The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section VI. Vines and Climbing Plants

Introduction of Ivy to America

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The Ivy is not a native of America; nor is it by any means a very common plant in our gardens, though we know of no apology for the apparent neglect of so beautiful a climber. It is hardy south of the latitude of 42ï¾°, and we have seen it thriving in great luxuriance as far north as Hyde Park, on the Hudson, eighty miles above New York. One of the most beautiful growths of this plant, which has ever met our eyes, is that upon the old mansion in the Botanic Garden at Philadelphia, built by the elder Bartram. That picturesque and quaint stone building is beautifully overrun by the most superb mantle of Ivy, that no one who has once seen can fail to remember with admiration. The dark grey of the stone-work is finely opposed by the rich verdure of the plant, which falls away in openings here and there, around the windows, and elsewhere. It never thrives well if suffered to ramble along the ground, but needs the support of a tree, a frame, or a wall, to which it attaches itself firmly, and grows with vigorous shoots. Bare walls or fences may thus be clothed with verdure and beauty equal to the living hedge, in a very short period of time, by planting young Ivy roots at the base.