Propagation: Seed or cuttings
Native to: Europe, Africa and Asia
I expect some of you are thinking “Why on Earth would you have Ivy as Plant of The Month, when most people spend a considerable part of their gardening life trying to get rid of it?”
Well, actually, there are a lot of reasons to grow ivy in the garden: birds find shelter in the deep dense foliage, bees go wild for it at this time of year when flowers are scarce in the garden, and there are some pretty varieties that will cover an ugly wall. My South-facing ivy provides high standards real estate for blackbirds, robins and sparrows. They love it! They build their nests in the intricate network of branches knowing that the dense foliage will protect their offspring but the branches will not be strong enough to support the weight of my neighbour’s cat. The blackbirds also eat the berries so to them it’s like breakfast in bed.
I am not sure which variety I have in my garden as it is a rescue from a hanging basket that just really went for it. The root is in a small pot on a pile of stones but the whole ivy is now about 5 metres wide, 3 metres high and about 70 centimetres deep. The leaves are very long and pointy and the flowering abundant. As for the bees… the noise is incredible and perhaps a touch alarming when you try to shoot a video and you end up in the middle of a bee cloud. Here is the buzzy ivy: