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Ivy - The Goblin Buster

It's sometimes the most familiar plants that we tend to notice the least. And that's a shame because there's so much beauty we can miss when we overlook them. Take ivy for example: at once instantly recognisable as we see it everywhere - from clambering up woodland trees and hedgerows in the countryside to covering urban garden walls.

Commonplace it maybe, but take a look at those beautifully shaped, dark glossy leaves again, and notice also the contrasting firework-like flowers that provide bees with much needed nectar and pollen throughout autumn and into winter.

And did you know that ivy was once long-regarded as a powerful force for warding off evil? Sprigs of ivy were often brought in to the home to keep house goblins away.

Further north in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and Islands, ivy was used to protect livestock, and produce such as milk and butter, from evil. Families would make circlets of ivy, and sometimes ivy plaited with Rowan and honeysuckle, and hang them over the doorways of barns and and place them under milk containers.

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