December's issue of The English Garden includes my feature on ivy, a plea to gardeners to see its potential rather than treating it as an enemy. Friend to wildlife, endlessly malleable, you just need to show it who's boss.
In literature it's often used as a signifier of decay. According to Penelope Lively in her wonderful book Life in the Garden, 'ivy is definitely the novelist's plant of choice: as soon as ivy sneaks in you know it is there with possibly sinister intent'.
I love the fact that not all ivy leaves are ivy-leaved.... think about it. A few of my favourites above: Jake, Bill Archer and Cockle Shell shot at Fibrex Nurseries in Warwickshire, holder of a National Collection of Hedera helix.