The range of ivies now available makes this one of the most useful and attractive climbing plants, with leaves of many shapes and sizes as well as yellow, white and pale green variegations
. Ivies are hardy and evergreen, qualities that are most appreciated in winter.
Inside it's mostly one grand space Like a fire opal half-hidden in the Sonoran Desert, this simple house doesn't reveal its flashes of color until you are inside and catch its sparkling variegations
There are a wide range of cultivars available with white or gold variegations
but I particularly love Hedera Buttercup for its buttery golden leaves when it is planted in the sun.
Daphne odora Aureo-marginata has not only strongly-scented reddish purple flowers but is clothed with large, lance-shaped leaves that have apple green and yellow variegations
. It's a real gem for a sunny, sheltered corner.
* Golden Queen, superb male form with gold variegations
There are varieties for indoors and outdoors and ones with leaves as big as your fist or with bright-coloured foliage and decorative variegations
Sedum 'Frosty Morn', a choice variety for the border with imposing 45cm (18in) stems bearing white flowers and foliage with white variegations
Crotons are the chameleons of the plant world, with variegations
that vary from yellow and green to pink, red or orange, which subtly change as the plant matures.
Golden Queen (pictured), superb male form with reliably gold variegations
Nowadays, there are enough new variegations
, leaf shapes and sizes of ivy to suit every garden setting.