Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day: Ubiquitous Ivy

img_8776I wasn’t sure if I was going to join in with Christina’s Foliage Day meme this month but then a foliage focussed ramble found me admiring the seasonal foliage of Nandina ‘Obsession’ and Pittosporum foliage‘Tom Thumb’, pausing beside this wayward strand of ivy staking its claim on the fence and making a bid for freedom prior to being ousted, before deciding to showcase the ubiquitous presence of ivy in the garden instead.

You probably don’t recognise this part of the garden at the back of the sheds, the gate on the right opening into the compost area and the gap on the left being where the garden dog-legs and turns at right angles. This wall is built from reclaimed brick and the windows are from my parents’ old front door; most of the ivy here was deliberately planted and I love to see it against the brickwork:

img_8773This vintage lady is reclining in a bath of ivy which covers part of the woodland floor, where it is restricted to the side nearest the hedge and pulled up when it trespasses.

img_8778Also in the woodland, ivy is demonstrating its ability to climb by taking advantage of the slim silver birch that stands topless after the wind decapitated it a few years ago when two taller trees that had been sheltering it were removed:

img_8779Taking advantage of a similar support, the original dead plum tree and the support that was…well, supporting it have been obliterated by ivy but in doing so the ivy has become treelike in its own right, the pictures showing in turn the lower and upper parts. You can walk behind this structure which acts as a kind of ivy archway.

img_8774 img_8777We can’t forget our hedge, which although largely holly and remnants of ancient hawthorn is home also to masses of ivy which trails attractively downwards till it is time to keep it in check  and an annual Christmas wreath for the front door just doesn’t require enough ivy to do this. A major cull of the hedgeline takes place around this time although quite oddly this year our neighbour has decided to complain about the routine maintenance that the Golfer has begun this weekend – but that’s another story.

Ivy, I love it – in the right place that is, and I have learned in recent years when enough is enough and removed it where it has become too excitable. As foliage goes it is  indispensable for its greenery and variegation, and as such it is my humble contribution to the GBFD meme this month. Thank you to Christina for hosting.

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15 Responses to Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day: Ubiquitous Ivy

  1. Christina says:

    Good choice. Ivy is very underrated as an evergreen in the garden. I wish I had some, maybe it would grow up the walnuts in the woodland walk.

  2. Kalamain says:

    With so many Ivy plants in your garden, do you, or have you seen, any Ivy Bees at all?

    They are not all that common in the UK yet, but they are here.

    • Cathy says:

      I had not heard of a Ivy Bee before but have looked them up and read that they have been seen in the UK Midlands so will look out for them later in the season. Thanks for alerting me to them

  3. Brian Skeys says:

    I agree Cathy, ivy in the right place is a welcome addition to the garden, not least for the benefit of the wildlife. I recently had to take the shears to some that was completely smothering a climbing rose.

  4. Pauline says:

    We have lots of ivy in the garden, I think the birds drop the seeds, as it appears as soon as I’ve pulled yards of it out.! In the right place it is fantastic as ground cover and as habitats for all sorts of wildlife, but in the wrong place, it causes endless problems.

  5. Ivy seems like a lot of work for the gardener. I am not so sure it is worth it in my garden. I am always afraid it will kill any tree it climbs and it will certainly take over a flower bed if you ignore it for too long. It does look pretty tho.

  6. what a pleasant change Cathy, nice to see a more common plant being shown for it’s worth in the garden, sometimes they are just taken for granted or even only talked about when causing a problem, I love your ivy clad stone shed with stained glass windows and what a wonderful example of how beautiful reclaimed materials can be,
    I’m both sorry and surprised to read you lost the top of one of your birches to wind! I didn’t know you got such strong winds sometimes, removing those trees let in more than light then, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it can be too easy to take things live ivy for granted but it is such a valuable plant in so many ways. And it was a very spindly silver birch, Frances, and completely overshadowed by the trees that there were removed – I did even think it may have been on its way out and perhaps that’s why the wind took it, but there are a few leaves sprouting lower down. Certainly wasn’t a wind as strong as those you get 🙂 Definitely more light on the adjacent borders once the other two were removed, and more rain too

  7. Barbara says:

    I am a big fan of Ivy too. It can become a bit of a pest in large gardens, but it always cheers me.

  8. Noelle says:

    You have inspired me…just about the only thing growing in the new garden…maybe my first post in months next week. I love ivies and you have summed up all their salient points in the post then through the comments.

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