Fruits & Berries

Fruits and Berries

Crab Apple (Malus 'Golden Hornet')Fruits and berries hang around far longer than autumn leaves, so it's good to have plenty of these in the garden. For an elegant, all-seasons small tree try a cotoneaster. Cotoneaster 'Cornubia', whose arching shape is covered in semi-evergreen leaves, is decorated with masses of large red berries every autumn and winter. Or choose a crab apple, for brilliant spring blossom followed by ornamental fruit. There are dozens of varieties with yellow, orange, purple or red fruit but for winter effect, Malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel' is the winner. Its small, round red 'berries' stay on the tree till March.  Where space is limited, try training a pyracantha flat against a wall - tightly trimmed, it's a sheet of berries from September onwards. Or grow a strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo). The round red fruit (not real strawberries!) and white bell flowers are both at their best in November when the tree lookslike it's decorated with Christmas baubles, although the fruit will often remain for most of the winter.

For naturally small evergreens go for skimmia and checkerberry (Gaultheria procumbens), which have good crops of red berries that last all winter. In tubs, they provide instant displays of colour.

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