Answer: Hedera helix or English ivy makes a low maintenance ground cover with a somewhat similar visual effect as that provided by the relatively very high maintenance lawn grasses. Keep in mind also that it may have been planted to solve a landscape problem, such as poor or shallow soil or shady location that makes it difficult or impossible to grow a healthy lawn. So, make sure you really want to remove it. You may want to try to dig it out, however this is difficult. You might opt for an herbicide containing glyphosate. Be sure to carefully read and follow all of the label instructions and wait the full recommended time frame before removing the browned foliage. Ivy is very tenacious and may require more than one treatment. Prior to planting lawn you will want to run some basic soil tests and then improve the soil as indicated by the test results with materials such as lime to correct the pH and fertilizer if nutrients are low. You may also need to work in organic matter such as compost and possibly also coarse sand if drainage is poor. Then you would seed or sod the lawn grass. Your county extension should be able to help you with the testing and recommended soil preparation as well as selecting an appropriate lawn grass variety. They should also be able to help you develop an ongoing lawn maintenance program.
I think you are also asking about containers of water iris. These can be left in the garden pond over the winter. Trim back the foliage to the rim of the container.
I hope this answers your questions.
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