Growing English Ivy As Ground Cover In Very Cold Climates

Question From: MICHIGAN
Q: I have been trying to grow English ivy as a ground cover for years. Some years it is stunningly beautiful but our winters are pretty brutal here in northern michigan. I have seen it at twenty below zero for several days at a time and when it does get that cold it kills all the vines back to the root and it takes at least three years to recover and regrow. Do you know of any variety of English ivy that is more cold hardy than the others?

A: Don, the Baltic variety is the hardiest. I suggest you dump a load of leaves on the Ivy in fall and blow them off in spring. Don't worry about smothering. I do that every winter and all my shade garden plant thrive. I'm late this year with the blowing and they are all pushing up thru the leaves. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy