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Thorny plants - pyracantha



 
 
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  #1  
Old 20-05-2006, 01:54 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

We have a 3' high wall at the front of the house, which can be conveniently
sat on. We're trying to discourage this (asking nicely hasn't worked), so
thought some prickly plants might be the answer.

Holly is lovely, but just a little too slow growing, and larger plants would
be expensive.

Pyracantha has come up again and again when looking at options, but I'm
concerned about how high it can grow. Would it be happy to be kept to a
relatively low height as a hedge? Ideally keeping it about the 4' mark.

The fact that you can get a mix of lovely shaded berries and it attracts
birds would be an added bonus.

We'd be planting on the north side of the wall, and the area does get quite
damp, so we'd need to improve the drainage there (digging some sand
through?)

Would appreciate other thoughts?

--
NK
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  #2  
Old 20-05-2006, 02:08 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

WRabbit wrote:
We have a 3' high wall at the front of the house, which can be
conveniently sat on. We're trying to discourage this (asking nicely
hasn't worked), so thought some prickly plants might be the answer.



We did that 20 years ago, move 17 years ago, went past last week.

the pyracantha is now 20 feet tall (slight exaggeration, but only slight!)
and what wall?

pk


  #3  
Old 20-05-2006, 02:40 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha


"WRabbit" wrote in message
...
We have a 3' high wall at the front of the house, which can be
conveniently sat on. We're trying to discourage this (asking nicely
hasn't worked), so thought some prickly plants might be the answer.

Holly is lovely, but just a little too slow growing, and larger plants
would be expensive.


Agreed, I have 'Blue Angel' Holly and it's maybe 18" high after about three
years, and not exactly bushy.

Pyracantha has come up again and again when looking at options, but I'm
concerned about how high it can grow. Would it be happy to be kept to a
relatively low height as a hedge? Ideally keeping it about the 4' mark.


I think it will accept trimming without undue protest. I've seen it clipped
into hedges.

The fact that you can get a mix of lovely shaded berries and it attracts
birds would be an added bonus.


Yes, but if you want to enjoy those berries for more than a week you'll need
to net them in, the birds munch mine as soon as they turn red.

We'd be planting on the north side of the wall, and the area does get
quite damp, so we'd need to improve the drainage there (digging some sand
through?)


I think it's OK in light shade, that's certainly where mine is, though it
gets an hour or three of sun shine per day depending on the season. I'm in a
damp part of the country, but the drainage is adequate.

Would appreciate other thoughts?


Mine is 4 foot+ after three years, trained to a wall. Just getting into its
stride really, and some growth still to come this year. There are white
flowers to enjoy too.

You could look at Berberis too, lots of varieties to choose from, and pretty
spikey to boot.

--
NK
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  #4  
Old 20-05-2006, 11:14 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

WRabbit writes
We have a 3' high wall at the front of the house, which can be conveniently
sat on. We're trying to discourage this (asking nicely hasn't worked), so
thought some prickly plants might be the answer.

Holly is lovely, but just a little too slow growing, and larger plants would
be expensive.

Pyracantha has come up again and again when looking at options, but I'm
concerned about how high it can grow. Would it be happy to be kept to a
relatively low height as a hedge? Ideally keeping it about the 4' mark.


You can do, but it's a lot of hard work - it puts on a lot of growth
each year. The holy grail of a hedging plant which grows rapidly to 4ft
and then stops dead has not yet been found ;-)

I have a bush in front of the front window which I keep to this height.
York Gate has a lovely one which is espaliered, with enormously thick
main branches with about 3 inches of vegetation all along - not
suggesting this style is appropriate to you (it makes a nice design
against a brick wall) but it shows pyracantha tolerates hard pruning.

Best bet might be some bush roses. Ideally, you would prune them down to
about a foot each year (thus temporarily losing your protection), but
you could experiment with pruning half in alternate years.

The fact that you can get a mix of lovely shaded berries and it attracts
birds would be an added bonus.


You wouldn't get many berries by hard pruning as you would be removing
most of the potentially flowering branches.

Holly is a better attractant for birds, but there again, not so many
berries in a hedge.

We'd be planting on the north side of the wall, and the area does get quite
damp, so we'd need to improve the drainage there (digging some sand
through?)


If it's damp and clay, add humus (garden compost for example). What do
you mean by 'quite damp'? - in my garden 'quite damp' means 'standing
water after heavy rain' ;-)

Would appreciate other thoughts?

