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It’s about this time of year when we begin to see a new type of colour in our gardens as berries of all types begin to mature.
Berried branches add fresh new tone, texture and a touch of fall that’s needed, especially after this very dry summer. Not only do they enrich our colour schemes and provide natural feed for birds and other wildlife, they’re also becoming so popular as cuts.
More and more local growers are now producing berries for cut stems and our local flower auction is seeing quite an increase as they’re incorporated into fall and winter bouquets, making them simply ‘pop’.
One of the earliest to ripen is hypericum, and in our area the Magical series, h. inodorum, are some of the best varieties. Growing to only about one metre tall and wide, these deciduous Zone 6 shrubs are a great addition to any garden. These varieties are rust-resistant and have very few insect or disease problems.
They leaf out in mid-spring and early summer, then are covered in a massive number of tiny yellow flowers, which in late summer turn into beautifully coloured, but inedible, berries lasting well into late fall.
Once the decorative berries mature to their true colour they can be harvested as a cut stem. Early in the season before the leaves fall, its best to remove the foliage for a cleaner, more professional appearance when using them in your mixed bouquets.
There are several varieties of Magicals with similar shades of these inedible berries: h. Midnight Glow has deep crimson berries, h. Red Flame, a fire engine red, h. Triumph, which is almost neon
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Today we’re visiting with Rachel, a gardener and artist living in Elgin, Illinois (Zone 5b). She moved in 2022 to 1.5 acres and is in the process of designing and planting a fabulous front garden. She’s also diving into forest restoration for the back half-acre—making it beautiful for wildlife and her kiddos.
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