Posts Tagged ‘Plants to attract wildlife’

Feed the birds with autumn berries

0 Written by Lisa on 8th Oct 2013 in Plants

I like all the seasons, but autumn has to be my favourite. I particularly love the rich warm colours, especially on sunny days when the sun makes the autumn foliage glow.

It’s also a time when many trees and plants are fruiting and this provides valuable food for the birds right through autumn and often well into the winter months too.

Sorbus Joseph Rock Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Sorbus (Rowan) are great trees for small gardens and they produce an abundance of berries in autumn which last long after the leaves have fallen.  Berry colours range from pale pink to orange/red and often the foliage turns a rich fiery colour in autumn too.

Pyracantha angustofolia berries Flickr image by slynkycat

Pyracantha is a rather savage plant with long sharp thorns that cause havoc when you’re trying to prune it, but it looks fabulous trained against the wall of a house.  In autumn it produces hundreds of rich orange berries which last well into the winter months.

Malus Crittenden berries Flickr image by Kew Gardens

Malus (crab apple) are fabulous ornamental trees which have a great show of blossom in spring and often turn a rich colour in autumn.  Small cherry-like fruits are borne in autumn which not only provide a valuable source of food to wildlife, but also bring another dimension the autumn scene.

Hawthorne berries Flickr image by Mare Bowe

Hawthorne can be seen growing wild in our hedgerows and it’s also used in native hedging mixes. It flowers early in spring and then puts on a fabulous display with berries in autumn. Like Pyracantha it’s a thorny beast, but you’d be hard pushed to find a better plant to support the wildlife.

Cornus florida berries Flickr image by lindley ashline

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) is a large deciduous shrub or small tree which puts on a fabulous display of flowers and bracts in spring. The berries appear before the leaves fall but they too last well into winter.

Winterberry flickr image by HorsePunchKid

My final pick is Ilex verticillata (winterberry), a deciduous holly native to Northern America. It’s now used as an ornamental shrub in gardens because of the vibrant berries it produces in autumn an winter.

I’ve shared just a small selection of trees and shrubs with berries but I hope I’ve inspired you to plant something that will not only brighten up your garden at this time of year but also help the birds survive through the colder months.


Images: Lisa Cox, slynkycatKew Gardens, lindley ashline, Mare Bowe, HorsePunchKid

Buddleja – weed or valuable garden plant?

4 Written by Lisa on 14th Aug 2012 in Plants

Buddleja is one of those plants that divides opinion.  I have a Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’ in my garden and I love it because it brings height and colour to the corner next to the shed and it also attracts insects and butterflies to the garden. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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