Hi there, thought I would give you folks a try! I live in Scarborough and came across this resource. I am interested in trying to grow an ivy type of plant on one of my exterior walls. It is a south-south east facing wall that gets some sun, but it is obscured later on in the year (June onward) by my neighbour’s red maple. I was thinking something like a Boston Ivy. There are lilies growing in the area now that do fairly well due to the early spring sun that the area gets. I don’t know what type of soil it is but it is fairly moist there. I would like something that establishes rather quickly, but not at the expense of a good appearance. Hope you can offer up some advice!
Thank you for using Toronto Master Gardeners as a resource.
Boston ivy is a great choice in that it will establish itself very easily, is very attractive, and turns a lovely red in the fall.
Some resources on Boston ivy can be found here:
The disadvantage is that Boston ivy is considered by some States in the US as an invasive plant. If you go ahead and establish your Boston ivy, make sure that it does not escape into any of our parks or ravines.
It may be worth considering some other alternatives.
There are many different kinds of honeysuckle vines/bushes you can plant instead. It is difficult to recommend particular species or varieties since we do not have enough information about your planting site (e.g. the amount and quality of sun light it receives, whether your soil is sandy or clay, dry or wet, if the site is exposed or sheltered, etc.).
Honeysuckle offer beauty and are attractive to hummingbirds. There are some wonderful native/non-invasive honeysuckles for you to consider. The native bush honeysuckle Diervilla lonicera [native to Ontario, and many cultivars exist] is the most forgiving of drier and shadier conditions, and many new cultivars boast colourful foliage. http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=278946
We wish you the best of luck in your choice.