Mystery Solved

Just an add-on to the post below, because enquiring minds want to know; the mystery has been solved! It’s just as we thought, a harbinger of spring with a mind of its own!

 Joe finally went to the scary, dangerous basement, to beard the little thing in its den; he took the flashlight (you need a flashlight in the corners down there, eeeek), and traced the little plant, aka Audrey, aka Jack’s Beanstalk, back to the source.  He was down there for awhile; I didn’t hear any screaming.  Then he started back up the basement stairs. I could hear him coming out of the deep dark blackness; he seemed to be moving very slowly; he was on the first step, he was on the second step; I stood breathless, my heart in my throat, waiting; what was taking so long? Was he all right; did he find it?

 Nothing.  He wanted the camera.  And around the side of the house he went.  When he came back to the kitchen, he had the answer:  there was ivy growing around the foundation — it had crept up under the clapboards and into the house under the sill, it traveled 2 1/2 feet in the dark before it found the tiniest crack between the wall and the floor of our dining room to slip in and make itself known.

We’re keeping it for a little while.  I’d love to let it grow up, get fluffy, and frame the doorway of the dining room! Joe says it won’t hurt anything for a while, but if we leave it, it could cause damage, so after a while he will cut it at the root, and that will be all of the story of the brave little ivy who came in from the cold.

T H E  E N D

Love you girlfriends!  ♥ XOXO 

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345 Responses to Mystery Solved

  1. Margot says:

    That could be a children’s book!!! My son worked “Audrey” during his Senior Play at Oyster River HS. LOL

    • Cindy says:

      That was my first thought too, Margot. A children’s book….The Little Ivy That Could, The Brave Little Ivy, …. a very determine sign that spring is just around the corner. A word on attics– I managed a guest house for a few years, a Victorian. An older lady who was a friend of mine called and said she had a strange request. She asked if I would take her up into the attic of the house. I obliged and when she reached the top of the stairs she smiled and said, “It smells just like my grandmother’s attic. I loved to play up there when I was a child and this brings back memories of her.” Tears of happiness were on her cheeks and I was glad I had taken the time to help her relive such a pleasant childhood memory.

      • Margot says:

        I think every house should have a standup attic, but not always a basement and for sure not a cellar. What was the point of keeping veggies in a room with a dirt floor. Even our barn had one. Creepy.
        Scents truly do bring on memories. I miss lilacs.

  2. Jackie in Colorado Springs, CO says:

    Phew….glad to know the source of the plant! I just finished first post when “shazam” the second post appeared…magic!! I have basement, but we finished it and my quilt room is there….so it is definitely “girl power room”….creepy crawly things beware!!!

  3. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Just check it out as I think the ivy plant is on the poisonous list for cats and dogs–I’m worried about your kitties! 🙂

  4. Peggy Jean says:

    What a great plant and story to tell. I agree with Margot, you (or someone) could write a short children’s story about the vine.

  5. Sandy from New Vineyard says:

    So cute! Don’t you just love old houses? That ivy has quite an inspiring story to tell!

  6. Sue Miller says:

    I just knew it would hve to be a friendly little fairy coming for a visit. What a fun fairy tale for you, thank you for sharing it. We had a little snow last night but it is gone now. I’m in a suburb of Buffalo NY. We are waiting for winter to arrive here. I think out weather man said we are almost 4 foot short of an average winter snowfall. Seems more like a very long autumn. My bulbs are all peeking out of the ground wondering if it is time to grow and bloom. Love your stories. Thanks girlfriend.
    Tonawanda, NY

  7. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan

    Well looks like the little ivy wanted to get warm! cant say I blame it! besides the dinning room is nicer then a basement? funny how things will find away into the house…PS its better then a mouse?

  8. Lucy F. says:

    I can move on through my day now. Thanks for the mystery. Way to go Brave Joe!

  9. Terry says:


    My sister had the same thing back in the fall!

  10. Nola Richter says:

    What a good lesson for us: tenacity! Greetings from Sacramento on a breezy spring day!

  11. Linda P. (Bakersfield, CA) says:

    Glad your mystery has been solved. I feel the same way about those old dirt cellars – I remember the smell of my grandmother’s basement old musty dirt with a hint of homemade wine. You have inspired me to keep a dinner party diary. It is a great idea. Today we had a couple over for lunch and I made sure I took a picture to start the diary. Thank you

    • Ann Y. says:

      Linda…thanks for the picture idea ! I thought Susan’s looked so nice and I could never draw like that, so the photo is a great idea. I have been keeping a dinner journal since 1998….but am inspired to spruce it up a bit. Also….everytime I see Bakersfield I think of the movie Best of Times with the Taft/Bakersfield football game !!! Have a great day!

  12. Julianna says:

    Wow! What a surprise. Who would be looking for ivy to be growing in their basement? I’m like you in that I hate to kill anything. Thank goodness we have people like Joe in our lives to talk some sense into us. Reminds me of the time a field mouse made its way into my apartment here in upstate New York and I figured it must be hungry so I fed it. How dumb is that. But he was so cute! Alas, poor mousie is long gone.

