Winter Interest - Plant of the Week: Berry Heavy® Gold Ilex verticillata


Hello and happy Monday!

This week Jane writes about the winter interest plant, Berry Heavy® Gold Ilex verticillata. As you know, most people don't produce gardens and landscapes that have year-round interest by sheer luck...it's something that takes planning and nurturing.

When my family moved into our house about 12 years ago, we took all the grass out of the sloped front yard and replaced it with a huge perennial and flowering shrub garden. It's quite a beautiful sight all summer if I do say so myself...but I have always bemoaned the lack of winter interest in my yard.

But now I've seen the light! I've been wanting to remove some tall ornamental grasses that have gotten a little invasive over the past few years, and my plan for next summer is to replace them with a Berry Heavy® Gold and a Berry Poppins® Ilex (with a Mr. Poppins® close by!) and probably a couple Arctic Fire® Red Twig Dogwood as well. Yes, I know summer is a long way off, but you have to think warm thoughts, right?

What are your favorite winter-interest plants? What do you write about this time of year that seems to get gardeners the most excited about celebrating the season, or preparing for the next one?

Jane's plant of the week blog post is below, and I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading and we'll see you next week,

Natalie


May your days be merry and bright...


I'm pretty sure our Christmas will be white.

Berry Heavy® Gold
The lake effect snow machine kicked in last week, and we've had another several inches since Monday. So I'd say we're on track here for a Currier and Ives-like Christmas here in West Michigan.

That's why we need these bright berries in winter. Truthfully, if you've got good snow cover the red berries stand out a little more. But on gloomy, cold-winter-rain days a golden winterberry is, well, golden.



We selected Berry Heavy® Gold Ilex verticillata for its big, bright golden fruit. It's a stunning choice for landscapes and cutting gardens. Berry Heavy® Gold grows 6-8' tall and wide and is hardy to USDA Zone 3. It will grow in full sun or partial shade.

Like other Ilex, it will need a male pollinator to produce fruit; we recommend Mr. Poppins®.



This cold-hardy native plant will grow fairly far south (USDA Zone 9) so even folks who have sleet instead of pretty snow can grow it.

It will grow in most situations as long as the soil isn't alkaline. Wet soils? It loves them. Clay soils? Those are OK, too. Winterberry will tolerate the air pollution of urban locations, and can shore up the stream banks in more rural settings. How wonderful is that?

The only limitation of winterberry is that it doesn't look like much until fall and winter, which makes it a tough sell to the spring impulse shopper. So let's do the world a favor and get the word out about this awesome species.

Here's a 30 second video that you can share with your fans if you want to share a little more inspiration.

Plant of the Week is written by Jane Beggs-Joles


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