From English Ivy Overload to a Rock Garden

When we bought this house, the landscape was pretty overgrown taking over the house.  The original owner liked to golf, not be in the yard, and it was evident.  We have a long way to go before we have it all in shape again, but we've been working on it diligently over the past few years.  One of the problems of the original landscape was the proliferation of English Ivy.

English Ivy is not indigenous to North America and it can be really invasive where it's allowed to grow free.   At our house, it was allowed to grow free in the beds next to the east side of the house.

It was actually grew ON AND UNDER OUR SIDING!  When we fixed our siding and painted the house the first year we lived here, I literally pulled out yards of the stuff from under the bottom of our siding.  And I had to sand the rest of it off from the visible parts of the siding.  You can see a little bit of the problem in the picture below. 
English Ivy overload.  Note the ivy trails growing up the side of the house.

The landscape is taking over the house!
Despite growing up in the country on 11 acres, learning to drive a tractor years before I could drive a car, and having parents who are amateur farmers, I am not confident with vegetation.  Worms, bugs, and critters in general scare me.  Circular saws don't scare me but the sight of a mouse will have me shaking in my boots.  Good thing I have a desk job. 

But here I was--in my new gardening gloves and determined to win over the English Ivy.  After I pulled away some of the English Ivy, I discovered a rock wall!  Who knew?  It was buried under the mess.  And I didn't see any critters so I thought I could proceed.  (Note the unpainted wood--we were in the process of repairing our siding in this picture.)

Newly discovered rock wall.
I dug up the rest of the English Ivy.  While digging, I discovered quite a few rocks including one very large one!  I "left the large one for my husband to get out" while I continued looking for rocks.  (Sorry, honey!)  It was then that I decided to do a rock garden.

We have a lot of deer here and we have a little bit of a problem with "deer-resistant" plants so it isn't quite as lush as I would like, but here is what it looks like today:

Going up the stairs from the patio.

View looking from the patio towards the front of the house.  Groovy light fixture:-)

Pretty close-up of pretty flowers

Note the giant rock that I made my husband dig dug out

We have a mix of phlox, impatiens (something keeps eating those), petunias, chicks and hens (remind me of my grandmother) and some other flowering geranium ground cover.  I'll keep adding to it next year but so far, it's MUCH better than that despicable ivy.


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