Friday, July 24, 2009

Thank You Ivy

Ivy (8)

This morning as I watered , I realized how much I had taken the loyal ivy in my yard for granted. It is one of the few plants that rain or shine -and shine translates to drought- has survived and flourished.Ivy (3)

My mind rarely stays put when a thought like that surfaces, so I let it roam while I continued to water.


I have often thought of ivy as something trapped in the 70’s. It could grow without dirt! I had all sorts of jars filled with water and ivy cuttings on my kitchen window sill- plus crazy, giant sweet potatoes sprouting all sorts of vines. My gardening was of the Vacation Bible School variety.

Dressed in my hunter green double knit vest and pants with elastic in the waist, made from a Make it Tonight Wear it Tomorrow pattern, I was the picture of fashion forward, botanical domesticity.

You could make a pair of those pants without ever leaving your machine or cutting a thread. The same ease of care was true for those jars of ivy- when the water got a little dicey- you just pitched it and gave it another fresh drink.

When my mother died in 1996, I kept an arrangement of ivy that our family received, and cuttings from that plant are planted deep within the folds of ivy shown in the above photos.

I have spent so much time trying to coax temperamental fern to grow, when ivy is the plant that’s got my back.

As healthy as it looks in the photos above, it looks sort of like an earnest school picture when fern comes off as a glamour shot.

That’s OK. I get it now.


Rebecca Nelson said...

Laura...I love your writing...and your muse...I also love ivy of any kind. I killed one recently. An indoor plant given to me by my son. I was heartbroken. My hubbs replaced it before my man-child knew so I wouldn't have to explain how I'd neglected it.

Thanks for sharing your amazing, gift heart with us.

Love, Rebecca

Debbie's Garden said...

Let me be mushy. I love sentimental gardens. I think your Moms funeral clipping still alive all this time is a Mothers Love growing in your garden. It'll NEVER die.

Debbie's Garden said...

PS. your green pants are cracking me up.

Kelly said...

Ivy is a gardener's best friend.

Cass @ That Old House said...

I have ivy clambering all over the stone walls here -- I love it, although it does get a little peaky looking in winter, poor thing. Where do you live that pothos ivy grows outdoors year round? How lucky! I love that plant. That's a strictly indoor potted plant here in NJ.

We need to resort to English Ivy or Virginia Creeper to run riot here!


blushing rose said...

I used to have tons of ivy, I don't know what happened to it all.

My Mother had this prayer plant FOREVER (truly years & years). When she moved to west to east coast we brought it with us. I inherited it, yup!, when she went 'home'. Everytime it decides to 'act funny' it scares me as this plant is something like 50+ years old. I remember when we were out walking, probably visiting someone, Mother mentioned she liked the door stop (an old porcelain potty) .. the lady offered it to her as it was broken & Mother loved green. This plant has been in that 'door stop' ever since. I love that plant & it sits besides my computer & me so I can enjoy it still.

TTFN ~Marydon

Domestic Designer said...

You should see the amount of ivy I have.....Let's just say alot!!! :-) Have a great weekend.

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

I have my reliable ivy growing like a weed from an arrangement from my mom's funeral. It was mostly a peace lily in the beginning but it is the ivy that has taken over and become the strongest!

Marguerite said...

I planted some English Ivy around a tree in the front yard of my house in Maryland. It spread like wildfire and eventually covered half of the front yard and most of the tree! Ended up having to have a lot of it removed because it was killing the tree.

Nancy said...

LOL! I loved the pants story. I agree with ivy - it is the loyal friend. It will grow anywhere, not matter what is going on in your life, and how much abuse you heap. I have african violets that were given me at my children's birth, some 26 years ago. Plants are wonderful, living, breathing friends.

Joy said...

I have a love/hate relationship with Ivy. I have some that will grow and do fine like the larger leaf varieties. But the small leaf. Just won't last for me for some reason.


Lynn said...

What a great post!!!
I can relate to every word right down to the Make it today, Wear it tonight part. I had several of those polyester fashion statements!!

Come by and tell me what you think of my "Macho Men vs Girly Men" if you haven't already!

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Laura....

Yep, I love my ivy's pretty much indestructible, isn't it? kind of plant. I have one on my porch...fashioned into a topiary now....I've taken a gazillion cuttings from this variety and it just keeps right on growing. I took a start from an arrangement at my Mum's funeral....I've never seen an ivy like grows STRAIGHT up! Go figure. :-)

I love my visits with you sweet chickie. Do pop over...I'm having a bit of a giveaway. :-)



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