    • K. Ross says:

      Ha Ha! Now that’s a girl with a soft heart! 🙂

    • Karen Saunders says:

      We had a big spider that lived up by our light on the ceiling and for some odd reason I decided to keep him. He never went anywhere….and was a homebody, so I thought, why bother him. I guess it didn’t look like I was a very good housekeeper but pretty soon he became part of our family……as long as he STAYED put!!!! (if he traveled he was adios!) He did, however stay ‘put’.
      Oh, btw.. I live in Grants Pass, Oregon USA Been here since my family came over on the Oregon Trail. Grants Pass is a wonderful little town with the famous Rogue River running through it. Clark Gable used to come up and stay at the Weasku Inn, (which is still around) and fish. He liked it here because we gave him his privacy and he could walk down the street without being mobbed. and that’s my little contribution to your request…actully a little more than you asked for!!

      • Sarah Maldonado says:

        Ahhh! Clark Gable! My idol! Oh, and my story about wildlife in the house…found a snake one time, caught it n a jar while my husband stood far back and then I turned it loose down by the creek behind our house…lucky snake. Lol

        • sbranch says:

          He came to the right house!

          • pat addison says:

            Grants Pass also played host to John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn when they were filming the movie “Rooster Cogburn”. the river scenes when they floated down the river were filmed on the Rogue River near the Hellgate. and Shirley Temple came to Grants Pass when she was a young girl and received an award from the local cavemen’s club. a little more history about the area. up in Cave Junction we have the Chateau where in the 1960’s “bigfoot was first photographed in the area there, not more than 12 miles from my home!!! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Watch out…check your basement!

      • Linda Pintarell says:

        Love Grants Pass! Spent a week there last summer – friend from San Diego lives there in the summer. Took the Hellsgate River Raft Trip – WOW – What fun! The whole area is so beautiful!

  13. pat addison says:

    so it was an ivy plant, i sure would love a clipping of that lil plant and encourage it to grow on my kitchen porch, in a nice big pot in the sunshine!!! what a wonderful lil story. hugs…… 🙂

    • pat addison says:

      LOL!!! i don’t have a basement here in Cave Junction, but i do have a barn…… and i think bigfoot likes to hang around the Oregon Caves up near the Chateau, not around the barnyard with chickens, ducks and turkeys… LOL!!!!!!!

  14. beebarbs says:

    Ah yes, the Ivy. We have ivy deserts here in the Pac Northwest — it’ll kill the big trees and leave nothing but . . . Ivy. It Is pretty though and I can see why you’re tempted to let it grow into an arbor around your doorway! Love, love your new Favorite song 🙂

  15. Doris Nollman says:

    Hi, I live in the midwest……Pana, Illinois. I so enjoy your blog and look forward to opening each because it is as if we are sitting at my (or your) kitchen table just talking as friends do. Keep it coming. I have shared your blog with several of my friends and they enjoy it also. I’m not sure if this is where your enter for the teacups and saucers, if so, thanx. D.

  16. Janet says:

    I was thinking the same thing – a children’s book – with photographs instead of hand-drawn illustrations – so the kids could actually see that tender little plant growing out next to the wall – INSIDE the house. But being Susan, you would have to DRAW to draw the book’s cover.

    Thanks for letting us know so soon as to what was going on. The suspense was intense… :>)

  17. laura, michigan says:

    I’m glad Joe is letting the ivy live a little longer….it’s too cute to cut down just yet. The camillas are gorgeous- a lot better than the dandelion we pulled from the backyard yesterday!

  18. Mary Ellen says:

    A small note of warning Susan. The house I grew up in ( Union, NJ) had the same springtime sprouts of ivy. Watch out that ants may find this pathway in to your lovely home. And by the way, I enjoyed the scary trip into your cellar. It’s nice to know reality lies underneath all that perfection we see in your photos! Love you!

  19. Ann Y. Adamstown, PA says:

    Oooh…the little plant that could ! Love ivy and love that it just kept going until it found the light….a good lesson for us all. I am with you about basements….as kids we called our “the cellar” and only half of it was cement – the other half was dirt and when you had to “go down the cellar and get a jar of jelly” ( becuase that was where my mom stored her homemade from our grapevine world’s BEST jelly) – we would run like heck past the entrance to the dark, dirt part ! Thanks so much Susan, for sharing the first little bit of SPRING with all of us !

  20. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    How cute….and UNIQUE! Only at your house….the house where magical things happen!

  21. Patricia from Virginia says:

    Love that silly little vine coming up beside your floor boards! Oh, the glories of having a truly old house! Down here in Richmond, VA, very few houses have basements and while I don’t miss having one, it would be very cool to have plants growing up into the house.

  22. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    You are so good to us! I came back to read some more comments from this mornings blog, and find “Mystery Solved” … the little ivy shoot that could. Wow, 2 1/2 feet in the dark, to find light and warmth, amazing. I’m happy Joe was able to solve the mystery! Perhaps you can put the little ivy shoot in one of your beautiful vases and enjoy it even longer. 🙂 Gotta love Mother Nature!

