Yesterday found me on a lovely piece of property doing some more early spring gardening tasks. This particular client ascribes to the wildlife habitat gardening school of thought which involves leaving the plants up all winter so the birds can feed on them and get shelter from predators behind taller species. Native plants (like New England Aster or Coneflower, to give 2 examples,) are best as the native wildlife will be familiar with the native food source.

One mistake that was made in the planning of this garden though, was the choice to plant English Ivy in the rock garden area of the slate patio. It is a “vigorous grower,” or extremely invasive species, and in just 2 years has formed many burly wooden taproots, crept into the foundation down inside the basement and climbed in the vinyl siding.– A related blogpost from

About 2 hours of digging resulted in all the easily accessed roots being yanked; but they are deep, knarled, up through and in between all those rocks and incorrigible. This ivy will not go without a fight: I fully expect that new shoots may already be formed just 24 hours later! I will return armed with 2-3 gallons of white vinegar to douse the spot with as an organic control method to kill the ivy roots. In about a month I plan to fill in the space with some sensible, trustworthy Hens and Chickens.

20120330-142916.jpgWhoops, not THOSE Hens and Chickens!

20120330-143022.jpg These guys.