Occasionally, I am almost convinced that I know a thing or two about the garden. Not often, and though I might speculate about one aggravation or another, mostly I’m just guessing. Term these educated guesses if it pleases you. I’m not offended knowing that the mysteries of the garden are above my mental capabilities.
Happily, it appears that I’ve solved the “no berries on the Winterberry hollies” dilemma. For years there were loads of berries on the grouping of five or six hollies. But, these were planted beside a grove of bamboo, that spread as bamboos do, and eventually a few of the hollies were too close and shaded out. For other reasons, and here some part of the blame (or credit) goes to my wife, the bamboo was chopped out. Once gone, a Winterberry or two was also lost and dug out.
Then, with more sunlight and what should have been a more advantageous situation, the hollies ceased to have more than a few scattered berries. Please excuse my advice over the years that there is always a male pollinator nearby, because, in this case, apparently there was not. And also, it seems that the male was one of the hollies that was dug out. This revelation took only two or three years to confirm, and then I was distracted for another few years before planting a small male holly nearby earlier this year.
Miraculously, this tiny holly provided the right stuff to pollinate the four remaining female hollies, that are now covered in berries. In early autumn, these are ripening to red. So, all is well, and with renewed faith that I’m not a complete dunce, I will continue to spout “wisdom”.
And really, this problem should not have been so complicated, and no doubt was perplexing only because I was quite certain that there is always an available pollinator. Perhaps, I will know better next time.