Depending on the type of wall, consider re-topping it so it no longer
has a flat top. Or add say 1ft of fencing to the top. Or buy a couple of
fake dog poos from a joke shop and glue them to the wall ;-)
--
Kay
  #5  
Old 20-05-2006, 11:21 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha


WRabbit wrote:
We have a 3' high wall at the front of the house, which can be conveniently
sat on. We're trying to discourage this (asking nicely hasn't worked), so
thought some prickly plants might be the answer.

Holly is lovely, but just a little too slow growing, and larger plants would
be expensive.

Pyracantha has come up again and again when looking at options, but I'm
concerned about how high it can grow. Would it be happy to be kept to a
relatively low height as a hedge? Ideally keeping it about the 4' mark.

The fact that you can get a mix of lovely shaded berries and it attracts
birds would be an added bonus.

We'd be planting on the north side of the wall, and the area does get quite
damp, so we'd need to improve the drainage there (digging some sand
through?)

Would appreciate other thoughts?

Rosa rugosa is thorny and has lovely hips from which you can make your
own Vit. C drink, IIRC. Depending on your location, you could try
Grevillea rosmarinifolia which we have badly sited on the corner of a
path here. That *really* bites and if only you could use
Agaves....................!
--
Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.co.uk
South Devon

  #6  
Old 20-05-2006, 11:30 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

Sacha writes


Rosa rugosa is thorny and has lovely hips from which you can make your
own Vit. C drink, IIRC.


You can do that from any rose hips - make sure you filter out all the
hairs.

Warning - the top of my rugosa hedge is a good three foot above my head.

--
Kay
  #7  
Old 20-05-2006, 11:49 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha



"WRabbit" wrote in message
...
We have a 3' high wall at the front of the house, which can be

conveniently
sat on. We're trying to discourage this (asking nicely hasn't worked), so
thought some prickly plants might be the answer.


Why bother? What harm is being done? I quite often go and have a chat with
the people sitting on my wall. Only once have I warned some girls off. There
was an ants nest built into the wall :-((

But then I live in a very friendly area and all neighbours chat. My
neighbours kept an eye on my house and the post whilst I was away on a
cruise for three months. Is your area different?

Mike


--
------------------------------------------------
Royal Naval Electrical Branch Association
www.rnshipmates.co.uk
International Festival of the Sea 28th June - 1st July 2007


  #8  
Old 20-05-2006, 12:26 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha


"K" wrote
WRabbit writes
We have a 3' high wall at the front of the house, which can be
conveniently
sat on. We're trying to discourage this (asking nicely hasn't worked), so
thought some prickly plants might be the answer.


Depending on the type of wall, consider re-topping it so it no longer has
a flat top. Or add say 1ft of fencing to the top. Or buy a couple of fake
dog poos from a joke shop and glue them to the wall ;-)
Kay


Brilliant idea Kay :~))

Or even this :
http://www.starwalls.co.za/
http://www.paulnoll.com/China/Commer...all-glass.html

Jenny


  #9  
Old 20-05-2006, 01:37 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

K wrote:
You can do, but it's a lot of hard work - it puts on a lot of growth
each year. The holy grail of a hedging plant which grows rapidly to
4ft and then stops dead has not yet been found ;-)


I'll add it to my list of genetic modification projects. Do you think I
should prioritise this over slugs that only eat dandelions?

Best bet might be some bush roses. Ideally, you would prune them down
to about a foot each year (thus temporarily losing your protection),
but you could experiment with pruning half in alternate years.


Considered this but there's a couple of issues. As well as discouraging
them from sitting on the wall they've got a habit of clambering over it to
retrieve their ball (several times a night). The coping stones are getting
knocked loose. Don't know that roses would deter them enough. In addition
the rose I planted at the back suffers quite badly from blackspot.

We'd be planting on the north side of the wall, and the area does
get quite damp, so we'd need to improve the drainage there (digging
some sand through?)


If it's damp and clay, add humus (garden compost for example). What do
you mean by 'quite damp'? - in my garden 'quite damp' means 'standing
water after heavy rain' ;-)


Grass slopes slightly done to the wall, not quite swamp like but certainly
muddy after heavy rain.

Would appreciate other thoughts?

Depending on the type of wall, consider re-topping it so it no longer
has a flat top. Or add say 1ft of fencing to the top. Or buy a couple
of fake dog poos from a joke shop and glue them to the wall ;-)


Again been considered. However all the walls are uniform round the houses,
so changing the wall would have an impact. It's also a more expensive
solution as I'd have to get a person in - wall building is not my forte.
Fake dog poo added to the possibility list


--
NK
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  #10  
Old 20-05-2006, 01:41 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

Sacha wrote:
Rosa rugosa is thorny and has lovely hips from which you can make your
own Vit. C drink, IIRC. Depending on your location, you could try
Grevillea rosmarinifolia which we have badly sited on the corner of a
path here. That *really* bites and if only you could use
Agaves....................!


