During the winter months the garden can be bare and gray, since most of the plants are free of flowering, and sometimes even devoid of foliage; to brighten up the most bare areas with a touch of color you can think of planting plants that produce colored berries, so as to have a touch of color even during the coldest and grayest months.
Plants for Hedges
Some of the plants that produce berries are very suitable to be used in hedges, also because they are evergreen, so we will have a double advantage: a shiny and verdant foliage and splendid colored berries.
Among the most used we remember the pyracantha, shrub with very rapid growth, with persistent foliage, of small dimensions, very pleasant; in spring it produces a profusion of small white flowers, delicately scented, followed by small spherical fruits, which were once consumed fresh or in jam. The fruits remain on the plant throughout the winter if the plant is not excessively pruned; pyracantha berries are traditionally orange in color, but there are also red or yellow varieties. The pyracanth, or agazzino, have a very vigorous and messy development, and present thorns on the branches; varieties without spines or less vigorous growth were also selected, for those who want a pyracantha to be cultivated as a single specimen, and not as a hedge.
Also the cotonastro is widely used as a hedge, in varieties with vigorous vertical development; there are also species with ground cover development, species with persistent leaves and others with deciduous leaves; all however characterized by small bright red berries.
Berries: How to have berries
To obtain a shrub that has many berries it is first of all important that the plants are cultivated in the most correct way, then positioned in a very sunny place, so that they produce many flowers, and then watered and grown according to the needs of each individual species .
But the fundamental element for having many berries in winter is pruning: if we prune the plant immediately after flowering we will remove most of the future berries. It is therefore important to carry out pruning taking care not to remove too many flowering branches, and to postpone autumn pruning to spring. In this way we will give time to most flowers to be pollinated, and therefore to produce small fruits.
For example, one of the best and most widespread berry plants is the rose: many varieties of rose produce beautiful red, orange or yellow fruits. Only that a very drastic pruning done in autumn completely deprives us of this decorative fruit; to keep at least some berries on the roses we should avoid cutting some of the roses of late autumn flowering; the branches that will bear the berries during the winter can be cut in February, so we will enjoy the colored berries for a few months.