One of our annual jobs at Genus HQ is reining in the ever enthusiastic ivy that scrambles over the garage on the west side of the garden. We originally planted it over a decade ago with the aim of softening up what was a rather ugly concrete structure. Several species of ivy were planted and now do a superb job of blending the building into the landscape.
Pruning is carried out with hedging shears for the sides and long handled telescopic secateurs to clip back the growth that forms along the very apex of the roof. A rake finishes the job, clearing up all the debris that has accumulated on the surrounding lawn and borders.
Ivy belongs to the large genus Hedera and takes up over two pages on the RHS Plant Finder, so anyone wishing to find an ivy to suit their particular requirements should have no problem in tracking something down. Ground hugging scramblers, upright free-standing shrubby forms, large leaved, small leaved, variegated or golden. There’s something for everyone when it comes to choosing an ivy and as an added bonus they’re evergreen, a great habitat for insects and birds, and a good food source with berries in the winter months. We certainly wouldn’t be without ours.