Sparkleberry And Winter Gold

november-22-2008-045-4The first winter spent in the newly remodeled house where we now reside was a time for studying what needed to be added to the landscape in the way of winter interest. december-4-2008-029-31Gardening magazine articles were poured over in order to find plants that would give a jolt of winter color. A page was added to the idea book that described a shrub native to our area that had incredible berries lasting into the spring before being devoured by ravenous cardinals. Ilex verticillata, winterberry holly was a must have. While visiting offspring Chickenpoet we went to a nursery that happened to have two nice specimens of a cultivar named I. ‘Sparkleberry’ and the male pollinator needed, I. ‘Apollo’. They were five gallon sized and cost more than I normally would spend, but were purchased and planted in 2002. dec-7-2003-4In 2003, I. ‘Wintergold’ was found at the nursery located on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. We traveled to Asheville often to watch offspring Brokenbeat play soccer while he attended the University of North Carolina-Asheville. We bought season passes to the Biltmore since we were there so often, mainly for the privelege of shopping for plant material at the wonderful nursery inside the gates. Not open to the public without paying the steep admission to the grounds which included the house tour, the passes were a luxury but we have several trees and shrubs that we have never seen elsewhere that were found there. After his graduation we dropped the passes, I miss going there, the prices for the plants were very reasonable. This photo taken December 7, 2003 shows the new addition full of berries even though small. We were hoping the pollinator Apollo would bloom at the right time to be able to work the magic to produce the berries on Winter Gold, and it does and it has. The junipers seen here have been removed as the hollies grew larger. Two more young winterberries, I. ‘Berry Heavy’, the last purchases made at Biltmore, have been added at the back and one more I. ‘Apollo’ was added, to give the older gentleman some help. Berry Heavy has not produced flowers again after being hit hard by the Easter killing frost of 2006. There were leaves this year so there is still hope. We hope too that Apollo can pollinate Berry Heavy, he is not the suggested companion for them. (The above photo shows 2003 as the period of the lambs ear lawn.)november-14-2008-2x-032-3The berries turn from green to red and gold while the leaves are still green.Β  The reddish foliage at the bottom of the above photo is Azalea ‘Girard’s Rose’.

Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Habit: Deciduous
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate
Site Requirements: Sun to partial shade; range of soil types (dry, wet) but prefers moist, organic soil
Texture: Medium
Form: Oval rounded; twiggy branches; multistemmed clump
Height: 6 to 15′; varies with cultivar
Width: 6 to 10′
Leaf: 1.5 to 3″ alternate, simple leaves; purplish green foliage turns black with first frost
Flower/Fruit: Small white flowers in early summer; small, bright red berries in dense clusters on female plants; persists into winter

Information from the North Carolina State University.

december-4-2008-019-3Wintergold is my favorite color for the berries, being my favorite color period. But Sparkleberry has been a steady berry producer every year since planted. We have pruned it hard to let Wintergold catch up to it in size. It may be that the red berry bush is going to grow larger than we had counted on under the limbed up Yoshino cherry tree unless pruned. That is a bad planting practice, but prune we will for the health of trees and shrubs in our front yard.november-22-2008-042-3One source for a good selection of winterberry hollies is Forestfarm mail order nursery. I have ordered several things from them and have been pleased with the health and pricing. If you can find potted plants at a local nursery, even better. Or there might still be some at the Biltmore. Maybe, better call ahead.

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54 Responses to Sparkleberry And Winter Gold

  1. Wow! You have achieved something I hope to accomplish! Fabulous winter color. I am impressed and grateful you have shared your extensive knowledge. Your photos are fabulous, as always. Bravo! Kathy

    Hi Kathy, thanks so much. I was leery when spending so much for the initial sparkleberry bushes, but now would snap up any of these if seen at a nursery. I never get tired of looking at those berries in winter, but the shrubs are pretty plain, just green leaves without the berries, so in a nursery they would get passed by unless you knew what they were.

  2. LindaLunda says:

    WOW…. IΒ΄m truly lost now! What a garden you have!
    And… IΒ΄m lost in words to…………what can a girl say about this!?
    There are no words to …. this…. fantastic… amazing… no those words dont give your garden/photos yustice!
    Sorry about the bad English… thats also why I cant wright how i fell and think about this post!

    Hi Linda, you are just the sweetest thing, thanks so much, love you too! πŸ™‚ Your English is just fine, too. So glad you like the photos. These hollies are so exceptional, they need to be used in more gardens for they are easy to grow and very forgiving. The descriptions always say that they need to be grown in wet areas, well our front garden is the opposite of wet. During summer it is so dry that the ground has huge cracks in it, and mulch doesn’t seem to help much, but the hollies are fine. Thanks for stopping by, hope you get an ID on your lovely flower from Thailand.

  3. Gail says:

    Frances, A really fantastic post! The photographs are always a treat and the narrative is informative and fun to read. The garden looks beautiful.

    I have to get these plants in the front garden…the winter color is perfect. I have stayed away from ilex thinking they needed FULL sun! But planting them in the Blimp might work! You always make me rethink my garden assumptions! Have a sweet and relaxing weekend! gail

    Hi Gail, I was hoping you would notice the word NATIVE here! HA Seriously, thanks for the nice words, really, I do appreciate you, you know that, right? πŸ™‚ Just kidding around with you, since we’re such good friends, even when Don appears out of nowhere, right? πŸ™‚

    These are in partial shade now, getting more partial each year, although the yoshino limbs are getting higher but have gone as high as I can reach with the saw on the ladder so from now on, the hollies will get pruned if needed. You shouldn’t have that problem under your large trees. Mass planting in the blimp! Don’t forget your males.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    All of those berries are sparkling with the frost on them Frances. πŸ˜‰ I love this hue of orange. I will have to investigate further.

    The Biltmore must have some kind of wonderful nursery operation. I bought a shrub this summer called Garden Glow Dogwood that was developed there.

    Hi Lisa, thanks, isn’t that a lucious color? I like it mixed with the reds too. The Biltmore has amazing specimens on the grounds, and many of the plants for sale there are cuttings from those. I hope they will be available at other places too. Your dogwood sounds beautiful, I will have to google it.

  5. Gary says:

    Thank you, I have just checked and it is available in th UK so I must look out for it.


    Hi Gary, thanks and welcome. Hope you can find it there, those berry colors are quite cheering as winter interest and bird food too.

  6. That’s what I need in my garden! I could use a little color right now. Do the birds like the berries?

    Hi Susan, yes you do! One of the great things about these is that the berries are hard as a rock and the birds leave them alone for most of the winter until about March. The berries become soft and can be picked completely off the bushes in one day by hungry cardinals then. That is how I know spring is here, the winterberries are bare!

  7. Joy says:

    Frances .. I have been considering one of these cultivars but having multiples is a gorgeous affect .. the problem for me is space.
    I would love to have them as you do because it is so pretty with the contrast of colours.
    Just plain beautiful girl !

    Hi Joy, thanks so much. I believe there are some shorter cultivars available now, I think I saw that when doing the research for this post. Make sure you have the right male, they are so worth the space they take up for that winter jolt of color!

  8. ourfriendben says:

    So gorgeous, Frances! Looks like I’m going to have to break down and buy the cultivars—my species seedlings (bought at a native plant sale years ago) have never done much, even though they swore one was male and two female. Try, try again, eh? Thanks for the inspiration!

    Hi OFB, thanks. This may be a case where the cultivars are better, they are still very similar to the species, except, NO SEEDLINGS! I keep waiting for spreading by suckers too, as with the species, so far nothing. Maybe stem cuttings would work, but I have a feeling that is why these are relatively expensive, hard to propagate, unless you are the Biltmore! HA There is very little difference between the male and female plants, even in flower, I guess the flowers are slightly smaller on the male. I bought mine with berries on, just to be sure!

  9. Marnie says:

    Hi Frances, your Sparkleberry out does herself in berry production. My vibrunums keep their berries into the following spring but they don’t have nearly the amount of fruit.

    Hi Marnie, thanks, she and wintergold are cheerful greeters as I drive home. The viburnums I have that are large enought to berry have nowhere near the numbers as these. The fosters hollies are also loaded with red berries though. I have a row of winterthur, brandywine, cardinal candy and blue muffin, fairly close together for a hedge effect, that promise more one of these years.

  10. easygardener says:

    What a lovely effect with the two colours together. I’d not heard of this Holly – in fact I didn’t realise there was such a thing as deciduous Holly! Good to learn something new (lol)

    Hi EG, thanks so much. I didn’t know when these were planted, so long ago before I realized all colors GO in a garden, if these would look good together but knew the closeness to the male pollinator was important. An important lesson for me to learn! So glad you learned something new too. πŸ™‚

  11. Frances,

    Our wonderful deciduous hollies are often passed over for evergreens. I love the Sparkleberry so much, but haven’t yet started gardening the part of our land where I want to use them.

    Great info and pictures!

    Hi Cameron, thanks. Sparkleberrry gets good press I noticed when doing the research for this post. But the wintergold is just a show stopper. Berry heavy sounds promising, doesn’t it? We shall see if it meets expectations when it finally flowers and bears fruits. Hope it is in love with Apollo so we don’t have to add another non berry producing male to the mix.

  12. kanak says:

    Hi Frances, amazing colours in your garden! These are photos that I can keep on looking and never get tired. Very, very beautiful!

    Hi Kanak, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed them. The winterberries do give a boost to the front winter garden.

  13. Tyra says:

    Wonderful Frances! Your picture are amazing. those yellow hollies are stunning. Very inspirational – more Hollies and grasses in my garden next year Frances, that is for sure! Have a great weekend/ Tyra

    Hi Tyra, thanks so much. Hollies and grasses are great additions for winter interest! Hope you weekend is the best too. πŸ™‚

  14. Darla says:

    That is just beautiful. Winter color is also something I need to focus on as well. Your photos are clear and crisp giving a great feeling of the season. I really appreciate you taking the time to give infornation concerning the plants that you post.

    Hi Darla, thanks. When I do a plant portrait, I want to give at least the zone information so people can tell if it will grow in their area. Getting that winter interest just takes some planning. Grasses are great, and evergreens, but berries like these help too and the birds will feast on them in March.

  15. tina says:

    Gee Frances did you add the sugar just for me? They look luscious enough to eat right from the screen! I looked at these at a Indiana nursery and they were very expensive but look as though they are worth it! Lots of interest!

    Hi Tina, thanks and yes, of course just for you! They are not cheap, one of the most expensive plants in my garden, along with some special trees, but worth every penny. I do wish they could be propagated, but that is probably why they are expensive. They do make for a big impact. You can get small ones from Forestfarm and wait for them to grow. Or go to the Biltmore and hope they have some!!! πŸ™‚ Talk about expensive.

  16. Frances~ Beautiful photos! But then again all of your photos are beautiful πŸ™‚ The copyright and name work well with the photo, it really doesn’t take away from the beauty and it protects your images. Nice job!

    Happy day~

    Hi Karrita, thanks so much. I do hope it protects them some, it makes me feel better about it anyway. πŸ™‚

  17. Philip says:

    What a wonderful post on winter berries. So effective by themselves and combined. It is fun to see it from when first planted and how it looks grown up. The berries do look like they are sprinkled with sugar!
    Now, I have to say it is so great your family has nic-names! Lets see, the Financier, Chickenpoet and Brokenbeat!
    My twin brother has one…it is odd, but people independent from each other will call him
    Patrick Patrick Patrick…his name said three times in a row. Isn’t that something? I guess it suits him!
    Philip (just said once)

    Hi Philip, thanks, they are sugar coated for extra goodness for the birds later. Maybe it will make them sweeter, but when the time is right, the cardinals will cover those bushes and clean them out in one day! About the family names, your brother’s is hilarious BTW, there are more, all the names were chosen for themselves to be referred to on the blog, two more offspring besides Chickenpoet and Brokenbeat are Semi and Gardoctor. Offspring of offspring are LTB, MA and GA, their initials. Frances is my real name. πŸ™‚

  18. Phillip says:

    I have it but it has never produced berries. I do have ‘Apollo’ but it is very tiny. I suppose that is the reason. I may try to find a bigger one.

    Hi Phillip, my daughter Semi ordered two wintergolds and an Apollo from forestfarm. The male was so tiny, he needs to be in flower at the same time as the fruiting ones for the pollination to occur, but of course you knew that. πŸ™‚ I bought mine as a five gallon size and paid the price for it too, but got berries right away.

  19. Amy says:

    Oh.My.Goodness. These are so absolutely gorgeous!! I wonder if there are any available for my zone – I would love to add some to the hedgerow we are slowly planting.

    Hi Amy, thanks. it said zone 3 so you should be able to get some to add, don’t forget the male! πŸ™‚

  20. VP says:

    I love the names and the frosting on them’s extra special πŸ™‚

    Hi VP, thanks. For once, these are the real names, not ones I made up for my plants, but you knew that. πŸ™‚

  21. walk2write says:

    Funny how the right male makes all the difference. Yours seems to have done his job quite well. Beautiful shrubs, Frances. I have passed your name on to a new TN blogger. She is homesick for N. Illinois and quite interested in gardening in her new home in the Nashville area. Her site is

    Hi W2W, you are spot on with that observation! HA Thanks, I will check out your friend’s blog and tell Gail, who lives in Nashville. I am over three hours away from there. Love her title already.

