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Talkback: Ivy

Kate - like you I welcomed ivy over my garden fence for exactly the same reasons as you. I'm now having to clear 3 of my garden beds of the stuff as it has completely taken over whilst I wasn't looking. It not only climbs, but creeps, hugging the ground and getting everywhere.


  • I think it all depends on the ivy involved. I had one growing up the front of the house and I removed it. It was one with enormous leaves and, to me, not very attractive, but a smaller leaved version would have been okay.

    I planted a white solanum instead which has proved to be pathetic. Weak stems, goes all over the shop and insignificant flowers.
  • Hooray for ivy and you - it's so nice to see someone else sing the praises of this much-maligned plant.

    I hate to see the hobbled remains of cut ivy when a mature tree covered in it is a magnet for wildlife of all kinds
  • I find Ivy to be incredibly beautiful. If you try and imagine a world without it, it is quite hard (churchyards, crumbling low walls, covered treestumps). We have a wild area of our garden where it is relished and enjoyed - and covers an old tree which is no longer with us - but has become a kind of sculpture.

    By the way - I think that photo is particularly beautiful. Bring on the ivy!
  • Kate,try Parthenocissus quinquefolia.
    I have it growing on a north/west facing wall.It has to be pruned 3/4 times a year but worth it for the glorious autumn colours.
  • I have a small amount of Ivy in my garden. It just comes out from under a small conifer as a bit of ground cover. I keep it under control and don't have any problem with it.
    This isn't anything to do with Ivy, but can anyone tell me how to propagate from a cherry tree. My father-in-law has one in his garden and the cherries are just lovely. He passed away last month so we would like to be able to have a cutting to keep the tree in the family.
    If anyone can help I would be most grateful.
  • Most of my old battered fence is covered with ivy and we love it. It is the only reason why we have not replaced the fence as all that great ivy would be lost!
  • I could write a book about the adventures I have had with ivy in my garden and even house. Yes, it crept in under the tiles to emerge behind the curtains in the lounge! I love it in the garden, however, over my ancient pear tree which still manages to give a great crop, as ground cover, as home for the larva, pupa and imago of butterflies and moths and nesting sites for birds. Variegated ivy climbs up trees in my woodland walk and lightens it. Of course it needs gardening done to it - weeding from borders, trimming away from gutters, but it is easy to pull out and does not sting. And who would be without ivy at Xmas? Good luck with your baby, Kate. Why not feed it with some of your compost and watch carefully as it grows from baby leaves into mature leaves and you may find a stem with both kinds on it and a "teen-age" leaf as well. Now that is exciting gardening!
  • I like many others have mixed feelings towards ivy...wildlife just love it as you say Kate and currently the lanes near to me in Somerset are full of bee/wasp/fly covered ivy!

    Unfortunately for me whenever I handle ivy I come out in an unpleasant rash which doesn't last too long but does make me itch for some time!

    My compromise is to let a few little self seeders stay but to keep them in check on a regular basis so it doesn't get too big and unmanageable and to a state where I come into too much contact with it!...

  • I planted about 15 small ivy plants all the way around my garden fence, I think it'll look great and no need for preserg in e few years
  • do you have to use fire bricks when you build a bbq pit
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