Plant a Wall of Berries

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Making a Choice

Heralding spring, the bare branches of the flowering quince, Chaenomeles (image 1), are laced with bright pink or red flowers, and are followed by the blue pompoms of Californian lilacs, Ceanothus (image 2), which open at the end of the season. The flannel bush, Fremontodendron (image 3), has large waxy yellow flowers that appear from late spring to early autumn, and to close the year, the silk-tassel bush, Garrya (image 4), displays its long cream catkins while the rest of the garden sleeps.

Planting Shrubs

Plant the Californian lilac and flannel bush in a sunny spot. The silk-tassel bush and quince will grow well in partial shade or full sun. None of these plants, apart from the quince, tolerate hard frosts so select a sheltered area, and follow the same planting method as for firethorn. You can train the plants onto a trellis instead of wires, if you prefer, but make sure that it is fixed securely to the wall or fence.


Although these shrubs tolerate very dry conditions, water them frequently for the first year until they are established. Trim back the quince and lilac annually after flowering in early summer. Prune the silk-tassel and flannel bushes in mid-spring. Prune out wayward stems that are growing away from their supports, and trim other stems to create a neat framework. Tie in long stems to the wires or trellis. The plants will also benefit from an application of granular shrub fertilizer in early spring.

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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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