When ivy gets a foothold, it’s not long before it can completely take over a garden. Our clients in Dulwich faced this problem, where ivy had swamped the fence line and arbour. We were tasked with removing and treating the ivy, rebuilding the fence – including the erection of a supporting timber wall; as well as some small landscaping works to the pathway at the rear of the garden.
The initial clearance was no small task; the ivy had rooted on both sides of the fence and entwined itself among the vegetation growing up the arbour. Once we had cut back the ivy down to the main stumps and removed the fence we treated it by brushing herbicide onto the cut root to kill off the remainder of the plant. Brushing herbicide or ‘painting’ is a much better practice than using spray methods as it concentrates the herbicide onto the ivy and prevents contaminating other vegetation.
The fence rebuild was straightforward, albeit with a slight twist on the usual featheredge fences we produce! In the first 1/3 of the garden, the neighbours garden stepped down 2 feet lower than our clients, so there was a large amount of soil that needed retaining. We implemented a supporting timber wall to act as a ‘gravel board,’ with trenches dug into the soil on the higher garden to bury ‘t’ shaped tiebacks intended to resist the force of the soil against the sleepers at the bottom of the fence.
The final part of the project was the replacement of a rotten sleeper path, bedded in gravel in the lower part of the garden. In addition to rot, the sleepers that had remained intact were covered in algae and were particularly slippery when wet. We installed fresh oak sleepers, pinned to the ground to avoid movement, and bedded them in York stone chippings to produce a much more aesthetically pleasing and safer to use pathway.