My Darling Wife and I put in (count ’em) FOUR new planted beds at the house this past weekend. Two for flowers, two for “let’s get this dirt covered with something” plants that tolerate the shade better than the “grass” we are supposed to have.
She picked out some English Ivy and set it up in a patch of ground by a brick wall. First I worried for the wall. Now I wish we had more brick on the house. Turns out, an 8″ layer of leaves and sticks is pretty spiffing insulation and it doesn’t damage intact brick structures. News to me: Ivy sticks to bricks and whatever else it can get vertical on – it doesn’t stick IN mortar, it sticks TO mortar. When you pull it down, the roots will remain stuck, but it doesn’t damage a good brick wall.
So says a three-year study at Oxford, where they have a good reason to know if English Ivy will damage brick walls.
Just don’t try to sell the idea to anyone in Washington or Oregon.