Posted: 28/11/2011 at 18:42
Reply to Minty: Yes, I moved to my house here in Peterborough a year before launching Gardeners' World Magazine, which will be celebrating its 20th Birthday with a bumper March issue full of surprises!
I prune Sambucus niger very hard down to about 1m every February/March, and it develops stems at least 2m long each year. My variety is the attractive 'Black Beauty', and although I don't grow anything through it I'd recommend planting a vigourous Clematis viticella close to the base, and training stems up through it each year.
I do have a Clematis viticella 'Pagoda' growing alongside a holly, and it provides a lovely partner to it, flowering through late summer and well into autumn.