This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Have a berry-tastic Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving America!
Autumn is a Berry Spectacular time of year...everywhere there is still beautiful colour. I love walking in parks and forests and I'm loving all the berries on show.

Left: Cotoneaster Shrub - the berries and the changing leaf colour are fab!
Cotoneaster earns its place in the garden this time of year, adding a little pizazz to evergreen areas.
Above & below: Pyracantha (Firethorn) has heavy clusters of yellow berries in autumn and evergreen foliage. Photographed at Belfast Botanical Gardens. 

Left: At first I thought these were red currants, however, I'm not sure what they are. Photographed at Belfast Botanic Gardens.
Right: This evergreen tree is in my garden... perhaps a 'shrub' turned 'tree' as its about 8 feet tall. It has very shiny leaves and lots of little berries. I tried numerous website searches to identify both these plants with no luck.

This little plant appeared in my garden this year. It's Hypericum St Johns Wort; I'm delighted with it. There are beautiful little yellow flowers in summer and then berries in Autumn that go from red to deep purple. It's also a good plant for flower arranging.
These 'marshmallow' berries where photographed in Belfast Botanical Park (they look like they need to be roasted on an open fire!); the proper name Snowberry or Symphoricarpos albus. Below is a picture of them used in a very creative flower arrangement
And finally, an interesting way to decorate with berries. I found this on a fab blog I came across by Enzie Shahmiri who has given me permission to use this photo. Flower arrangement designed by Stef Adriaenssens.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  1. Berry nice! (It had to be said).

  2. That's a lovely collection of berry photos. The Pyracantha also comes in orange and red varieties; my brother lives in a road called Firethorn Close. Guess what plants the builders planted in all the public spaces?? Actually Paul got rid of all his pyracantha just recently because he had had a couple of incidents with their "deadly" thorns. By the way, I think one of the plants with red berries (on the right) is an Ilex (Holly). They don't all have spiky leaves. Is the other red berry on a vine? If so, could it be one of the Nightshade family?

  3. What a really simple flower arrangement, but it looks so effective. Berries add so much colour to the garden at this time of year.

  4. What a fabulous blog post. I had never considered berries in this way - they are very beautiful!

  5. The berry photos are superb and the floral arrangement very striking. At Christmas, that same type arrangement with some of your red holly (yes, I think it is a holly of some variety with the shiny thick leaves) would be absolutely fab!

  6. Mark and Egretta, think you're right about the non-prickly holly tree (don't know why i didn't think of that). I have two trees in the garden that remind me of 'Cousin It' from the Adams Family, the holly and a weeping willow. I'll have to get photos at some stage that show their full 'Cousin It' look. Will look at using the holly for some decorating at the weekend, the branches are quite pretty.

    The firethorn looks lovely... and your right Mark it has a serious prickly bite if you stick you hand in!

    Thanks for everyone's comments. I really love flower arranging & enjoy something a little 'different'. I have a few friends who are really good at arranging and I would love to post some of their arrangements sometime in the future(hint hint).

  7. I love Berries too. They're so festive to look at for the holidays. I think they add texture to floral arrangements and beautiful colors. Thanks for sharing! Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

  8. Hi Kelli, I saw some holly here just like yours! I was amazed--the leaves are shaped like yours and smallish and it is full of berries. It is in the parking lot of a drug store as part of their landscaping. I wonder if they would let me just trim off a little bit that is really sticking out too far? It is a tall tree shape and not a bush. Also, I always heard that to have berries on a holly bush, there had to be a male and female tree fairly near each other. Does anyone know?

  9. The unidentified red berries are definitely a smooth leaved holly. And yes, you do need both a male and female tree within a bee's flight range of each other for pollination. It's only the females that carry berries, tho the names are confusing - 'Golden King', for example, is a female holly!

  10. wow these are really amazing pictures and beautiful fruits. I wish we had so many plants and trees in India. But in here we are flooded by concrete jungle.