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Small edible shrub

 
Posts: 92
Location: Wealden AONB
2
cat books bike
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What to plant?
I've decided to rip out a rather dense hedge that provides nothing in the way of foodstuff and just creates dense shade.
I'm looking to replace it with something that will provide me with something to eat.

It needs to be low / close to the round to go under some fruit trees.
It needs to allow air to pass through.

No currents or similar as I have enough of those. Was thinking may be rose but I have no experience.
It's damp shady clay. lavenders don't thrive in my garden.
The hedge is along side a stony path but the soil should be quite fertile as it's been mulched, had lots of organic matter added over the years.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11539
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Here's a listing of perennial vegetables by climate:  http://perennialvegetables.org/perennial-vegetables-for-each-climate-type/
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Have you considered vines? I had a similar situation here and I've found trellised runner beans to do very well this year. They don't really need much more than a pole pounded into the ground. If you have any fallen branches they'd be ideal. Below those I've got a winter squash serving as ground cover. Our sunlight is probably more intense than yours, but these plants are producing at the edges of the shade between two large mature trees and a building.
 
Posts: 95
Location: Oakland, CA
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Not sure if you can get them but low-bush blueberries seem like they would do well.  You might have access to bilberry plants.  Chilean guavas can be kept small.  Nitrogen fixers would be good, such as Goumi or another fruiting elaeagnus/silverberry.  A bush type cherry might work well too.
 
pollinator
Posts: 247
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
26
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I have been building a mixed hedge that somewhat mimics a woodland edge.  So, I have what will be taller trees interspersed with a shrub layer which will eventually be underplanted with native wildflowers.

In the shrub layer, I currently have various currants, raspberries, blueberries, aronia, goumi, and seaberry.  I'm a bit fan of the goumi and raspberries for creating a bit more of a hedge feeling while not getting too tall.
 
Abbey Battle
Posts: 92
Location: Wealden AONB
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I don't know how UK climate equates to US zones.

Having looked at the space, I think I'm going to go with ground cover. I can't plant anything that gets tall, there's not much space. and it would be nice to keep the air circulation around the fruit trees.

I have 3 blueberries and they are not very productive, enough blueberries to top an ice cream, once. Very pretty flowers though.

I like the idea of a thin hedge of raspberries, they would get a bit more sun than in their present location. Not that anything gets much sun here, not when the sun doesn't show. Are you sure it's summer? (At least no worries about having to water anything).
 
Posts: 103
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Abbey Battle wrote:I don't know how UK climate equates to US zones.

Having looked at the space, I think I'm going to go with ground cover. I can't plant anything that gets tall, there's not much space. and it would be nice to keep the air circulation around the fruit trees.

I have 3 blueberries and they are not very productive, enough blueberries to top an ice cream, once. Very pretty flowers though.

I like the idea of a thin hedge of raspberries, they would get a bit more sun than in their present location. Not that anything gets much sun here, not when the sun doesn't show. Are you sure it's summer? (At least no worries about having to water anything).



UK weather is quite a lot like Pacific NW weather, so Zones 7-8 (7 having colder winter temps).

Have you considered Oregon Grape (Mahonia)?  Low-growing (depending on species), happy in shade, happy with plenty of water or little.  Depending on the species, the leaves, flowers, and/or berries are edible.  I had a Mahonia berry drink Saturday that was quite nice, and am told the flowers are tasty dipped in batter and fried.  I grew up where they're ubiquitous, so they're visually boring to me, but YMMV.  And they are completely maintenance-free.
 
That's my roommate. He's kinda weird, but he always pays his half of the rent. And he gave me this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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