Destructive Ivy

Garden trellis removal is something that many people have to do from time to time. It’s especially important for those with small gardens who used a garden trellis as a barrier for privacy.  You may not think that this is an interior designers job and you would be right, officially. But you will come across these properties and it’s a well to have a plan and for this type of occasion.

Gardening is an important part of interior design. It’s often the first thing people see before they go into a house. It’s as well to take the outdoor space into consideration as well as the interiors.

On today’s visit to the house we see the removal of some ivy. Ivy is such a destructive plant and I don’t know why anybody still plants it! It gets everywhere! In this case it’s come from my clients side of the fence so it’s our responsibility to get this cleared. Why am I clearing it? Because it’s in the way, because it is hanging over a wall that is due to be painted and because the client wants it removed.  Some of the ivy has of course found it’s way over the the neighbours’ side and is strangling her plants and trees too.

Below is the view from the Drawing Room above. The old ‘lantern light’ is directly below and you can see the ivy which has buried the garden trellis beneath it.

garden trellis

Wildlife Concerns

The trick is to be gentle and to cut what you can from our side and then gently disentangle the remnants from the neighbours’ side.  As you can see, you will have to be the go between during this type of work. You want to be friendly and cordial to all neighbours’ if you can. It’s in everyone’s interest.

What we didn’t know was that there was a pigeon nesting within the trellis.  Percy, as I named him, is a protected bird as 1) he is nesting on eggs and 2) he’s a wild bird.  The gardeners know this and leave him well alone.  This means that we will have to cut around him. It also means we need to come back another time to finish the job. Annoying but there is nothing we can do.  Always check regulations with regards to wild animals and other flora and fauna.

Removing Trees

Trees can be another issue. In the UK, we have a law that trees are protected if they are of sufficient size and they require permission to fell them – even if they are on private land. Always check before you remove anything. This doesn’t come under planning permission as such, this is more a permission to remove something – but you may need to talk to the relevant council department all the same.

If you don’t it may be you in trouble with the local authorities, the police and courts. Clients may ask you to remove something but if you or your workmen carry things out that are illegal, you will be in trouble. I’ve known neighbours, other workmen, street cleaners and parking wardens all inform the relevant authorities to a designer’s detriment.

Now, it does actually look like the ivy is coming from the neighbours side. This is not actually the case. The roots are clearly on our side as you can see below.

garden trellis

Which means the roots will have to be treated too – just to stop it growing back. We will be laying new tiles and painting the walls too – just to smarten the area up.  The client doesn’t want the pot plants (any of them!) so those will be going in the skip.

But first things first. Let’s look at what we have to contend with on this side of the fence.

destructive ivy

It’s vast!

If you want to see the start of the ivy section of the video – head to 1.20 mins in. Then again at 5.40.

Wisteria at 3.25 mins and 7.15 mins respectively.

Repairs to a garden trellis

You often will find that once plants have been removed, you will need to repair garden trellis or sometimes just part of it. In our case, we needed to patch repair what we had to close a gap between the two properties. You can see below what was missing.

garden fence

This is seen from the neighbours side. The lovely Ernest came back to do this for me. Both the client and the neighbour know Ernest so it was a good choice for both.  Why did I not get the builders to do this? Because the ivy removal is not and was not on their remit. Painting the walls outside, yes. Removing plants and dealing with neighbours who don’t know them? No!

Keep things simple and separate!

See you next time and happy designing!