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Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Winter Gardens

When our flowers have faded and the leaves have fallen, its time for the workhorses of the garden to start performing. These include the evergreens, the conifers, and the plants with other points of interest, including attractive bark and sparkling, colourful berries. In this blog post, we'll show case some of the best plants with attractive berries for your fall and winter garden.

As we've also focused on Holly this month, we won't discuss those plants in this article even though they offer fantastic winter interest with their colourful evergreen foliage and their colourful red berries.

Gaultheria procumbens - Wintergreen

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen is a colourful, low growing groundcover shrub with bright red berries that appear in the late fall and winter. Gaultheria procumbens is an excellent groundcover for acidic soils. It produces a dense mat of glossy dark green leaves that brighten with a redish hue in the fall. White to Pale Pink flowers appear in June followed by bright red berries. While we would advise eating them, the berries have a distinct peppermint, wintergreen-fresh taste, but are rather pithy and inedible. Foliage is evergreen and retains its colour year round. It is best grown in part sun to part shade in semi-moist, but well drained soils. Mature plants will usually grow to 12 inches tall and up to 36 inches across.

Female Japanese Skimmia

Female Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica Female

Skimmia are a classic evergreen shrub for fall and winter interest. Glossy green foliage is accented by white blooms in the spring and on female plants, red, holly-like berries appear in autumn and winter. Skimmia come in female and male varieties. The females will produce the berry as long as at least one male skimmia is planted in the area. It is a great plant for full to part sun and is an excellent plant for the seaside. Water regularly as needed. Grows up to 2-5ft wide and 3-6ft across. Hardy in zones 7-9.

Callicarpa Profusion, Beauty Berry

Profusion Beauty Berry

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

Beauty Berry is a superb deciduous shrub valued for display of abundant clusters of long lasting violet berries along branches in fall. Berries are attractive to birds and can really add interest to an otherwise bare garden. New leaf growth has exciting bronze tinge. Small purplish pink flowers appear in summer amongst the large green leaves. Prune in late winter to early spring to encourage new growth. Ideal for use as a specimen, in a border or as a mass planting. Moderate growing to 6-8ft tall and wide. Best when planted in full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8.

Brandywine Viburnum

Brandywine Viburnum

Viburnum nudum 'Bulk' / Witherod Viburnum

Brandywine Viburnum is a relative newcomer and provides a truly spectacular display of fall colour. Abundant green berries transform to vivid pink and blue, contrasting with the wine-coloured fall foliage. Deer resistant. Is an excellent addition to mixed borders. This viburnum prefers moist, but well drained soil. Prune after flowering if needed. Grows 5-6ft tall and wide at maturity. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

Scarlet Pearl Snowberry

Scarlet Pearl Snowberry

Symphoricarpos 'Scarlet Pearl'

This delightful pseudo-native plant features light pink blooms in summer followed by a vigorous crop of large pink fruit beginning in fall, becoming especially showy on otherwise bare branches in winter. Plant where berries can be enjoyed from the indoors. Cut fruiting stems can last up to 2 weeks in floral arrangements. Scarlet Pearl is a perfect plant for spicing up northern native plant landscapes and wild garden woodlands. Deciduous. Prefers to be planted in full to part sun in moist soils. Grows up to 4ft tall and wide and hardy in USDA zones 3-7.

As always, please call ahead, 604.882.1201, to confirm availability if you are making a special trip for one of these plants. Our selection is always changing and availability may be limited on some varieties.

Parneys Cotoneaster

Parney's Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster lacteus

This large evergreen shrub produces attractive balls of white flowers followed by showy red berries. It's an excellent plant the back of a border or in a garden setting. Leaves are large and dark green in colour. can be pruned as needed. Prefers to be planted in full sun and any moist, but well drained soils. Grows 6-12ft high and equally as wide. Hardy to zone 6.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Winter Gardens

There is just something about plants with bright beautiful berries in the fall that I absolutely love! Perhaps it is their optimistic splash of colour a beacon though the drab of winter. Here are my top picks to brighten your season:

winter green

Winter Green

Gaultheria procumbens

I am in love with this evergreen groundcover. It is beautiful actually at any time of year with little white bell flowers in the spring and often summer, followed by red berries which look lovely for a very long time. When you crush the leaves and berries it gives off that unmistakeable fragrance of wintergreen! It is a very low grower forming a little mound about 4-5 inches in height and about 6 inches wide…eventually spreading in width, but very, very slowly. It prefers a shady or dappled shade spot in acid soil. It is a great plant to add colour and interest to a planter. In the winter and fall it can be in a full sun spot and you can just pull it out of your planter and plunk it in a nice loamy spot in the spring!

