Berries, Rose Hips and What are Those Called?

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I’ve encountered some bits of red in the landscape recently. Red as in what is currently on plants around town at this time of the year.

My personal favourite were these pretty holly plants, arranged in a row alongside a warehouse alleyway. I found them first before the snow, and was quite taken by the way whomever planted them also painted some of the stones at their bases. Most interesting was that someone would go to such effort, in a spot that would really not be seen by many people. I love that they did it for the sake of beauty, and not because they expected it to be seen by loads of people.

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Last summer I was keen to have holly with red berries in my garden for the winter, but upon looking up this plant I realized that it was not a simple as merely putting a plant in the ground. Apparently holly will only grow berries if it is a female plant, and then only if it has a male plant in close proximity. Interesting tidbit … but a bit too challenging of a gardening endeavor for me!

So that means this row of plants is all female, and without a male plant nearby, will not produce berries next year. Do you think I should knock on their door and tell them that? Probably not, but I do feel like knocking to tell them how nice their plants are though.

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Here are some more berries, from a plant that grows as a weed in these parts. It’s quite pretty, with cute tiny purple and yellow flowers in the summer (that I showed a picture of here). And red berries in the fall and winter. I have been encouraging their growth in my garden, not knowing exactly what they were. A little research has told me that these are ‘Bittersweet Nightshade’ and are slightly toxic. They are not to be confused with ‘Deadly Nightshade’, also known as ‘Atropa Belladonna’.

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They’re in the same family as tomatoes and peppers, and come to think of it, the tiny flowers are very much like the blooms on tomato and pepper plants. But of course, those are not toxic. I wish that it was the later plants that grew wild and not its inedible cousin.

These next pictures of rose hips was taken in my garden. I knew these were called rose hips because I was curious to know what Rose Hip Tea was and looked it up. It is a tea made with the fruit of roses. Go figure.

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Nick told me that in the fall he once saw a Portuguese grandmother with her grand-baby in a stroller that was pulled up on our path. The woman was picking the rose hips, breaking them open, and then feeding them to the child, who seemed quite happy to eat them.

This final plant flashing red, is a flowering tree, and these are it’s ‘Pomes’. That I did not know and had to search out.

This particular tree is perched on the very edge of a major construction site, so I hope it survives the changes going on in its midst. I’ll be watching out for that lonely tree.

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So thanks for taking a gander at my berries, rose hips and pomes. My goodness, that almost sounds obscene.

Here’s wishing you a berry happy Wednesday,
xo loulou

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