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Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● YOU won’t find a more dra­matic sight in au­tumn than a Bos­ton ivy, also known as Ja­panese creeper, cov­er­ing north, east or west­fac­ing walls, as its large, deeply lobed green leaves turn spec­tac­u­lar shades of blood red and pur­ple. These self-cling­ing de­cid­u­ous climbers love well-drained, fer­tile soil and grow in sun or shade, usu­ally pro­duc­ing a crop of blue-black berries in late sum­mer. When plant­ing, en­sure the stems are held se­curely against the wall with canes or lead-headed nails, to en­able the ten­drils to fix their pads firmly to the sur­face. The stems tend to grow ver­ti­cally, so it’s worth spread­ing young stems out hor­i­zon­tally to cover a wider area. Bos­ton ivy grows to a huge 20m (65ft), mak­ing it an ideal choice for re­ally big walls. A more com­pact va­ri­ety is ‘Bev­er­ley Brook’, which grows to 3m (10ft) or ‘Lowii’, which is very slow grow­ing, reach­ing 3m (10ft). A taller type, ‘Veitchii’, will pro­vide ex­cel­lent au­tumn hues.

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