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Ornamental and diverse, Hops are a useful and appropriate addition to your fruit growing area. Hops have a long tradition of being grown in this country and, it seems, their association with our delicious fruiting plant is becoming widely accepted and they make a useful variation of aesthetic appeal for covering walls, arches, pergola, a simple wooden tripod and indeed any climbing structure. They look very beautiful allowed to grow between trained fruit trees and blackberries, grape vines etc. Hops are very strong climbing vines which produce a wealth of lush twining stems from a woody rootstock fresh each year. The verdant green vine shaped leaves turn to glorious yellow tints but the main attribute as a climber are the fruiting bracts. These drooping amber coloured 'catkins' make up natural garlands of immense value for indoor decoration and outdoor functions. They are presently being sold from only 2 select mail order operations for £20 a box and apparently finding a very good market! The plant itself was long used in herbal medicine. You may prefer to brew your own fine ales, and the young shoots and leaves may be lightly boiled and eaten as a vegetable! They are happy in any reasonable soil and sun or part shade.