Cowart's Common Room
Early Owl Post

Uploaded Image

Doesn't this look pretty? It's Virginia Creeper plus a few other plants growing up a drainpipe against the side of the house. It sits in an enclosure of soil held in place by those little wooden half-cylinders tacked together with wire that you see in Garden Centres and making a raised bed. But the trouble with Virginia Creeper is that it spreads. And spreads, sending out sneaky tendrils that go into any crack or crevice, round corners and across ground, smothering anything in its wake.

Well the wooden cylinders had rotted and finally the rats got in hollowing themselves out a home and sending bucketloads of fine tilth conveniently into a corner of the wall. I decided that the whole bed must go, the plants - wallflowers, tulips, strawberries, variegated nettle etc - to be replanted in a big blue container bought for the purpose and the remaining soil to be carried away, the creeper extirpated.

Well I did this this afternoon. The rats seemed to have taken the hint from preliminary operations a few days ago and so now I just have a blank space where the bed was, plus the pots. But what an effort - all the digging, bending, lifting, carrying! Once my stamina was legendary but now an hour and a half and I am done and ready for bed. The perils of growing old I suppose. Good job you are not old when you are young, if you see what I mean.

Have a good evening. I shall go to sleep dreaming of Virginia Creeper coming through cracks in the wall and smothering me, though I doubt it is extirpated. The roots under the paving slabs will put up fresh shoots come April and all the bits of root and stem that I have carried away with the soil will no doubt regenerate to carry on creeping for years to come.Rolling EyesRolling Eyes

Posted at 12th Jan 2018 - 04:59PM   Posted by Fennie   Early Owl Post Comments: 7

Withy Brook's Avatar I really think that you have it in for the poor Virginia Creeper. To my ear you are describing any of a number of ghastly weeds, not a beautiful climber! It does need controlling of course but all that coming up under the paving stones and stuff.......? If it happens I need photographic evidence!
Growing older is very tiresome. You are not old yet, Fennie, though you may feel it, especially if you indulge in hard physical excercise after not doing much of that sort. Do not move ahead into the place that I have reached before you have to.... please! Smile

Posted by: Withy Brook on 12th Jan 2018 at 09:12PM

Camilla's Avatar Thank you kindly Femnie for posting the Owl Post.

Never had a Virginia Creeper they do look lovely though with their coloured leaves. I suppose you dug it all up because the Rats had moved in underneath and made a little home for themselves. What will you be planting in the space now or will you just have lots of plants instead there? Not sure the Creeper will take root again but I know the Ivy and the Mile a Minute plants I had in my other garden where we lived did take root, dug it up and still grew.

As for growing older it's something I only mentioned earlier today... Why can't I get my boots on quick enough now, life is such a struggle when one is older I saidVery Happy

Sleep well tonight Fennie and rest those hard work bones, you never know once Ratty's have moved out Mr Mole may move in next he is very good at spring cleaning Very Happy

Posted by: Camilla on 12th Jan 2018 at 09:50PM

Camilla's Avatar Meant to say... or will you be having lots of pots there of plants Fennie.Very Happy

Posted by: Camilla on 13th Jan 2018 at 09:16AM

Fennie's Avatar The large house in which I grew up had Virginia creeper all over one wall. It behaved quite properly and turned a beautiful russet each autumn. The Mill had Virginia Creeper also over one wall. That too behaved quite well despite the rain and sun and generally kept itself to itself and did not go invading around corners.

But this Virginia Creeper in my garden - oh dear! It would invade Poland if left to its own devices and only puts on a reluctant show of turning russet. But it sends runners everywhere, particularly along the bottom of the house below the damp proof course where there's a little overhanging ledge. And of course it smothers anything it can reach and the more vigorously I cut it back, the more vigorously it grows. I feel like the Little Prince with his Baobab trees.

Somehow the creeper has migrated to the front of the house and grows now in two places, seeking to cover the drive with its ever growing fronds. and it is well established in other places in the back garden. Not being able to eradicate it from under the paving stones. (I could take a pic, Withy, if you really want one) I am sure that it will spring back unchecked in a year or two.

No wonder I have no energy! No, I am not old in that sense. It is just that I look back and see what I did, physically and mentally only a few years ago and know that I will never be able to do the same again. For me this wilting of the powers has arrived what seems like quite suddenly, a step change. Maybe I have some terrible wasting disease.

Knees that were once indestructible have begun to give indications of mortality and I no longer sleep well. There is more of the same to come, no doubt, but this is a journey without maps. Where are the books that chart the running down of the body, the loss of faculties? Should I take up Yoga?

And for some it's much worse than others: I think of my friend John with Parkinson's, now unable to move, imprisoned in a redundant body and just waiting for death. If I deteriorate no further I shall not complain. I still have all my hair and teeth and what's more my hair, though thinner, is still the same colour it always has been. I am not bald. I haven't started watching day-time television. Hope springs eternal. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 13th Jan 2018 at 09:54AM

Fennie's Avatar Camilla, I have just replanted the proper plants in containers and got rid of the raised bed. Mr Ratty has disappeared for now. As for Mr Mole, the little gentleman in black velvet, I rather hope he doesn't visit with his sapping operations. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 13th Jan 2018 at 09:57AM

Fairy Nuff's Avatar I guess it's not called creeper for nothing. Laughing Well done for howking it all out and evicting Mr Ratty and his family.
We've had something trying to dig it's way in at the back door of the studio but I suspect it's next door's cat trying to find the source of the scent of mouse she gets from the wall. Confused

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 13th Jan 2018 at 10:26AM

Camilla's Avatar On the topic of energy you and me both then Fennie what happened where did that come from it caught up on me. I go for 30 minutes walks over beach mornings, and one hour again over the dunes afternoon. Don't akways sleep well either. But I remember what FN told us about what her dear Mum said that we should not worry about sleep as we get older just sleep when we can, but not sleeping does make one feel less energetic I must say.

Perhaps you a variety of Virginia Creeper that was more prolific then another variety Fennie.

Posted by: Camilla on 13th Jan 2018 at 05:05PM

Please login to comment

Sorry you must be logged in to post a comment