  22. Rose says:

    Frances, You have made some great choices for winter color–these shrubs are beauties!

    I’m catching up on blog reading (and a little sleep) after being away for a week. Your photos on past posts are beautiful as always, but I especially enjoyed your anniversary post–congratulations on your 1st blogaversary! I haven’t been “around” that long, so, while I missed your first posts, I have so much enjoyed seeing the development of your garden and your imaginative way of presenting it. (I’m looking forward to next Midsummer’s Eve:) )

    Hi Rose, thanks so much and glad you are back, we missed you! Thanks for the congrats, very few people saw those first posts, so they are kind of the same as new with lesser quality photos, HA. Glad you liked the Midsummer’s Eve posts, if I had to choose a favorite, that might be it.

  23. gittan says:

    WOW! You sure have interesting plants in your garden. I did’t know that there were so many different kinds of Winterberries. As far as I know we only have one with white berries. I think that the second picture was the greatest – the colours made me happy / gittan

    Hi Gittan, thanks, so glad you are happy looking at the photos. πŸ™‚ A white berried holly sounds wonderful, and very Swedish!

  24. This is an amazing garden. i came from Europe so I love that kind of stuff.
    Thanks for a great post!!!

    Hi Oscar, thanks and welcome. So glad you liked it.

  25. Cheryl says:

    Now I know what I want for Christmas ! Perfect on a Winters Day. I do have an ole crabapple which retains most of its apples during the season and are topped with ice and snow at the moment. Beautiful photos and the information is most welcome. Thank you πŸ™‚

    Hi Cheryl, thanks. Those old crabapples are gorgeous when covered with the fruits too and a frosting of ice and snow turns them magical. Hope Santa fills your wish! πŸ™‚

  26. I want them! I’ve just got to figure out where to put them to show them to best advantage. The evergreen Hollies just don’t work well here, but I bet I. verticillata would do fine. Yours are stunning!

    Hi MMD, yes, you need these! They do seem to be cold hardy to zone 3 so should work in your garden. You might want to look for the shorter cultivars so you don’t have to prune them too much. Don’t forget the dude! πŸ™‚

  27. Lovely wonderful photos, a visual treat for us suffering through a wet and cold winter. What beautiful berries, if it is any consolation about the expensive cost of the bushes, a stem here sells for over $3.00. That is 1 stem. Just think what your bushes are worth now, LOL.


    Hi Jen, thanks and so glad you are feeling better. Wow, that actually does make me feel better about the cost of the winterberry plants, sort of evens out! πŸ™‚

  28. Will be burning rubber tomorrow to find these at my favorite nursery. They are to die for! Good thinking on your part to plant some winter glory.

    I haven’t done the seasonal passes at Biltmore but would sure love to take the candle light tour. We are going to a Moravian Candle Tea on the 21st. I can smell the beeswax aroma already.

    HA, don’t get a speeding ticket on your way to the nursery, Anna! We have done the Christmas tour at Biltmore, a couple of times, but never the candlelight one, it would be quite magical, what a place! The smell of beeswax is one of my favorite things. I have a small crockpot filled with it that I used when I made candles, it should be brought out and heated just to scent the house, thanks for the inspiration!

  29. Racquel says:

    Gorgeous berries and the names are a perfect fit! I bet the birds just love your winter garden Frances. I definitely need to add these beauties to my garden next year. πŸ™‚

    Hi Racquel, thanks. Those plant breeders came up with some catchy names this time, I agree. We do have lots of birds, but they are spoiled somewhat by the feeders. The pyracanthas that were loaded with berries are almost picked clean. But there are plenty of Japanese privet berries just outside my property lines for snacking, among many other things of a wild nature like bittersweet and mulitflora wild rose hips besides my meager offerings, bird heaven!

  30. joey says:

    Ah … winter interest! Most forget how important this issue is not only in our gardens but looking out our windows. But not you, dear Frances. You don’t miss ‘a trick’! Thanks again for keeping us focused.

    Hi Joey, thanks. Looking out the windows and thinking about winter interest are how the gardens here have been made more colorful in winter. I am a bit of a dreamer, but a practical one, thinking how can this be improved as I am being lazy. Do this over a period of years and it adds up! πŸ™‚

  31. patsi says:

    Great Sparkleberry !
    The peachy color makes it tempting to eat.
    Lambs ear…hmmm…I like it.

