Shrubs and trees planted too close to your house can trap moisture, damage siding when the wind blows, and fill gutters with debris. “I want to be able to walk behind shrubs — they need to be at least three feet from the house and from air conditioning units because they block airflow,” says Steve Gladstone, owner of Stonehollow Fine Home Inspection in Stamford, Conn. “With trees, you don’t want them rubbing against the house at all. If the sun can’t dry your house, you’ll have to repaint more often because mold and pollen will build up.” Prune regularly to keep your house envelope clear.
Climbing vines like ivy, although beautiful, can splinter and rot wood siding and even weaken the mortar between bricks. Prune any existing ivy so that it stays away from windows, gutters and trim. If your heart is set on adding a climbing vine, choose a twining vine that wraps around a trellis or other nearby structure rather than a vine that climbs by tendrils or rootlets that cling to the surface of your house.
Exterior of Marble Home With Climbing Ivy
A gnarled tree twists in a small grassy plot near the front door of this marble home as ivy makes its way across the entryway.
Boxwood and Ivy Garden Featuring Aluminum Sculpture
When landscape architect Katharine Webster first saw the front garden at the home that would become the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2015, she felt something was missing in parterre garden constructed of boxwoods and backed by an ivy-colored wall. Webster introduced UPBEAT, an aluminum sculpture by Clement Meadmore, to complement the space.
French doors open up the interior living space to elegant, inviting patio. Red brick grounds the space, which is surrounded by lush flower beds and beautifully potted plants. Old World-inspired furniture pairs with cool blue pillows to reflect Mediterranean style.
A cobblestone courtyard, trimmed hedges and planters create the formal entrance that this Federal-style home deserves. In the summer, ivy climbs the brick exterior and completes the picture-perfect look.
Large stone pavers spaced throughout the grassy backyard create a contemporary, geometric walkway. Stacked stone archways lend an Old World feel to the home and line the covered patio. Ivy-covered columns and elegant landscaping add to the traditional atmosphere of the outdoor space.
Designed to look like a European chateau, this Tudor-style stone home is surrounded by lush landscaping and beautiful trees. The walls are covered with ivy, creating an Old World look, while wide stone steps lead up the entrance.