I have a bit of a thing about sheds. There’s something very pleasing about their proportions, maybe it’s a ghost of my childhood love of doll’s houses. Anyway, earlier this year it became apparent that my green shed roof was in serious danger of bringing the whole shed down in a crumpled heap of bricks and ivy. It looked so beautiful though!
And the first thing I want to say is, I had been seduced by how it looked. Don’t be fooled by beauty when it comes to property! If it’s unsound – and you own it – it isn’t beautiful. It will cost you money and invite so much unwanted advice that you will wish you’d never raised the subject.
Most people want to make money from their property when they sell and being romantic about it is like saying you don’t care about your investment. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if ivy is a wonderful food source for wildlife – if your shed is like a swamp inside (and believe me, mine was – I put an old school bag of my son’s out there and within a month, it was covered in mildew) its a waste of usable space and you need to reclaim it from the plant – or the neglect – that is strangling it.
Ivy is a thug, if you don’t keep it well trimmed it will choke everything, plants, buildings and gateways. My added problem is that the ivy ‘bush’ (more like constrictor) was owned by my neighbour, so I had to pluck up the courage and go and talk to someone I had never met (the ivy comes from the garden behind mine) and tell him I wanted to ‘kill’ his plant!
He was surprisingly nice about it actually and said that nothing had been done to the ivy for about 30 years! Thirty years is a long time not to maintain something and as I’ve owned the house for two years now, there was nothing I could do but what I had planned – remove and replace the shed roof. So right there, I had the task of replacement and the neglect had not been mine.
Richard got up there with a hand saw and ripped that massive plant apart. My job was to cart away the rubbish…
Nine trips to the dump later – and that was just the ivy, not the roof covering – we had to stop because Richard was due to have surgery on his shoulder…and this was heavy work. Sheer dogged determination, it was a horrible job and right at that moment I was so annoyed with the people who had owned the house before me. How could they have done nothing to keep that ivy in check?
To be continued…