Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Winter = Green + Gray + RED

On a recent walk, I noticed the confirmation of winter’s arrival in the lack of color in the neighborhood landscapes. Green and gray dominate this time of year. But then I really opened my eyes and noticed the reds, berries mostly.  Nandinas, toyons, Malus, Ilex, cotoneasters, firethorn (Pyracantha), asparagus ferns  … the list goes on. All are laden with bright red berries in the midst of winter. What a treat for the eyes, and the birds, and the squirrels!

As to the forethought of the gardeners who planted these lovely shrubs and trees: Kudos. I have realized I’m a spur-of-the-moment landscape planner — a nonplanner, really. I don’t often, if ever, think about how a plant will look in the depth of winter, or the dog days of summer. Consequently, my garden looks rode-hard and put away wet in January and August.

After my eye-opening walk through my Zone 9, northwest Vacaville neighborhood, I may have to rethink my gardening strategy. Or at least come up with a strategy. I see a future with some red-berried shrubs. They make winter so much brighter.

Bright red berries glisten on a prickly branch of a foxtail fern (Asparagus densiforus 'Meyersii')  All photos by Kathy Thomas Rico
Bright red berries glisten on a prickly branch of a foxtail fern (Asparagus densiforus 'Meyersii') All photos by Kathy Thomas Rico

A spectacular display of color can be seen on this firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea 'Red Column') on Nelson Road, between Vacavillen and Fairfield
A spectacular display of color can be seen on this firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea 'Red Column') on Nelson Road, between Vacavillen and Fairfield

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a California native that puts on a show of color in early winter, explaining its common name: Christmas berry
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is a California native that puts on a show of color in early winter, explaining its common name: Christmas berry

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Tags: berries (3), winter (10)

Comments:

1.
Kathy, Did you know Hollywood got it's name from the Toyon trees covering the Hollywood Hills? The early European settlers thought they were like the Holly they were familiar with.

Posted by Jean Cox on January 26, 2013 at 7:31 AM

2.
Jean, I had not heard that before. Fascinating! I love this stuff, don't you?

Posted by Kathy Thomas-Rico on January 28, 2013 at 11:24 AM

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