Just okay

Flowers of various beautyberries (Callicarpa, below) are pleasant upon close inspection, though not showy, but delightful bunches of purple or white berries follow in late summer to cover the the long stems. The shrub is unremarkable whenever it is not cloaked in berries, and in most years branches must be chopped back by a foot or more as soon as leaves arrive to reveal the extent of dead wood. This pruning does not limit the size of the vigorous beautyberries, that often must be pruned again before flowers are set.

In recent years, several seedlings of white beautyberries have grown ten feet or taller with the support of an Okame cherry behind the koi pond. At first, this was interesting, but I knew that someday they would need to go. So, early in spring I chopped my way through the undergrowth to cut these down to size. Now, I can’t see them through the cherry’s dense foliage, or through the vigorous yellow passionflower vine (Passiflora lutea, below) that climbs into the cherry and nearby hydrangeas and will need a bit of tidying up after flowering since it’s become a bit too rambunctious. I presume the beautyberries are still there and that they’ll require severe pruning every few years. This is not a problem with beautyberries in other parts of the garden.

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