Six On Saturday 05-10-19 ‘Berries’

It has been a pleasant start to October although it has been undeniably cooler at night.  A fresh easterly wind brought with it the first noticable ground frost of the year. With a couple more frosts the last few half-hardy annuals will soon give up the ghost. There are other decorations starting to appear just now though, the berries have arrived on a plate just as the birds were starting to get a little peckish into the back end of the year.

Six on Saturday is a weekly garden diary from all over the world. Have a look at some of  the other beautiful pictures over at the propagator blog.

1) Viburnum opulus

The flowers on this viburnum, which grows in a large wooden barrel, are rather nondescript and for much of the year it is simply a perch for birds on their way to the bird feeder. At this time of year however, there is a beautiful change to the colour of the foliage with the addition of a good number of iridescent berries that look as shiny as glazed cherries.


2) Sorbus cashmiriana

I love this small rowan which grows in the front garden, a non-imposing fit for a relatively small space. The berries are not entirely white (which I have seen on other specimens and on the closely related sorbus hupahensis) but have a faint pinkish tinge like a gobstopper that has been chewed for a while! Perhaps because of this analogy, the birds are content to leave them completely alone all winter. The last one drops just before the start of spring so it is also acts as a sort of ‘count down’ tree.


3) Malus Toringo ‘Aros’

I am still undecided about this recent acquisition – a dark leaved crab apple. If a child were drawing a picture of a tree they might choose burgundy for the bark, the might possibly even choose burgundy for the leaves, but surely they wouldn’t then choose burgundy for the berries too!? I am hoping that the rather monochrome appearance might come into its own when contrasted with some brighter, possibly lime-green foliage grown as undercover.


4) Malus ‘evereste’


Another crab apple, and a more traditional combination of green leaves and red fruit (although they haven’t yet turned completely red). I think I may have deliberately chosen a specimen on dwarf rootstock so as not to overshadow a shady border at the back of the house. Either that or it is just a slow grower in these conditions. Again the birds seem a little indifferent to the fruit which adds to their longevity.

5) Cotoneaster

There can be few shrubs in the garden that offer as much value for wildlife per square foot as this cotoneaster. The flowers are an absolute haven for insect life, the berries are enjoyed by the birds and it casts a nice arching shade over the edge of the pond which forms a shelter, a perch and access for a bird bath. Last year I even found a hedgehog hibernating underneath it.


6) Holly

There are two enormous holly trees that grow at either end of the from of the garden. They were never planted in the garden and grow wild on its fringes. I have thinned the lower branches to raise the canopy and allow passers by to walk underneath. From now until January they will be covered in berries and it doesn’t take much imagination to picture them in the not too distant future, shining all the brighter in the darkness of December with a faint dusting of snow on them.


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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Lora Hughes says:

    That viburnum is stunning, as is the photo of the cotoneaster. I’ve never seen a rowan w/white (pink) berries before & I can’t picture the larger effect it would have. An image search only provides photos focused on the berry rather than the whole tree. Do you like the effect? Your photo of #3 is really lovely, not showing it as monotonous at all, so maybe the same thing of not seeing the whole tree. Let us know what you decide about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      Yes I do like the effect of the paler berries on the sorbus. It seems especially fitting in winter when they hang like little snowdrops. It has some dainty flowers in spring too, although some people seem to think the scent of its blossom reminds them of dog food! Personally I don’t think it is the most alluring smell but not unpleasant either. Something of an acquired taste it would seem!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic collection of berries. I bet the birds love them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      Thanks, it’s funny there are some berries that the birds will devour and others that they will completely ignore even when other food is scarce.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A great idea to focus on berries and I am rather taken with the Sorbus, although like Lora would be interested to see the whole tree. Thanks for sharing such a wide variety of berries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith says:

      Thanks Katherine, will post another pic of the sorbus in context and the burgundy crab apple when I have decided where to fit it in!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cavershamjj says:

    I like your maluses (sp?). I would like one or two but not sure I have the space now. Will have to see how my newish small trees get on.


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