If there’s one thing that our garden has in abundance it is Ivy. This is a view, from the bathroom, of the mature Ivy covering the shed outside. Looking back from the other side of that archway looks like this (on a sunny day last week);
And there is plenty more at the end of the garden and on bits of fence on either side of our strip.
Ivy seems great for insects and when the sun shines even now it is buzzing with flies, the occasional late wasp and the last two butterflies I’ve seen in the garden were on the Ivy too (Brimstone on Friday 13 November and Red Admiral 30 October). In the spring, Holly Blues shimmer over our ivy fields.
But even I think there is a limit and we need to recreate more unshaded areas for ourselves and for some other plants, so I’ve been cutting back Ivy in a few places. It’s the perfect job for me – unskilled (I can identify Ivy pretty well) and a short period of time delivers a literally visible impact on the scale of the task.
Tomorrow is garden waste recycling day and I have a brown bin full of Ivy ready to be emptied so that I can start again on fine days.
My very rough calculation is that this bin full of Ivy represents only 2.5% of our garden Ivy standing crop and even with, at most, another two or three bins full over the autumn it won’t be making much difference overall (and this is the biggest Ivy trimming I’ve done for over a decade). So I’m not sure why the male Brimstone that flew past me (before I started work on this on Friday) while I had the secateurs and saw in hand shot me such a disapproving glance – there’s got to be some give and take in my garden! These insect ivy-activists think they can push we landowners around!
Previous Ivy-related posts: A question of Ivy, 1 October 2014; September Ivy, 28 September 2017, Isolation and Ivy by Nick Ballard, 28 April 2020; Jane V. Adams – Hunting for Ivy Bees, 26 September 2020.