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IVY - to remove or not to remove - that is the question

Should I remove/kill this ivy? Is it one variegated ivy or two ivies (variegated plus plain darker green one)? I am worried about damage. I have it on 2 walls. North facing which joins my house at the corner (white west facing wall is my laundry room). And East facing stone wall adjoining neighbour (an office - not a residence). It looks relatively young/new so maybe the vendor planted it deliberately so it is OK?  I want something to cover the wall so if I removed it I would replace it with Pyrocantha Orange glow and a Clematis Nelly Moser trained through it if you think that would work. I am happy to keep the Ceanothus (centre) and Hydrangea Petiolaris near steps). As you will see garden is VERY small (15' wide by 4' / 5' deep), very shaded and astroturfed. Thank you, Gill 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,600
    Ivy does not damage sound walls and is a good plant for shady aspects and provides shelter and food for invertebrates and birds.

    I'd worry more about the astroturf.  Horrid stuff IMHO and I would get rid asap.  Clearly grass isn't going to do well there but you could replace the plastic with a porous membrane to allow drainage and prevent weeds then cover it with more shingle and some big pots of interesting plants and a wee table and chairs.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325
    I'd agree with @Obelixx. Shingle/gravel is excellent for a shady spot, and if you pick a decent, golden one, it will brighten the place up instantly.
    You could also plant into it directly. 
    Is that an Acer in that trough? I'm struggling to see it clearly, even when I enlarge the pic. If so, it won't be happy in that for any length of time. 
    It would make a superb pot specimen too. 
    If  you fancy a bit of DIY, I'd make a false door/gate where that one at the back's been bricked up. You could then get [or make]  a large container to sit beside the steps, and have a climber in there.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you both. Fairygirl - like you I am in Scotland (Edinburgh). Can I ask "a decent, golden one" Golden what? Shingle? And I have no idea what is in the trough. See close up photo. I like it though. Stayed red all winter. I love Acer trees but this seems more of a climber? As you can tell, I am new to gardening!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,325
    Yes - golden gravel  :)
    I can see now that it isn't an Acer - I'm not sure what it is actually, although it looks familiar. Someone will be able to ID it. It probably is struggling in that trough though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,122
    Not an Acer (maybe a Photinia, or possibly two or three of them, that's lost all the leaves at some point and then started growing new ones at the ends of the shoots). It still needs to be in a bigger pot or in the ground if you're keeping it.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,422
    The climber looks like a Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star Jasmine)
    It is not going to do at all well in a small trough.
    Can it be planted directly into the ground under that gravel?
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    One ivy or two?  Variegated plants tend to want to revert to normal plain green, ivy more than most.  So you may have one variegated ivy which has produced green shoots (they're called "sports"), they are more vigorous than the variegated stems and may eventually out-compete them.  So if you want to keep it variegated, it would be a good idea to cut out the green bits, or some of them.  Growing ivy doesn't usually damage walls, but removing it sometimes does, especially if the wall is rendered.  You pull away the ivy and bits of render come with it.  If it were mine, I'd keep it, just trim it now and then to keep it tidy.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,146
    Found yesterday in ivy growing on my garden wall. A song thrush sitting on eggs.

    There’s another wall, with much thicker ivy on it, more like yours, and I know for a fact that there is a robin nesting in there too.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
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