On a miserable, dull day, this little string of berries seem to light up out of the greyness! I like to grow shrubs and trees that produce berries, so that the birds have some food in the winter.

String o' Berries

Arbutus unedo (otherwise known as the Strawberry tree) is unusual in that the current year flowers appear as the fruit from the previous year’s flowers, ripen. The fruits are said to be edible, but the blackbirds seem to eat them before I get chance to do anything with them! A wonderfully wildlife-friendly tree – I have previously posted a photo of a butterfly on the flowers of Arbutus unedo and bees love the flowers too!

Arbutus unedo

After the deluge the sun came out! Everything was weighed down from the rain, including the Rowan tree with its masses of berries which are ripening fast and it’s still only July!

Rowan tree berries

The Sorbus is also known as mountain ash as well as Rowan and in English folklore is said to have magical properties and gives protection against witches.

The flowers on this evergreen shrub are quite unspectacular and you could easily pass by without noticing them, if it wasn’t for the fragrance that fills the air. It is also known as Sweet box or Christmas box. They flower from December to February and are followed by shiny black fruit. Grow close to a path where you can appreciate the scent. An easy-to-grow shrub that likes shade and reaches about four feet in height. It spreads a little, but is not invasive – the new shoots are easy to pull up and you can give them away to your friends.

The flowers and fruit of Sarococca confusa