Ivy screening is a relatively little known, but extremely efficient form of hedging both in terms of time and costs. Many gardeners view hedera, which is its botanical name, as an annoying, invasive plant. Others see ivy predominantly as a way to add some green to a bare wall. Ivy can also serve as a ground cover when not planted close to a climbing host. It will then grow horizontally rather than vertically, which is how ivy is most commonly known. Ivy is a fast-growing plant that requires regular trimming to prevent it from spreading too far throughout your garden. Its nature as a climbing plant means that it can grow up walls and fences, unlike many other commonly used hedging plants.
However, ivy screening offers many other benefits when used as a hedge. Due to its fast growth, you will not have to wait long before your hedge is tall and dense enough to provide you with the desired amount of privacy. In addition, ivy has the benefit of tolerating shade extremely well. Unlike many other popular hedging species, you will not have to plant your ivy screen in a sunny position or at least a site in partial shade. It is a hardy, evergreen hedge plant that can be severely pruned at any time of year. In addition, an ivy screen more or less takes up the same amount of space that a wooden fence does and is therefore an excellent hedging solution if your garden is too small to support the extensive root systems of some other popular hedging species.
An Affordable Form of Instant Hedging
Many types of hedge plants can be purchased as instant hedges. This means that the hedge plants have been allowed to grow to their desired height whilst still in the nursery. Purchasing instant hedges is an option that can save you years of waiting until your hedge reaches its desired height and density, but also very costly, due to the length of time the plants spend in the nursery. Ivy screening is an exception to this rule. An ivy screen can certainly be seen as a type of instant hedging, but the main difference is that ivy screens do not need to spend a lot of time in the nursery at all, as ivy has an exceptionally fast growth rate of 50 to 70 centimetres per year.
This makes ivy screening the most affordable form of instant hedging available on the current market. It is possible to grow your own ivy screen as well however, as it will grow vertically rapidly when planted next to a suitable host. This could be a wall, but it is also possible to train your ivy to grow up a wooden frame or a different suitable vertical object. When planted this way, ivy will form a thin, but dense and compact green screen, which is why it does not require a lot of room and is therefore a very suitable border for smaller gardens, such as the majority of urban gardens. This is because ivy has so-called aerial roots, which do not establish in soil, but above the ground.
Fast-Growing and Low Maintenance Ivy Screens
Ivy can be pruned rigorously at any time of year, though we would recommend trimming your ivy screen right before new growth appears, which would be during springtime. While maintaining an ivy screen is relatively easy, it is important to keep an eye on its glossy, leathery leaves, as ivy has a tendency to overgrow other plants. This is a more likely risk when ivy is used as a ground cover, but still a risk very much worth taking into consideration. For this reason, ivy is considered an invasive species in large parts of the world. This means that ivy tends to overgrow native species, which is generally not the effect gardeners and plant enthusiasts are looking for.
Ivy can grow almost anywhere and the compact nature of ivy screening can save space. Even if your garden is not particularly small, this can still be seen as advantageous. Ivy screening is more similar to fencing than all other forms of hedging, but it will still add green to your garden. Ivy screening does require some upkeep to prevent the ivy from becoming invasive, but the pruning itself is fairly straightforward. In addition, ivy is a great natural way of insulation, as it is an excellent protection against extreme temperatures. Some governments even recommend growing ivy against the walls of buildings in order to diminish the possibly harmful effects that exceptionally hot summers or particularly harsh winters can have on the building in question.
Benefits of Fencing and Hedging Combined
Due to the large number of different hedging plants available, some gardeners can feel a bit overwhelmed. Determining if ivy screening is the best choice for your hedging needs depends on several factors, but chances that your garden provides the right circumstances for an ivy screen, should you choose to plant one. Ivy is a hedging plant with very few demands in terms of soil and location, and with maintenance requirements. Due to its slim shape, it will provide you with the possibility to guarantee your privacy even if you have limited space available. This way, you will have all the benefits of fencing with the additional advantage that your screen will look much nicer. HedgesOnline offers a wealth of information on common ivy, Irish ivy and how they can be used as hedging plants. Feel free to look around and see if ivy screening is right for you.