This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
One of the most beautiful rural sights can be seen any day by the traveler, as he passes St. Paul's church, Fourth avenue corner Twenty-second street, in this city. Five or six years ago, some attentive gardener planted cuttings of the English Ivy in the soil just at the base of the sides of the church. For several years they seemed merely to have devoted their strength to the gaining of a foothold in the grass which grew so close and luxuriant around, - hence did not make a vigorous growth upward. But of late they have pushed their long slender green arms upward along the glistening sides of the pure white marble surface of the church exterior, and are covering it thick and deep with a most luxuriant coat of deep green foliage. The base is already covered, and the tiny frondlets are fast working their way upward over the doors and windows, well on to the roof itself. Was there ever a more tasteful sight ? The contrast between the pure white marble and the vivid green of the ivy, constantly excite the attention and remark of every passer-by, and we note the out-cropping of this insensible lesson of rural taste.
We see ladies everywhere decorating their windows with little pots and baskets of flowers, while a choice corner is reserved for the " ivy green," where in its rapid growth it is carefully trained up the window sides, or on the curtains that hang so charmingly around.
A Philadelphia correspondent of the Journal of the Farm, asks: "Why is it that the Ivy plant is not more generally appreciated, or at least cultivated in this country, for I do not think I ever knew a person who did not admire it? It will thrive almost anywhere, is a rapid grower, needs little or no care, is always beautiful, and a thing of joy forever. It will ascend unsightly walls, and cover them with a leafy green that is always refreshing to look upon. It may be the means of hiding the unpleasant aspects of stumps, and even where it is not required as a mantle or cloak with which to cover up that which is not pleasant to the eye, it is pretty. I know of no more refreshing sight than that of the gable end, or even the front of a house, densely covered with the rich foliage of this fine plant. It appears to me that the commissioners of Fairmount park, might introduce it more extensively in that splendid place. In fact the ivy is pretty almost wherever it is met with; whether trailing over ruins, clambering up the walls of modern residences, or running over the ground, where it will form a fine verdure in locations so shaded that grass will not grow well".