Thursday, October 29, 2015

On Ivy And Other Pests

The previous post shouldn't have been published because it doesn't say anything useful.  But the work I was doing on it had sent long strands into my mind with all sort of auxiliary roots, and I couldn't pull it out without posting. Well, not without going "ouch."  Like brain ivy.

About ten years ago I bought a lovely little tray of ivy babies.  They were shyly lifting their charming leaves towards me at the nursery, wanting to be adopted, wanting a good home.  And I obliged.  

That's because I had read in a gardening book (one of those highbrow artistic ones) that the ivy would provide a lovely cover for the very ugly fence that came with Snakepit Inc.  Wasn't I clever?

Now fast-forward to the time a few months ago.  See the ivy-covered fence?  See how it groans under the ivy?  And yes, those tall vertical green things are trees.  In fact, all that green is ivy.  The green spilling into the neighbors' lots, that's ivy, too.  And the green thing that looks like a leaning bicycle, that is ivy, too.  Oh, and a bicycle.  Under the ivy is a bicycle.  I must have left it out for a week or so... 

It's not that I haven't fought the ivy over the years, because I have.  But the fight is unfair.  I have two hands (sorta), while the monster has as many roots as it cares to throw out.

OK.  That was making excuses.  You might be glad to hear that the ivy is now gone.  It took a lot of people, gadgets, tools and time though no herbicides.  I will still need to police it for probably another hundred years, because stuff is simmering underground.  But right now things look tidy, and I even found several large sacks of organic fertilizer, a watering can and other sundry items.

Ivy is a useful metaphor* for many things on the Internet, in politics (mind those cute-looking baby politicians, don't take them home) and inside my head.

The lessons I've learned from ivy are many, including the need for objective research before one goes wild over anything, the desire to make those who write about the ease of ivy in the garden to come and stand in my garden for a day (to enjoy a slow strangulation death), the fact that something which looks good, thrives well and doesn't get sick probably will take over the world, and the fact that all things might be acceptable in their proper environment but thugs when let loose outside it.
*Especially in the way the roots of stuff are so often all over the place, hard to find, hard to eradicate and in how an innocent little theory, apt for its initial use, spreads into this monster which threatens to take over the universe.  But also how research into a topic tends to follow leads which branch all over the place, with tiny extra roots in fertile soils.