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Barberry Bush – Attraction Or Nuisance

Barberry BushBarberry bushes are very popular with landscapers for being incorporated into many of their landscape projects.

Apparently the Barberry shrub was first introduced to the US landscaping in the 1800’s, and it still remains very popular today.

Due to its thorny branches, it was used by many as a living fence, or planted in front of home windows, as a deterrent for burglars.

They do add contrast to the color scheme in a landscape, due to their deep red foliage, however, their thorns are very annoying, and merciless.

Thorns on Barberry Bushes

I have pricked myself so many times with their needle sharp thorns, at trimming time, or whenever I was working around that area, which finally prompted me to dig them up, and replace them with something more manageable, and thorn free.

Also, I could not bear to think that someday one of my grandchildren might get one of these thorns stuck in their finger, and knowing how painful these are, and how difficult to remove, I could not deal with this any longer.

It was time again to trim my shrubs, thus perfect time to finally remove these thorny bushes, once and for all.

It was a labor intense job, since there were six of them to work with, and those thorns still managed to get through my very thick gloves.

I had numerous gardening tools laid out in my front yard to get this job done, since I was determined to use whatever it took, to complete this project successfully.

Shallow roots of Barbery Bushes

The operation was a success, and the Barberry bushes were gone.

Abelia Kaleidoscope shrubAbelia Kaleidoscope flowers







A week later, I finally decided on a replacement, to fill in the empty spots in my landscaping.

I selected, the above pictured ( innocent looking), Abelia Kaleidoscope bush, which also flowers, with pretty white flowers, during late summer and early fall.

new shrubs - Abelia Kaleidoscope

I am very pleased with my selection, and needless to say, I was pricked, one last time, by some small thorny branches mixed in with the landscaping stones (I am so glad I got rid of these annoying bushes).

Lilyturf (variegata) plantLilyturf (variegata) flowers








As I mentioned above, I removed 6 of the Barberry shrubs, and replaced 4 of them withe the Abelia Kaleidoscope bushes in the main shrub landscaping, but the other side needed something less bushy.

For this side of my landscaping I selected 3 very nice ornamental grasses, Lily Turf (variegata), shown above, which also blooms late summer and early fall, with dainty purple flowers, studded on a long stalk.

Lily Turf

I will love these next year at trimming time.

Do you have Barberry bushes in your landscaping?

Please share your experience with Barberry bushes.

We all would love to hear your story.

4 thoughts on “Barberry Bush – Attraction Or Nuisance”

  1. Diana says:

    That must have been some job to get rid of all those thorny bushes…and the right choice too esp for the kids. We have some of those lily turfs in our yard…they are a really nice surprise when they bloom.

    I hope you are having a great day! 🙂

  2. Suburban Grandma says:

    It sure was. Every time I pick a large project like this, I am trying to tell myself how much exercise I am getting by doing it….to make myself feel better. Kind of crazy, eh? Oh well, whatever works.
    I am looking forward to next spring, to watch them all bloom.
    Thank you for sharing your comments.

  3. Molly says:

    I don’t have any yet, but I want to put some in. This page is a great inspiration and lots of great ideas! Thanks for posting.

  4. Suburban Grandma says:

    The bush looks very attractive, but the thorns are too much for me to deal with.

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