What makes an olive so good?

Guy takes a look at the large Olea europaea currently on our nursery. Contact Us about their availability or Book Your Visit and come and hunt for them…

On our nursery at the moment we have some fantastic examples of Olea europaea. We think they are an excellent evergreen option to set the foundations for a Mediterranean garden or a bolder garden design incorporating a greater fusion of plant types. These are all more than 150 years old. Wonderfully tactile, their gnarly trunks bring real character to your garden or courtyard as a featured tree. If you are as obsessed about them as much as we are and you have a larger site in mind, then you might want them as a grove.

Our Olives recently planted in Surrey – plenty of sunlight and protected by surrounding trees

Our olives of this size, and our smaller ones, can be transported very successfully due to the fact that they exist very happily with a relatively small rootball. If you are not going to plant them in the ground, this characteristic also makes them suitable for keeping in raised pots and planters – as long as they are irrigated correctly and have access to plenty of sunlight. They do require a certain amount of shelter away from cold winds but if they do get a bit of a nip from a late frost they recover quickly. The bigger they are the tougher they seem to be.

No location is impossible for us
Freddie our Planting Team Manager watering in a potted courtyard olive

Olives are invariably grown in Mediterranean climates throughout the world as fruit trees and therefore they always have their branches cut off to keep them low so the fruit can be reached. Will it ever produce ripe fruit in this country? It’ll certainly produce fruit but not for consumption or practical use. Despite this, its qualities as an ornamental need no reinforcing. Whether you want to leave them fluffy to catch the breeze or are looking for a more definition, there are all sorts of possibilities for Creative Maintenance. Olives make particularly beautiful topiary. Dense, shapely and very silvery.

Mature (150 years) with clipped head as a centre piece
Topiarised for definition – approx 4″

For further inspiration regarding a Mediterranean garden or design of bolder fusion take a look at our Garden Design, Planting By Us and Creative Maintenance pages here on our website. For all enquiries regarding our Garden Design, Planting, Creative Maintenance services please complete the form on our Garden Design Page or email design@architecturalplants.com