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Shrub height-Prune or not?

madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 1,941
edited July 2019 in Garden design
In the past I have always kept my shrubs at approximately 6ft (the height of my fence).
Over the past couple of years I have started just to let them grow and only prune out dead,straggly growth or bits that poke you in the eye!
The Cotoneaster franchettii is great,the bees and hoverflies love it as well as giving height to the garden.

The same with the Pittosporum 'Limelight' which I kept used to keep as a small shrub I have now let grow tall.Looks lovely with a Clematis growing through it.

I have 2 Pyracanthas which I am thinking of letting grow tall but don't really know how they would look as I have only ever seen them as clipped shrubs/hedges.Does anyone know if this would be a good idea?I am not worried about no foliage lower down as I can under plant.
Any insights welcome!

“Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,731
    They all look lovely, I’ve never liked neat clipped shrubs, and even less shrubs cut into lollipop shapes😱

    I haven't  got Pyracantha so can’t help. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    Pyracantha are good for a lot of things we have a huge one but it will have to go I can't keep up with it. Although we had blackbirds who have nested in it and raised three lots of babies this year.
    I have had to leave it and it is a monster.

    Your shrubs look great, but I think that pyracantha is the one thing in a relatively small garden you need to keep on top of and use closely clipped as a food source.
    Not casting nasturtiums on your garden size, yours is fabulously planted and we have a smaller garden too.

    All our pyracanthas put on great long thin stems that can grow several feet long in a matter of weeks,  with long stiff side shoots so need cutting off and then they grow more which need cutting off. They don't make a nice shape unless you have a huge space or keep in trim.

    I do not know if there are shorter or slower growing cultivars, all ours are different  ( varying berry shades) All ours are thuggish unless "Lollipopped",  "Shaving brushed,"  or horizontalized.. not sure what else to call it, espaliered ? Side-trained?

    I fell out of love when I fell into one or ours last year. So sorry I am a bit prejudiced now.
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 1,941
    I am tempted to let the top grow and just see what happens,if it looks awful I can always cut it back hard,Pyracantha can be pretty forgiving!
    I saw this one a few weeks ago which made me think I could grow it more like a tree.
    This particular one although just past its best was absolutely humming with bees!

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
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