ivies /Hedera

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David Bracey

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ivies /Hedera
« on: December 02, 2011, 12:03:30 PM »
I am in the process of writing an articile on Hederas for TMG.  Apart from the nomenculature (is that how you spell it) and naming the cultivars , both of which are pains, I am looking for some inputs from Forum readers.  I would like to have any inputs, good or bad , on your experiences with Hederas in a mediterranean garden/enviroment.  If you could name the spoecies/cultivar it would help nail down the subject.  Thanks for your help David
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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

David Bracey

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 09:39:22 AM »
There must be someone out there who grows ivies in our climate !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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Alisdair

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 10:35:19 AM »
David, ivy hasn't put in a spontaneous appearance at our sea-level Greek house though it occurs up the mountain behind. We think it a bit too northern looking for a hot mediterranean garden.
But I was impressed by low ivy hedges along paths at Moratalla in Andalucia. I may have a picture which I'll dig out if my computer which bust yesterday ever recovers.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 10:52:41 AM »
I've avoided the usual big-leafed ivy which is found in many old Athens gardens because at my previous house it used to grow up the trees and strangle them. We used to have a member here who brought assorted ivies to our plant exchanges and I always took one home but they never survived a summer. The one in the photos is alive, I'm sure, because the tap drips. I'll fix the drip next summer and see the result. The ivy was planted, by the way to hide the ugly tap.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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JTh

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 12:01:18 PM »
I have seen an example of the strangling kind, in my friends' garden next to the sea in Halkidiki. The mound in the photo is covering a stump of an old poplar which died many years ago, it's quite impressive, it must be at least 5 meters tall (the grund to the left of the wall is about 1 m lower than the street). It was fantastic in October, full of flowers and bees, and smelling very intensely of honey. It grows quite freely there, like a weed, the ground is more moist than at our place a few meters higher up, but I have planted a few the seedlings from that garden along a fence I want to cover, they have at least survived the first summer (no watering).  
This is surely not a cultivar, but the ordinary Hedera helix which is widespread in the Balkans, according to Polunin, and found in most of Greece up to 800 m. It was also the favourite plant of Dionysos, and in all the festivals held in his honour it was worn as a garland.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 02:15:15 PM by JTh »
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

David Bracey

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 02:02:27 PM »
Fleur, thanks. Do you know the name of the "big" ivy. Thanks JTh and Alisdair.  Any other info would be welcome .  Three replies from 180 members.  Does that mean that ivies are not popular or grown in our climate?? David
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 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 03:45:13 PM »
I agree with Jorun that it's Hedera helix.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 10:30:07 PM by Fleur Pavlidis »
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

Hilary

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 08:27:44 PM »
As I have already said I don't have a garden but there is a narrow strip of land in the yard of the block of flats which I am guarding against those who want to  transform it  into yet more parking.
It is backed by an ugly breeze block wall which I wanted to hide.
A friend of mine had a fence covered with ivy which she told me  they had planted just by sticking a few bits in the ground.
Well that didn't work for me, not one cutting grew.
Now it is not needed anyway as the bushes have grown and the wall is not visible.
The member who started this discussion wanted to know of successes and failures
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Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

Umbrian

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 01:25:07 PM »
Here is my input into the question of Hederas David, it is often a case of finding the time to help rather than not being bothered but your plea has sent me into action!
I have five different ivies in my garden here in Umbria which really is probably not 100 percent "Mediterranean" as we probably have more rain than many areas and do not suffer the extreme temperatures recorded for weeks on end in some Mediterranean areas. However we have periods when the temperature reaches the top 30'sC and this year for example we went for 8 weeks without any rain and my garden is not irrigated.
I think that apart from Hedera colchica (most likely "Sulphur Heart") the others are all cultivars of Hedera helix but which ones it is not easy to say apart from "erecta"
I am not very good about posting multiple photos so will probably have to do separate postings for each one! I will start with a very "common" form of Hedera helix with a large leaf. This was planted about 12 years ago behind the top of a retaining wall with the aim of it falling over and covering it. This it has done successfully and it has also spread far and wide and climbed into a Cupressus sempervirens and old bushy Olive in the same area. This growth I cut back drastically every spring. The wall is at the bottom of sloping and terraced land and so obviously retains any moisture available. However it receives full sun from quite early in the morning until quite late in the day and this can result in some burning of the leaves. All in all though it is very satisfactory and recovers quickly.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Umbrian

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 01:27:11 PM »
Second photo showing some "burnt" leaves!
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Umbrian

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 01:33:49 PM »
Continuing David!
Perhaps the one I like best is this Hedera colchica - "Sulphur Heart"? that I planted to grow up( and over hopefully )one corner of a sitting area. It was planted about 4 years ago and although in full sun for most of the day and subject to cold winds from the Appenines at times it is doing well. It has reached a height of about 7ft and branched out well from the bottom.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Umbrian

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 01:43:46 PM »
Continuing....I am such a dunce where computers are concerned!
I have a much smaller leaved ivy growing up the central area if an ironwork pergola running along the width of the house ( covering the paved area below.) Two plants were put in about 5/6 years ago to climb up the ironwork and meet at a central point to frame the view below and beyond the side of the house. Progress was slow to start with but now each plant has reached the top of the pergola and grown, and been trained along a horizontal bar where they meet in the middle. Growth is strong and dense and I am pleased with the effect. After the first year they received no irrigation but are in shade until about midday even at the height of summer.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Umbrian

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 01:58:45 PM »
I could not resist a Hedera helix "Erecta" when I found one here and again, after a slow start, it is doing well.
For several years it really did not grow much at all but then it started to spread and is now, after about 5 years. a substantial specimin. It is in a fairly shaded position but in poor soil and again after the first year has received no additional irrigation.
I hope this is of some help.
In a garden that I was called into for advice I saw several different ivies being successfully used as ground cover. They might have been Hedera helix "Koniger" and /or "Pedata" as they both had very attractive "cut" leaves.
This garden was situated at quite a high level, probably 800m+ and was fairly shaded although not irrigated and left to its own devices for long periods.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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MikeHardman

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 02:41:22 PM »
Umbrian - your photo 'Ivies 011.JPG' looks rather like 'Goldheart' (perhaps a bit cream instead of yellow). That was one of the first of many cultivars of Hedera helix I grew years ago when I had a collection. That was in the UK.

I have not tried them in Cyprus, but I would expect the long hot summers to stress them and see outbreaks of things like tarsonemid mites.

David, it may be worth pointing out in your article that there are several 'ivies' that are not Hedera, eg. the cape ivy (Senecio angulatus et al.) discussed on the forum recently.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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John

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Re: ivies /Hedera
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 04:44:30 PM »
From my own experience Hedera helix is common in the Med. I attach a picture of Crete with the general areas where I know that Hedera helix grows on the island. Obviously not in every habitat but particularly in valleys, gullies and north facing cliffs. It's altitudinal range is generally from sea level to around 1200m though there are a few exceptions higher up in sheltered habitats.
The other picture is of it growing up the rock face of one of the monoliths at Meteora on our trip to northern Greece.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.