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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2008, 09:20 PM
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Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

Hello everyone

I was wondering if anyone could help me with this? I'm looking for a couple of fast-growing shrubs that will offer some protection and food for the birds.

I have been feeding the birds in the garden for about six months now. However, my garden is virtually bare - we only moved here in May and I have a few smallish plants and one bigger deciduous shrub. Part of the garden is also shingle - it really isn't the most promising garden for birds! At present birds are visiting the ground feeder, but there really isn't much cover for them!

The garden itself is about 30ft by 20ft and slopes downwards - it is very exposed because I live a couple of miles from the sea so any shrubs would need to take a bit of a beating from the wind and rain!

All the best

relayer901
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:04 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

Hi,
For a windy site near the sea I would try to create a shelter belt, shrubs good for this would be: Eleagnus, Esacallonia, Oleria, Prunus, Gorse, Tamarix, Skimmia, Griselinia, Hydrangea.
Other general shrubs I would recommend are: Buddlea, Berberis, Hypericum, Leycesteria, Pittosporum, pyracantha, santolina.
Have a look around at other gardens and see what is doing well.
If you are exposed it may be a good idea to create smaller habitats within your garden. Now is a great time of year to look at the bare bones, have fun.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:09 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

If you could post a few pics of the garden It would help. Have you got fencing around the garden as climbers are also good.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:17 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

I would suggest pyracantha or Cotoneaster
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:21 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

It may not be fashionable, but our birds love our hawthorn tree. The simple conifer is also used, although I don't approve as I can't see them in it!
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:56 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

If you have a wall or fence for support can strongly recommend a pyracantha, the berries provide a blaze of colour in the autumn and the birds love them.

Gerry
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:59 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

Thank you very much to all of you for these suggestions.

I've never heard of a shelter belt - I will look into this and do some research on these plants! It hadn't occurred to me to create a number of smaller habitats, but this is a great idea hobble.

I like the idea of a pyrancantha! My wife doesn't like cotoneaster for some reason, but she does like pyracantha and our fence does need support so this would be ideal. Mmm, also like the idea of a hawthorn too - my only concern is that it might be too big for my garden.

I will take a photo of the garden at the weekend and post it Kayleigh. One of the problems with our garden is that the wind swirls around, so I can't even place a post in the middle of the garden with a bird table - any seeds would be flung around by the wind!

Once again, thank you for these suggestions - you've really got me thinking about this!

All the best

relayer901
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:12 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bub-les View Post
I would suggest pyracantha or Cotoneaster
I too would def put in these two, you can get a large upright cotoneaster, maybe your wife is thinking of cotneaster horizontalis, plus a hawthorn as graham suggested. If you want lots of bees try and nice pale pink lavetera, it's a very woody shrub but can be trimmed how you want it. Great cover and hoverflies love it too.

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Old 06-02-2008, 09:29 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

Thanks for these suggestions Galanthus. Good point about an upright Cotoneaster - my wife definitely has a problem with the spreading ones, so I'll take a look at the upright ones! The lavatera is promising - just had a look on a couple of websites and this looks ideal.

I am also currently looking at the other suggestions made earlier, and am looking forward to visiting the local nursery/garden centre in the next couple of weeks!
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:54 PM
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Re: Can anyone recommend fast-growing shrubs?

For fast growing i would recommend lavertera, very colourful, buddlea's grow like the clappers. I have three in my garden which make 12-15 feet in a season and are always full of birds. Great habitat for insects, butterflies in summer.
Dave
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