A Victorian Portable Ivy Screen

A portable ivy screen. Who would have thought? It makes perfect sense when you think about it. It allows live plants to be grown indoors, bringing the outdoors in, it can be moved to hide any number of things one would rather not look at, and it is easy to make AND grow. See if you don’t agree this is an excellent idea.

Portable Ivy Screen

Portable Screen of Ivy

This ivy screen is a very useful article for many purposes. A common window-garden flower box is made the length required, and mounted on castors. The size of the ivy screen depends on the purpose for which it is wanted. A number of laths of wood, as long as the screen is to be high, must be placed upright at intervals all along the box, against the back of it, and resting on the bottom of it. Nail them in their places. A number more laths, as long as the box is wide, must now be fixed across these. Begin with the first an inch above the box. Fix it right across by two tacks, one at each extremity. Fix it to every lath with fine flower mounting-wire, uncovered. When all the laths are on, a trellis-work is formed which can be observed through the foliage in the cut.

It is painted green; when dry the box is filled with mould, and set with ivy plants, which will cover the trellis completely as they grow. The front of the box should be set thickly with lily of the valley, or scented violet roots, or sown in the summer with mignonette. Lilies of the valley give a particular fragrance that is not only delightful to inhale, but which is reputed to cure headache.

My note: Please note that although Lilies of the Valley are being suggested to plant in the box of this ivy screen, they are poisonous if ingested. Be careful what plants you grow here - for your children's AND pet's sake.

This ivy screen and box, without castors, may be mounted on the ledge of a staircase window with a bad look-out, or what is better still, fixed outside it, by means of a couple of strong hooks from the wall each side of the box, and above the window a nail each side, and one in the centre, to which three ropes are tied, and brought down outside the trellis-work to three hooks below the window, to protect it from the wind. One more rope should be bound from side to side, about the centre, and across the other three ropes. When the ivy has grown well, the machinery will be entirely covered.

Where there are leads outside a window, the box would not need fixing. A single rope, carried from side to side, across the centre of the trellis and behind it, would prevent its being overset by the wind.

Where a window has been stopped up from the outside, and is unsightly, such a box and screen can be fixed, and the ivy in time will drape the wall as well.

In a back drawing-room, &c., with an unpleasant look-out, such a screen is very useful. The box may either rest on the sill inside, or stand upon castors on the ground. In a garden the box and portable screen may be prettily used to place before a summer house entrance when occupied, or to conceal parts of the garden wall, and so give a greater charm to a small and monotonous plot of ground; or it can be used to hide a back door, or some ugly nook or corner, or gardeners dust-hole; and it has this excellence, that whereas a yearly tenant or leaseholder, on leaving his rented house and garden, must leave the ivy he has cultivated upon the wall; he may certainly take his portable screen with him.

Screens of this kind covered with woodbine, clematis, and passion-flower, may be grown in the greenhouse, and when brought to perfection removed to the drawing-room or summer -room, and disposed in some part of the chamber with charming effect.

For such a use the box trellis-work should have some pretension, also, to refinement.

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