Monday, October 6, 2008

Ivy as lawn: Yes or No?

40 comments:

Petunia Face said...

No. Rats live in ivy.

Be the change..... said...

I love this look!! But here in DC we do have a problem with rats too, like petunia mentions. I'm sure it's fine in other cities -like Pittsburgh. My grandparents had a large section of their backyard covered in ivy -so pretty and low maintenance!

summerdavid said...

No, if it's English ivy. It's an invasive plant that chokes out native plants if it's not kept under close watch. If it's native ivy, may-be.

s. said...

Yes, in places where there are no rat problems. Ivy is a great alternative to grass in super-shady areas, where not much other ground cover grows.

Jules said...

No. Susannah is right regarding the rats, and even if it isn't English Ivy it's still invasive. I live in a mid-century neighborhood, and there are still some houses with the ivy. The look is dated (at least around here) and when one neighbor removed the ivy and laid down a skin and pea gravel the stuff is growing through the skin and gravel.

Think of it this way: would you walk barefoot in that mess?

Susan said...

No. Too puffy looking.

SGM said...

Nooooooooooo.

Decs said...

Jules - have you met my poop machine, Rickey? I can't walk barefoot in my grass as it is. :)

KatinkaPinka said...

the husband and i flipped a house with an ivy front yard but the ivy was waaaay overgrown and even growing inside the house. it took almost a week of 8 hour days to till up every last f*cking bit of it. there are so many other pretty ground covers...why choose something so invasive?

laura the artist jones said...

same as summerdavid- its invasive, plus, ivy and columns? yeesh.

Jules said...

Decs--no, but I've met my two poop machines, Buddy & Buster. ;) They each poop 3-4 times a day, thanks to expensive prescription dog kibble.

Hey, at least poop doesn't bite. :)

eM said...

en
oh

alis said...

Ooooh noo. Our own forsaken yard was invaded by ivy, it swallowed the fountain-pool(which was a few feet high), it swallowed all the other plants, we got rid of it when it made it's move for the house.

tracey said...

Oh my goodness, I was definitely going to say yes, yes, yes. But, now that I read the comments I am feeling stupid, uncool and devoid of class. So much for my self-esteem today!

Anonymous said...

same as tracey...i was all "YES. SO PRETTY"..now i'm like "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. f*ck that"

hello gorgeous said...

I love ivy. Around here, the native plant people have ruined it for us defining it as an invasive, non-native species and recommend the local garden centers no longer carry it.

It's the only thing that grows here in the shade and I love it. It borders my back yard.

Oh, and not a rat in sight. However, my doggies love to poop in it, so you would not want to walk in it anyway.

Alex said...

I think clover instead. I like the look of something other than grass, it's just the whole "rats" thing that really makes me not like it. Plus I don't want it to choke out my other plants (future tense...I don't have a garden--yet!)But I think clover is a nice half way point...still green and pretty, but not grass.

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Nooooo!

june*monkey said...

Ivy is pretty, but the problem is the unintentional sharing with your neighbors. It moves into your neighbors' yards (don't know how it does it--birds? wind?--but it does) whether they want it or not. Also, the rodents (mice, rats, moles underneath) tend to disperse to your neighbors as well. Not kind.

And if you ever decide to get rid of it (because your neighbor is the head of a nature preserve, for example), it takes FOREVER.

Anonymous said...

no.

jen said...

I don't like it in this picture, but I like it in contained spaces. We have a big center island in our driveway with ivy as lawn. We don't have any problem with it spreading or with rodents. I love that it stays green all year and I never have to mow it. However, we also have a real lawn where the dogs play and where you can walk barefoot.
So, I would say yes under certain circumstances, but not everywhere.

Christine in DC said...

I was going to say yes until I read about the rats!

Cyn said...

Hold on, rats...Really? That is not good since the bed on left side of my driveway is all ivy (it looks nice, really) and now I am totally skeeved out.

Anonymous said...

Having once dug up a front garden that was completely overgrown with ivy, the thought of voluntarily planting it somewhere where it's not contained is anathema to me.

Perfectly Disgraceful said...

There was nothing my old dog loved more to poop in than a big expanse of ivy. So, um, no. Not in my yard. Someone else's, sure.

Anonymous said...

Eek. N.O. I support alternatives to lawn but not this one. Makes me think of the rats I used to see on the UW campus.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not! We have spent hundreds of dollars trying to fix the ivy mess of a front yard that we got along with our house! The previous owners had not taken care of it like they should. We had to get 7 huge pines taken out because the ivy had killed them and they were in danger of falling on the neighbors. I know that if you take care of it properly, it won't get to that stage - but I would rather avoid it altogether!

thebubbreport said...

No. While grass is an evil polluter, Hedera Helix is right up there with kudzu on the invasion scale. It chokes and kills trees. It is pretty though.

RobtW said...

Yes.

When well maintained and lush, it's great in beds, as low hedges, even as small areas of "lawn."

Left to its own devices, it will trail horizontally, creeping beyond its intended limits though even the most modest effort at maintenance will keep things under control. It's only spread by birds when it's been allowed to grow vertically as "tree ivy," when the characteristic leaf shape becomes instead almost round -- only then does it flower and go to seed.

Excepting rats, most of the problems pinned to English ivy stem from places where it's been alllowed to grow untended and unchecked for many years (a standard to which not many plants bear up well.)

kristin said...

My dog loves to poop in ivy, and I always take him to the ivy patches near my apartment so I don't have to clean it up. The poop falls beneath, and I consider it all good. It's better than squatting in the middle of a rain storm to pick up smelly poop! We had ivy in our backyard growing up, and all we had to do was tear it off two trees and trim it back once or twice a year. Pretty easy. I might have it as my lawn in my someday house just so I won't have to shovel up after the dog all the time.

v8_grrl said...

yes a roonie

v8_grrl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laure said...

No. And no. You will never get rid of it. It will pop up in other parts of the garden when you least expect it and you will hate yourself for planting it. if it gets overgrown it's a hotbed of rodents. Plus, it gets all dusty and gross looking pretty quickly.

try korean grass or a native garden instead. prettier! less fug.

pve design said...

no, just give me some grass, please.

Anonymous said...

Holy Mother Of God!

Decorno you must see this. This could be the ivy decorating disaster of the century. It's ivy grown INDOORS.

I love to surf craigslist for decor Do's and Dont's. This is on my top 10 Don't list.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/apa/871499615.html

Mary T. said...

Not in Seattle; way too invasive here and kills native plants. I know -- our whole front yard was covered in it; it actually grew over trees until it was above our heads. We have battled it back a few feet and still working on it. And yes -- rats love it.

Anonymous said...

When I told DH about this post it sent him into a fit of rage. He HATES English Ivy and battles it nearly every weekend in our Seattle yard.

Thus, the answer is NO.

Ivy Lane said...

No!

Anonymous said...

Hell No....Rats, bugs, OH MY..

MoModerne said...

Yes! Try clover. Low maintenance!