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Out with the Ivy

Articles: Out with the Ivy

The trusty Subaru with a pile of ripped up and rolled ivy of about the same size. Author’s photographs

The pulling began the day I moved in to my new place—impetuously, innocently, with no idea of what I was getting into. I grabbed the ivy cascading over the stone wall onto the stairs and heaved it, muscling the woven mass, bit by bit, as I ascended the steps. The creeping monster had taken root in the built-in planters atop the wall. I ripped those roots out, and the ivy, so tenacious just a moment before, was suddenly limp, slumping into a pile on the far side of the low wall.

“That wasn’t so bad,” I thought to myself. Under a leaden sky in the gathering darkness, I looked at the hillside of ivy. Curving away from me with the sweep of the slope, I had to walk along its bottom edge to see that it had the shape of a cutlass. I had just removed the very tip of the handle from the stone stairs. Later, I realized that the cutlass was about 125 feet long, twenty-five feet at its widest, and had been there a long time. The mat was two feet thick and had insinuated itself into two huge rhododendrons in a terribl...


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