I started assembling a tub for peas and strawberries for my neighbour’s grandchildren. I planted one up last year, and to keep birds and cats out, I used a wigwam trellis for the peas to grow up and covered it with a crinoline skirt of butterfly mesh attached to a hula hoop, which fitted over the tub. That made it easy access for the children, just by lifting the hoop up.
I wasn’t really too happy with the results of the planting, so this year, the tub is planted up with a circle of strawberries, topped with a pot of Tom Thumb peas. The peas only grow about eight inches tall, just enough to hang over the pot. I have a hexagonal growhouse frame from which I removed a tier and covered it with mesh.
Ivy was closing in on my creation, so had to hack some of it down. My neighbour had other ideas though, and the next day, started removing all of it from the wall. It took two of us all afternoon, using secateurs, hedge trimmer, loppers and an electric alligator saw. We filled four garden waste bins, two of our own and two borrowed from neighbours.
I miss the greenery of the ivy, I did like it but have to admit it was a pest. On one end of the wall, it had grown into the roof of my neighbour’s shed and on the other end of the wall, it was making it’s way into mine. It had been growing there before I moved into the place and I always felt, the wall would fall down if we removed it, it was so well seated into it. It had grown through the mortar, and under the coping stone. It’s hard to believe the strength those little shoots have to travel through cement.
Removing the ivy will open up my garden, which is on the other side of the wall and although the ivy was trimmed back every year, it was quite dominant and dwarfed the wall.
The tiny pond has never been clear of duckweed this year. It usually clears over winter but in spite of some severe sub zero temperatures, it remained. I normally scoop it out on a regular basis, leave a pile at the side of the pond to allow the little pond creatures to return and the drying remainder, gets added to the compost. I am not able to clear it once the frogs arrive. First the frog spawn, then the tadpoles happily shelter under the canopy of green, which to such tiny tadpoles must look like a hanging forest.
There is a water lily just about to unfold it’s leaves. I don’t always get a flower on it but it is small and white and seems to suit the size of the pond.
Removing the ivy will let a lot more light into my shady little garden, so I will look forward to the new look of lush flora and foliage.