Berry Delicious.

At this time of year,  berries are are covering some of the shrubs and trees in the garden and becoming more and more obvious as they change colour. If only the birds would leave them until the cold weather of winter kills off the insects, then they would have plenty of food to see them through a cold spell. Unfortunately they are like children in a sweetie shop, hopping from one bush to another, trying them all.

Sloes, Blackthorn

Lots of sloes on the blackthorn at the top of the garden,  sloe gin anyone ?


I have never bought an Hypericum, but the birds are obviously dropping seeds in the garden as I’m always pulling them out.


In the front garden, the pyracantha is covered in berries. Last year we didn’t have any as I think I removed the branches when I was pruning back in the spring. We didn’t prune it this year so that we would have flowers and berries. The problem is, when do we prune it back so that we don’t lose the flowers and berries? I believe they flower on one year old wood, but I don’t want it getting any bigger.

Lonicera nitida

The purple berries on the little Lonicera nitida hedge will soon be eaten by the blackbirds. I had to search for them this year down into the hedge,  but I’m sure the blackbirds will find them easily.


A cotoneaster bush that was here before we were, is covered in berries this year, there is going to be plenty to eat , I think for my furry and feathered friends.

Rosa glauca

Lots of hips on Rosa glauca show how many flowers there were over the summer, I think I’m going to pinch one and try to grow some seedlings.


Another Pyracantha, this time with red berries forms part of the hedge by the field, this always has to be cut back as it is by a path to the compost bins and the shed, therefore it doesn’t really have many fruit or flowers.


Hawthorn berries are covering the shrub on the boundary between us and the new building next door. The hawthorn has put itself there, halfway up the bank, and I’m quite happy for it to stay there.


We have lots of blackberries, courtesy of the seeds left by the birds. 95% get pulled out, but when they are in the hedges by the field we leave them for the wildlife. I have to admit though that I have picked some, ready for making Apple and Blackberry crumbles as soon as we start picking the apples on the tree. I will leave plenty for the wildlife, don’t worry!

Sambucus Black Lace

Sambucus Black Lace is now producing lots of black berries. You can see that some have been eaten already, I wonder by who? The undergardener saw our little dormouse very near here, in the veggie garden, one morning when he was watering the veg, we’re so pleased that it is still around.

Arum italicum marmoratum

Another plant Arum italicum marmoratum, spread by the birds or maybe the slugs and snails, because they like to eat the berries too! We pull a lot out if they have plain leaves but leave the variegated ones, we still have plenty in shady areas.

Fuchsia Delta Sarah

Now who would like a Fuchsia berry pie?! I have read that they are edible but I’m not brave enough to try. Also, I never have enough berries at any one time to even think about it, thank goodness! These are the fruits on F. Delta Sarah.

Acer Osakazuki

Not a berry I know, but the winged seedlings on Acer Osakazuki are making the little tree look as though it is flowering. The leaves will be turning the same red/pink in about a months time. I sowed some seed a couple of years ago and now have two tiny trees that are doing quite well. I think I ought to sow some more,  seeing as we have so many seeds this year.


These are the flower buds on the ivy by the front gate, it will be Dec/Jan before they turn into black berries, which the birds then love as a late snack as they have eaten all the other berries in the garden. I keep this ivy here as the Holly Blue butterfly needs the ivy and the holly at different times of the year,  for laying its eggs.


I keep finding yew seedlings in various places in the garden, spread no doubt by the birds again, I do have a lot to thank them for! This autumn though, I will make a little yew hedge with some of them, free, courtesy of the birds!

Leycestaria formosa

This bush of  Leycestaria formosa was in my last post for GBBDay, but here you can see the burgundy berries that have formed above the flowers. These will be eaten by the birds and the seed dropped to form yet more shrubs, I already have a few so I’m afraid these get pulled out.

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Last of all is Cotoneaster horizontalis by the kitchen window. While washing the dishes we can watch the birds enjoying all the berries.

