Flax & Berberis - a Cautionary Tale

Once upon a time, when the Jelly Bean Border was young, a little red flax sat proudly at the corner of the fence underneath the Liquidamber tree. Its best friend was a self-seeded Berberis shrub.

 Small red flaxes are a repeating motif in the Moosey garden symphony.
red flax and berberis 1999

But then the bossy Berberis grew, and grew, and forgot about its little friend. Each year it spread its thorny branches out, until the poor little flax was completely squashed. Some say this happened because the gardener didn't prune her shrubs properly!

 The top flax is a big bronze hybrid.
red flax and berberis 2003

And so the poor little flax struggled underneath, but there just wasn't enough light. After about five years the gardener pulled it out and put what was left in a pot. And even then she never bothered to prune the bossy Berberis. Shame!

The Moral of the Story?

Choose your friends (and your gardeners) wisely!