Friday, February 16, 2007

Cling wrapped building


Ivy in Woodfield
London, ON, November 2006 [Embiggen by clicking]

There's something magical about an old brick facade covered by ivy. It has so much more dimension than most other unadorned building surfaces. It invites the eye in for a closer look, almost beckoning passers-by to take a moment and wonder about this curiously symbiotic mixture of architecture and nature.

Which is what I did as I strolled through this historic downtown neighborhood on a quiet weekend afternoon a few months back.

Your turn: What is it about ivy that compels us to look?

39 comments:

Paky said...

Hola! He conocido tu página gracias a un comentario tuyo! Me gusta tu forma de ver la vida! Un saludo desde Barcelona!

Malinda777 said...

The ivy commands my respect because for one, that seems to be the only plant I can seem to keep alive, but also...

I always have to look up in awe at an ivy covered building and wonder just HOW LONG it took the ivy to reach the summit. How many springs, summers, falls, and winters it took that ivy to make it all the way to the top...

Bob-kat said...

I think it's the contrast between something manmade (angular, straight and unalive) and something natural (living and full of curves and twists). I love how this photo shows these contrasts.

As ever this is a great picture :-)

Navin Harish said...

Great shot. There buildings like that here in Bombay too

Oracle said...

I'd have to say that I think its the intricacy with which it envelops every brick and detail of a building

Hey Carmi ;)

Here Via Michele

Ash said...

Beautiful image. Love the angle and perspective used.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for the kind comments.

Memories Catcher said...

Great shot.I like the composition and prespective.Good details and textures.Well done!

carina said...

One wonders what it's hiding.
I lived in a funky apartment many moons ago, an old brick Victorian building. The ivy had grown through the window and up one of the interior walls. Except without any light, it was pale, pale green.
Really cool.

eurorebs said...

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Yea, unfortunately I didn't write that haiku - my co-worker did. But I did change the location - she had written "Mexico" but I changed it to "Aruba" :)

Hm. Ivy. Maybe it's because culturally ivy has always been a symbol of "status" or "longevity"...and it's a wild and hearty plant/vine...it's hard to kill! :)

Sharon said...

I love this picture!

To me, ivy is persistence. It is the triumph of creativity over order, nature vs. man.

busybusymomma said...

I have always loved ivy. It's definitely man and nature colliding.

Thanks for commenting on my blog.

Pearl said...

Cute title and I agree, the combo is captivating.

Heidi said...

I see the ivy and think about what kind of damage it might be making to the building. "YANK THAT STUFF DOWN!" I think.

(What does that say about me? Ha ha! I am a pessimistic homeowner!!! :-)

talj said...

Dear Carmi, thank you for dropping by my photo a day blog. Your comment really touched me, I am so grateful you took the time to say hello. You have such interesting articles here in your blog, I am linking to you from my own site and will be popping back each day to check up on you!!

With love,

Natalya (talj)

Terri said...

Originally from New England, I grew up with ivy covering many buildings.
So for me, no matter where I see it now, it draws me closer. Taking me back to another time. Another place.
Great photo.

get zapped said...

A wonderful picture. I adore the colors, textures and lines. I can feel my feet solid on the ground and looking up. Nice photo ; )

surcie said...

Carmi, seer of details.

We had flowering ivy growing on our brick house and it was quite beautiful. If only it wasn't so bad for the building, I would've left it there.

Leah said...

I love ivy..it's easy to grow and lovely to look at. It goes well with flowers for either bouquets or floral arrangements.

I miss my neighbour's ivy. They had a beautiful foliage climbing up the side of the house, its gorgeous especially in the fall. The new owners took it down.

bluemountainmama said...

ivy, to me, signifies that a place has history...it has been standing a while...and it has stories to tell. lovely photo!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Perhaps we should ask Ivy?

Michelle sent me here.

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

I think because it insists on living on the same building we live in or work in. In some strange way it like it wants to be close to us. But in the end all it really wants to do is eat out building.

Hi from Michele

As usual you have a great picture and a better question.

Melyssa said...

quite strolls are what keep me sustained. You find the best pictures that way. Congrats on a beautiful one!

Gyrobo said...

I always check to make sure there's no danger of ivy falling on me as I walk under it.

utenzi said...

Hi Carmi, Michele sent me!

