From Ivy to Envy: A Flowerbed Makeover

  • The rugged trees are mingling
    Their flowery sprays in love,
    The ivy climbs the laurel
    To clasp the boughs above.

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Don’t you just love a good makeover!!!  There’s nothing as satisfying as a successful before and after! As long as I can see CLEAR progress I can keeeeep on going, which comes in handy when your tackling a bed full of IVY! My dad told me not to plant it; said I would regret it.  Well he’s partially right.  I still love ivy but,  BOY, DOES IT TAKE MAINTENANCE! It spreads like wildfire and is tough as nails. If your looking for something like that, then go for it. One good thing about the bed where I put it  is the fact that it’s surrounded by the yard, so any wandering vines get mowed by the lawnmower.  One bad thing about the bed is the mature dogwood tree with four trunks and, did I mention ivy loves to climb trees?!  Well, it DOES!  Needless to say I had let it get out of hand last year so this spring it had to be tackled. Well, here goes.  Each picture shows the “before” and “after” of each side. In the shade I planted blue hydrangeas and white vinca, while in the sun I put in some yummy smelling lavender. I used to have some lovely lavender  in another bed, but it died last year after I pruned them too closely. Gardening is a learning process! Where I left the ivy is a LARGE UGLY ROTTING hickory tree trunk which needs a little camouflage.




Phototastic-2014-05-14-00-13-08Did you notice what I did with the spent daffodil stems and leaves? This is a trick my daddy taught me to wrangle those wild daffies so you can plant annuals around them. It takes several weeks for their leaves to turn brown and die off,  and you better not trim them or they will not have a good bloom next spring (learned the hard way). So, to make room for new plantings around them you can fold the foliage over and take a couple of the strands, wrap them around the bundle and tuck  in the ends. This way they get to fulfill their full life cycle, insuring a nice bountiful bloom next spring, while still looking neat and tidy. Win, win! If you have hundreds of daffodils you probably wouldn’t want to take the time, but in a small bed this works like a charm.




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I’m happy with the progress and will give an update later in the summer so you can see if I keep up with the ivy pruning.

What are some of your favorite gardening tips? We would love to hear about them!

Do you come from a gardening family or are you exploring new ground with each new plant?

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”   John 15: 5

Thanks so much for stopping by and come back for a visit anytime! I’ll pour you a Coke and we’ll sit a spell on the porch.



  1. Pip says:

    Oh my gosh. Your garden is so gorgeous. I just have a tiny courtyard and then some beds in the lane way, but THIS is a GARDEN! Lovely.

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