Friday, December 26, 2014

A very berry holly

Don't think I've ever seen a holly with so many berries on it. This is Ilex 'Dr. Kassab,' a hybrid, at Morris Arboretum, which is know for its many varieties of holly and the Holly Slope that showcases them. This one is for all the folks out there who have a thing about hollies. Not a good thing. Hollies are often thought of as boring, so 1950s, and it's true, they can be quite undistinguished in the landscape ... out of control, too huge, berries dwarfed by all else. But here's a true beauty, one that Tony Aiello, Morris' director horticulture and curator, says is loaded up like this every year. It has a nice pyramid shape and soft, dark green leaves that show off the bright red of the berries. Billions of 'em.

A very berry holly

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

Don't think I've ever seen a holly with so many berries on it. This is Ilex 'Dr. Kassab,' a hybrid, at Morris Arboretum, which is know for its many varieties of holly and the Holly Slope that showcases them. This one is for all the folks out there who have a thing about hollies. Not a good thing. Hollies are often thought of as boring, so 1950s, and it's true, they can be quite undistinguished in the landscape ... out of control, too huge, berries dwarfed by all else. But here's a true beauty, one that Tony Aiello, Morris' director horticulture and curator, says is loaded up like this every year. It has a nice pyramid shape and soft, dark green leaves that show off the bright red of the berries. Billions of 'em.  

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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