I think we have plenty of berries to keep our birds and little mammals happy during the winter, as long of course,  that they don’t eat them all too soon.  Will your wildlife find plenty of berries in your garden to keep them happy over the winter?

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24 Responses to Berry Delicious.

  1. Christina says:

    you must have the best supplied restaurant for all the wildlife that visits your garden in the area; something to suit all tastes! Plus you get to enjoy the beauty of all these colourful berries until they are eaten. Do you make sloe gin? My MIL makes some every year and we carefully carry it back here, amazingly all our friends here love it so this year she’s going to make some extra bottles so we can always offer some at the end of dinner.

    • Pauline says:

      We do seem to have a lot of berries this year Christina, but I’m sure they will all be eaten!
      No, I’m afraid I don’t make sloe gin as neither the undergardener or I like gin. Also with medication for my muscles, I’m not allowed any alcohol, so if anyone wants to make any, they know where to come!

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Enjoyed seeing all the variety of berries Pauline. Arum italicum is the only one of the things you’ve shown that I also grow and I think it is listed as invasive or at least on a watch list where I live. I’ve not seen it spread much in over 10 years, but as you mention, the birds are doing the spreading elsewhere.

    • Pauline says:

      The wild Arum is invasive here Susie, but gets pulled out whenever I see the plain leaves. The variegated leaves are a different matter though and are allowed to stay wherever the birds decide to drop the seed!

  3. Sally says:

    The wildlife must love your garden. How wonderful that you have so many different kinds of plants to feed them! Thanks so much for sharing. It really was a fun trip through your September garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Sally, glad you enjoyed it. We do seem to have rather a lot of berries at the moment, I didn’t realise how many berry producing plants I had until I wrote the post. All the birds and little mammals should be happy this winter!

  4. What a lovely variety of berries you have. I too have quite a few of them. I usually cut pyracantha at a couple of times in the year: I cut any non flowering stems when the flowers are out and then I cut again, if necessary, after the berries have been eaten. You really have to keep on top of it or it can get out of hand. However, not sure I got it right this year as there are lots of berries on the top of the bush, but not so many at the front.
    We have the hypericum seeding everywhere too, but usually in places where not much else grows so I am happy to leave it. I have never seen anything eating the berries though.
    The cotoneaster horizontalis is a wonderful shrub, isn’t it. The bees love the tiny inconsequential flowers and then the birds love the berries. It is great at covering walls too!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Annette for the tip about cutting back the Pyracantha, I obviously cut too many flower buds off last year as we had hardly any berries, which was a shame.
      You’re right about the Cotoneaster horizontalis, so versatile. It is covered with bees in the spring, even though the flowers are so tiny, all forming into berries quite early, super plant!

  5. wellywoman says:

    It certainly has been a fabulous year for berries. We were in Dorset last week and the hawthorns were dripping in berries. I’ve run out of space in the freezer, we’ve had so many raspberries. Your local wildlife must be so pleased to have all that fruit to eat. Have a lovely weekend.

  6. Angie says:

    Lots of berries Pauline and I’m sure the birds appreciate all the effort you go to grow them in your garden.
    Re the Fuchsia berries – I read a week or two ago that they were edible and used my SIL as a guinea pig as I wasn’t brave enough. She said they were sweet but nothing special. The flowers too are edible – she tried them too and said they had no taste! Apparently it’s difficult to tell the difference between the unripe/ripe ones as they are so similar. It’s pot luck choosing the right ones I think.

    • Pauline says:

      Angie, I’m so glad your SIL survived the eating of the Fuchsia berries, she is braver than me!
      I’m hoping that the birds will stay after they have stripped the bushes bare and eat all the nasties that are in the garden eg. slugs and snails! We always seem to have plenty of birds all year round, so I think it’s working.

