a countryside chronicle

About Me

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Leicestershire, United Kingdom
I am a day dreamer and romantic. I like to write stories and poetry, read a good book, and tend my garden. I live deep in the heart of the countryside and love being surrounded by all that nature has to offer. My camera and journal are never far from my side as I try to record each and every moment of what is important to me.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

In Praise of Ivy

I have a secret to confess - I have a 'thing' about ivy.  Yes, I know, boring old ivy, that has a bad reputation for eating into bricks and mortar and bringing your house tumbling down about your ears.  But I can't get enough of the stuff. 

I use it in the garden to disguise things - like fences (they don't rot so quickly when they have ivy as protection).

It gives a good background for other climbing plants

It grows anywhere and doesn't mind the shade

Here it has grown through the trellis and is starting to disguise the coal bunker

The new leaves are beautifully marked

and come in a variety of colours

I let it trail over the ground where it keeps the weeds down and acts as a mulch to keep plants moist.

The garden would look terribly bare without it, and yes, I do have it growing on the walls of the house, two trims a year keeps it in check.  The birds nest in it, as do insects - and the berries are a good food source for them.  I definitely wouldn't be without it (though I doubt that the beloved would agree when he has to get the ladders out to cut it back and take huge bags of clippings to the tip).  But then there are drawbacks with everything.


  1. When I moved to my house the garden was covered in ivy, nothing else. Now I have tamed it so that it's just covering the fences as opposed to all of the soil and I too wouldn't be without it. I've even planted more since I moved in, mind you my neighbour isn't as keen as I am, but I have gently suggested that if she cut it back occasionally she might like it better!!

  2. I didn't know ivy could prolong fence life - I've been pulling mine off the fence, which leaves nasty marks anyway, so perhaps I'll let it go upwards as well as down, trailing over the edges of my raised herb border.

  3. Good for you, the more the merrier. It's wonderful for wildlife, and honeybees love the flowers. Flighty xx

  4. Oh, I like your horizontal-slatted fence! The ivy adds to the charm, especially when they change color. I don't think I realized ivy produces berries!

  5. I have tried to get ivy started, but I just can't seem to get it come back for another year. We have another vine that just takes over, wood bine. It has maple type leaves and turns a brilliant red in the fall, but it does tend to take over. You wall looks old world. I like it.

    1. Yours sounds like Boston ivy - far less invasive.

  6. Elaine.
    This is an uncanny post. I love Ivy. I have lots of it growing at the bottom of the land.. I was only thinking some time back..that i would bring some up to my inner garden and let it climb the fences..
    I love houses that are covered in Ivy and rambling roses.
    Nice post
    happy sunday

  7. Ivy, what to say about it...... I like it, I have lots of it, various cultivars, for wintergreen, covering fences and groundcover....But I sometimes hate it, it grows everywhere too fast. When I should not be able to cut it anymore, our house and garden should be totally covered with it within about two years. When I think of it, I brake into a cold sweat.
    Have a nice Sunday.

    1. I agree it can be invasive and sometimes you have to be quite brutal - I think maybe I am a little lax sometimes and let is grow when I know I shouldn't.

  8. I am exactly the same as you, I simply love the stuff and it's such a wonderful plant for so much wildlife as you say.

    Beautiful piccies!xxxxx

  9. I love ivy too, especially the small leafed variety which seems to be a little easier to keep track of. It certainly has a mind of its own as it takes hold of wherever it ends up. Tenacious you might say. Yours looks lovely as it meanders throughout your garden.

  10. I certainly agree with you, Ivy is a wonderful plant and great for wildlife. I need to get more in my garden

  11. I like ivy too. I've only recently discovered the flowers, and am now eagerly awaiting the berries, as are the birds.

  12. I'm an ivy fan too, particularly mature ivy when it gets those wonderful twisty leaves and sprays of flowers. Having said that, I have spent ages tearing up great handfuls of the stuff in this garden in an effort to uncover plants and structures it has completely obliterated.