Fruit border

Posted on: 08 June 2015 by Gareth Hargreaves

A tried and tested planting recipe showing the effects you can create using seasonal and evergreen trees and shrubs.

fruit borders

Beautiful and edible, this mix of plants against a sunny wall combines a row of pear tree cordons (Pyrus) with colourful flowers and a low evergreen box hedge (Buxus).

Flowering beneath the trees, perovskias are a good alternative to lavender with their generous sprays of purple flowers held high on white stems, and anthemis carpets the soil with its large white, nodding daisy flowers with golden centres. The silver, finely cut foliage of anthemis has a fruity scent and turns green in winter. The pear trees give spring blossom and late winter fruit.

Border Basics

Size 1.5 x 5m (5 x 15ft)

Suits Narrow borders along boundaries

Soil Neutral, well-drained

Site Full sun

Buxus sempervirens


Shopping List

  • 20 x Buxus sempervirens
  • 3 x Perovskia 'Blue Spire'
  • 9 x Anthemis punctata subsp. cupaniana
  • 6 x Pyrus communis or Malus domestica (as cordons)

Planting And Aftercare

Dig over the ground, remove all weeds, and rake it level.

Allow the soil to settle for a few weeks, then start by planting the pear tree cordons at the back. Choose a selection of varieties that flower at the same time for heavy yields of fruit.

Plant the box shrubs about 10cm (4in) back from the path and 30cm (12in) apart, and slot the flowering plants into the narrow space between the fruit cordons and the box hedge.

Cut back the anthemis after flowering, and the stems of the perovskias in early spring to within three or four buds of the older wood. Fruit cordons need pruning in late summer by cutting the new growth back to two buds. Trim box in early summer.

Pyrus comunis


Preferred Conditions

Pyrus Communis

  • Fully hardy
  • Well-drained/moist soil
  • Full sun

Buxus Sempervirens

  • Fully hardy
  • Well-drained/moist soil
  • Full sun/partial or dappled shade
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Anthemis Punctata Subsp. Cupaniana

  • Survives outside in mild regions or sheltered sites
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Perovskia 'Blue Spire'

  • Fully hardy
  • Well-drained soil
  • Full sun
  • RHS Award of Garden Merit

Alternative Plant Idea: Malus Domestica

  • Fully hardy
  • Well-drained/moist soil
  • Full sun

DK Royal Horticultural Society Shrubs and Small TreesThis extract is taken from DK Royal Horticultural Society Shrubs and Small Trees - simple steps to success, by Simon Akeroyd, which you can purchase at all good book shops or online from Amazon.

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