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I've been hacking back some evergreen Ivy that had turned the back of a garden into a black hole.  It's very established, and the trunks are thicker than trees.  At this time of year it's quite something to behold, so I was wondering if anyone grew Ivy for fun, and if they trained it over a cheap long lasting something.  Even a wire-framed sculpture?  I get annoyed with it, but have watched it sustain the blackbirds and pigeons, so not all bad.


  • I've grown it up trellises to form a quick green screen while more permanent planting got established. And then forgotten about it, and had to do what you're doing! The damn things do get tree-like if you leave them for a while. Very good for wildlife of course, especially in the winter when it's in full blossom.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    Seems to like fencing is wire an alternative or does it never quite do so well?
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    Snails are odd, spotted colonies living in fenc post cracks why the dislike?
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    edited March 2019
    Yes, I love ivy!  When I moved to this house, there was a row of seven conifers against the back fence which I decided to do away with because they cast such a deep shade over the garden.  I had the tops cut off level with the top of the fence, keeping the trunks to support climbers.  I discovered a nursery called Fibrex which specialises in ivy and offers about 100 varieties.  I ordered seven plants, each of a different variety, and they arrived sturdy and well packed.  That was four years ago and now my bare trunks are attractively covered.  If anyone wants to buy ivy, I can't recommend Fibrex too highly, for quality, value and customer service.
  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    Hugely  important  for wildlife but can be a thug! I always  try and have some somewhere in the garden. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,960
    I love my ivy too. The little mouse has a home somewhere inside some of mine, and it gives him cover when he pops in and out to eat the bird food.
    Did you mean does ivy grow on wires, Wayside? I didn't quite understand your post. It will happily wind round anything though. I've used it as a screen in a previous house. There were some poles already there - a very simple design - and I strung wires across, and planted an ivy at each one. They helped to give some privacy to a patio area as the whole garden was quite visible from the road. Probably a wire mesh is better than single wires though.
    I have some covering some chicken wire in a corner at the back of the shed at the moment. 
    I'd think the snails were probably enjoying the shade and the damp wood as much as anything. They like being inside my Phormiums during the day. Easy to find and despatch  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,969
    I hate my ivy. It grows up the walls behind climbing and rambling roses then spread onto the roses. Getting ivy off a wall behind an Albertine is a nightmare.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    @josusa47 any photos?
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    @Fairygirl, yes forgive the morning thumb typing.  Ivy appears very at home on wood, and I wondered if it needed something not so gappy/airy as wire mesh to adhere its rootlets/hangers.  I've always thought it could be an excellent tarpaulin! 

    I had some ramble over an old chicken house, but the weight collapsed it over time.  I was wondering how structural you could get it.  Whether it could end up being self supporting.

    The stuff I was working on yesterday, has wrapped a damson completely (probably 30years in the making), you can't tell if there is even a tree there any more.  It's quite laborious trying to remove it.  Probably easier for me to fell the tree and ivy and start again.  But you never know. 

    I did manage to peel enough off of one hawthorn and the tree bounced back quite nicely, despite being quite an odd shape due to the ivy spread.  It's hard to know how interconnected these plants are.  I read recently that close trees work together, and removing one can cause heartbreak for another.

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 807
    edited March 2019
    There was a large spreading canopy of ivy that I thought was a covered tree, and when I hacked it back it turned out to be an old concrete fence post.  So I believe you can grow something like an ivy tree.  I then found a badger sett below, the ivy must have been providing lots of cover, and lent well to the underlying wildlife. 

    Next door has a huge sycamore totally covered in the stuff.  And it must be an incredible ecosystem.  A nursery man, looked at it, and said the thing would fall over in a year or two given the weight.  But I'm never sure how much of a hindrance it is too a big specimen.  I guess it does provide extra sails during winter, but might also tether the plant. (Since he said that, it has not fallen, though I'm forever hopeful - as long as it isn't on me/others or the shed.)
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