Holly (Ilex paraguariensis)

We have about 30 holly trees that have been planted by birds throughout our property.  They range from a few inches to one tree that is almost 20 feet tall. Non of the trees have fruited yet. The berries (drupes) are actually slightly toxic to humans but are an important food source for birds.

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12 comments

  1. Beautiful shot! I had a very tall (easily 20 ft) holly tree and the robins lined up on the fence to eat the berries. Seemed like they’d strip all the berries in a matter of days. I think they might have been a bit inebriated from them since they’d smash into a window leaving some feathers behind. It came to be a real nuisance in a very small yard, dropping leaves that penetrated the sole of a flip-flop when dry. Even now, three years later, I’m still picking tiny little holly trees sprouting all over my yard, though it’s no longer in the many hundreds it was at first.

    • Thanks for the comment Gunta. The robins enjoy our mountain ash berries also but the berries cause flying ‘high’ problems much like the holly. Have to keep the curtain drawn at berry time I guess.

  2. The berries ferment. Sometimes, on warm summer days, birds literally drop from the branches. In the Healing Garden, we thought the window problem was a matter of, “Window, window, in the sky, whose territory is this?” Vehicle mirrors are susceptible, as well. Vis a vis birds, this year my first golden finch is at the window feeder as I peck at the keyboard.

    Mr. McMillan, did you folk get a dusting of snow or hail this Saturday morning? — THGg

  3. Taking a temperature reading or not, the ground is still a tad cold, but the delphiniums are sprouting and daphne has opened. Plants speak. The Healing Garden gardener obeys. Peas will likely survive some Spring uncertainty. It had to be done. Something about casting down Winter’s mantle. — The THGg

    • Someone I was once gardening for had some pea seeds from a Chinese family living in Vancouver. The family used to plant their snow peas on December 31 each year and would sell enough peas in the Spring to pay their property taxes each year. I haven’t tried that yet – perhaps lacking in faith but it does say something for the hardiness of peas.


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