Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

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.

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