Walking around Hornsea today I was struck by the number of surfaces covered by ivy. As a seaside town with an elderly population there are many houses and gardens with ivy that have been allowed to dominate areas. I’m rather fond of ivy, but it has become a plant many avoid as it can take over a garden and then need regular maintenance. My partner won’t allow me to plant any in our own garden for that reason, but behind us is a jungle of ivy allowing moths, caterpillars, spiders to multiply.
However ivy has many benefits. It provides all year round habitats for many creatures. It is an excellent source of nectar late in the year for insects. Despite popular opinion it doesn’t necessarily kill trees or harm buildings. In some cases it can protect.
But apart from anything else around Hornsea it is providing a burst of green as the other leaves disappear.
In the closest park to our house it is providing some ground cover as well as adding to the habitats on the trees.
In the Hornsea memorial garden it is providing a breeding ground for ladybirds.
In Hall Garth park it is adding the coat to the trees, providing pollen for insects, providing a home for a multitude of spiders and as a result feeding many birds.
So all in all a very useful plant.
Oh roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect prime;
But pluck an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.