is Ivy good for walls? and I don’t mean your Aunt Ivy

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION is Ivy good for walls? and I don’t mean your Aunt Ivy

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    Trace One

    That’s like asking an architect if any landscape that detracts from the edifice is good.  Love the report exonerating it though.  a good read.  thx

    Les Ballard

    Ivy changes leaves from the top down once it tops out and so proceeds from maiden to mother as it flowers and, in ivy month very often, crone – most of October – then hag as the berries rot on the vine in the late winter/spring.  Of course it never goes back to the maiden stage and leaf shape we like, we have to wait for new shoots.  Cutting an inch thick branch and ripping it off it will whip about but dries stiff quickly to a real timber.  The bark peels with a thumbnail to leave the ridges and pits the roots came from but it can be sanded smooth and is white enough, like holly, to be used for inlay in marquetry and for small items, even a staff.  Green lengths can be used outdoors to tie a roof on a bivouac together and comes complete with camouflage leaves as a base for a thatch and indoor decor lol.  Apart from that, if you grew it, why?  I have had to chisel ivy roots from a brick garage with wood posts and it ruins the surface more than the chisel does.  The fact is people like the overall appearance and it makes good habitat all year round for bumblebees, wrens – another goddess symbol and depicted with ivy – and other things but, please, not near balconies it is too tempting to expect no-one to climb it.  So, every spring or summer when the poison berries are gone, trim it back to poles supplied especially for it and ensure little or none sticks to brick or render or plant it in containers to grow down rather than up.  It makes some sense to plant plain, yellow and green/white hederas in the same hole to make a good mix.  All that said, some now like to build a fake ruin in their garden and cover that in ivy, or maybe a wishing well or shed that does not look good anyway.  It resists wind and provides some insulation too.  Mostly, however, it grows facing north or in light conditions other things will not.

    The pics are in my local park in the walled garden of what was a Cluniac Priory – a frame was built of iron and ash trees grow to support the whole as the frame rots, with laburnum and wisteria set amongst it to hang down all summer – the shape is a cross but, basically, the flowers face east and west.  The last one is a wren, traditionally hunted on boxing day until recent times.     

    Alan Ray, RLA

    Boston Ivy is the best !!!

    Check out The Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia….

    Boston Ivy does not dig into the wall it sticks to it.

    I’ve seen fifty year old English Ivy pulled from a wall with no damage at all and I’ve seen it at five years

    pull big chunks of mortar from between the bricks. The difference? I’d say it’s the mortar that was

    faulty having a high sand to cement ratio….

    So, don’t blame the ivy, blame the weak mortar.


    al fathi

    resilient+cheap+low maintenance = good! and it’s green year round. not beyonce’s blue ivy tho.:-)

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