The bottom of our garden is very shaded, and backs on to public land. I'm sick to death of clearing ivy, only for it to surge forward from the other side of the fence. With the recent changeable weather, Ivy has been even more rampant than usual, and has not only crept under the fence but through the fence and, like a waterfall, over the fence from the other side.
A few days ago I decided I'd attack the other side of the fence with the mattock, and yesterday I decided that today was the day.
So. I walked round to the park, mattock discreetly in my hand. The gate nearest my house was locked, so I had to do a detour which involved passing a childrens play area, and a youths' play area. I walked as nonchalantly as I could, given that I was carrying a very large, very sharp, very scary knife.
The area backing on to my house was deserted, and I set about my task. It was horrendous. After about 40 minutes of slashing and pulling, I had great big red blobs all up my arm, which I assumed was nettle rash but, as I type this, I am now wondering if it was poison ivy. I'd done the best I could, and I walked home.
I tried even harder to be nonchalant, as now I was not only carrying a great big scary knife, but I had wounds down one arm, was bright red (from exertion, but an onlooker might not have realised that), and I imagine I was looking a little less than kempt.
At home, full of itchiness, I decided I might as well finish the job on our side.
An hour later, I had not only cleared the ivy - well, most of it -
..sorry, there was a break of a few minutes while I looked up the symptoms and treatment for poison ivy, and then I went and did it. Took antihistamine, washed the area with lukewarm soapy water, in case you need to know...
- but I had also cut some sapling branches which were hanging over our side of the garden. I only did those I could reach with my small two-step step stool. I left the higher branches alone as they weren't really causing a problem. I cut them into smallish pieces, as the Green Bin isn't being collected until next week, and DH will have Words if he finds big bits in it.
I'd opened the nettng to the back of the Girls' free range area so I could get the step stool in, and I'd left it open so the Girls could have a rook around the newly cleared ground on the other side. They lined up and made busy with their feet and beaks. Eventually they got bored and wandered off towards the house, so I had to halt what I was doing to re-enclose them. The cats pretend not to notice when the odd chook pops in the house, but they wouldn't have been to happy if the Girls came in mob-clawed.
It's probably just as well that the green bin is full, as I was tempted to do a bit more pruning while I was out there. Our damson trees are nearly all misshapen, and I can see we might want to cut some of them down to let the straighter ones survive.
Right, I'm off to find some antihistamine cream now, as my arm feels like it is full of pins and needles. The antihistimine tablet has reduced the swellings.
It's quite annoying actually.