Carpets of Ivy, Hedera helix, are wonderful for ground cover but once the vigorous shoots start encroaching on tree trunks, walls and through the base of woody shrubs competition is fierce. The juvenile growth has smaller leaves. After several years mature, more woody growth is produced and this holds flowers and subsequent fruit. A giant in the ecological world, Ivy provides cover to myriad organisms, stability to soil, food in the form of pollen, nectar and berries, as a foil to mature trees, bird nesting cover. It does, however, need to be kept within acceptable bounds in a garden. Rampant Ivy saps vigour from other plants and on buildings will unseat coping stones and disrupt roof tiles.
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