  23. Thanks for the update.. would make a cute story. I was thinking of Ivy as some came in a crack of my Dads house once. He loved letting the ivy grow on the side of the house, NOT a good idea on wood, but that was in sunny CA. lol

  24. Kerry S. says:

    As Joe – and your Dad – will tell you ivy is very destructive. Grabs onto plaster and wood! You have probably seen walls and fences here in California where ivy has been torn away. Not good! Let Joe perform the surgery some day when you have errands so you won’t have to watch!!
    I remember that my Minnesota grandmother had lovely ivy printed wallpaper in the stairway and upstairs hall! May you can paint some ivy on the wall??
    One does have to admire the ivy’s tenacity though!!

  25. Teresa Jensen, CA says:

    That is a miracle of nature!!!

  26. Lisa G. says:

    It sure didn’t look like ivy in your house! Hysterical! I’m glad your husband survived the experience! LOL

  27. Laura Croyle says:

    So glad you let us know how and Where that little plant was from and how it got there! 🙂 Wow! Two and a half feet to find light! This story reminds me of one from way back when I was in first grade. (Long ago and far away in San Diego, CA) The school principle gathered us all around a spot on the school grounds that had just been paved with black- top. There was a blade of grass growing through it. He gave a talk about how determined and brave that little blade of grass was to grow through such impossible conditions. Amazing that I’ve remembered that talk all these years! I Love it that you’re going to let your ivy grow for a while! How Fun! Please post another photo of it before Joe tears it out! I have ivy growing in my kitchen garden window and I’ve trained it to grow around the window. Has Jack found it yet? I can just see him playfully batting at it!
    Hugs from Laura in Arlington, Washington (the state!)
    P.S Love the latest Willard!! I also just got your Summer Book in the mail today! Hoooray!! AND I just picked up the British issue of Country Living magazine and The English Garden magazine (have you seen that one?) So now I’ve got Lots to browse through during our gray, rainy days with a cuppa tea! 😀

  28. Julie says:

    Thanks for the investigation story. So glad everyone was safe from the basement!

  29. I Love it! Especially your ending,..”the story of the brave little ivy who came in from the cold.” Very entertaining! Enjoy for as long as you can!

  30. Marilyn says:

    I thought that sprig looked familiar! 🙂 We’ve had the same thing happen at our house. It really doesn’t take much for an aggressive vine to find its way into your house.

    In our case, we found Carolina Jessamine growing in our dark attic. We had no idea it had scaled the brick of our house and found a tiny crack just large enough to squeeze through!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  31. Gayla says:

    That is the neatest little hardy ivy plant.. I’m glad nothing fierce was lurking in the cellar!

  32. Vickie from California says:

    Thanks for posting “the rest of the story!”

  33. Susan Havey says:

    Deja Vu! I was just out doing some cleanup in my front flower bed and found my own sneaky ivy which had grown up under the clapboards, along the porch flooring and was trying to come in through the front door! I started pulling on it and discovered it was 15 ft. long by the time I tracked it back to the roots. Persistent green, growing, galloping giant! It seems that our cold winters in
    Spokane can’t kill everything.

  34. peg says:

    What a brave little plant!!! What a journey, too!!! I’m glad you are keeping it for awhile….maybe you can get an inside trellis so it won’t attach to your walls! Last weekend, we dug up and relocated a rogue oak tree. Oaks are notorius for not wanting to be moved….(our landscaper moved one for us years ago and he is now as tall as the house). My fingers are crossed that this new transplant will take. I go out every morning to give it a little hug and again when I get home from work. I have to be careful….Charlie keeps telling me that I can’t reforest America in our little front yard!!! The little oak seems to be holding its own….time will tell. Do keep us up to speed on your visiting ivy. We’ll all be cheering for it!!! xoxo peg

  35. Georgie says:

    Hurray for your camera! for Joe! Hurray for the Ivy! Hurray for a Happy Ending!

    That “little ivy that could” did!!! If only we could tke that story to heart and keep growing in the dark. Sooner or later we will find a way 😉

    Thanks for letting us know!

    P.S. I let our ivy intruder stay a bit too long and he left markd on our baseboards which will need to be painted 🙁

  36. Nel E from Michigan says:

    HHHHAAAAA! Awesome story! I say, leave it and blog about it now and then, giving us updates on its progress against all odds. :-). A great life lesson for us all!

  37. Cathy in Golden, CO says:

    It’s so sweet growing in your house and it’s a great conversation piece. Also, won’t it look so pretty growing inside. I know you can’t keep if forever but maybe for awhile 🙂

  38. Andrea says:

    Susan –
    So glad it wasn’t Audrey and Joe made it back from the cellar! I’ve had a similar experience. A clover-like weed had grown in our cellar window-well, in through the cellar window and followed the radiator pipes to the radiator in my bedroom. We could not figure out how that could happen but the little weed had a will and found a way. Unfortunately, we did have to remove them.

    Thanks again for your blog. I truly enjoy reading it. It brightens my day!
    Andrea – Boyertown, PA

  39. Country Gal says:

    Margot is right the fittings to a good childrens book ! Strange how it found its self in the house and was able to push its way through that itty bitty crack ! Great posts. Have a good day !

