Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

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.

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