The first ferocious frost bejewels the garden. Magpies are scavenging beneath the birdfeeders to see off those greedy pigeons. This weekend I am looking forward to extending a bed of grasses of Miscanthus ”Silberfeder’ to make a greater swathe. Grasses are not everyone’s cup of tea, but over the years I have become a convert. There are many plants I have changed my view on. I used to especially dislike fir trees, bergenias, ivy, and the ‘swingers plant’ cortaderia. In the same way, as a child, I disliked cheese, marmalade, olives, uncooked tomatoes, cabbage and marmite … now I love’em all. As with food, plants have to be combined in the right way in order to enjoy them at their best. Although I’m not averse to a bit of marmalade on cheese.
The ivy above is ‘Green Man’. Forget our common hedera helix and don’t judge all ivies by this. The ornamental ivies are great for wildlife, are low maintenance and you can chop them any time of year without worrying. They are good groundcover too and have a wide range of leaf shapes and variegation to enjoy. Some are vigorous, some are petite. Use them in pots too.