Happy Monday friends! Today I am sharing an impromptu post inspired by the beautiful foliage and berries on the azaleas and hollies in our landscape. It has been rainy and dreary all week, so I hadn’t been outside until this morning. When I stepped outside into another gray, chilly November day, I was pleasantly surprised by the vibrant pink and magenta foliage on the azaleas growing just outside our side door. As I strolled around to the front yard, I noticed that the hollies are looking amazing too! This inspired me to share a post about these lovely evergreen shrubs and how they provide beautiful late fall (and winter) garden interest.
This azalea on the corner of our house is looking so pretty right now with it’s late fall color. It is among several azaleas and hollies that provide wonderful year-round interest (giving me something pretty to look at out my kitchen window as I wash dishes!)
Of course it is gorgeous in the spring too!
Here you can see how the azalea has a bit of the green leaves remaining, providing a beautiful contrast of colors.
On the side of our house, the azaleas are spaced in between several mature hollies that we inherited when we bought our home. Most of our yard is shade which these plants seem to like, but they grow well for us on this sunnier side of the house too.
I love the juxtaposition of colors and textures when combining azaleas and hollies. Next spring the azaleas will need to be trimmed up and shaped after the blooms have faded.
We also have three very old hollies growing in front of our house just under the porch. I love the look of the holly adjacent to the burning bushes. Because the burning bushes are on the shaded side of our house, they don’t peak until November, allowing us to enjoy some late fall color after most of the other fall foliage has faded.
The male holly on the opposite corner of our house doesn’t produce berries, but it is growing close enough to pollinate all the other holly bushes which are apparently females. A holly is a dioecious plant meaning if you want to plant hollies for the berries, you will need to plant both female and male near each other.
There are many varieties of hollies to choose from. I believe ours are American Hollies.
This year the berries are so profuse and vibrant! These beautiful bushes provide plentiful fresh cuttings to use in my decorating all through the holiday season.
I always cut fresh holly sprigs to use in gathered arrangements and to tuck here and there around the house on Christmas day.
A couple of years ago I used cuttings of the fresh holly and ivy that grows around our front porch to create a unique music-themed Christmas door swag inspired by the old traditional carol, The Holly and the Ivy.
via Pender and Peony
Hmm…with all the abundance of berries and beautiful waxy green leaves on my holly bushes, maybe I should make a simple and elegant fresh holly wreath for Christmas this year!
I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at my pretty azaleas and hollies! Today reminded me that as I get caught up in the decorating and busy-ness of the holiday season, not to overlook the simple gifts that are all around us in nature. Working on this post also gave me a few more ideas for decorating with holly during Christmas and winter, so I hope you will stop back by throughout the season to see what I come up with.
If you are looking for classic evergreen shrubs to provide late fall and winter interest in your landscape, then consider azaleas and hollies. Do you already have either of these plants in your yard? I love hearing from you, dear readers!
Thanks for visiting today!