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Berried treasure: Five shrubs you shouldn't be without

Bright and beautiful berries, five of the best for October

Berries are just one of the 'berry' best features of the time of year.  Don't miss the spectacle that these bring in autumn. They are not only a feast for the birds but for the eyes too. In fact, rather than lamenting the passing of warmer times we really do need to appreciate what's out there before the little beaks nick all the glorious sights of the season! Which are the very best berries to enjoy right now?   Cotoneaster horizontalis has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in the past because it is so good for wildlife and biodiversity. It's a great groundcover too, but can be a little invasive.

This year is proving to be a great one for berries.

Make sure you have some berry-bearing beauties in your own garden as the birds love to feast on natural fodder as well as food that you provide. You will enjoy the spectacle too. Here's a selection of some of the best berries of the season:


  • There are many different varieties and they have gorgeous red, orange, and even yellow berries. Some Cotoneaster will grow into small trees, whilst others such as Cotoneaster horizontalis, make a great groundcover. What they all have in common is berried treasure!
 Cotoneaster berries are vibrant and loved by birds.


  • This evergreen, neat shrub has become really popular in recent years because it has something for all seasons. The red berries in autumn are displayed perfectly against the backdrop of glossy, evergreen foliage.
Skimmia come in many different varieties and this well-behaved shrub can look amazing during several seasons during the year.


  • There are many different varieties and they can have berries in red, orange and yellow. The thorns on this shrub are a great protector so this is not only a visual spectacle and a feast for feathery friends, but a nesting habitat too.


  • This shrub isn’t called the beauty berry for nothing! Few sights can rival that of the bare-leafed twigs covered in clusters of violet, bead-like berries in autumn.
Callicarpa! Those purple berries are absolutely amazing in autumn

Euonymus europaeus.

  • A wonderful large, deciduous shrub which is known as the spindle because the wood was traditionally known for making spindles. The foliage turns scarlet in autumn and it produces the most amazing orange and pink winged fruit berries which remain after the leaves fall.
Euonymus europaeus is a beautiful shrub with year-round interest. The pink and orange berries in autumn are truly stunning.

End of British Summer Time is coming - but don't despair!

Looming up is the end of British Summer Time on 29 October. What? Surely summer ended weeks ago? But here in the south east we have been lucky enough to have enjoyed mild weather recently, which seems to have extended our expectations. Whatever the weather, however, we now must deal with the fact that there's a lot of darkness. For a few short days the mornings will feel lighter after the clocks fall back but the march into winter has well and truly begun. Want some advice? Accept and enjoy! There's a lot to be said for cosy evenings by the fireside (or radiator for those without some sort of fireplace).

Autumn colour should keep depression at bay!

Go outdoors, it's good for you!

But don't allow this part of the year to make the outdoors redundant. There's so much to be done and a multitude of pleasures to enjoy during those precious daylight hours that are available. And for a few more days or weeks, depending on the weather, remember to appreciate those beautiful trees and amazing berries that abound in late October.  
By Perfect Plants


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