The Old Rectory


Isle of Wight

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An occasional (depending on how busy I am gardening!) comment on beautiful plants or moments as they happen in our garden.

Berberis Georgei

By roses382, Oct 5 2017 07:44PM

Berberis are not generally one of my favourite things; far too prickly to weed under comfortably, and although I have a large specimen of Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea, it remains purely because it was a present from my daughter, and not because I like it much (sorry Eleanor, if you are reading this!).

But there is one Berberis that I love unconditionally, Berberis Georgei, despite it being thorny, with non-descript yellow flowers. Most of the year it sits on it's sunny bank, quietly waiting for it's moment of glory, which comes in autumn in the form of glistening red berries.

It is currently laden; it's spindly branches pendulous with the weight of all those berries, like little ruby beads, which last for ages as the birds don't seem to be bothered - too many other tempting things in the hedgerows at this time of year.

The matt green foliage is a perfect foil for the berries, which look as though they should be adorning a Christmas tree. It will eventually make a shrub up to 12ft, mine is about 4ft and I look forward to the time when it has achieved full glory.

For such a beautiful thing, it is not easy to find. RHS Plant finder currently only lists 2 suppliers nationwide.

Mine came from 'The Place for Plants' in Suffolk although I was on a waiting list for a year or so, it was worth waiting for. I will be trying some hardwood cuttings shortly, so I can use it in other places that need a bit of autumn cheer.

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