Best of the bunch
Elaeagnus This tough, fastgrowing evergreen is ideal for growing as hedging, with its resistance to coastal winds and tolerance of the elements. Leaves may be plain green or silvery, or there are types with silver or gold variegation that look great in full sun. Small clusters of bell-shaped fragrant flowers are borne in summer or autumn, occasionally followed by small berries. Grow them in fertile, well-drained soil, preferably in full sun. Deciduous types are also available. Good bets include E. ‘Quicksilver’, a deciduous, clumpforming shrub which grows to 4m, flowering in summer, and E. x ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’, a dense evergreen with green and yellow variegated leaves and creamy white flowers in autumn. Prune deciduous types in late winter or early spring and evergreens in mid-to-late spring.