  7. Alain says:

    What a wealth of berries! We have several of these but not such a great variety. We also have wild berries, including ‘choke cherries’ which are a staple for bears and raccoons (as you can see in the ‘visiting card’ they leave). There are also hundreds of wild apple trees and it is the only time of the year you have to make sure you make some noise when you go outside the house and garden – you don’t want to surprise a bear! If they hear you come they always run away.

    • Pauline says:

      Alain, I’m so glad the bears run away when they hear you, that is one animal that I’m glad we don’t have! When staying with my friend in Canada, she had racoons coming to the bird food hanging from her washing line. From the calling card left behind by the fox that comes regularly to the garden, I now know that it is him/her that has been stealing my sweetcorn!

  8. Chloris says:

    So many berries in your garden Pauline, it makes you realise that Autumn really is here. It is a good year for berries but the blackberries aren’ t nearly as good as last year. The raspberries go on and on though.
    Pyracantha looks wonderful when it is full of berries. It is a beast to prune though. The thorns are really vicious.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Chloris, the garden definitely has a look of autumn.
      There are no offers when I suggest the Pyracantha needs pruning, we all know what a beast it is, but I must do it next year, I don’t want it getting any taller or fatter!

  9. Helle says:

    A veritable feast for the birds in your garden. I have been planting bushes for the birds over the last couple of years, Euonymus, Rowan, Sloe, Common Snowberry and Guelder Rose, although the birds don’t seem to like the last one much. We also have elderberries which they love and a variety of dogwood which produces thousands of small fruit they also like. But what seems to attract them most, apart from the elderberries, are definitely the ivy berries, probably because there is not much else around in late winter. Glad to hear your dormouse is still around.

    • Pauline says:

      Helle, I think you too are catering for all the wildlife in your garden, you have a wonderful selection. I agree, by the time the ivy berries turn black, the birds have eaten everything else. My Rowan tree is only young, from seed deposited by a bird, it chose the right place for it, so it has stayed, but it is still too young to flower and fruit. I too was so pleased when my husband told me that he had seen the dormouse again, obviously the building next door hadn’t frightened it away, thank goodness.

  10. Helle says:

    Sorry, it’s me again, I forgot to write about the fuchsias. Mark Diacono of Oter Farm writes in his book A Taste of the Unexpected, that the best to eat are Fuchsia magellanica, Globosa, Riccartonii and Vielebacheis. And that they get ripe gradually, so to check them regularly and eat the few ones that are ripe. I have tried several of the berries recommended in his book, maybe it’s just me, but with most of the “weird” stuff I didn’t get much out of it. I don’t think I am going to try eating fuchsia berries.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you, how fascinating that Mark Diacono has tried Fuchsia berries! Also Helle, you have tried them and live to tell the tale!! With what you have said, I don’t think I’m tempted to try, I will leave them for the wildlife!

  11. Frank says:

    You really are berry-rich! What a nice selection and I think you’re right that the dormouse and friends will be well set for winter.
    Not that I blame you but I think I will go back and take a second look at the plant order I had opted out of. My garden is NOT berry rich and I think I need to start doing something about it!

    • Pauline says:

      Of course Frank, any trees or berries have flowers in the spring which are good for the bees. We are always being told to plant for the bees as they are having problems finding enough flowers in the countryside. I can certainly recommend having berry bearing shrubs, they certainly bring hundreds of visitors to the garden.

  12. I had to laugh at your comment that the birds are gorging themselves like kids rather than saving any for later! My berry count is better this year than last, thanks to the sorbus, but the hawthorn has already been stripped bare, and I’m sure the various cotoneasters will soon be naked too.

    • Pauline says:

      They seem like naughty children to me Janet, if only they would pace themselves! We still have lots of berries, but I noticed yesterday that the blackbird had found the purple berries on the Lonicera hedge under the kitchen window. They aren’t on the top where you would notice them, but deeper inside the hedge, they take some finding.

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