Best of the bunch
HOLLY (Ilex Aquifolium)
JUST its name conjures up images of Christmas, the bright red berries and rich green leaves taking pride of place in many festive wreaths and other decorations.
But remember when buying a holly bush, if you want berries, check on the variety you are buying because most types of holly carry the male and female flowers on separate plants, so one of each is required for successful fertilisation.
If you only have room for one, some varieties are self fertile and will produce berries, such as Ilex Aquifolium ‘J.C. van Tol’, which produces an abundance of bright red berries.
‘Indian Chief ’ is female, while ‘Silver Queen’ is a male variety.
They will thrive in virtually any soil in sun or shade, although variegated types need a sunny spot.