Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's a girl!

Here in North Vancouver, holly is almost a weed.  The birds love to eat the beautiful red berries from garden trees and they drop the seeds inside all over the place.  Soon, we have litters of tiny holly trees in our gardens and they must be removed.  Oh, we do want to have some left though.  At Christmas time, we're always 'pruning' the trees of friends who have some with berries.  So,  you really want to keep the females which will have the berries.  But how to tell?
The only way to know for sure  is when the mama plant produces berries and this can take years.  So, we've nurtured about 5 holly babies in different locations around the yard hoping that one would turn out to be a ma. And here she is with her first green offspring...



This tree is over 13 years old.  It was small when we bought the house and forms a part of the living fence at the front.  The part the municipality didn't cut down.  We have two others that we transplanted into the clear cut and we have hopes.  But they're not quite as mature so who knows?  We would leave them anyway because I'm not sure that the mas don't need das to help them grow the family. 


And holly makes a nice fence.  There are different shapes and stripes of leaves but all are stiff and prickly to some degree.  The photo above is from a neighbor's yard.  Our older gal with the green berries has some pretty tough-looking defense system, I think.
A flashback from being a kid:  we had a huge holly tree on one side of our yard (with berries, of course!).  One of the summer sprinkler games with the neighborhood kids was to see who could run into the tree and stay the longest.  A variation was to test how deep you could burrow into the tree.  This was a competitive sport and there were tricks to mastering it.  It was great fun but I think my skin might be thinner now.

6 comments:

Ginny said...

Those prickly games do sound like they'd be fun for the kids, but maybe damage the bush? Great berry and leaf pictures. I'm doing a post on holly sometime, myself. Because of this: did you know it's a natural lightening rod? With all yours, I wouldn't worry about ever getting a lightening strike.

Lindy MacDuff said...

Beautiful holly bushes. Those games sound very challenging!

Rudee said...

It's a beautiful plant all year long. Congratulations on the berries.

April said...

Congratulations on the brand new berries! Holly bushes are lovely plants. We don't grow them up here, but I've always enjoyed seeing them when visiting Vancouver.

Joanna said...

I'm glad to hear that your holly litters are bearing fruit. I guess that's really a mixed metaphor!

EG Wow said...

I have two holly bushes and I rarely get berries. My growing zone is a lot cooler than yours! I LOVE your red berries.

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