Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Fall Harvest Worth of Rose Hips, Berries & Fruit

The brilliant orange berries of a Burning Bush in the late day sun.

Flowers are perhaps my greatest passion, but I think that nuts, rose hips, fruit and berries can bring as much interest as flowers to the garden. 

I love, love tangy currant jam on warm buttered toast. 

In my Circle garden, I have patiently been waiting for both black and red currant bushes to mature. Next year I should have a bumper crop. 

Come spring, I will have dig deep to discover that well buried, inner domestic diva and make some homemade currant jam.

I have two Cotoneaster shrubs. Do you have any in your garden? Aren't the bright red berries terrific! (The oldest of my Cotoneasters suffered major damage last winter. This one shown is at a Edwards Gardens.)

I try to be vigilant and remove any spent roses, but the ones I miss form rose hips that I often use to add color to the evergreens that I arrange in containers at Christmas time.

I am not at all a plant snob. Even the blush of peach on the tiny cream colored berries of an oh-so-common euonymus has a delicate beauty I appreciate.

I have this Porcelain Vine in half shade on the fence to my Circle Garden. Turquoise, purple and maroon berries decorate this pretty variegated vine. 

This is the third year I've had it in the garden and it has behaved itself so far. 

This fall however, there is an abundance of berries for the first time. Though it is in an isolated central bed, it has occurred to me that I might have grounds to be worried about what will happen when all those bright colored berries drop to the ground! 

Last week, I looked it up online and notice that it is considered invasive. Yikes! Will the garden be overrun with Porcelain Vine?

What makes me kind of angry is that this is a vine readably available for purchase. Why, why, why do nurseries sell invasive plant varieties???

It is so pretty it will break my heart to rip it all out! What do you think? Should I ripe it out now before it gets a stronger foothold? 

Canada Yew

Another great red "berry". Actually the berry is considered a "false-fruit". This is on an old Yew in the vacant lot behind our home. The fruit kind of reminds me of olives. Can see the dark seed inside the translucent envelope of the fruit?

I have much yet to learn when it comes to evergreens and so I looked this one up online too. The Ministry of Ontario identifies it as a Canada Yew that is "prized by the Pharmaceutical industry" as the resource for important cancer fighting drugs. Ironically, it is highly toxic to humans if consumed. Interesting. You learn something new everyday!

Purple Beautyberry at Edwards Garden (Callicarpa dichotoma 'Early Amethyst' )

I am always on the lookout for new shrubs with berries to add to my garden. I saw this Beautyberry bush at Edwards Gardens and thought that the berries were such an outrageous color that they almost looked fake. It is so unusual, that I think I might want to invite a Beautybush to come home with me on my next nursery visit.

I looked and looked for a plant tag to identify these nuts/berries(?) on a tree that I also saw at Edwards Gardens. I have no idea what they are, but I loved their golden color. By chance, do you know the name of this tree?

Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Ironically, I have tried unsuccessfully for several years to get a "Snowberry" bush to overwinter without any luck. I think I might try the bush above instead, which has similar white berries. I spotted it in the local library's garden. I believe it is a Red Osier Dogwood.


  1. I love my Cotoneaster shrub. The contrast of the red berries with the shiny green leaves is classic! Your photo of the Porcelain Vine's berries is beautiful ~ what a colour!

  2. Jennifer, you have a ton of berry bushes. I wish I had more, the birds have pretty well cleaned out what I do have. I actually bought a bouquet of rose hips at a local organic store last week. They are beautiful.


  3. Dear Jennifer, I do agree that plants need to work hard to earn their gardening space and those which have interest beyond the flowers are stalwarts of the borders in my view. I am very fond of the Callicarpa and just love those purple berries.

  4. A lot of these fruits are such brilliant hues, they shine like rubies.

  5. Beautiful reminders of fall, Jennifer ... and oh how I love, love tangy currant jam on warm buttered toast!

  6. Your pictures of the beautiful fruit on the trees and shrubs is eye candy! They literally look good enough to eat! Such beautiful colors and everything is so full and lush. I am loving them all! Never had currant jam but I bet you can make it and it will be delish!

  7. What pretty berries. Yes, rip them out before they get invasive. The last thing you want are plants that you don't want everywhere!

  8. Highly toxic, is exactly what we want from chemotherapy drugs! Those porcelain berries are magnificent, three different colours on one plant. Why do nurseries sell invasive aliens? Well they start as - pretty I want one. Grows fast - I want one. And they end as - why didn't you tell me it was invasive?!

  9. Lovely Photos. I passed on the porcelain vine because I read it was invasive but seeing the beautiful colours I think I will reconsider..

  10. I don't have porcelain vine, but the berries are very cool which is why they were introduced I suppose. Are they invasive where you live? That's what I would consider. Sometimes, we find in Oklahoma certain things aren't invasive while in other states they are.

    Also, some things here like Eastern redcedar are very very invasive yet in North Carolina they are a valued tree. I would call your extension agent and ask them. They would know.

    Love your currants. What beautiful berries and splendid jam.~~Dee

  11. Hi Jennifer. You do have an assortment of berry producing shrubs. I think berries are so pretty in the fall and a winter landscape also. Your berry images are just gorgeous!

  12. Gorgeous, gorgeous pix! These are just as interesting, if not more, than pix of flowers. Check to see if porcelain berry is invasive in YOUR area. What's a nuisance in some areas is well behaved in others, especially if extreme weather, such as a long, cold winter, can keep them in check.

  13. It is wonderful to have such interesting comments and so much good advice with regards to my Porcelain Vine from all you good blogging friends. Thanks so much everyone!


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