Berries for the birds

It’s at this time of year that we realise the garden here at Genus HQ, whilst still retaining colour in the flower borders, is lacking colour elsewhere, particularly in the form of berries.  Berries are always attractive to look at and are also appealing to the resident bird population.

Our  large whitebeam offers a good supply and a Viburnum opulus in the same bed produces a good crop too.  What we want to do is increase the range of what we grow, both for the eye and for the birds.  Pyracantha immediately comes to mind and after recently spotting a stunning 15 metre long hedge of it locally  in red and orange, it’s on our list of favourites.

Any of the cotoneaster species would be welcome with their red berries and numerous tiny flowers which are a huge draw to bees early on in the year.  The amazing Callicarpa ‘Proffusion’ has always caught our eye when we’ve spotted it in other gardens.  Native to Asia and Australia, the bunches of tightly packed glossy purple berries are incredibly eye catching and attractive to birds too.

Some roses offer excellent value with their flowers during the summer months followed by large interesting hips; Rosa ‘Geranium’ and Rosa moyesii have the classic bottle shaped hips while the ‘tough as old boots’ Rugosa’s have large bulbous hips that stand out well in the winter months.

We still haven’t made our minds up but when we do we’ll look forward to next year when we’ll be able to literally see the fruits of our labour.