Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Berry Bite - Guelder Rose

Guelder Rose, or Viburnum opulus to some of us, is shining its bright red berries just now and lifting an otherwise plain shrubbery in the process. We’ve a number of these shrubs around five to seven years old, which are establishing nicely within a woodland garden setting historically known as the Ice House Coppice, at Compton Verney, Warwickshire.
Although relatively new in its restoration, the coppice offers many hollows between mature Oak and Yew trees, where the Guelder rose plants are growing and merging together slowly, along with Laurustinus, PortugalLaurel, and a sprinkling of other shrubs. The plantings are all in an effort to recreate something of the atmosphere that once would have permeated throughout this stunning 18th century landscape garden, and also
offer food and shelter for our visiting bird life..
The Guelder rose foliage is beautifully lush and green in the spring, offering promise for the season ahead, and although they fade to a dull green by mid-summer, this is perfectly timed to provide a matt background that highlights the glossy red berries. Some of our shrubs are pruned down a little to retain views over their heads, but most are being given freedom to stretch to their anticipated 5 metre height.
Some of ours each year get attacked by Viburnum Beetle, the pest that became the most recorded pest in the Royal Horticultural Society listfor 2010. The little grubs can strip a shrub almost bare of foliage, yet they grow back strong each time however, and the leaves are usually all replaced. On the plus side, Guelder Rose sports pretty white flowers in late spring to early summer, that  sit amongst fresh foliage, combine this with the brightest red berries for the autumn birds, and you can’t go far wrong. The autumn foliage isn’t half bad either!  Remembering that this plant is Native to Europe, if you’ve a semi shaded corner to fill then this may be a good candidate for consideration, being a very tough customer and widely available.


Flower Pot said...

Such luscious looking berries...nice color for a shady spot.

Gardener Gary said...

They are aren't they, I'll have to pop back through that area to see if they are still there! Thanks for the comment :)

Jason said...

I have several individuals of a related plant, Viburnum trilobum or American Cranberry Bush. The bright red berries I leave for the birds, especially the Cedar Waxwings.

Gardens at Waters East said...

I was able to go over a number of your past postings. Really like some of the photos especially of the older buildings. nice work. Here on the shores of Lake MIchigan in USA the weather is different and the lake is the backdrop for many of the garden photos. NIce seeing how life is for you. Jack

Gardener Gary said...

Thanks for the comment. The berries are beautiful aren't they! A very useful plant both ornamentally and for the birds - those Cedar Waxwings look stunning, it must be lovely to have them around.

Gardener Gary said...

Well I do try hard to take the best photos possible. I enjoy photography and the natural environment just offers infinite possibility. I'm glad you like the images, and it's nice also to have contact from the States :) I do hope the photos are relevant to the posts - and you found them interesting. Do drop by again soon! Regards, Gary.

Linda Pitkin said...

Please could you tell me if Guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) was used in plantings by Capability Brown?