Best of the bunch
Pyracantha This prickly evergreen, also known as the firethorn, is ideal for keeping thieves at bay, thanks to its thorny branches.
But it is also a shrub of great beauty, bearing vibrant berries in autumn and early winter which look stunning trained on wires to form a neat cladding to walls and fences. It also makes an effective hedging plant, grown in any fertile, well-drained soil. Good varieties include P. ‘Golden Charmer’, which bears clusters of insignificant white flowers in summer, followed by bright orange berries from autumn through winter. P. ‘Mohave’ is prized for its crop of vivid red berries, whose colourful, long-lasting fruits are popular with birds, while P. ‘Soleil d’Or’ is an upright shrub that produces huge swathes of golden-yellow berries.