    Hi Patsi, thanks. The winter gold is the most wonderful color and really is set off by the red sparkleberry too. The lambs ear was a good idea, but didn’t work out in practice. The flower stalks looked terrible and the mowing of them became impossible as the bushes grew. The ground cover now, besides the wild violets is the yellow acorus grass, evergreen and tough as nails.

  32. Sweet Bay says:

    Your winterberry are spectacular! I especially like the pictures of the Wintergold with the frost — they look like liliputian oranges.

    We have Winterberry growing wild on our property — it’s a beautiful native holly — but now I’m going to have to seriously consider getting Wintergold too. The combination of the two is stunning.

    Hi Sweet Bay, thanks and welcome. The wintergold does lend itself to the macro shots and has fooled others into thinking they were persimmons too. How lucky you are with the wild winterberries, the gold would be a fine addition.

  33. Jon says:

    Frances…just magnificent plants showcased in your excellent photos….and great sources included in your text…thanks for sharing this information. My “gotta have” plant list just got longer! Hope y’all have a wonderful holiday season and all the best in the new year.
    Jon at Mississippi Garden

    Hi Jon, thanks and same to you. Loved you coca cola Santa photos!

  34. mothernaturesgarden says:

    You have mastered the winter color in the dark of December, Frances. Thanks for the information.

    Hi Donna, thanks, but I don’t believe I have mastered anything yet in my lifetime. There is always more to learn and do, but the winterberry colors sure liven up the front yard, especially with the blue star junipers in the background.

  35. Jan says:

    Oh, I love those colors. They look great at this time of year when we can have so many deary days.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks. I see these when I go out to get the mail or am out and about in the car. They always bring a smile. Glad you like them also.

  36. Amy says:

    Hi again Frances – you were asking about how to learn manual settings…not all digital cameras have the option to use manual settings so I suppose you’d have to find that out first.

    My husband’s parents had a Pentax SLR (film) when he was young so he was able to experiment with camera settings and learned quite a bit from that. With our digital camera, he just kept adjusting the settings and taking photos until he found one that worked. Late yesterday he posted the settings used to take the final photo in the comments. What you could do is copy those out and then try the same settings on your own camera.

    I suspect my camera manual would explain all of this to me so I need to have a look at that. I also got a good, basic book from the library that I’m working through.

    Hi Amy, thanks so much for all that good information. My Canon does have a manual setting function, but I don’t know enough about the settings to use it. Special circumstances, like the moon shots would be a place to start. Thanks and I will check out the comment and copy it. I appreciate your taking the time to tell me about it.

  37. Cindy says:

    Frances – What stunning beauties! Thanks for all the great info too! I’ve never been to the Biltmore Estate, but now I really want to go, if just to visit the nursery.

    HA Cindy, only a gardener would say they wanted to go to the Biltmore to visit the nursery! It is so worth it, though. LOL When you see how much it costs to get in, you will want to do everything though. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

  38. Brenda Kula says:

    So cute! Like little oranges!

    Hi Brenda, thanks. They do look like fruit in the cropped shots. πŸ™‚

  39. Jean says:

    Very beautiful Frances. But you must have those cardinals very spoiled!

    Hi Jean, thanks so much. The cardinals are our most numerous bird at the feeders. They kind of bully the other finches and even each other, even though there is plenty for all. Spoiled they are. πŸ™‚

  40. Parsec says:

    Those are beautiful photos! Nice!

    Hi Parsec, thanks and welcome. That is true praise coming from a photographer like you!

  41. Cinj says:

    Wow, what pretty color combinations. I could even grow them here if I could find the room somewhere. Now, where can I find some more room without taking over the future sites of vegetable gardens and herb gardens?

    Hi Cinj, thanks. They do need plenty of room, even the smaller varieties need that male to make berries. Food seems like it should take precedent over ornament, but maybe you can find a spot, they can take some shade too. Good luck!

  42. Oh Goodness Me…I am always looking for winter color and that is simply divine! Love the unusual color of the little berries…hmmm wonder if elk would find it yummy too? Guess I will just have to try it and find out. Thanks so much for sharing…btw, what a lovely garden you have! Kim

    Hi Kim, thanks so much. I have no idea about whether this would appeal to elk, LOL. It does appeal to my visual senses though, the colors jump out into the street as I drive up into the driveway every single time and make me smile.

