‘You will get the berries’: Garden expert shares tip to buying holly shrubs with berries

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Gardens can often look a little tired and unloved in the winter months, especially when there’s a lack of colour outside. However, with good planning and a careful choice of plants, gardeners can have beautiful, brightly coloured foliage from now until the spring. One of the best ways to add colour to gardens at this time of year is buy planting evergreen shrubs, according to Managing Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries, Morris Hankinson.

Morris told Express.co.uk that evergreen shrubs keep on giving colour and height all year round.

They also managed to look “immaculate” during every season too.

Morris recommended trying evergreen shrubs with colourful berries such as Pyracantha or the Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo “Compacta”.

Another suggestion from Morris was to plant some holly which is both festive and bursting with colour at this time of year.

Morris said caring for holly is fairy simple as it needs little maintenance and is slow-growing.

He said: “Holly is not very fast-growing.

“They don’t really need a lot of maintenance.

“If you want to give it a trim, you can. After the berries have gone in spring would be a good time before it starts growing.

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“You can plant them as a hedge as well – it makes a beautiful hedge.

“I went to the Queen’s house at Sandringham a couple of years ago and she’s got a long run of holly hedging along one side of her garden.”

However, Morris warned that if it’s berries you want from your holly, you need to choose a specific variety.

He added: “The only thing I would say is if you want berries, you need to choose a female variety.

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“It should say on the label.

“You will need a male holly nearby. They’re wind pollinated so it doesn’t need to be right next to it.

“You need a male holly in your garden or in a neighbours’ garden, not too far, to pollinate and then you will get the berries.

“If you just like the leaves, because they can look really pretty, buy a male one.”

Holly is commonly used in flower-arranging and in wreaths during the festive period.

Morris said gardeners can use their own holly to do this but it’s worth bearing in mind that due to how slowly they grow, you may want to give it a few years’ head start.

He added: “Once they get their feet down and they’re established, if you start chopping bits off them, you might find they respond by growing a bit more quickly to replace it.

“It’s just a bit of a slow-burner. You’ve got to play the long game.”

Hopes Grove Nurseries was established 27 years ago and grows approximately one million hedge plants in 50 acres of land in Tenterden, Kent.

The nurseries also regularly supply plants for the ITV show Love Your Garden.

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