lingon berry

LingonBerry

Vaccinium vitis-ideae

Another lovely that I have in a pot by the front door. It is a far better smelling alternative to the little boxwood I had earlier. I was actually blaming my old cat when upon closer inspection I determined it was the boxwood flower itself producing that nasty cat pee fragrance. Lingonberry is a glossy low growing evergreen that produces red edible berries high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Very similar to cranberry in health benefits. It can grow in part or mostly shade but will produce few berries. In a sunny spot not only is it tasty, but it is very pretty and so it graces my front step. It is a tough little plant, hardy to zone 3. Acidic, loamy soil is best for this charmer. Depending on the variety it grows between 4 and 16 inches in height, slowly spreading (though faster than wintergreen) through underground stems.

willow leaved cotoneaster

Willow Leaved Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster salicifolius

This is an attractive understory or sprawler of a plant which is very under or improperly utilized. I have seen this poor plant pruned to a square believe it or not. Allowed to maintain its natural form, it has graceful arching branches to about 15 feet by 15 feet with slender quilted deep green leaves which turn a rich burgundy in winter and remain on the shrub/tree. The clusters of bright red berries are highly decorative and are sought after by florists. Hardy to zone 6.

Gray Leaved Cotoneaster

Gray Leaved Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster glaucophyllus

The silvery gray green tiny leaves and the copious red berries all along the branchlets make for a really eyecatching shrub. A stunning companion to back the large glossy burgundy leaves of bergenia for starters. This evergreen shrub cotoneaster can tolerate a wide range of soils but grows best in well drained moderately humic soil in a sunny spot. It can grow to 3 feet high by about 5-6 feet wide if left to its own devices. It also looks lovely as cut branches against some deep green conifers in a pot. The tiny white flowers in spring are loved by honey bees. Hardy to zone 7.

Beauty Berry Shrub

Beauty Berry

Callicarpa bodieneri

Oh, you knew it would be on my list…had to keep you wondering for a few though. This has been one of the best years for berries on my plant. Callicarpa produces stunning metallic purple clusters of berries in fall. These berries will last into January when Mother Nature is obliging. I also use them as cut stems in my planters and table decorations. Outside in the planters they last about 2-3 weeks. Inside, much less. These shrubs also have lovely clusters of fuzzy purple flowers in summer that smell like Hawaiian lei’s. Mmmmmm. The Fall colour is yellow and they grow to about 8 feet by about 4-5 feet wide and prefer a sunny spot in well drained humic soil. Hardy to zone 5.

Deciduous Holly

Deciduous Holly

Ilex verticillata

A gorgeous deciduous holly without the spikey leaves! In the summer a lovely background shrub with fresh green leaves and small white flowers. After the leaves turn golden and drop in the fall the magic is revealed. Bright scarlet red berries or sunny gold berries depending on the variety all along the stem. These branches always find their way front and center in my pots. I do love the evergreen holly but these are an elegant cut centrepiece! A well drained soil in sun to part shade (the more sun, the more berries). Can grow to 15 feet by 15 feet, though with the winter trimming I do for my planters and displays, mine is much less. Hardy to zone 3.

snowberry

Snowberry

Symphoricarpos 'Charming Fantasy'

While wandering the nursery I chanced upon the lovely and delicate Snowberry. I do love their clusters of white berries bourne on slender branchlets…but what did I spy a few spots over??? A snowberry with clusters of baby girl pink berries. I am so going to use these in a display!! This small naturalizing deciduous shrub grows to about 4 feet in height and about 5-6 wide if allowed room. Trim in the winter after the berries have started to fade. Snowberry prefers a sunny to part shade position in average humic soil. Keep away from small children though, berries are poisonous.

japanese skimmia

Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica

This is a lovely evergreen shrub for a shady position. Not only does it bloom in clusters of white and pinky white flowers with an AMAZING fragrance but the female shrubs produce bright red berries in clusters when there is a male in the area. Mmm hmmm. Hanky panky! In the garden this is a GOOD thing!! Skimma prefer well drained humic and slightly acidic soil in a shade to afternoon shade position. A stunning companion to ghost ferns and hardy cyclamen and a great pain free substitute for holly in arrangements. Depending on varieties, Skimmia can grow to about 3-4 feet by about 3-4 feet. Hard to believe there are some varieties that can grow to about 40 feet in their native Japan. Hardy to zone 7.

pyracantha

Mohave Firethorn

Pyracantha 'Mohave'

This tough customer is a reliable producer of huge clusters of bright orange, gold or orange red berries depending on the variety. Evergreen, spikey shrub can be grown against a wall or as a stand alone shrub in full hot sun in average well drained soil. The white flowers in spring are prolific, scented and a favorite of honey bees. The berries last well into winter and are also food for birds. This shrub can grow to 8-10 feet by about 8 feet if space is available, however it can be trimmed much smaller.

honey maid holly

Honey Maid Holly

ilex x 'Honey Maid'

This slow growing variegated evergreen holly is a lovely small addition to the garden. The glossy blue green leaves are delicately edged with cream. The bright red berries are a lovely contrast. This evergreen shrub prefers full sun to part shade with moist, well draining, humic soil. The cream edging will draw the eye so if a focal point is needed in the garden this shrub would really pop against a deep green conifer like a Yew.

As Always, please call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.

Enjoy, take care and happy gardening!

Laurelle

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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

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