Ivy Covered – Yes or No?

Boston Ivy, Green wall
I am a fan of ivy covered walls and homes. I think they can cover sins and provide some green in really tight spaces. However growing ivy comes with some responsibility in maintaining and ensuring you have selected the right species for your need. 
First, if growing on a structure NEVER plant English Ivy, choose Boston Ivy. This will insure that the suckers or rootlets attached to the surface will not do any harm. Boston Ivy suckers can be removed with a good power washing, while English Ivy will bore into your brick/stucco/wood siding. In certain zones can also use Creeping Fig (see photo below) or other climbers in place of ivy. 
Here is some ivy growing at a client’s house. You can see from the bottom left corner were the plant starts and how far it spreads across the building.
This is and example of Creeping Fig. You can see it provides the same feeling of framing the doorway. 
This is a building I saw on Melrose in LA a few years ago.

Here is the ivy on the back of  my house taken a years ago in early summer. Since our house is covered in stucco in the back,  I used the ivy to provide some more green to the space. We have since moved our dinning room table to that section so it feels like you are dinning surrounded by a green curtain. 
You can see how this ivy has started growing up the wall and then will begin to spread out. 
Ivy can grow very quickly. I took a few weeks off from trimming at our house and the ivy started covering the windows and growing into the screens. On our one story ranch the trimming is easy to access with bi weekly clean ups (it is kind of my decompression therapy), but on a two story home would be more difficult. 
You are a slave to the ivy, two weeks off of trimming and you can have ivy growing into your windows.
Image from prettythings.tumbler  

This building includes a wire gird to support the ivy.
Image from Design Sponge. 

I love how this one building in a row of townhouses is covered in Ivy. Imagine trimming the ivy on the fourth story!
Image from Apartment Therapy. 

Drive Down South to see a Living Wall

Green wall

On our drive down to Hilton Head, we scheduled a rest stop in Charlotte, NC. Thanks to roadfood.com, we found a great Carolina BBQ place called Bill Spoon’s Barbecue. The pork BBQ and banana pudding were amazing and everyone was so nice. All the waiteress knew James by name, were interested in how we landed in Charlotte and shared their own Ohio connections.

The same exit off 77 as Bill Spoon’s also took us to Capital, a high fashion woman’s clothing store. This was a desirable stop for my wife for window shopping and for me to see the living wall by Patrick Blanc. I learned about the existence of the wall from a recent Garden & Gun article, and it made the prefect break in our 11 hour drive.

Again, the women in Capital were so nice to us. They allowed me to take photos of the wall and allowed me to go up stairs to take photos from the second floor. The design of the store was a square with an open center courtyard that is open on three sizes on the first floor, and then three walls of windows on the second floor. The Living Wall then cascades the two floors. 

The woman that guided me up stairs informed me that it is the only Patrick Blanc Living Wall in the south. However, because of their installation a larger version was going to be installed in downtown Charlotte. I guess we will need to stop and visit that one during our next trip to Hilton Head.

View of the bottom of the wall, drainage and herringbone floor tile. 

The view looking up the wall, into the open air. 

I have been taking a lot of photos all vacation so will have some more to share this week of our trip to Savannah, GA.