  43. Robin says:

    Lovely winter color! Your pictures look like paintings!

    Hi Robin, thanks for that. A cloudy day makes those colors more vibrant, I think, with or without the frost, better than a sunny one.

  44. Robin says:

    I noticed that you’ve started putting a copyright on your pictures. I hate to add that step to the processing but should probably do it too.

    Just curious, was someone using your pictures without permission?

    Hi Robin, I have been thinking about doing it for a while and had asked a couple of people whose photos show their names how to do it. I have had whole posts shown without permission and really the only way to make sure a photo is not used is to resize them and put my blog name on. It is easy and fun, I was worried that it detracted from the picture but think it is okay with it. Finding a font I liked and colors is fun for me and might deter theft too. More of a preventative, but there may have been photos used that I don’t know about. I really don’t want to know, since there is nothing I can or am willing to do anyway. I have been trying to put the name on in a place that cannot be cropped without cutting up the photo too.

  45. Lythrum says:

    I really like those. I’ve been looking for things to add winter interest in my garden too and I’ll have to keep these in mind. Or plant a whole lot more phlox plants. πŸ˜‰

    Hi Lythrum, thanks. These are great for winter interest and bird friendly too. But your phlox are quite sweet. We have a couple trying to bloom too.

  46. Monica says:

    The combo of red- and orange-berried Ilex verticillata is stunning. Truly. I must get me some of those!!!

    Hi Monica, thanks. We often see the red berried ones used in landscapes in fancy parts of Knoxville, but never have we seen the orange berried ones. I love them together. Forestfarm has the wintergold for sale.

  47. Debi says:

    Have them, and love them. This year they are truly exquisite with huge, massive berries.

    Hi Deb, I’m so glad you have them too, thanks for stopping by. This has been a good year for them here too. The late frost of 2006 ruined the show for the next two years, I think they are just now catching up.

  48. Monica says:

    Yes, it’s the wintergold I’m most taken with; I’d only ever seen red berries, too. The gold reminds me in a way of the color of witchhazel.

    Hi Monica, yes, that is my favorite one too, but really the red and gold together are what makes the scene so eye catching, even from a car driving by. The Blue Star juniper background helps those colors pop also. They are similar in color to witchhazel ‘Diane’. Way to make the connection! πŸ™‚

  49. Dave says:

    I missed this post when you posted it but I’m glad I saw it on Blotanical. Those berries are great! Winterberry has been on my list for a while now. Now it’s underlined!

    Hi Dave, thanks. Winterberry hollies would be perfect for your large space, plenty of room to grow to their full potential.

  50. Les says:

    I have been meaning to stop by and say that I really like this combination, next you will need to add one of the orange varieties. I have seen this also done with 3 colors of pyracantha. I only wish I had room to do it.

    Hi Les,thanks for doing so and welcome to the alternative universe of wordpress. I am hoping that the berry heavy is more orange, it was in the nursery, but since we have not seen berries since then, who knows? We have run out of room to add more though, and these are more crowded than they should be. Now the pyracantha sound very exciting but would really need a huge space. Next house? πŸ™‚

  51. Pam/Digging says:

    I think this post will create a run on winterberries across the country, Frances. I’ve never come across this Ilex here in Austin, but I’m desperately wondering if it can handle dry, alkaline soil. That orange and red combo is stunning. Well done!

    Hi Pam, thanks. I was wondering if Forestfarm saw an uptick in holly orders! I think the hollies are forgiving, but you still have those yaupons if the winterberries require different conditions.

  52. lisa says:

    NICE! I need one of those too! I’ve ordered from Forestfarm several times as well…they have such a huge selection, and I’m always happy with my order.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Forestfarm really offers so many cultivars, I can’t think of many others with that selection either. Glad to hear you are another satisfied customer. Maybe they will give us something for these glowing endorsements! πŸ™‚

  53. Patty says:

    I was ready to order a large Winter Gold Crabapple. I love the Sparkeberry you planted near the tree. Can I keep the Sparkleberry cut to 3-4′ to remain UNDER my Winter Gold?Have you pruned your serviceberry?

    Hi Patty. The large tree is a Yoshino Cherry. The winterberries have been pruned as the tree grew larger and we have limbed up the tree to provide more room. Sparkleberry in particular needs pruning every year to keep it shorter. I would choose a shorter variety of winterberry to keep it that low. Check the listings at to see the mature heights of the cultivars. Good luck!

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