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planting elderberry


 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: planting elderberry Reply with quote

Will elderberry grow in a bed where there is part shade/part sun
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tippben
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elderberry is a fast grower and suited to partial shade

Sambucus Nigra is a real beauty, with black foliage and lots of white/ pink flowers.

Cut back hard every few years
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would you want to grow this, curious
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage wrote:
Why would you want to grow this, curious
to quote garden shop
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Sambucus Nigra is a real beauty, with black foliage and lots of white/ pink flowers.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for clarity: Sambucus nigra is the species name of common European Elder. The "nigra" refers to the colour of the berries. S. nigra "Laciniata" has finely cut purplish foliage (remarkably like an Acer palmatum), and pink flowers. The flowers and fruit are still perfectly edible, and make pink elderflower cordial. It is a grafted form, so you do have to keep an eye out for green shoots growing from the base, and be careful to cut well above the graft point if coppicing it.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tippben wrote:
Just for clarity: Sambucus nigra is the species name of common European Elder. The "nigra" refers to the colour of the berries. S. nigra "Laciniata" has finely cut purplish foliage (remarkably like an Acer palmatum), and pink flowers. The flowers and fruit are still perfectly edible, and make pink elderflower cordial. It is a grafted form, so you do have to keep an eye out for green shoots growing from the base, and be careful to cut well above the graft point if coppicing it.


What's the best soil type for elderberries.
There are some growing around a very old derelict house near me.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly what they like. Disturbed ground.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an interesting one.

They say that, wherever you see Elderberry growing, that humans lived in that spot previously, even though there may be no visible remains of human habitation left.

On a similar vein, in a recent survey, patches of nettles were used to identify where Scottish crofters had lived before the Clearances. All other signs of their mud cottages had long since disappeared.

I wonder if both plants like nitrogen from human waste?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is fascinating, kindredspirit. I suppose when you think of thehuman/household waste, the manuring of vegetable patches,maybe keeping pigsby the cottage, and other animals being kept in/near a homestead during winter...the composition of soil near cottages must have slowly changed over the decades.
And as for the Scottish Clearances, there was a deliberate policy of obliterating every sign of human habitation, so that those evicted would never have anything to attempt to return to. It was a heartless policy.....and has left the Scottish countryside strangely empty...a depressing sight when you realise why.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elderberries have fantastic anti viral properties. You can make a syrup from the berries and it really zaps colds and flus.
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One bit of opinion I'd give: before you buy the Sambucus nigra, take a leaf, crush it and inhale the aroma. If you find this acceptable/bearable, go for it. If you find it otherwise, reconsider.

It's one of those aromas that I cannot quite describe: it's unpleasant (to me) but I can't but help re-smelling it when I'm at it. Half an hour later I'm still sniffing at my fingers. Maybe I'm wondering "has that aroma gone yet?".

I've made elderflower cordial from the flowers. Messy to make but it tastes so good and unique, musty. Smells good too, all good.
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baabamaal
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard two different versions of the "real reason" why there is the characteristic bad smell associated with the elder. In this part of the world, the story is that it is the tree that Judas killed himself on (unlikely considering the weakness of the branches etc) and therefore the tree is cursed. In Meditteranean countries, it is said that it was the tree that the baby Jesus's nappies were laid out on to dry!

I prefer the second version for some reason!!

The other interesting (to me at least) factoid about sambuca nigrus is that the name sambuca would be familiar to a lot of people as a strong alcoholic drink found in Italy that is flavoured with elderflowers. Although it is not known for sure, some speculate that is where the name comes from.

I am going to grow a few of them in my garden as I think it has great wildlife value and provides me with free canes for supporting plants as well as berries for (not bad) wine.
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