London (change)
20 messages
20/02/2013 at 14:42

I have ivy growing locally in the hedges and trees beside my house - if I snip off little cuttings with the roots and plant them directly onto a stoney/grass slope in my garden will they grow?  This area is unsightly and I wish for the ivy to take over fast and cover the ground. It is also a very exposed slop facing south. I have a cotoneaster with red berries growing here - if i pin parts of the low branches into the ground will they root and produce new bushes?   If there is anything else I can do to cover this cheaply and simply please let me know!  Thanks.

20/02/2013 at 15:04

It seems like a good idea. But it might be easier said than done. Ivy has a mind of its own. Making it 'grow fast'; is not easy. Ivy takes a while to establish itself. But once it has its roots where it wants them, then off it will go.

Once established it will be permanent, will act as good ground cover and suppress weeds, and require no maintenance (beyond trimming the edges to keep it in bounds).

Best thing is to try a few bits. But don't expect instant success.

20/02/2013 at 15:05

Dons, what size is the area and how steep is the slope, what type of soil and how much, if any, maintenance do you feel like doing. I'm not being nosey it's just that people can advise you better if the details are known. A photo could be good too.

20/02/2013 at 15:48

I have seen hypericum calycinum growin to great effect on a bank. Interesting flowers most of summer/autumn and will spread willingly.

20/02/2013 at 17:46
Whoa! Hypericum calycinum is a THUG. It will run everywhere once it is established. Personal experience in my novice days makes me avoid fhis blighter. Re ivy, can you pull some surface runners? Peg down, cover with compost, water and stand back. I found cuttings hit n miss. The cotoneaster idea sounds good to me and what i think i might do but I would lightly cut it first on soil side before pegging down.
20/02/2013 at 19:27

Then again round here ivy is a thug as well

20/02/2013 at 22:10

Thank you everyone for your advice - (Artjak) I have a large garden and it is tiered - the slope is a strip approx 2 metres deep X 20m long. The gradient would be 45 degrees at least.  I am happy to maintain - i dont mind the hard work lol! I My soil at the top of the slope is clay and deep but the actual slope is very rocky and has no real depth to it - just maybe a couple of inches deep in places.

Rosa carriola - i will look at the hypericum calcinum.

Verdun - I cant pull ivy runners as the site was totally stripped of everything - do you mean half cut through the branch I am attaching to the soil to see if it grows roots easier?

i'll try and put up a photo.x

20/02/2013 at 22:27


Here is the  pic of the slope!x Thanks

20/02/2013 at 22:47

I am wondering whether, by ivy runners, Verdun meant that when you gather your ivy to plant you should pull stems of ivy that have little roots at intervals that grip the wall. if you pull them off and pin them to the ground, there will b be several places where each stem can grow proper roots and take off more quickly.

Anything that would spread and colonise this area is going to be a bit of a thug and will eventually need control.


20/02/2013 at 22:54

That makes sense Gardening grandma - I will cut longer lengths of ivy and peg them in several places along the slope - I dont mind the maintenance at all, its the ugly slope i hate looking at!  thank u.

20/02/2013 at 22:54
Yes, cutting it will help it root. Have you thought about heathers? Would you want to kill off the grass and have a clean blank canvass then to work with? Would you like mixture of shrubs? Do you want something eye catching or something to blend in with surroundings? There are quick growing conifers like juniperus blue carpet and some green varieties that will enjoy poor soil and that slope. Maybe some cascading colourful plants like helianthumums, Arabis, aubrietia, osteospermums. Maybe a couple more cotoneasters. Why not consider all the options.
20/02/2013 at 23:03

Verdun - I need the bits of grass there to stop the slope crumbling away.  The soil is not deep enough for shrubs and it is very exposed on the side of a mountain. I just want something to cover the rocky slope and which will encourage wildlife. there is a rosa hedge planted along the grey gravel and behind that will be a wildflower meadow garden - this slope leads down on to my lawn area. I would be happy with more cotoneasters and I already have a sedum and a buddlea growing on the top part of the slope where it is deeper - the picture does not show them though.

20/02/2013 at 23:07

the juniperus blue carpet does look well Verdun - im not so interested in the colourful plants - i think i prefer the ground covering shrubs - thanks.x 

21/02/2013 at 10:30

I would think aubretias and other alpines, especially since it is the side of a mountain. Try to find out about plant auctions in your area. We have good ones in Wisbech every week where you can get trays of plants at v. good prices. You could ask the local auction houses if they have them

21/02/2013 at 11:03

It would also be possible to plant things at the bottom of the slope wich would grow up and disguise the slope. These would be more decorative than ivy and would look more unde rcontrol, as if you had actually been gardening and designed something. I agree with artjac about alpines. It could look great, but would obviously be more expensive and would take  greater effort to start it off. You could try car boot sales, where some people get rid of their spare the end, thoguh, the slope would be much more of a design feature than if you covered it with ivy and would give you pleasure for a good part of the year once you got into learning what plants flower at different times. Another possibility might be rockery bulbs planted here and there. if you buy spring bulbs now you may still find some that are reduced to 50p a pack, as I did. They wouldn't flower this year, probably, but would recover from the late planting and flower next year. Just squeeze them gently to make sure they haven'tr dried right out and died. If they have green shoots, they are alive, of course. 

21/02/2013 at 12:00
Dons1979, cotoneasters would be easy, colourful and practical. I would pin down extended growths for density though. Wish you well.
21/02/2013 at 13:13

Thank you everyone for your help and advice - I will take all your ideas onboard and start making plans to transform this slope.  Happy gardening everyone!x

21/02/2013 at 16:09
I think we will all,like to,be updated dons1979.
21/02/2013 at 17:32

Yes please!

21/02/2013 at 19:43

Hi DONS1979  - before you go! If are willing to dig up and plant ivy on your bank do you have any yellow deadnettle growing in your area?

Only ask because last year  I had a 2m X 4m strip of nothing, shaded strip, where I planted dug-up yellow deadnettle and in less than 12 months it has totally covered the area - (also put in a couple of bought lamium maculatum white nancy  to mix up the colorus)

Believe me it spreads very quickly - spent one happy hour last weekend shearing back along the gravel path it had grown into (easy) and with more effort required digging up the runners it had put out into my curranrt bed! Good luck whatever!, Janet


email image
20 messages