Goodbye Polar Vortex - How to Create a Living Wall of Ivy

Spring is my most favorite time of year! With the winter almost past, I can start again working on my garden. For the last two days the weather in New Jersey has been so delightful! I hope it's been wonderful by you. Today we are due for another cold blast, but after that it's back to nicer weather. This will be my view in the next few months with two different kinds of ivy on my gothic fence. I first planted the English ivy and later added the Boston variety.
My husband put up the wood lattice for me. This way I could weave the English ivy through it.
I spent a few years training it to go up the fence. It wasn't a big deal but an important one. English ivy can be invasiveness if you leave it as groundcover. I have a great story to tell you! Growing up, my parent’s backyard was initially covered in English ivy instead of the normal grass that you would expect. Moving to Jersey from New York City we really did not think much about it, this was the "Country". What did we know about grass anyway? It took several years to get rid of the English Ivy. The woman who use to own the house, we discovered was an alcoholic. From what we heard from the neighbors she was always trying to hide her drinking from her husband. She finally found the perfect place to hide her booze. Under all the English ivy were bottles and bottles of alcohol. I think my parents counted at least a hundred bottles. It seems she never throw away her empty bottles. It was also a great place for her to stash the new liquor bottles. We found many bottles of liquor still full of alcohol. She was like a squirrel hiding her nuts but it was booze instead. Once we planted grass I swear it did not grow straight. It always seemed to look wiggled. It did not appear straight for many years. It was as if the grass was drunk. I kid you not. :-)

Now back to our fence. I loved how the English ivy trailed up our gothic fence. But it was missing the wow factor. That is when I decided to add more ivy to the fence. Boston ivy is one of those vines that can put on an impressive show. That's just what I was looking for. The added bonus is Boston ivy grows quickly unlike English ivy. Boston ivy doesn't really need any help once it gets started. It now cascades over our gothic fence and fills in the area that the English ivy has not yet established.  The two different vines make our backyard/garden look more like a backyard paradise. I chose to keep the ivy in just one area as to not cover the entire fence. There is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. I still wanted to see the fence in other areas of our yard. The ivy's grow beautiful together and have really made a wonderful addition to our shaded backyard. In the wintertime the leaves on the Boston ivy turn a beautiful red. Then the leaves fall off just leaving the vines.
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
 The English ivy stays green year round and keeps the living wall looking beautiful. 
It also creates a wonderful backdrop for entering! 
We have had so many wonderful compliments on our living wall. 
Thanks for stopping by!
XO,
Dee 
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40 comments:

Deborah@Green Willow Pond said...

Oh my gosh is that crazy. I can't imagine finding all that alcohol in the lawn! It's actually pretty sad when you think about it, but funny too.

Your living wall looks great! You are right about the english ivy. I transplanted some from my grandma's house one time and thought it died. Gradually over a few years it would throw up a few shoots, then all the sudden it just took off. It lived under the front deck. I removed the lattice to get under there and sprayed and pulled for a couple of years. I still have to keep an eye out for it!

Suzanne ~ Italian Girl in Georgia said...

Funny story about the ivy! We got rid of all of ours that we inherited in our garden too. No bottles hidden though!

Happy Spring,
Suzanne

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

The wall looks lovely! I really like ivy but don't have any in my yard. Funny story about the bottles hid among the ivy.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Dee, Your living wall is wonderful and creates such a pretty view!
xx,
Sherry

Pam Jackson said...

Love SPRING! Love watching everything come back to life a little each day! I love ivy...easy to grow and it can hide some spots that just need hiding, like my creek bed! Nice job.

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Dee, what an interesting story! U can only imagine finding those bottles in the yard! I love ivy covered walls in a garden. Yours is so pretty!

Art and Sand said...

What a gorgeous look out your window.

We have a wall of ivy running along the trellis between our house and the neighbors' house. It is mainly for privacy. The beach houses in our area are built quite close together. There is only about 8 feet between our dining room window and our neighbors' front door. The trellis of ivy keeps us from looking right into Dick and Judy's living room and from them watching us eat.

Barbara F. said...

Hi Dee! I hope this year we get to meet up at that cute diner and have a cup of coffee! Fingers crossed. I love ivy and really need to train some to grow along and up my back fence for more privacy. xo

Linda Walker said...

Hi Dee! What a nice thing to think about--SPRING! I love the way the ivy looks, would love to do that in my yard. So pretty! Cannot wait to get past this cold and your post was the perfect cabin fever pick-me-up! Thanks, I needed it!
Linda
Sewwhat!

Laurie M said...

oh wow, well, the yard looks wonderful, its such a joy to see green, we still have many feet of snow,

Diane Lynn said...

Dee,
Loved your story about the hidden bottles! And your gothic fence is amazing...so lush when it's in it's glory!

Maureen Wyatt said...

What a bizarre story about the bottles hidden in the ivy. My front yard is covered in it but there are no bottles that I've ever found. Full ones would be a nice find!

poppilinnstudios said...

Hahaha, Dee that is a hilarious story! I can just see the woman scurrying around hiding her bottles.
And, I love the ivy wall. Have a good weekend :)
-Lynn

ANNE said...

I love vines used this way - so much nicer than hedges of trees that spread out and take up so much room. It looks beautiful Dee!

Barbara said...