  40. deb m says:

    Oh, after I commented earlier I looked at the pic and figured it was Ivy. I have her creeping around my house too, threatening to devour it. You do have such a way with words. The explanation would have sounded boorooorring by me. Guess that’s why you’re an author and I’m not, lol.

  41. Susan, you are so funny! I don’t remember having attics or basements in Ca either. Trying to talk my husband into getting rid of the attic in the remodel we are doing to the last home we will have, since we moved to be near our Grandchildren. Would love to have the high open ceiling! We did like the basement we had in our last home here though, it was finished, had a fireplace, a room for the boys to play in and a storage room.
    Enjoy your little ivy, if he grew on the outside of the door, maybe Joe would let him stay, I love that look, but then I think of the creepy crawlies that would live in it!
    Tweet Tweet!

  42. Pippa Griffin says:

    Clip the ivy and put it in rooting compound into a little peat pot with potting soil. You can still have “the little ivy that could” growing….. just from a pot that can go around your doorway and not through your foundation!

    LOVE things like this – shows the determination of mother nature! It reminds me of the plants that spring out of heavy rock on the trips to the mountains! Never ceases to amaze me!

    Happy spring is on its way – Hugs, Pippa in CO

  43. Kate says:

    Just read your post about your basement. You have a cellar my dear one. I grew up in an old farmhouse that had a dark, dank, scary cellar. I was always the one sent down to get a can of green beans or some potatoes or onions from the cellar for my mother. One day as I slowly went down the stairs I noticed something in the cellar window by the stairs. It was a big black snake curled up in the warm sunshine. I scooted back up the steps and told my mother in no uncertain terms that I was not going down there again. My dad, who was terrified of snakes also, had to go down and get things for mom for a long time after that.

  44. Jan says:

    Just a quick question. The last couple of times I’ve posted a comment it shows up on the responses but continues to say awaiting moderation. Am I doing something wrong ?? I posted a comment @2:57 today on your first post. Thanks!?
    Jan – Mount Morris, Michigan

  45. Nancy M. says:

    How funny! Reminds me of the mouse I found on the top rack of the dishwasher when I opened the door in Rapid City, SD! Scared the daylights out of me! Sweet little ivy plant is harmless however….

    • Rae Ann says:

      EEK!!!…I was sitting in the living room of our 106 year old cottage in Michigan looking down the hallway to the kitchen and I thought I saw a mouse hopping into the dog food bowl!!!…I covered the bowl with tin foil…the next day our son’s chocolate lab Captain~I was dog sitting~ and I were in the kitchen and I uncovered the foil covered dog food bowl…and looking back at us was a mouse!!!…EEEEEEEKKKKKK!!!…we both ran out of the cottage…I put tin foil in every crack I could find in the cottage and from then on kept the dog food in a metal covered latched with a bungee cord can!!!…didn’t see another mouse that summer…

  46. Wendy Louise says:

    Hey when the time comes to do your trimming you could save the determined little fella and plant him in a cute little pot. Ivy will root in water, then plant him. Don’t worry about the weather, we’ve had this before, we just had a really great snowy winter last year,it will come back next year. 😉

  47. Elaine says:

    I loved this story, Susan! How funny! I’m like you in that I would love ivy growing in the dining room! Susan, I grew up in Arkansas and we didn’t have basements but had a great attic for storage. Then I met and married an upstate NYer from Schenectady. His house had a basement where the laundry was done and all kinds of things were stored down there. They even had a piano down there and no one seems to know how it got there unless they put it down there before the house was complete. There’s no way it could be moved down the stairs. Our adult home/s were in St. Louis and all had basements. Our last home had had a dirt floor at one time as it was 75 years old, but had a nice concrete floor when we moved in. Lots of storage space, a bar, a family room, the laundry area, etc. all in the basement. Then we moved to Texas. I have had to give up my 4 seasons, italian food and more……no basements here! Our 2 car garage has our ‘storage’. We have great attic space but with temperatures of 100 plus from April thru October, I don’t dare put anything out there although most people use there attics for all of there Christmas treasures! I miss my basement so much. I could ‘see everything’ and know where Halloween decorations were versus Christmas versus Spring and Summer. Still struggling after 12 years and praying I can return to wonderful St. Louis someday! Got to have those seasons back in my life! Elaine

    • dottie says:

      Elaine — where are you in TX? We have a WONDERFUL Italian restaurant that we love out in Lakeway near Austin. Even love it enough we’d make an effort to stop on the way thru on our travels for a meal there. It’s on 620 and is called Cielo’s. Of course, you may well be nowhere NEAR there — ’cause TX is nothing if not BIG!. They have one in the Galleria across from The Backyard, also.

      • Debbie Hallock says:

        Hi Dottie I live in Austin. I might try that restaurant out sometimes

        • dottie says:

          Oh, Debbie — it is really good so I hope you do try it out. The Galleria with the second Cielo’s is at the intersection of 620 and 71 — we have never been to the one in the Galleria though. Say hello to them from us — in OC, Calif.

      • Elaine says:

        Dottie, Thanks. We are in San Antonio and drive up and down I-35 often! I will check it out!

