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I need to find a suitable shrub for this area

(8 Posts)
skankingpiglet Thu 25-Feb-16 13:25:14

We have recently had a new patio laid and I need to choose a shrub to stop drunk people toddlers from wandering off it into our paddling pool-sized pond. A visual barrier mostly rather than physical as the pond has a steel mesh over it to prevent drowning, but sturdy enough if you stood back into it you would be aware and the plant wouldn't be mortally wounded. The area the shrub(s) would need to eventually fill is 1m wide, 0.4m deep, and 1m - 1.2m high. It gets full sun throughout the afternoon and evening, and although our garden has high fences, we are surrounded by farmland so the wind can whistle through at times. Any berries would need to be non-toxic.
I had initially thought Cornus as they have a bit of interest all year, but I've just noticed they can grow to 3m! Obviously we can prune, but I'm now worried it'll end up getting out of control. Am I getting worried over nothing, or is there something more suitable that comes to mind?
Thanks smile

shovetheholly Thu 25-Feb-16 13:35:42

You can definitely keep the dogwoods grown for winter stems under control with pruning. But they are a bit on the dull side the rest of the year. It sounds like more of a location for a feature plant.

As it's right by a pond, I'm wondering whether it would be best to go for something evergreen so that you don't get annoying leaves dropping in the water that you then have to fish out? Thinking of something like a choisya ternata? Some of the forms with very divided leaves are very delicate and the flowers have a lovely scent.

TheNoodlesIncident Thu 25-Feb-16 15:04:23

Choisya ternata is remontant too, which is always a bonus. (At least mine was, am simply assuming it's usual for them.)

It sounds like you've put Cornus in already, is that the case? If so what kind of Cornus is it?

skankingpiglet Thu 25-Feb-16 22:44:31

No nothing there yet, just a big rectangle of dirt. I was looking at Cornus plants online and quite liked Kesselringii or alba Sibirica. However that is a very good point about having an evergreen. I've had a look at the Choisya and it looks very nice. A nice scent is always a bonus too. It's not a plant I've heard of before (not surprising, I've only had a garden for 5yrs and learning as we go) but it seems like a strong contender. Hardy and will be ok in our clay soil. How quickly will it grow to an ok-ish size? The RHS says it's 10-20yrs to full size, but obviously it'll already come part-grown, and I wouldn't need it to get to it's 2.5m maximum. No point if it reaches our desired height by the time DCs leave home!

shovetheholly Fri 26-Feb-16 09:53:36

You can buy fairly large plants of it - they cost quite a bit more than small ones, obviously, but it sounds like it would be worth it in this case. They are medium-rate growers, and with some forms you can prune them into a shape if you want (my Dad does his in a big ball).

heartichoke Fri 26-Feb-16 10:07:41

How about a hebe? I have Hebe 'Mrs Winder' lining the edge of my raised patio, and it makes a great low barrier, with reddish/purple colouring and a nice bushy, but clippable, habit.
The only downside is that Mrs Winder isn't a prolific bloomer, but there are many other varieties of hebe - including variegated ones - that you might like to look at. Many of them produce lovely flowers all summer.

skankingpiglet Fri 26-Feb-16 11:14:09

I did look at a Hebe as I've seen some lovely ones, although they don't seem to grow tall enough. They are on my list for a different area how ever as I really like Silver Dollar. I'll have a look at Mrs Winder too as I've not come across that one yet.
Yes, a bigger plant would be a more sensible purchase then fi the Choisya. A 2 -2.5ltr pot is around £25 at a quick glance so it's not bank-breaking, and certainly cheaper and easier than putting up a fence (DH's solution).
Ooo... I can feel a trip to the garden centre coming on this afternoon! Thanks MN smile

MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 11:21:11

Choisya gets my vote too as the blossoms smell divine and they're evergreen, so you don't need to prune them back hard like a cornus.

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