400 plants and Ivy is one!
As a countdown to its 400th anniversary in 2021, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum is presenting 400 plants of scientific and cultural prominence. Since November 24th 2013 such a plant has been highlighted every week. Common Ivy, scientifically named Hedera Helix, was the plant last week (107). What a marvellous choice!
Hedera Helix, Common Ivy (to be read aloud)
Oh Ivy, you master of embrace!
You, hugging weather-beaten tree trunks,
Caressing shabby stonewalls and
Flattering faded fences.
We clip you from the rotting shed
And watch you metamorphose into festive decoration.
You take a solemn stance and cover, with eternal green,
A grave, a vault, a ruin and a littered backyard.
On winter and on summer days
You creep and climb and hold together
What time and waste has left:
A promise and a memory of blossom and decay. (ch)