  48. Bonnie says:

    You have English Ivy growing there. We have it on our brick home and it was planted in 1932 when the original owners built the house. The base looks like a tree trunk and we have been trying to kill it for 10 years. Don’t let it get too big. When we bought the house it had gone under the soffett and traveled under the shingles, around the corner and came out through the asphalt shingles. It is a nightmare. Get on that quickly!!! I really could relate to this post. So funny.

  49. Christie Ray says:

    Glad to see the mystery solved…I think it would be beautiful framing the doorway;)

    The tea biscuits came out perfect! And, Oh, my goodness..they are most delicious! It called for an impromptu tea party for one, this afternoon, and then we enjoyed them for a little dessert after dinner. Once again, Tim loves when you post yummy recipes;)

  50. audrey Bell says:

    Susan, Dear Susan, in the words of Barney Fife, “Nip it. Nip it. Nip it in the bud!”
    I know we love, adore and trust Joe, but that plant must go before it spreads, grows, expands and causes damage. Chop it, pull it and get every bit of it you can before it roots in the walls, basement or crawl spaces. Trust me on this one… my name is audrey!

    • audrey Bell says:

      Oh yea…I forgot! audrey from LaBarque Creek, Missouri <3

      • Cathy in Golden, CO says:

        Audrey, you sound like a lady who knows what she’s talking about!!!! I’m definitely having seconds thoughts about that little, hardy Ivy. You’ve convinced me to never let something like this Ivy get away with living “inside” !!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 But isn’t it so cute living there???

        • sbranch says:

          Cute but it has the dangerous word “invasive” hooked to it … the old can’t tell a book by its cover!

          • Cathy in Golden, CO says:

            I wanted to plant ivy at our house when we first moved in but my husband was adamant that I did not. He’s from NY, originally, and knows about ivy! I just love it – especially on old houses. Ours isn’t old – so hasn’t earned that “character” title yet!

  51. Sara says:

    I love it! It wants to sing with you!!! Spring, Spring Spring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spring is even more like a habit! Lalalallalalalallalala! Consider the porcupine!!!!!!

  52. Bridget Czapiewski from Alexandia, VA says:

    I love the photos from your party, esp. since you went with the pink plates! I just(as in yesterday) received my very own Emma Bridgewater hearts teapot and the Love Sampler mug! It’s beautiful and I am now an Emma afficianado. Here in VA I’m waiting to see the forsythia bloom. Then I know spring is here. Of course the crocus and daffodils are another great indicator. Thanks for all your wonderful and inspiring posts.

  53. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,

    Spring has all sorts of surprises for us. Luckily there are Jacks’ to take care of run away beanstalks!
    xoxo Pam

  54. susie stevens says:

    Isn’t that ivy insane??? My husband keeps cutting ours back, from sneaking under the siding. But it grows so well, I want to transplant some into other beds. I thought for sure you were talking of a beast of sorts. smiles to you,Susie(She Junks)

  55. Ohhh I’m so happy it was just Ivy and that Joe made it up from the dark crevices of the “Basement”….haha we all know that you can’t kill Ivy and if it found it’s way into your home…..YIKES…just sayin, maybe a little caulking after Joe pulls it out from the root?? Although, I’m seeing the lush framing of your door….but, probably not worth damage to your walls or flooring?? In this case Joe knows best…only you Susan would be thinking of a way to use the sprout as an accessory!!! Haha

  56. Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

    I just love to see “free spirits” rise from the oddest places, all alone but so strong and convinced they are right where they are suppose to be! Like those adorable purple viloas that pop up in a crack in the driveway… or a bulb that Nutty the squirrel buried in a bunch of rocks… there they are, minding their own little business, just stretching and reaching towards the sun. What’s this shadow? Its a Cowboy and PLUCK! just like that its gone. really? was that necessary? Evidently. Ahhh…. at least Joe is willing to let you have your vine for awhile. He is such a hero!!! Have a wonderful night! xoxo

    • Cathy in Golden, CO says:

      Christine, don’t you think that plants, nearly any plants, are so precious here in Colorado? I hate to pull or rid any plant in our yard. I try so hard to make it lush like the great mid-west – but – it’s hard to do in our sun drenched, dry climate!!!! Susan’s Ivy is wonderful!

  57. Jack says:

    After you’re done with it you could turn your basement over to the Smithsonian or to other
    Source of Life seeking groups …..with study they may be able to solve the mystery of how the Earth was made and life developed….one of your most ancient forbearers could still be
    wrigglinng down there …..and I know I saw something making a light in that hole in the barn , under those boards….

  58. jeannine leonard says:

    thanks for solving the mystery of the floorboard guest. Hopefully it will know when to leave.

