Ivy vines have been used for centuries to cover masonry buildings (this is where the Ivy League got its name), fences and as a vigorous ground cover. Some ivy species will grow 15 to 18 m (50 to 60 feet) high and are perfect in an urban setting. Others prefer conditions that are similar to the woods, where, in rich, well drained soil, they thrive. Whatever your environment, fast-growing ivy keeps you covered.
Picking up some English ivy plants means you'll need to be vigilant about its growth. Known as one of the fastest spreaders, English ivy can quickly invade neighbouring areas of your garden if you don't vigilantly control it. This evergreen species can cover tree trunks and woodland floors, and thrives in moist, well-drained soil.
Opt for Virginia creeper -- actually a native of North Carolina -- to quickly cover a trellis, fence or as ground cover. This ivy species prefers full sun to part shade and rich, well-drained soil. Virginia creeper, like its sister, English ivy, can be invasive if not trimmed.
Choose Boston ivy (also known as Japanese creeper) if you want to cover a masonry structure fast. This variety of ivy climbs as high as 15 to 18 m (50 to 60 feet) and tolerates all sorts of soils. Easy to transplant, Boston ivy will cover windows and doors and is a good choice for an urban setting.