Forum home Garden design

Garrya elliptica james roof or Persian ivy (dentata colchica)

There is a side of my garage wall in my garden that I am desperate to cover but I cannot make up my mind over what plant will be the best choice. I am torn between Garrya elliptica james roof and the persian ivy. My head wants to go with the variagated large-leaf ivy because it will be low maintenance whilst still being quite handsome. However, it is just good old boring ivy.

My heart, on the other hand, wants to go with the garrya for wow factor. My concern with the garrya is that I will probably only get the wow factor over 2 months in the year and I may have to consider companion plants to provide colour for the remainder of the year. Would it look boring without the catkins display? Additionally, I reckon it will take a few years before the garrya will make any aesthetic statement. Does any one if I will get very dense coverage with the garrya?

What will be my best option from an aesthetic and maintenance view point? Please note that either plant I choose will be container/trough planted as the ground is paved. My garden is north-facing/shaded.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,360

    Where do you live Lola?

    Garrya tends to get browned in cold winter winds here in East Anglia

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,477

    I've also lost a Garrya to the cold just when it was looking beautiful.  Don't know the ivy you are after, but it could be vigorous and take you over so look into it before you buy.

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,565

    As an alternative to, or companion with the ivy, how about Hydrangea petiolaris?

  • Hi Lola image

    Some of the variegated large-leaved ivies can be very handsome indeed - in my opinion much more so than garrya - but that's my personal choice - but don't be fooled into believing that ivy is low maintenance - they need keeping under strict control - regular trimming and pruning will be needed to keep it out of the eaves and gutters and from under the roof tiles or boards.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,441

    Garrya looks ok for two or three months a year. The rest of the time, its quite boring. It also has a habit of leaning away from the fence, mine comes 3 ft out towards the light.

    Unless you have a lot of space, I'd go for the ivy.

  • Thanks a lot. Looks like ivy is the way to go!
  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013

    If you like Garrya you would also like Itea ilicifolia.It is a wall shrub with evergreen leaves and beautiful pale green flowers in summer image

Sign In or Register to comment.