English cottage garden

greekmiss(z7 MD)March 8, 2004

Hi there all,

I need some help. I will be moving into my new home in about a month and will be quite busy this summer fixing up the yard. The house was built in the 20's and it is an English Cottage style house. The people that lived there prior to our purchase had ivy in the entire front yard. Very traditional to English homes but a little to blah for me. Could anyone let me know how to get rid of ivy for good. I have some bushes and trees in the yard as well and don't want to hurt them as well as would like to plant other plants in the yard soon after the excavation of the ivy.

Let me know if you have any advice that might help me make this English cottage home perfect for me!

Thank you,


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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

What kind of bushes and trees? It makes a difference in the removal treatment. If they have shallow roots--you do it one way--tap roots another. This conversation has happened on GW before--on this very forum! next time, try doing a search--of course, even then, if youdon't frame your search just right it doesn't always turn up.

Here is a link to the previous discussion--perhaps that will naswer your questions!


Here is a link that might be useful: GWR ivy elimination thread

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 8:39AM
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Now is a good time to get rid of your English Ivy while the weather is still cool. I would suggest long sleeves and gloves as ivy is know to harbor unknown critters ( spiders, slugs, rusty'49 Chevy trucks ). Rip, tug, pull with pruning shears at the side. After you have removed as much as possible this good old fashioned way it is time for the Roundup(tm). Wait for any new growth (ivy) to show this spring and spray. Early morning or late evening hours are the best when the weather is calm and no breeze/wind using a heavy mist to cut down on the drift factor.
( MPO, the use of herbicides if used properly, can be a valuable tool to the gardener, saving on countless hours of hand work, so spare me the mail please)

Besides Garden Restoration, you might want to check out Cottage Gardens (a fun opinionated, did I mention fun?, group ) as well they stay busy year round, even more so now that spring is near.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 8:54AM
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mjsee(Zone 7b, NC)

Greekmiss--Perry and I forgot to mention one additional hazard--the WORST case of Poison Ivy (hereafter known as PI)I EVER got was when I eliminated a bed of English Ivy this time of year. Prednisone is NOT pleasant! (I'm hyperactive enough, thank you!) PI is often mixed in with EI--and as it hasn't leafed out yet you don't see it. SO--in addition to gloves and long sleeves you need to take a shower when you finish--washing with Tecnu's Outdoor skin cleanser if you can find it--Dawn for Dishes if you can't. I ALWAYS shower down with Dawn after I've been digging--PI roots can run quite a ways from the plant. Tecnu is supposed to be the best--but my local pharmacy quit carrying it, so I've been using Dawn for several years--haven't had PI ONCE.

Perry's advice is "spot on" and Is EXACTLY how I removed the ivy at our former house. Just be sure to shower!


Here is a link that might be useful: Tecnu Home page

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 10:37AM
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ginger_nh(z4 NH)

Adding a little bit to the good advice above from Perry and Mel: after you cut down as much ivy as possible and remove, use a 3-pronged hand tool claw to pull up the roots. There is also a long-handled tool with a claw-type end that we used last season called "The Garden Claw." Very useful in sod-stripping, loosening weeds in area to be prepared for planting, etc.

For an organic herbicide, use Burn-out or Scythe(acetic acid)- it's like a super-strong vinegar. Repeated mowing helps with regrowth, too.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 2:20PM
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springcherry(6/7 Philly,PA)

I would suggest using a claw, knive or small saw to remove the stuff (and there will be an unbelievable amount of it)6-8 inches down. That way (thou you may have to remove a stray bit here or there over time,) you can forgo the Roundup.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2004 at 4:11PM
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