  59. Heidi Rose (Issaquah, WA) says:

    I love it! We’ve had ivy growing inside our garage, but not the house! I like your idea of letting it grow into an indoor arbor. What a charming idea! 🙂

  60. Nancy Narma says:

    As soon as I saw the tiny leaf, I knew what you had there..I’m in agreement with Wendy Louise…why not take cuttings and let it root in water on your windowsill..nothing like something green in the house to know Spring is would be pretty crawling up an older tree or trained to climb an arch shaped trellis with some morning glories or a small rose..AND it will give Master Jack something new to hide in to scare the daylights out of Girl Kitty!! You could also start two pots of the cuttings–one for each side of the doorway and train them where you want them to Grandmother used to do that with straight pins…would be pretty! <3 <3

  61. mari says:

    so glad the mystery is solved ~ ♥ love the cuttings in a pot idea ♥ ~ a great story to read today! thanks 🙂

  62. Jackie P says:

    New Hampshire.

    Great story — happy ending! (I know what you mean about the old-house-basement-scene . . . definitely man-country. Our house, built in 1827, has a dirt floor with huge boulders that the foundation was built around. Only about 1/3 of the basement is deep enough to be able to stand. The remaining parts are just crawl space. Too icky to even think about storing anything down there besides paint cans and old tools!)

  63. LOL! I had an “Audrey” growing in our basement…aha…IVY!! Gotta love old houses, though I HAVE to go in my basement. That’s where my washer and dryer live 🙂
    xoxo Debbie in Cleveland, Ohio

  64. Maria Shiyou says:

    I went into the backyard today and cut a piece off of a Bradford pear tree. It’s so nice to have blossoms in my kitchen window.
    Braxton, Mississippi

  65. Hey Susan…
    That little sprig of ivy was soooo smart…knew a good, warm. fun- loving home when it sensed it 🙂 …Love the story! xoxo

  66. Susan Bryza says:

    Isn’t amazing how many Susans (or Sues) post to your blog? Ours is a name from the past. I haven’t had a “Susan” in my class in many years! (My husband’s name is Mark and I haven’t had a “Mark” for a long time either.)

    Why not try your hand at a children’s book sometime? Your watercolors remind me of the old “Dick and Jane” series! Children’s literature has exploded in the last twenty years. You are already a wonderful storyteller! Just some random thoughts…

    Sue in Dallas

  67. Marisa Leigh - Seattle, WA says:

    Just have to remark that the power of nature is truly mystifying and magical! To think of that vine creeping through the dark until it found a patch of light – just amazing!

  68. Rae Ann says:

    Thank you for the update…I know between you, your Joe and your Dad you will handle the ivy situation…I like the idea of nipping the plant growing inside the house, rooting it in water and planting it in a pot…then removing the ivy and caulking the holes where the ivy is coming into the house…there is some reason that ivy wanted to get inside your house…just like all of us~that ivy was verry interested in all the fun that goes on at your house 😉 …

  69. Debby Holman says:

    Yikes! That ivy grows everywhere. I have it at my house and I really love it, my neighbors, not so much because it also grows into their yard despite my best efforts to keep it contained.

  70. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    I can foresee a new book title.. Susan Branch Going Green! It was looking for warmth and love and found it…aah…cute cute.
    NO NO.
    In my experience ivy will not be killed so beware of its power, creeping through your basement to takeover your home, bwa ha ha. Loved your description of the dirt in the dark smell, but I do not like spider webs on my body either, ugh, you never know where the spider is or went, should I say. Your blog is just fun! I like the simple crazy things that happen in life, like the ivy sprout. Thanks again for brightening my evening.

  71. laurie says:

    wow, that is so coool to have the ivy coming up the wall.Isn’t nature amazing, it always finds a way.I grew up with basements and root cellers.
    I’m sitting in the ninth floor apartment my husband and i have retired to .we look out on the shore of the two great bodies of water Lake Huron and Lake Superior, Canada.Its almost 10 pm , i’m sitting by the fireplace watching a new show Finder, (well my husband is) and I’m blog reading.A cup of cocoa beside me in my flannelette nightgown that came straight from the dryer.
    I read where you asked for us say where we are and what we’re doing, hope thats not too much onfo, lol

    • sbranch says:

      No it’s perfect! Can’t believe how much closer in proximity I feel to everyone now that I’m seeing where they live! I love it! 9th floor, and lakes! How great!

  72. natasha says:

    hehehehe the house may be safe from harm for a bit but will the lil warmth seeking sprout be safe from the curious kitten?????? im sure lil jack will be very intrigued by the new playmate.

  73. Nellie says:

    Ivy will find a way to wind where it wants to go, when it wants to go! We finally had to “take care” of all of ours.

  74. carmel says:

    Once again…. amazing! It found itself in darkness during this part of it’s life and made it to the light and grew. Just like us. That little sprout reminded me of hope in life. I understand that it has to go, but Joe’s response was compassionate. Would it be possible to just take that sprout and plant in a pot and keep as a plant? Just a thought.

  75. Marianne says:

    From Peoria IL,
    This reminds me of my daily walks with our dog,Maggie Mae, and I see weeds popping up through concrete to find the light of day! Amazing! Once when I was small, we had mushrooms growing in our upstairs bathroom and was hoping to find little faeries there too, but no such luck…

  76. Tracy says:

    I have this English Ivy near my house. I transplanted it from my sister’s home in Bristol, RI. It can be very invasive and it wound its way right through my basement windows and down the cement walls. Very creepy. I have had to cut it back from the foundation every few months to prevent it from getting under the boards. Plus, it is a great haven for snakes! Yikes!!!!!

