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Elleme's Garden

Myrtus communis

Genus: Myrtus.

Species: Myrtus communis.

It was already a large shrub planted by my kitchen door when I moved in, year 2000. Since then it's grown and grown - about 11ft probably now - and stupidly, the garden security light is right above it, meaning it doesn't switch on if you're behind the shrub. It's also blocking daylight from both the kitchen and living room at that height. The previous owner of the house didn't think things through in terms of the plant's position, but I guess it was slow growing for years.

I've done some fairly drastic renovation pruning on it this year, cutting back by 2/3 (should have been half really) to about 4ft high. It is putting on new leaves lower down so I'll have to cross my fingers that it does OK. I will do the rest next year if it's doing fine as it currently looks pretty odd half chopped back. I had to do something as it simply didn't fit the space at that size and it was either that or replace it.

The berries can be used to make the Sardinian liqueur 'Mirto' and the flowers attract bees.

Photos of this plant