Barry Fugatt: Vines can be beautiful but aggressive | Home & Garden
Barry Fugatt Garden World
A hand-printed note stuck on a bulletin board in the university cafeteria read, “Quaint and charming two-story brick house for rent, reasonably priced, close to campus.”
Higher education was proving to be a real challenge, and living in a noisy college dormitory didn’t help matters. With the help of two roommates, we rented the old house, which turned out to be anything but “quaint and charming”.
The house was a total mess. The roof was leaking, the plumbing squeaked like a tortured pig, and a foul odor permeated the whole house. But it was affordable and quiet.
The house had another interesting feature. It was covered, from ground to roof, with Boston ivy vines that had not been pruned in years, if not decades. I literally had to cut vines to see out of an upstairs bedroom window.
Early one morning, while lying in my bed, I was shocked to see a huge rat perched on the windowsill a few feet from my head. I rushed out of bed and ran screaming out of the room like a hysterical child. I’m not at all proud of my unmanly response, but I absolutely hate rats! I quickly discovered that the place is crawling with rodents!
Courtesy of the rental home owner, my pals spent days pulling and scratching a thick carpet of rodent infested vines on the walls of the old house. I supervised their work from a safe distance across the street.