I have a love-hate relationship with ivy. I love how it looks but I hate how it encourages rot and mildew on wooden structures--at least when I own them. There's something so stately when it's growing up the side of an old brick building then again, it tends to harbor rats too...

Like I said, it's love-hate between ivy and me.

Shephard said...

Ivy.... I think it's the rich green that draws us in... and the replication of thousands of perfect leaves... and... what's under that ivy? What lives in it (for those with arachnophobia).

~S

Anna said...

I love to watch ivy because it takes my eyes on a journey from the moment I see it...

Great pic!

Wordnerd said...

I agree -- it's the contrast of manmade vs. natural and the way the creeping vines, in their lazy, ambling pattern, soften the lines and angles of the structure. The angle you shot from adds so much as well. Thanks for sharing this. Also, I confess to having scrolled down and am now hungry for that hunk o' goodness in the previous post!

Vickie said...

I love ivy and when I see it growing I always stop and look closer----wondering where did it start and where is it going. So often ivy just seems to go on forever.

You have a great site here and I am enjoying my visits. I hope you do not mind that I linked so I can return often.

Becky68 said...

I actually was admiring the wood trim on the building myself, the Ivy is pretty though...I think it's ivy's tenacity to keep growing & climbing in nearly any soil or climate & on anything.
Here from Micheles.

Anna said...

Thanks for your comment on my pic...I repsonded to it on my blog! Have a good weekend Carmi!

Doodles said...

Hi agree with Anna. I follow the twists and turns of the ivy and try to follow the line from the beginning to the top.

Manuel Tendero Gil said...

hola veo que tienes muchos admiradores enhorabuena por tu blog un saludo desde VALENCIA

Blond Girl said...

Hi Carmi. Michele sent me (but I was on the way anyway :-)

OK, so here's the thing; I've been reading your blog for two years now, so I think I'm entitled to one interactive comment, right? Right.

Well, when I saw your pic, I didn't even read the text. It immediatly made me think of one of my favorite buildings in Minneapolis. It's called the Minneapolis club. Members only - very tony, very mysterious. I've never been in it, but the outside of it is lovely - in the summer. It is covered in ivy which undulates with every breeze across the building. And trust me, amonst tall buildings, there are lots of breezes! Amidst the glass. steel and concrete of the city, this building speaks of age, history, endurance and beauty.

So here's the interactive part. Like I said, I thought of that building and went looking for a picture of it. The best one I found was the front door - on the club's site: http://www.mplsclub.org/index.html
please go visit and 1. tell me what you think and 2. tell me if you've ever been to Minneapolis.

OK. Interactive demands are done. Have a great night!

David said...

classic in every sense of the word.
man made and natural, holding on to one another. lovely

Sarch said...

Carmi your topic reminds me of several trips I took to Northwestern University in Illinois for business trips.

The buildings on campus are beautiful old stone and many of them are covered in ivy. The trees are old and large and the whole place has a solid, permanent feel. It is easy to just stand and be still among the trees, bushes and buildings.

I can only imagine what you could do with that magic camera of yours on that campus.

Begered said...

Ivy on a building like the one on your pictures looks like it belongs. There is a house down the street from me that has ivy growing on it and it just looks wrong. I think track homes and ivy don't mix.

One thing about ivy I love is...it is so hard to kill.

srp said...

Sometimes I wonder if the buildings and the ivy have become so entwined that the ivy is actually holding the brick together.

In college we had an "Ivy Ring" ceremony at graduation. A large intertwined ring of ivy was made. The graduates stood in a very large circle and cut the ivy between us, symbolizing both the eternal link with each other and the going of separate ways into the world. It sounds a bit sappy now that I put it down, but was moving at the time.

Carolyn said...

Hi Carmi, I tried to comment yesterday (here via Michele's) but my comment-tater was broiled or something, hehe!

I love that look too! I live in a historic district (my own house is on the National Register) although mine isn't covered in ivy. My rock wall along the driveway is however. Lots of homes here are covered in it. In my observances, these ivy-covered homes seem to prevail in college towns, which mine is one.

What is it about ivy that compels us to look? I think of it as life clinging on for dear life.

kristin said...

maybe because it is so "resilient", and can survive in just about any situation/setting. We admire that kind of strength and ruggedness, in the face of a "brick wall" (literally)....