A retired couple have given new meaning to the term ‘green energy’ after inadvertently covering their home with an insulating ivy plant.
Michael and Teresa Lye noticed the Virginia creeper plant growing on their south London property when they first moved in almost 40 years ago.
The couple, who have 25 grandchildren, initially tried to contain the plant – which gardening experts recommend keeping in check.
However, having let it grow, aside from asking a relative to give it an occasional trim to keep leaves away from the windows, the couple insist they now have a layer of natural insulation on their Bromley residence.
“We think it acts as natural insulation,” Michael, 75, said in quotes reported by the Daily Mail.
Teresa, 72, added: “This room is nice and warm. Go in any of the rooms – it’s warm. That’s why we’ve got a fan in here. In the winter we are toasty.
“My daughter comes up and says, ‘You got the heating on?’ I say, ‘No, of course we haven’t got the heating on’.”
However, the couple say the plant does not provide enough warmth to protect them from soaring energy bill costs.
The parents-of-five purchased their semi-detached home in 1984 for £24,000, when they say the Virginia creeper was growing inside the building as well as out.
The unique house has become something of a local landmark, with the couple reporting that many passers-by stop and take photos.
Images of the house are also regularly shared on local community Facebook groups.