One homeowner recently avoided a huge mistake when updating their garden fence — all because they posted about the project on Reddit.
Several Reddit communities have sprung up in recent years to call out the problems with grass lawns and traditional garden plants. Instead, they promote native plant gardens, which are low-maintenance, inexpensive, water-saving, and good for the environment.
Many people who need this advice have good intentions — they just don’t know about the mistakes they’re making in the garden. That’s what happened with this Redditor, who was actually trying to be eco-friendly.
“I didn’t want to put up an ugly white vinyl fence like every other suburban neighbor,” they said. “Stone with ivy and wildflowers is so much better for the environment.”
The photo they shared showed a new stone wall with a rough surface. A planter along the top held dozens of small, new plants ready to grow over the wall.
Just one problem: The plants were English ivy.
English ivy is an invasive species in the U.S. — a species brought here from a different environment that tends to grow out of control in its new location and damage the ecosystem in the process.
Commenters quickly alerted the original poster to the issue. “English ivy is going to quickly escape that area and start choking the trees in the woods back there in the next 20 years,” said one user.
Another commenter chimed in with their own cautionary tale. “My landlord planted English ivy all over the boundary of my yard years before we moved in,” they said. “Now it’s a huge problem for everyone whose yard touches ours; it’s too far gone to be removed by amateurs.”
The original poster was horrified that their attempt to protect the environment backfired. They immediately corrected it. “After all of the comments, I will be removing and returning the English Ivy and instead look for Virginia creeper,” they said in a comment. “Thank you all!”
While Virginia creeper is a smart choice for the original poster’s location, it isn’t native everywhere. Homeowners looking for plants native to their area can consult Yardzen or another landscaping company with rewilding experience.
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