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Home-grown pears are far superior in flavour to anything you can buy in the shops. What's more, a much greater variety of cultivars is available if you grow your own.
Pear trees are easy to grow and are available grafted on to a range of rootstocks, making them perfect for growing in any size of garden – some can even be grown in containers. There are plenty of cultivars to choose from, which typically fall into two categories: dessert (for eating) and cooking.
If you're looking for a superb tree covered in a mass of silver-grey leaves, Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' is one of the best. It makes a great congested mound of arching, downward-pointing growth, with a fluttering of leaves like those of an olive tree, and comes alive in spring when it erupts in creamy white flowers. This is followed by a small crop of 3cm-long, completely inedible pears. 'Pendula' is ideal for small gardens, being half the height of its species parent. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.
Plant type: Fruit
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Green
Feature: Flowers, Fruit
Sun exposure: Full sun/Partial shade
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant: October to March
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