing my broken heart back together. Too much cuteness. Couldn’t handle it.
Before putting them back in their bunny hole, we invited our new favorite neighbors to come hang out in our yard whenever they want. This invitation totally crushes my other dream of having a backyard veggie garden, since bunnies are the gardener’s enemy — but we’ll cross that bridge next summer.