Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I wrestled an Anaconda in my garden today


Green Anaconda Photo: Ltshears

It was 20 feet long--green, sinuous and slippery.

I was pulling it down from the lamp post at the end of my driveway when suddenly it wound around my ankles, and then coiled up to my waist. I tried to grip it to get some control, but it kept sliding through my hands. We struggled for what seemed like hours and I was panting, sweaty and wondering how much longer I could last. Luckily I had my pruners in my pocket and I was finally able to subdue it.

I'm not sure what the turning point was in the fight, but I think it caught sight of the label on the front of my tall rubber boots--Hunter--and that weakened its will.

This 20 foot garden terror has the Latin name of Hedera helix.

It's English ivy.

Once it gave up I crammed it in the yard waste container and slammed down the lid. We're due for a yard waste pick-up in a few days, but I wish it were sooner. I hear thumping from inside the container.


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26 comments:

Jenn's Cooking Garden! said...

Lol, that had me laughing! I almost really thought you were talking about a snake, you had me!

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Jenn! It sure felt like I was tangled up with a big snake. I've added your great blog to the Foothills and Sacramento section of my blog roll. Looking forward to watching the progress of your veg garden!

Janet said...

You are funny. I too have wrestled with your Anaconda....it took lots of work, but I won.

Anonymous said...

You are great! I'm so terrified of snakes that I almost didn't open the blog. Ivy as a snake!!!

I have another for you, there's a plant in my yard, when I was a kid it was called rubber flower or something like that, pink or white. The thing spreads seeds and seedlings so fast I feel like the buckets are filling and I'm emptying them and then there are a hundred more...Fantasia, you know the scene.

Melanie said...

Ha HA HA great post!

Grace Peterson said...

Brilliantly written! Yes I'm familiar with this slithering monster living insidiously in the local landscape. An opportunist, it has built-in radar, stealthily scouring the landscape for a tree to scale and eventually smother. I'm aware of its propensity to make babies that appeal to the indigenous yet vulnerable avian population who ignorantly disperse the potential scourge-ous future populations. It's a travesty. Thank God for your trusty pruners or you might be toast by now.

Daffodil Planter said...

Janet, I can see you in safari gear, stalking triumphantly out of the garden.

Anon, Your mystery plant sounds ever scarier than my snake. Zone 9 gardeners--any ideas on what is terrorizing her garden?

Melanie, Delighted that you enjoyed it!

Grace, I thought of you and your ivy proverb during the fight. We need to nerve ourselves to wipe this out of our gardens forever--but as you say, the birds will bring back future generations. All hail Felco!

shirl said...

Very funny... you had me there too :-D

Daffodil Planter said...

Shirl, Don't tell the hedgehogs about big snakes like that....

Christine B. said...

I about had a heart attack! Here I am wondering who this Tarzan gardener is wrestling snakes. Boy am I gullible....

Christine in Alaska

Stevie from GardenTherapy.ca said...

It makes me cringe whenm I see people planting it here! Yikes!

Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel said...

All I can say is.... I'm thankful you survived!
LOL LOL
A pernicious scourge, that ivy ;~D

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Christine B! I was definitely feeling the Johnny Weissmuller/Tarzan vibe. You're the first Alaska garden blogger I've seen--added your fun blog to the Rest of the West of my blogroll.

Alice, That experience really cooled my coffee about ivy.

Debra Lee Baldwin said...

Ha! Love the last line.

Daffodil Planter said...

Debra, Thanks! Wish I had a padlock for that lid.

Angela said...

What a great post! At least I knew you made it through the ordeal - since you were able to write about it. If I ever get in a similar situation, I hope my Hunters will keep me safe too. If not, I'll go down in style!

Daffodil Planter said...

Angela, We need a group photo--you, me, our Hunters.

VW said...

Oh, we had some beastly ivy growing up the walls of our last rental duplex in California. I was glad to move away and let someone else try to keep that stuff tamed. Although it would be evergreen here, and broad-leaved, I'm not planning to plant any. Vinca minor is vigorous enough for my evergreen groundcover needs, thank you very much.

Daffodil Planter said...

I quite like my variegated Vinca minor 'Sterling Silver'. I'll try to restrict my ivy use to small plants in containers.

Town Mouse said...

Good for you! Sounds like quite a workout. Wish I could do the same with my neighbor's, which tries to creep over into our garden.

ryan said...

I once held a ten foot anaconda, and it just curled into a ball much more meekly than any ivy I've ever dealt with. Good work, taking on the ivy.

Anna Flowergardengirl™ said...

You scared me. Snakes are important but not wrapped around my legs. Sounds like you accomplished a great feat though. I like ivy in pots--period.

Daffodil Planter said...

Town Mouse, If I can morph from an ivy-lover to an ivy-wrangler then there's hope for your neighbors.

Ryan, I'm still afraid I'm going to hear from the Anaconda Association of America about this post.

Anna, The snakes in these parts are rattlers. Nothing funny about them. Yes to ivy in pots--pretty and confined.

Gail (www.yardflower.com) said...

The next time I attempt to wrestle with my ivyconda, I'll think about you.
My garden's previous owner (26 years ago) planted English ivy and I have not been able to totally subdue it yet.
I also have it in my woods. A neighbor threw out her yard waste. The ivyconda component rooted and then proceeded to slither off to wreak havoc.

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Gail! Slithering ivyconda indeed. Wonder what happens when it meets up with kudzu there in the South?

lostlandscape (James) said...

My garden gets invaded by anacondas from next door all the time, so I can empathize. While cold weather will take out some of the big snakes in the everglades, it just seem to invigorate Hedera helix. Evil evil evil plant, the stuff that nightmares are made of.