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Ligustrum vulgare - common privet


Privet has been widely used in Europe as hedging (Harry Potter, for example, lives on Privet Road). The shrub retains its narrow oval leaves far into the winter and they only fall in spring with the appearance of new foliage, so it is partially evergreen, which is useful in hedges. Privet also withstands repeated trimming.

About the middle of summer privet produces creamy sweet-scented flower clusters which in autumn produce black berries. With the onset of winter, the leaves take on purple tints and are attractive when encrusted with frost.

Common privet has long been grown in Finland but has remained rare. At Mustila, old specimens can be found by the road leading to Pohjoisrinne (Northern Slope), near the Siberian larches (Larix siberica). The snow depresses the branches, making the whole shrub look messy. The Asian relatives grow more neatly, but there is no long-term experience with them so far, and so no certainty about their hardiness.