It occurred to me the other day that in all my ramblings I’ve only ever written about ivy in passing, and I think it probably deserves a post of it’s own. It’s simple really, my advice on ivy would be, “Don’t do it!”

As a child I always liked to see ivy on cottages and houses. I seem to remember my mum’s response was, “You’ll get creepy-crawlies in your bedroom”. Not that we lived in the kind of house where ivy was even a possibility, but these things stay with you.

So, when we moved here 13+ years ago, it seemed natural to plant some ivy. And that’s what we did. Up the front and side of the house, around the conservatory and the side and rear of the garage.

In the first few years it was fine, but as the years passed it got to the stage of needing regular trimming, and frankly that has become a bit of a nuisance.

It grows at a ferocious rate, I’ve lost track of the number of times I trimmed it last year. My idea is to keep on top of it. Young shoots are easier to trim than old woody ones, but here’s the rub. I’m scared of heights. Anything over 3 rungs on a step ladder and I’m a gibbering wreck. This means that although I can do a lot of it, trimming the ivy on the front of the house falls to Peter.

He doesn’t like heights either, but is prepared to do it once a year, with me hanging on to the base of the ladder to prevent mishaps. Trouble is, he isn’t always well enough to do it, which is why it is growing through the gutter and on to the roof as I speak. (The picture above is pretty old) He says he will do it, but I worry about him. He did fall off once, despite my help.

Many times I have considered just chopping it off at ground level and waiting for it to die, but various things stop me.

Firstly I don’t like killing things, even ivy. Secondly, the birds and the insects love it, even if I don’t. Finally, it does cover up some unsightly marks in our brickwork, which is why we planted it in the first place.

We don’t get creepy-crawlies in our bedroom, but I do wish I had heeded my mum’s advice.