It cannot fairly be charged against the self-clinging creepers, ampelopsis and ivy, that they make walls clamp, for the screen of downward-pointing leaves which they present does a great deal in preventing rain reaching the brickwork or masonry to which they cling.
There is no doubt, however, as to their capacity for doing damage if not kept in check. Ivy particularly has great destructive powers, being only too before this is noticed. A roof, it need hardly be said, offers great scope to ivy for doing damage by getting between tiles and slates and displacing them.
Either creeper gives rain a bridge over the gutters from roof to walls, and on this count alone wandering beyond the eaves should be severely discouraged. Other accusations laid against ivy are the ready to insinuate itself into any crack that offers – under a window ledge, or into the reveals round a window, behind pipes, or even into open joints in the brickwork.
The expanding power of plants is tremendous; and ivy gives an example of it if afforded the chance. Therefore, if ivy is permitted on a houso a strict watch should be kept on its behaviour.
Both it and ampclopsis are rapid climbers, the second especially so; and may invade gutters, and even the roof, destructive effects of its rootlets on the pointing of walls, and of its roots on foundations and drains. The second, it may be added, applies also, if not to an equal extent, to ampelopsis and all forms of climbing plants grown against walls.
But when all is said and done, many people .are content to risk a little structural damage in consideration of the structure itself being hidden more or less completely by beautiful vegetation.