Sixteen years ago we wanted to bring shelter to an exposed side of the garden, stretching along a distance of 100 feet, which gets the full blast of the prevailing winds. We decided on a pyracantha hedge, which would thicken over time to a dense growth, and the Autumnal berries would feed the birds. Unfortunately, during the first Winter of its existence the winds burned black the foliage of the entire hedge, putting paid to that choice, not to mention our hard work and expense.
The following year we dug out the remains and decided to try again, this time with a deciduous hedge of Rugosa Scabrosa. The word Rugosa means ‘wrinkled,’ and refers to the texture of the leaves, which are disease-free. I read that it would be fast-growing, that, in time, it would spread to form thickets, and that its large tomato-like fruits would attract the birds, with finches in particular, who would come to eat the seeds in Autumn.
We have not been disappointed. The rugosa hedge bears heavily-scented magenta flowers, which bloom from June till September and attract bumble bees. In China and Japan, where the rugosa has been cultivated for a thousand years, the sweetly-scented blooms, four inches across, are used to make pot-pourri.
The stems, covered in thin straight sharp thorns, bear hips which are good for making rose-hip syrup and have leaves which turn bright yellow in Autumn before falling. Winter hardy, and requiring little maintenance, as well as being shade and salt tolerant, the rugosa was a good choice for us as it borders a road which needs regular de-icing.
Flambouyant! - Today's flambouyant (Royal poinciana) blooms take the show. I grew this tree from seeds I collected in Guyana 5 and a half years ago.
1 month ago