That is a funny story Dee and I do believe you!! I know we were teased with those two nice days this week. Looking forward to tomorrow, suppose to be nice again. Your ivy is beautiful what a gorgeous addition to your back yard!
Enjoy a great weekend!
XO Barbara

Cynthia said...

Hi Dee, weren't those two days such a tease. Yesterday in Northern NJ it was so cold and windy. I couldn't believe that it went from one extreme to the other so quickly. Why I am surprised t his year with the winter I have no idea. It has been quite a ride. I love ivy and growing over a fence is one of my favorites.

Cynthia

The Polka Dot Closet said...

OMG what a great idea! I have ivy that has grown up and over my garden arbor, but never thought of making a fence of it! It is gorgeous. Love the drunk grass story!

Carol

Gina said...

What a beautiful wall of ivy! Ivy is a perfect fit for gorgeous English Tudor style home.
I love the story of the drunken grass! lol

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Dee,
As long as you can contain the ivy growth, that look great. I too love to see as much green and living things during winter as possible.
Hugs,
Mariette

Little Miss Maggie said...

I bet it's gorgeous in the summer time. Boston ivy is one of my very favorites. That woman must have been desperate to hide all those bottles. Too funny.

Crystal said...

Wow that is crazy! All those bottles. I wish I could grow things but my thumb is far from green. It's a good thing my husband waters the pothos that is in the kitchen or it wouldn't be going on 20 years old LOl

Poppy @ With a Dash of Color said...

This is hilarious....alcohol stashed away under the ivy, lol! She probably needed a map to go scavenger hunting for alcohol...very sad but funny at the same time:)I am loving your living wall with the ivy...so pretty! I love the look of trailing ivy, looks so timeless! Last year on a college tour with my daughter we visited Princeton University....beautiful architecture with buildings covered with gorgeous ivy!Love the first picture with stunning view of your beautiful backyard with all that lush greenery....has me wishing for spring! Have a wonderful weekend, Dee!~hugs, Poppy

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I've always loved this ivy. What a great job you did of growing it where you wanted it. Enjoy your weekend my friend! Hugs!

White Weathered Hutch said...

What a lovely addition to your yard.
I have never seen this before , but it sure would be perfect for privacy.

1CardCreator said...

What a beautiful wall of ivy, I had no idea it would stay green year round either! Your whole garden area is beautiful, so well done. ~Diane

Debbiedoos said...

That looks gorgeous Dee. I love the look and to me it is so homey in the garden. Just reminds of something you see in all the English gardens. Yours looks beautiful!

chateau chic said...

I can only imagine how beautiful your ivy wall must be when it's in full green mode! Love this idea.
Your story finding all those bottles under the ivy is just too funny...well maybe it wasn't funny for your parents.
Mary Alice

Jennifer Humphries said...

Oh my goodness, 100 bottles! That's crazy. Your wall looks lovely and your backyard looks like someplace I would love to hang out, so keep the pictures coming!

http://www.jenerallyinformed.com

Jody and Stan said...

Dee, I love your living wall. What a beautiful view you must have! Thanks for sharing that cute story about the bottles! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you too!!
Hugs,
Jody

Betsy@ coastal-colors said...

Oh my gosh! Too funny, hiding drinking bottles in the Ivy- Your wall is stunning and a great screen! I love this idea! I know you're ready for Spring! It's been pretty in Georgia, but turned cold last night! Our yard is on a garden tour in April. I'm really hoping for some warmer weather soon. I may have to hot glue blooms to my Azalea if it stays cold! :)

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Dee I LOVE the way that ivy looks climbing up the lattace...I even love it climbing up a stone home!
Such a pretty patio!

Suzan Sweatman said...

I giggled all the way through this post - too funny -
Your ivy looks gorgeous -
In our last home we had grape vines ( very very invasive - but perfect for privacy ) anyway we had a neighbor who used to come out in the middle of the night to cut the leaves off and scurry home - she was Greek - and used them to make stuffed something or other lol - I told her she didn't have to wait for the middle of the night - she could take them whenever she wanted!
I'm dying to plant some Boston Ivy in our new back yard!
xox

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Whoa. That's pretty crazy....who knew!?

I love a wall of ivy.
I should start planning my gardens right now too. Maybe it will help distract me from the frozen yard patched with ice and snow.

Ugh. Painful winter!

xox
A

Simply Suzannes at Home said...

Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

Dee! Your ivy wall is spectacular . . . and the view out your window is just beautiful!
Thanks so much for sharing,
Suzanne

Donna Heber said...

Hi Dee,

What a gorgeous wall of ivy. I lattice was an excellent idea! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Sebastian Chuter said...

Nice plan! I have been planning to have one in my backyard garden. You taught me again Dee. I will surely visit again and see the beauty of the wall Ivy!

Sebastian of
Gazebo and Bali Hut Super Store

Bliss said...

Ha ha ha, drunk grass! We had an ivy ground cover in one of our houses when I was a kid but when my parents removed it all we found were dog toys.

The Old Parsonage said...

How cozy - love how you created the wall! We have ivy growing up the side of our barn, but I'm not sure what kind it is. How can you tell?

Enjoy the rest of your week!
Leann

MY SHABBY FRENCH LIFE said...

Such a lovely wall !

xoxo from PARIS

Joëlle

Trisha said...

I love ivy! That tablescape is wonderful!

~Trisha

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