More ivy removal progress shots.
These shots are of a 3″ by 5″ alcove between the porch stairs and the chimney. I was able to get out most of the surface roots but some seem to go straight down, so I left those exposed. When spring comes, I’ll cut down as far as I can and paint the ends with the most caustic stump killer I can find.
And I solved a puzzle while cleaning out this section. The red ceramic… item… covers the access plug to the French drains. We’d been looking for that; French drains need to be cleaned out every so often and it was nowhere to be found (why the drains are flush up against the house is a mystery of its own: most French drains are supposed to be set away from the property because, as we all know, when the Zombies reach the Sunflowers the game is all but over anyhow). The drain cover is, unfortunately, in about as bad of a shape as it looks and every time a rake or a foot banged into it, another piece of ceramic flaked off. I’m not sure where to buy a replacement – I didn’t even know decorative drain covers existed! – so it’ll stay there for the time being and I’ll keep an eye out for a hollow birdbath or something.
I’m also grabbing loose pieces of moss from the lawn to seed the newly bare spot. I’m getting obsessed with the idea of a moss garden in the front of the house. It’s a full shade area covered in oak trees, and moss has already shown a preference for the location. A little work and a lot of time might make it a fantastic landscape feature. I’m thinking that little alcove next to the stairs might be ideal to grow multiple varieties of moss since it’s a low traffic area with high visibility. You can buy moss spores from the Kyoto Moss Gardens in Japan, and live clumps from various other online vendors, but since most North Carolina mosses are about on par with weeds to horticulturalists and preservationists, I might head into the woods and collect a few native varieties.