Ivy is a fantastic plant, the Latin name is Hedera helix, & this can be grown as a trailing plant, climber, ground cover, specimen plant, or whatever you want . It is equally at home in a planter, border, under a bush, or in a hanging basket. Most varieties are quick growing, but remember, the variegated ones look nicer, but are slower growing.
You have heard some Old Wives Tales about Ivy crushing houses, and dragging them down into the ground, well there are some things to avoid, like allowing Ivy to grow in gutters such as, otherwise just ignore the Old Wives Tales. These stories come from the days when Lime Mortar was used, but Ivy will not penetrate modern Portland Cement, so long as it is in good condition.
Another common myth, is that all Ivy is Poisonous, hence the name "Poison Ivy" Well, the Poison Ivy is a completely different plant, however, some parts of the Common Ivy are classed as poisonous, such as the stems, but no more than many plants in our gardens.
Ivy comes in many varieties, and colours, different leaf shapes, and in a range of sizes, it's a very useful plant. It will thrive in soil that is not fertile enough for most, grow where there isn't enough sun for many plants, and requires less looking after than just about anything. It can be cut back hard, at any time of the year, or trimmed to make sure it grown it the direction you want. It can be trained to go up a wall, or up other plants such as trees that are not very attractive.
It does not demand water like many plants, and propagation is very easy, just snap off a handful and you will see little shoots that cling to walls and plants, these shoots will turn into roots by just burying the cutting. You may decide to use smaller cuttings and use hormone rooting powder, but this is not always required.
If you decide to buy and not raise your own, you will see that this plant is dirt cheap, and so you can afford to buy several varieties and will always find a place for them in your garden.
Ivy forms a dense ground covering, which will suppress weeds, and can of course be green, or a variegated variety to suit your fancy. It will do well in any shady spot, or survive in full sun. It will resist being trampled on by youngsters. It does look particularly good covering rustic old garden walls. I can not recommend this plant enough, especially as ground cover.