This morning is gray, windy, and fifty. I wore a trench coat and wool hat on my walk, and took no garden photos. The only thing I saw growing with vigor was poison ivy, which appeared suddenly on a vine ripping through the Persephone Garden and rocketing up a tree.
I first noticed it yesterday. For a few warm days now the Bowery, which is what I call my garden shed, has smelled of vinegar. Yesterday, I surrendered to its persistence and found a stinky solution puddled in the lid of my plastic two gallon jug, the one with a pump and spay wand. I carried it outside. I have no idea why the top leaked. Maybe the sun heated things up and the liquid expanded.
Anyway, I thought as long as I was holding the pump jug I would see if it still worked. I am not even sure what is in it. It could be horticultural vinegar, which is extra strong. Or it could be a mix with Dawn detergent, salt, and other ingredients I cannot quite recall.
I pumped it up, and sure enough, I was able to make the wand shoot out a fine spray. And then, since I was holding the loaded jug, I walked over to where I had seen poison ivy grow last year, and darn it all if it was not shining in the sunlight. Tiny, red three-leaf clusters were sprouting out of a skinny vine left on the tree from last year.
I sprayed as much as I could see. This morning, I note a fair amount of horseradish leaves are shriveled dead. I think other plants may be affected. I was careful to avoid the day lilies. Sadly, I do see new ivy this morning. Maybe, before I go out, I can get back in the garden to snip the dastardly vines. Monday, I will suit up for an attack.
Spring is the return of life on Earth, and it is a rock ride. The taste of summer’s bright heat makes a gray damp wind bitter like today feels insulting. The thrill of seeing the false indigo push up out of the earth from no where makes the ivy feel more offensive. I try and remember, it is only because I love my garden so well that I feel unhappy about the ivy.
I wonder how it was for Persephone, when she bid farewell to Hades, and returned to Earth to be with her Mom, Demeter. Maybe I will reread the story.