There are some shrubs that seem to do nothing and have absolutely no redeeming values to them. One such beastie in my view is the elaeagnus. It is coarse and grows like a weed. I am told it has admirable berries in fall and winter, but thus far I have not seen them. The one at Barrington encircles a tree and I think it was purposely put there when the shrub was popular in the Victorian era. Victorians liked some strange things and elaeagnus might well have suited them. As far as I was concerned it earned the informal name ‘Ugly Agnus”.
So imagine my surprise on finding a new smell in the garden. It was a strong and sweet smell and not from honeysuckle so I had to hunt around to find it. There in the overgrown hedgerow was an elaeagnus with white fragrant flowers!!! I was stunned. Nowhere had I heard that it bloomed in fall, and was heavily scented. So I looked it up in Dirr (Manual of Woody Plants) and online, and I am fairly convinced that this is what I have. Dull green leaves on top, silver underneath and little white flowers.
So yes, it is coarse, but sometimes a shrub will surprise you!