Everyone who gardens has a plant (or maybe several plants) they consider the bane of their existence, a menace to society, a veritable demon infestation from heck. When I lived in North Carolina, that plant for me was wisteria. But now that I'm in the Pacific Northwest, I have a pair of plants which I would nuke from orbit if I had the opportunity (and could avoid my precious orchard in the process). Those plants are English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry.
Now, Himalayan Blackberry, despite its heinous, evil nature, does at least have 6 weeks out of the year where it demonstrates its one redeeming characteristic: berries. Those berries make excellent jam. The thorns and 20' long canes, however, relegate it to one of the levels of hell. It is an exercise for the English literature enthusiasts among us to determine which level is most appropriate.
English Ivy, however, has no redeeming characteristics. None. Not a single one. Okay, sure, it acts as excellent erosion control, assuming you want nothing else to survive in its smothering wake. And the berries, should you allow it to grow to maturity, feed birds in the winter. I will note, however, that other plants, plants that will not make you say words that will get your mouth washed out with soap, can do the same thing. And so, no redeeming characteristics.
So, now that you know my thoughts on these plants, let me gloat for a moment. You see, there is this retaining wall next to my house. And at the top of that retaining wall is a mature mess of English Ivy. And next week will be its LAST WEEK ON EARTH. Pardon while I indulge in an evil chuckle.
I have some ideas regarding what might go there when this vile stuff, along with the volunteer pine trees and a rosemary bush which has been deformed and covered by said Demon From Heck, is gone. Things like a string trellis coming up from some large containers of native honeysuckle to cover the rather ugly wall. Perhaps a bit of catnip for the local feline population. Perhaps a beautyberry or two. I don't know, but whatever happens, I shall be content knowing I have made one small step towards getting this crap OUT OF MY YARD.
I close this diatribe with two current pictures, ones which I intend to look back on next year, glass of wine in hand, and gloat.