OhWhatAWednesday – Boston Ivy

I bet that picture got your attention for beautiful autumn color.

You are either thinking…
‘My gosh she has even more yard than I thought!’

or
‘Carol and Mike were on another road trip.’

It is…option #2, road trip. This is a perfect example of a picture being worth a thousand words. I can tell you Boston Ivy is beautiful in the fall, but then, I no longer need to do I?


Even now, December 1st, ours is appealing against the back of the garage. If you get one of these, only do so if you really mean it. This truly is one plant, probably 5 years old. It grows. And grows. And grows.

The brick is sturdy enough to hold it and the bricks sustain no damage, even if we simply rip some off in an effort to ‘trim’ it back. Another surface might not fare as well.

Boston Ivy takes no special care and can pretty much grow anywhere. Ours gets heavily trimmed each spring, and still takes over the garage wall. In the right spot, Boston ivy can even be an ecologically correct choice, shielding the house from the summer sun. Here, at the University of Chicago Campus, it looks like the ivy won. Be careful, be very, very careful.

Note that we are beginning a transition here. It is the time of year when hardscape (the wooden trellises and urn against my garage) have a noticable presence. Other times of the year, they are simply a backdrop. Not anymore.

This is an installment in the OhWhatAWednesday series, where I dare to take on the task of finding something in my garden that looks good each week through a Chicago winter.

2 comments to OhWhatAWednesday – Boston Ivy

  • candice

    Do you trim and remove all the woody stem parts too or only give a haircut to the leaves? I just bought a house that has boston ivy all over it. I sheepishly admit we already killed a part of it by cutting a woody stem that was keeping a gate from closing. Now we have a big bald spot and we are wondering how long it will take to grow back.

    • Carol Cichorski

      You pretty much can’t cut it back too far – it WILL grow back. I’ll try to get a picture later this week and show how much ours has grown.

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