Newest Review: ... a bad thing as I have seen on numerous occasions the plant becomes out of control. Ivy has totally constricted and killed a large tree in o... more
What is that doing inside a derelict shop?
Member Name: ROMEHEREWECOME
Advantages: Can survive almost anywhere
Disadvantages: Can strangle other species as well as destroying buildings
My experience with Ivy
To me Ivy is the worst and best plant, I have seen it cover walls of houses, forest floors and even constrict and strangle the strongest and largest of trees and bushes. Because I studied Biology at GCSE and A-level I have to look at it in terms of its success as a plant and as a great garden accompaniment.
As a successful plant species
The plant has adapted to survive virtually anywhere in terms of the varieties we have in Northern Ireland. The leaves are dark green and full of chlorophyll much more than other species, this helps them to collect more light for energy creation and growth, the positioning and shape of the leaves are also adapted so that they can collect as much light as possible, the leaves are evenly spaced out so they can maximise the amount of light they can collect also. This gives the plant the advantage in our usually dull and rainy climate especially when on a forest floor.
The leaves also have a waxy exterior and are thicker than other species too so they don't lose as much water through the upper epidermis layer, this reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation, so the plant doesn't need as much constant access to water even as other species it is surrounded by. When it does have lots of access to water and light however it flourishes engulfing and strangling all other plants in its path, therefore it is one of the best adapted species of plant we have in Northern Ireland.
From a Gardener's Perspective
However its adaptability can also be a bad thing as I have seen on numerous occasions the plant becomes out of control. Ivy has totally constricted and killed a large tree in our back garden, the tree is totally rotted and the only thing holding it up is the ivy itself which shows no sign of retreating, it has only grown stronger forming a thick leathery wall of overwhelming plant life.
In the instance that it grows at a tremendous rate can be dangerous to the more fragile plants in the garden, so it really needs to be kept an eye on something my family fell very far behind on.
There is a really great advantage to having an ivy wall however in that it provides a secret haven for smaller species of animals that are currently losing their forest habitats and falling ill to disease such as bees and small bird species. It provides cover, food from flowers and berries and safety from the rain, so it is really a matter of perspective whether or not ivy is a good plant to have in your garden. It provides cover, food and safety from the rain.
Interesting instances of Ivy
There is a derelict shop in Belfast with a glass front which has basically been taken over by ivy from the inside, I have no idea how it got I there or where it seems to be getting its water supply from but it has basically taken over the good part of a half of the entire shop window and from what I can see there are no cracks in the glass or cement. This by itself is enough to provide us with the evidence that ivy is one of the most durable and adaptive species readily available in Northern Ireland.
Summary: The constrictor of the plant world