Grandparents-of-25 When Michael and Teresa Lye originally moved into their South London property over four decades ago, they did make an effort to control the Virginia creeper plant.
The couple is now willing to let the plant grow despite gardening experts’ advice to keep it under control; they only sometimes invite a relative over to trim the leaves that are beginning to obscure the windows of the home.
In Bromley, south east London, the enormous plant, sometimes known as five-leaved ivy, has developed into something of a local attraction, with people often stopping to snap pictures.
The two assert that it also serves a functional purpose, namely to keep the home warm throughout the winter.
Michael, who is 75, said, “We believe it functions as natural insulation.”
I hear my daughter ask, “You have the heater on?” I respond, “No, of course we haven’t turned on the heat.”
Michael said, “But it hasn’t nearly done enough to halt the stinging rise in gasoline prices.”
I still hate getting my gas and electric bill, he said.
The semi-detached home was purchased by the parents of five children in 1984 for $24,000.
It is situated on an estate in the Downham region that was allegedly opened by royalty in 1928 and was where the Virginia creeper was suggested.
However, the plant was out of control and had entered the house when the couple went to see it decades later.
Michael, a social housing worker, remarked: “A monarch opened the estate.” I’m not sure which one.
They added, “Virginia creeper would look great on these homes.”
The council then began to plant it on every home. Most folks got rid of it after moving in.
When we first saw the home, several of the windows were damaged, and a plant had climbed the wall’s upper corridor.
It had in fact entered the home.
It had developed in one bedroom where [vandals] had damaged the windows, according to Teresa.
“Oh,” I said after seeing it. It was directly across the ceiling and down the walls as you entered the room.
They said, “No, we’ll clear all that. The window will be painted, and we’ll also decorate.
Pictures of the home often appear in local Facebook groups where people praise the nearby landmark.
Michael continued by saying that people often stop their autos or strolls to take pictures of the property.
Everyone will stop once a week.
“The other day a woman was out there.” It’s a pound a picture, I said. What? she exclaimed. I jokingly reassured her, “Don’t worry.”
Don’t you get all the creepy crawlies coming in the windows? she questioned. I said, “No, we’re great. The wife sleeps with her mouth open.”