Brooke here. Some landscaping projects have begun, but mainly in the areas we need to destroy before we can rebuild.  The first goal of the year is to replace the fence, but the more we look at it, the slope of the front lawn is such that the smrt smart idea is to do the […]

Ivy, with a Smattering of Theft

Brooke here: The ivy removal continues, but slowly.  Things hit a snag yesterday when I went after an enormous tangle of ivy and wisteria on another section of the fence. I was making some decent progress until the fence started to wobble and I realized the ivy was structural.  The metal poles on the right […]

Found the Spigot!

Brooke here: 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 […]

To the Planning Machine!

Brooke here: I have to keep reminding myself it’s January.  Sixty degrees and sunny, but still January.  There’s at least another month before frost season passes and we can do some serious landscaping, but we’ve started to price out the projects. The first is the section of the fence closest to the house.  Most of […]

And You Thought The Dogs Were Boring

Brooke here: There’s one day every winter where the earth remembers what it wants to be doing.  It usually takes another couple of months to shake itself awake, but there’s always that one day when the ground twitches. I love that day.  Today is that day.  I have to keep reminding myself that while it’s […]

He Liked Ivy. We Are Not Surprised

Brooke here.  Zu recovered beautifully and without the need for surgery, although for some reason the entire house now smells like Bac-Os.  Go figure. Last week, Mary and Elizabeth gave us a copy of Remembering Randall, the memoir of Randall Jarrell written by his wife, Mary von Schrader Jarrell.  There’s some serious weirdness in this […]

Ivy, Ivy, Ivy

Brooke here: Last weekend, I sat in the garden of the Orange County Social Club and talked with a very pleasant woman who keeps goats.  Based on her experience with the finer points of keeping goats, the whimsy of the Rent-a-Goat ivy management option has wandered off down the road, bell a-ringin’.  I described the […]


Brooke here: So there’s the wisteria, and then there’s the ivy.  The wisteria is a nigh-invulnerable infestation similar to a b-movie villain… dastardly, nefarious, and numerous, but eventually beaten to submission.  Sure, it pops back up for the sequel (Wisteria on a Plane: Death Smells Fantastic) but it can and will be beaten. And then […]

Chainsawaganza (II)

Brooke here: I’ve heard it said that landscaping is two steps backward for every one step forward, but I’d bump that up to a decent-paced skip to be safe.  We have almost two acres of land, and these were allowed to go all but fallow for a couple of decades.  As we are dead-center on […]