  77. dottie says:

    Oh my! Our other house has a central glass atrium which is open to the elements — with a pond and plants — ivy growing along the base of all four sides and THEN suddenly we had ivy tendrils growing in the crevices of the window framing in nearly every panel growing up and around and along the baseboard — all INSIDE the house. It took a lot to roust it all but I did it. May have to do it again one day to have it done right of course but we shall see.

  78. Sandra Gillanders says:

    Well, you certainly have some unusal things going on there with the plant growing right out of the floor boards. I’m glad you are letting it be for awhile, it worked so hard to get there. I also had to get used to basements when I moved from CA. to Philadelphia. The rental we had for a year was really scary and I didn’t like to go down there to do the laundry. The one we have now is less scary but definitely “man country.” Thanks to Joe for solving the mystery of the creeping plant. You never cease to entertain me, lol!

  79. Geri, Baltimore, MD says:

    I love this story Susan! I was about to write to find out what it was and where it came from…then I found the link for the answers. I could not have gone to bed without knowing! This story got me thinking of the love/hate relationship I have had with basements my entire life!

  80. Karen C says:

    Nature always finds a way!!

  81. Rachel Lucas says:

    Just had to leave a comment on this one sweetie…when we moved to the farm over 30 years ago, there was a green sprout just like yours that would come up between the floor & the hearth each Spring. The floor was then laid on the original earth foundations from the 1600’s, so I guess it may have been doing the same thing for 400 years?? It happened for about 6 or 7 years…then Mum & Dad decided to get proper wood floors laid and the men who did that laid a concrete base which killed the sprout. But we all loved it, looked forward to it & left it alone each year. It wasn’t ivy though…it seemed to be a plant on it’s own. Cute! All my love from Rachel…currently on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland in Australia but usually from South East England!!! Xo

    • sbranch says:

      Hi honey! Love your sprout story! Funny how little things like that move in and become a part of the family! 🙂 Hope you’re having fun!

      • Sandra Gillanders says:

        Hi Rachel,
        Enjoyed the story about the tenacious little plant near the hearth in your family home. Plants are really amazing. Hope you continue to enjoy some warm weather in the Aussie Sunshine.

  82. Pat says:

    Ah ha! I thought it might be ivy! Ivy is so indestructible and really is amazing how it grew from the outside into your basement, and up the floor board…wow! That is one hardy and determined plant….lol. Glad the mystery was solved …it made a fun blog post! 🙂

  83. 2 posts in one day 🙂 yay me… I”m behind, as usual lol

    I love the little ivy making it’s way up through to the light. I’d make sure the crack was filled, if it were me, so those horrid 8 leggers can’t get up through.. Bleck! I’ve a fear of basements for that exact reason!! yuck yuck!

    Love the Spring song too…now lol! I love the old time music, and will have to get a cd 🙂 It seems calming to have it playing softly in the background 🙂

    Loved the picture on the bottom of the blog post too… Painted just right for the verse <3

    Good Night from PEI

    Denise of Ingleside

    • Sandra Gillanders says:

      Denise, after I wrote the post to Sue, I thought the same things about the crack. If a plant can get in so can lots of other things can too.

      • sbranch says:

        Let’s not think about it! Actually we’re thinking about it!

        • Joanie B from San Diego says:

          Denise, did you name your home Ingleside or is that an area in PEI? I am an Anne (with an e fan) so when I saw the combination I wondered. Just the name of PEI, from all the stories that Lucy M. Montgomery wrote, gives me a happy feeling. Is PEI as beautiful as she described in her books?

  84. Rachel says:

    Well I am glad it is not so scary after all 🙂 Ivy does damage- which is such a shame because it really is quite pretty!

    Rachel in Central Va.

  85. Theresa says:

    Hi Susan

    How fortunate are you to have this beautiful ivy come into your home by its own choosing…I am so jealous!!!!!!…My favorite ground cover is ivy…always has been…in fact ….this winter I lost my kitchen ivy that was a housewarming gift….not sure what took it…but there she hangs in my window….a very flaky, brittle kind of sad to say pathetic looking sight and I just cannot take her down…I bought our house in Strafford NH in Sept of 2008 and she has graced the southeast window so brilliantly green and shiny…a huge maple tree is outside that window and kind of casts a gentle shadow so I think that’s why she lasted so long………….sadness……….I am really a bit miffed to say the least but thank heavens ivy is such an abundant little jewel sent to earth for all of us simply wonderful human beings that love real dirt!!…If you want to part with yours…DON’T BURN IT!!!!..I would pay for shipping in a heartbeat and plant it near my outside chimney….lol..that ivy is very hardy!!..
    Thanks so much for all the wonderfulness in your blog….what a treasure you are to me and so many other people…life is good

    PS…my neighbor taps our trees every year…I can send you free maple syrup in exchange for the ivy…hint hint…..tee hee hee

  86. Dana says:

    crazy!! at least now you know the source!!

  87. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Oh Susan, I wanted to say that you have a “green thumb” and a “green house”!!!!! How special that little sprout is….and so determined to thrive!!!!! We are currently having a major snow storm in Dearborn, Michigan…it’s once again a Winter Wonderland!!!!

