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News & Tips

Plant of the Moment – October

By Coles Plant Centre | In Plant of the Moment | on October 1, 2017

Autumn is a wonderful time of year, full of harvests for us from our allotments and also from the hedges, trees and shrubs.

You will often find squirrels at this time of year with their mouths full of nuts and conkers, trying to find a place to bury them for winter food storage. The problem is they often forget where they’ve hidden them and we end up with Holly, Sycamore and Hazel trees growing in our borders and lawns!

You will also often see the birds especially Blackbirds and Robins, searching out the best crop of berries to eat including Rowan (Sorbus), Hawthorn (Crataegus), and Cotoneaster. You tend to find the softer berries go first e.g. Lonicera, Sarcococca and Blackthorn (though these are great for us for making Sloe Gin)! As for us, to enjoy in the garden, there are plenty of other plants that produce an array of coloured berries.

The most unusual is Callicarpa (Beauty berry) with its bright purple berries, Pyracantha and Ilex (depending on the variety) have red, orange or yellow berries, Viburnum davidii has metallic blue berries and Viburnum opulus have translucent red berries.

We have many favourites but a few include Ilex aquifolium (Native Holly) which has bright glossy red berries, though there are many other varieties of Hollies out there with either red, orange of yellow berries. Skimmia; an evergreen shrub with tiny red buds that open to white star like flowers followed by bright red berries in Autumn.


Although Malus sp. is not a true berry it's fair to say that the crab apples look like berried jewels or coloured lights hanging from the trees, the birds love them just as much as we do.

Don’t forget there is also Pernettyia with pink berries, Solanum venus with red/orange berries and Gaultherias – all of which are great in container displays throughout autumn and Winter.

There are also the berries that we eat; raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries (great to make into jelly to go with your festive dinners). All of these berries can be put in pies, crumbles jams or eaten on their own with cream!

Just remember in a garden, there are lots of choose from, some of which are edible to us, others that are toxic to us but the birds will quite happily munch their way through them from now until Spring next year. If you are unsure about any of them, please do not hesitate to ask.

Happy October gardening!

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