Hi James my neighbour had a lovely Holly half hanging over my fence,Each year I picked up two buckets full of dead leaves ,Ok for keeping the fox from jumping over the fence but not good for gardening,The skin prick took age's the heal,Now my compost area is in full sun most of the day(when it shine's)and I can fill my compost bin's and turn them over with out getting tangled up in the leave's.
20 Dec 2011 16:05
May I add that Shakespeare did not forget the holly when he wrote the song "Blow, blow thy winter wind"?
Half way through is the refrain:
"Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly."
From "As you like it."
21 Dec 2011 08:39
Thank you HappyMarion.
Henry VIII (when not otherwise engaged) also turned his poetic mind to Holly:
Green groweth the holly, so doth the ivy.
Though winter blasts blow never so high,
Green groweth the holly.
As the holly groweth green
And never changeth hue,
So I am, and ever hath been,
Unto my lady true.
I have four hollies and only one, the variegated one has berries tis year.One other (grown in a pot) did have uptill this year but its lost most of its leaves and so has none this year. Mt other two came from one of my brothers grown in Derbyshire. It self sedds every year but has never had berries and mine don't have any either although one is with the variegated one.
I am surprised you did not mention Ilex Ferox - this is a plant that has always intrigued me and I was disappointed when an attempt to raise this from cuttings did not come off recently.
I would certainly like to introduce some Ilex into the rather dull green Privet hedge I inherited when I moved here and i am pleased to see that there are some other plants introducing themselves uninvited to relieve the rather uninspiring mass of green.
I am experimenting with some Ivies too, mostly on rustic stakes to give the front garden a bit of height as well as Winter interest but may also use this for trailing plants in some of the containers I am planting up. I managed to purloin cuttings of some of the more colourful varieties from hedges and they seem to be rooting O.K.