Bumper berry haul set for September as rains ripen harvests

Friday 1 September 2017

UK gardeners, as well as birds, are set be gladdened by what is predicted to be a bumper berry haul this September, predicts the Royal Horticultural Society.

A warm and dry start to the year followed by July and August rains have contributed to many berry-yielding plants, including spindle bushes (euonymus), firethorn (pyracantha), and crab apples, ripening early. As a result, they are less susceptible to the autumn rots and moulds that blight many in the later weeks of autumn and means we are set for a longer than average display of seasonal colour.

The bountiful showing of reds, blacks, yellows and purples contrasts the plight of apples, whose flowers were stifled by a spring frost in some regions. With ornamental berries flowering later and their smaller fruits ripening more quickly than apples, gardeners will find some consolation this autumn.

RHS gardens are displaying a variety of autumn berries including RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey which is awash with callicarpa, clerodendrum, pyracantha and honeysuckle.

Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturist at the RHS, said: “The public should revel in the wealth of colour that will dot gardens this month, while plant centres are likely to see a surge in sales of those plants now displaying their beautiful berry wares.

“Edible varieties feature less at this time of year but autumn raspberries are yielding lavishly and mulberries are still producing their luscious fruits. All of the berries will mature in the predicted warm spells this September and contrast gloriously with autumn colour from October, before being consumed by birds including blackbirds, finches, starlings, fieldfares and redwings and other wildlife.”

Varieties of autumn ripening berries are recorded on the RHS Find-A-Plant. For a flash of autumn colour gardeners should consider:

• Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii in startling blue
• Callicarpa in vivid purple
• Skimmia in rich red
• Viburnum davidii in turquoise

-Ends-

Notes to editors

About the RHS: The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

For more information please contact Laura Scruby in the Royal Horticultural Society Press Office: laurascruby@rhs.org.uk / 0207 821 3060

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262