2014-03-16

Boston ivy

I adore Boston ivy ever since I saw it for the first time, when I moved to Belgium in fact! it can be seen in a number of buildings here. I have since also seen it in France, but I am not aware of ever seeing it in Spain, which doesn't mean there is none, or even that I have never seen it, perhaps I just didn't pay attention. And that I have not mentioned any other places only means that I haven't traveled much, I guess.

Just to prove me wrong, a masía in Girona,
not far from where I was born.
Via Elle Spain.
I love this vine all throughout the year... well, it is bald in winter, not that this looks particularly beautiful, but at this latitude it is nice that the little sun there might be reaches the walls of the house. It is beautiful when green and absolutely stunning in autumn.
The leaf shape is gorgeous, and I also like that the way it attaches to buildings is non-damaging.

Can you see the suckers on the brick?

Having this vine growing all over our façade seems like a dream, and I am so glad we do have the chance to grow one, since in our city the council encourages the planting of what they call a geveltuin, a façade garden, and even subsidise it.

We made the request in 2013, and I still haven't received the small subsidy amount (not that it would make a difference, I would actually pay for the privilege), but received the approval last autumn. We thought it too late in the year to plant (it turned out to be a very warm winter, but what did we know), so we planted last week.

In anticipation for the approval, I already bought a plant last spring. Since it was getting delayed, I planted it against the back wall in the garden. It already began to climb up the wall on its first year! It is a very sunny position.

Last summer
Today. Can you see the vines?

Just a week ago today, we removed some floor tiles in the street next to our façade and replaced some of the compacted sand with nice soil and a little dried manure. I also added some supports and recycled chicken coop wire that I found in the garden, to protect this still very fragile young plant. I watered a lot as well. I had no chance to check on the plant this week, but yesterday the soil was still moist. There were many little red buds.





I am a little worried about the location of both of these, one gets a lot of sun, the other almost none. I hope the plant is adaptable enough. According to the RHS, it can grow in sun, shade or half shade, any soil, and exposed or sheltered. The façade gets quite exposed and windy, while the back is protected. It will be interesting to see how differently these two fare, since their conditions are so opposite. According to the RHS,"for the best autumn colour, site in partial shade or full shade" the plant at the back did get quite red last year, regardless.

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