  88. Carol C says:

    As others have noted, just cutting at ground level will not take care of English ivy. It will come right back and you will have another sprig coming through the flooring with a stronger stem this time. It takes some digging and some form of plant control to keep it at bay. Or just enjoy an indoor arbor! What fun to have a tea party with your own indoor arbor, entwined with tiny twinkle lights and a wonderful selection of music!

  89. Jennifer says:

    Ohhhhhh… I kind of feel silly saying it but I feel sad that the ivy will have to die. Maybe could take it out roots and all and find it a new home?

  90. Mia Sophia says:

    Sweet Story! That little plant just wants to be invited in and stay awhile, just as we all wish we could too! 🙂 Spring has sprung…lucky plant!

  91. Jamie V. says:

    Hi Susan-
    You are right, this weather is something to ponder.
    We are in a heat wave compared to last years weather. I already have daffodils pushing up in the garden which is way too early for this part of Wisconsin. I had to dig out the old garden wellies and gloves and leaf mulch plants that needed a bit of help. I also have potted plants and herbs that go dormant over winter and get stored in my garage until May, but they too are already showing new growth. One potted hosta is already six inches high. My state is famous for snow but we have hardly seen a snow flake all winter and the temperatures have hung around the 30’s and 40’s.
    I thought that was alarming until I read your newest blog about the camelia flowers from your friends bush and the ivy making it into your home. That takes top prize!!! I wonder what we are in for this spring and summer?
    Now my thoughts on basements… I think your in good company when thinking that basements are rather creepy because in reality most of them are. That is why a lot of them are called “Man Caves.” Only a man could see past the cobwebs and be happy to have a place to put all his stuff, and in turn we are happy that their stuff has a home, so that it never makes it upstairs!
    Take care that you do not wake up one morning like in one of those fairy tales where the castle is completely covered in ivy!!! I think that was in Sleeping Beauty?
    On Doty Island, Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

    • Margot says:

      I love Doty Island!!! I told my husband I wanted to live on an island. I told him about Doty Island and Washington Island, and even Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. How about the Islands of the coasts of the Carolinas? Nope. Two weeks ago he started making plans to move to the Big Island. Good thing I can swim and surf. Crazy!!!

  92. June says:

    I am having so much fun reading all the posts and finding out where all your followers are from. It is truly amazing … girl friends (and a few men) from all over the globe! Like having a few thousand pen pals!
    June (originally from Hawaii but now living in sunny Southern California)

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s definitely the new blog rule that everyone should say where they’re from — I just commented on someone else’s blog and didn’t do that — I’m going to have to remember — I’m loving it! Love all the exotic sounding names and places.

  93. Kirsten Wichert says:

    OK. Now I get it. It didn’t come from the basement but outside! Looks like you’ll have plenty to play with if you want to make cuttings.
    Does anyone else remember the cartoon (very old) of the boiler in the basement that became monster-like and puffed out smoke/steam…..I can’t remember who was in it. I do remember that it was one of the silent ones with music. I also remember being afraid of the boiler in our basement as a child.(in N.J) but now in southern Calif.

  94. That’s an amazing little plant! When the time comes to cut (sniff, sniff) why not root it in some water (I believe that will work for ivy…better check!) then plant outside. You’ll have quite the story to tell when it’s covering a trellis out in the garden!

  95. Katy Noelle says:

    Oooo! It’s like in the forbidden wing of Misselthwaite manor in “The Secret Garden”! Oooooo! =]

  96. Sandy Richmond says:

    I think that little Ivy was curious about.what goes on upstairs/inside the house. My house is 102 years old – the basement has a cement floor, windows and is one big room, so not scary. It does have an interesting feature tho’. Someone left the original support posts down there, which are tree trunks! They put beam posts next to them, but I love that they left the original ones too!. An occasional plant makes it’s way into our basement too – where there’s a will, there’s a way! From Attleboro, Massachusetts. Sandy

  97. Gert~Iowa says:

    Good morning Susan..I was so glad to wake up to a post fom you!

  98. Giovanna says:

    That is a precious story. “The brave little ivy who came in from the cold” I think it has the makings of a sweet little book 🙂

    I must apologize, I am behind in reading your blog. I think I’ll make myself a cup of tea and sit with the pups at my feet and catch up on all your wonderful news.

    Thank you so much for all the lovely tails…oh, I mean tales 😉 Giovanna

  99. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    No chance of seeing anything green here for a few days in SE Wisconsin~ woke up to about 5″ of heavy wet snow~ darn groundhog!

    • sbranch says:

      We’re getting a little bit of mixed too, that’s OK, it’s February! But we can still play imaginary spring!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        You are right~ almost forgot that!
        I think granddaughter and I will make a snow angel~it is awfully pretty out there~

  100. Francine says:

    Aw-w-w-w-w….that Joe’s a keeper to let it grow for awhile! Enjoy!! Woke up to a fairyland. We have the kind of snow that sticks to trees, bushes, etc. It’s beautiful!!! Glad I don’t have to go anywhere! Have a great weekend Susan.

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