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I was interested in using cotoneaster as both the flowers and berries are helpful to wind life. Gardeners World suggested an alternative, presumably native species, should be used be made no suggestions. Not helpful. I have no idea what might be appropriate. 


  • What sort of cotoneaster were you thinking of using?  There are lots of different ones, some deciduous and some evergreen, some ground-hugging and some can grow to 4 metres or more.  Only 5 are considered invasive in the UK so there may be one you'd like to grow which isn't on the "naughty list"... plus the ecology site I was looking at, says "in urban areas it may actually have a net benefit to local ecosystems as its flowers are highly attractive to bees, and birds eat its berries in the winter when other food sources may be scarce."  So if you live in a town, you should be ok.  It's illegal to "distribute or allow to spread" cotoneaster into the wild, but birds dropping seeds into your neighbours' gardens in a town is acceptable, I guess.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,860
    Where do you want to plant it? 
    Cotoneaster is widely used in all sorts of gardens, and is fairly easy to keep in check, so it really comes down to which one you pick, and what site you have. Some are certainly more dominant than others, but they all respond well to hacking back when needed. 

    I've never been without them in any garden I've had. Wonderful for bees, and birds.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • At the back of my front garden. There is a very tired hydrangea I want to replace with something more wildlife friendly which is my primary motivation. I have a pyracantha at the back, and though I didn't notice the bees the blackbirds seem to really enjoy the berries.  Don't want thorns so near the pavement! Thank you. 
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