Ivy, also known as 'Hedera', is a vigorous, self-clinging, evergreen climber with distinctive, lobed leaves which may be plain or variegated, depending on the variety. Hedera use their aerial roots to cling and climb up fences, sheds, walls or anything else with a textured surface you'd like to grow them up. Many species also make good groundcover plants and can be used to secure the soil along steep banks and slopes. Variegated varieties are perfect for brightening up a dark corner, providing they receives at least a couple of hours of light a day, as this brings out the variegation. Winter berries add further interest through the seasons and provide valuable foods for birds and other wildlife. Ivy is unfussy but grows best in a sheltered site in a slightly alkaline soil, making them suitable for sites recently cleared of rubble. Ivy may be harmful if eaten and those with sensitive skin should be careful when handling them as the sap can be irritating.