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plant identification help please

This is my first time posting on the GW forum. I have recently bought an old house in Cornwall where the garden has been left to it's own devises for 20-30 years. Underneath the brambles and weeds was a once loved garden which I'm trying to expose. Through this process I have stumbled across 3 trees/scrubs which I can't seem to find out what they are. I want to know this before I do anything to them that might damage them. If anyone can help identify any of the following 3 plants it would be very much appreciated!


  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 655
    Griselina littoralis.  
    what was a variegated Eleagnus x ebbingi, now reverting.
     Oleria macrodonta - New Zealand Holly.
    East Anglia
  • My wife was so sure it was a cherry laurel. The twisted roots and branches. Thats photo 1 and the last. Def a Grisselina Littoralis? Can we take this right back to bare wood?
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    I agree with all of Asarum's identifications. Definitely Grisilinia Littoralis in the first and last photos. They can get very big. Pruning yearly will maintain shape and keep the growth more compact. Pruning it less will result in seeing more gaps between branches.

    Either way, the shrub will do fine. Some are used as mini evergreen trees in my local park.

    You can prune them back hard into bare wood, and they will recover. Best to leave this until early spring next year to do.
  • Thank you Asarum and Borderline, that really is a massive help. I've spent a lot of time on various apps and RHS encyclopedic books without hitting the nail on the head. Thanks again!
  • AsarumAsarum Posts: 655
    You’re welcome Alex. I am envious of an overgrown garden in Cornwall!  Good luck with it. 
    East Anglia
  • A new Heligan perhaps?.  Enjoy x
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