We're in the central belt of Scotland, just outside Glasgow. Anything too
tender isn't a option.

I do like the look of rosa rugosa - it's quite common around here, but I
think it might be a bit of a monster in the front garden.


--
NK
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  #11  
Old 20-05-2006, 02:20 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

WRabbit writes

Best bet might be some bush roses. Ideally, you would prune them down
to about a foot each year (thus temporarily losing your protection),
but you could experiment with pruning half in alternate years.


Considered this but there's a couple of issues. As well as discouraging
them from sitting on the wall they've got a habit of clambering over it to
retrieve their ball (several times a night). The coping stones are getting
knocked loose. Don't know that roses would deter them enough.


Depends on the rose. HTs seem to have long smooth stems with the
occasional stout thorn - not much of a deterrent. I have a bush rose,
possibly floribunda type, with lots of deep red roses and - the
important bit - a growth habit which is a tangle of twisted branches
covered in small spines. It certainly keeps me away from that bit of the
garden, and I've never had anyone barge through it

In addition
the rose I planted at the back suffers quite badly from blackspot.


Some are more susceptible than others.

We'd be planting on the north side of the wall, and the area does
get quite damp, so we'd need to improve the drainage there (digging
some sand through?)


If it's damp and clay, add humus (garden compost for example). What do
you mean by 'quite damp'? - in my garden 'quite damp' means 'standing
water after heavy rain' ;-)


Grass slopes slightly done to the wall, not quite swamp like but certainly
muddy after heavy rain.


So where does the water drain through after that? Improving drainage
only helps if there's somewhere to drain to.

Raising the level of the ground near the wall by a few inches might be a
possibility - improve the damp problem and give the hedge plants a few
inches less to grow ;-)

Since you've said you like holly, I'd be looking at holly in the long
term, with a short term solution while the holly were making their
growth - quite what the short term solution would be, I don't know. Wire
netting along the top of the wall? Nurse crop of stinging nettles? ;-)

--
Kay
  #12  
Old 20-05-2006, 06:34 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha


WRabbit wrote:
Sacha wrote:
Rosa rugosa is thorny and has lovely hips from which you can make your
own Vit. C drink, IIRC. Depending on your location, you could try
Grevillea rosmarinifolia which we have badly sited on the corner of a
path here. That *really* bites and if only you could use
Agaves....................!


We're in the central belt of Scotland, just outside Glasgow. Anything too
tender isn't a option.

I do like the look of rosa rugosa - it's quite common around here, but I
think it might be a bit of a monster in the front garden.


All you have to do is keep it where you want it! And it may be that
you have found out WHY it's quite common round there!
--
Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.co.uk
South Devon

  #13  
Old 21-05-2006, 07:23 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

WRabbit wrote:
snip tale of woe and request for suggestions for some 'defensive' planting

Just to update on what we've decided to do. We visited a local garden
centre yesterday and by coincidence they had some foot high variegated holly
bushes in their clearance section. Nice healthy plants, but last years
stock.

We got 5 plants for 8, so it was ideal as it didn't dent the budget too
much. It's a bit of a lucky dip as we don't know what variety we've got
(the pots just say ilex aquifolium) - it looks like Golden King, but it's
not an aquifolium so who knows. We'll get a male plant for somewhere else
in the garden and see what happens in the winter.

Hopefully this will deter the kids from stepping over the wall, and in a few
years time we'll have a beautiful holly hedge. Meantime we're netting and
caning the area to protect the plants.

Thanks for everyones thoughts as they were really useful.
--
NK
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  #14  
Old 21-05-2006, 07:51 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Thorny plants - pyracantha

WRabbit writes
WRabbit wrote:
snip tale of woe and request for suggestions for some 'defensive' planting

Just to update on what we've decided to do. We visited a local garden
centre yesterday and by coincidence they had some foot high variegated holly
bushes in their clearance section. Nice healthy plants, but last years
stock.

We got 5 plants for 8, so it was ideal as it didn't dent the budget too
much. It's a bit of a lucky dip as we don't know what variety we've got
(the pots just say ilex aquifolium) - it looks like Golden King, but it's
not an aquifolium so who knows. We'll get a male plant for somewhere else
in the garden and see what happens in the winter.

Hopefully this will deter the kids from stepping over the wall, and in a few
years time we'll have a beautiful holly hedge. Meantime we're netting and
caning the area to protect the plants.

Thanks for everyones thoughts as they were really useful.


Thanks - it's good to know the outcome.

Long term, I'm sure you'll be happy with your decision.
--
Kay
 




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