All in a Name
Friday Mailbag

It's the Berries . . .

My garden is winding down for the season.  The leaves are turning color, and the flowers are on their last gasp. 

Now is the time for berries to shine!


This absolutely lovely plant is the beautyberry -- and the berries?  That's their actual, un-retouched color!  I cut the plant to the ground in the spring, and the foliage is all rather nondescript during the summer, but - oh, my! - does it ever SHINE in the fall!  One of my favorites.  (The squirrels and birds are big fans as well.)


These are the fruit/berries of my Washington Hawthorn tree.  They are lovely berries -- and such a treat for neighborhood squirrels and - one of my favorite birds - the cedar waxwing.  I didn't plant the Hawthorn; it was here when we purchased our house -- and I have a rather love/hate relationship with the tree.  I love the berries in fall.  But.  The tree has HUGE thorns (thus, the name), and early on, while doing some pruning, I impaled my thumb joint with one of the thorns.  (I nearly had to have surgery to correct the damage.  Thankfully, it healed without.)  I have since made my peace with the tree, and enjoy the berries (and accompanying wildlife) every fall.


A couple of years ago, I "rescued" this porcelain vine from a clearance table at Lowes.  I had no idea the berries were so beautiful!  This $1.00 plant gives me so much joy every fall -- the colors are glorious.  (And the birds love it, too!)


These are not berries . . . even though they kind of look like them.  These are seeds emerging from their seedpod on my star magnolia.  They're so exotic-looking -- and were such a surprise the first time I found them. 

The garden brings joy in every season.  In the fall?  It's the berries!





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Your garden has the most beautiful berries! I'm not familiar with any of them, but love them all, and I know the birds must also. I'm going to be checking the clearance table at Lowes much more carefully!


Wow. I had no clue about all these berried plants! We have a lovely Holly Bush in our front yard that is positively loaded with berries - I keep hoping that the birds will love these treats, but they seem to leave it alone.

Cheryl S.

Such pretty colors!

I remember that decades ago I saw a photo of beautyberry in a gardening book, and wanted to buy one - but couldn't find them anywhere. They weren't really listed as hardy in my area anyway. But just this year I saw one in a local nursery. Of course, now I have no place to put one. :-(

Oh, how I miss the Cedar Waxwings! I used to live at a higher elevation in the valley, and we had big pyracantha bushes. The berries would start to ferment and the Cedar Waxwings would come in big flocks, gobble them up and get drunk. It was very funny to watch! But now that I live at a lower elevation, I never see them.


It is the berries! I honestly have never seen berries this gorgeous! Thank you for posting these pictures!


Cedar Waxwings - love. And those berries are all fabulous. I don't think I have ANY plants that produce berries and clearly I will need to fix that.


Wow. Porclain vine... holy crap!!


I've only seen Cedar Waxwings a couple of times-once while eating the juniper berries on the bush outside my office and once, in a tree around the condo, eating crab apples. They're so lovely. I am amazed at the bright colors of your berries (gumball style!)!


:-) another gardening lesson - thank you! I knew about beautyberry and magnolia, but not the others. I love the colors on that hawthorne... wonder if I can find a specimen around here!

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