This month's Foliage Follow-Up is dedicated to my back fence: a hot mess of browning English ivy and bird-planted hackberry seedlings growing onto, into and all around an ugly chain-link fence. Ugh.
The ivy has traveled to our fence from blocks away. [Edit: two blocks, to be precise.] If left to its own devices, it would happily take over our yard. As an invasive plant species, it gets zero irrigation. It's usually a lush, deep green. It's not done well in the drought. I'm not particularly sad about this.
Now would be an opportune time to rip it all out, especially since our "brushy" pick-up from the city is scheduled this week. But in this unrelenting heat, neither I nor Jack have the will.
Say what you will about invasive plants (and I've said some stuff about them), but the wildlife sees this overgrown jungle as a safe haven. I saw a garter snake slither into the undergrowth last Friday. I'm sure more than one bird couple has nested here. I'm certain more than one caterpillar has metamorphosed into a butterfly here. And anoles live here, too. (Do you see the little bent legs and tail?)
So removing this foliage would need to be done in phases, allowing the wildlife time to relocate, and planting more desirable vines and plants that can nurture the wildlife just as well, if not better, than the ivy and hackberries.
I'm fairly certain three years into a Exceptional Drought is not the best time to make this transition. But it's tempting.
Thanks to Pam at Digging for hosting Foliage Follow-Up. Visit her blog and post some foliage stories of your own.
Words and photos © 2009-2011 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.