Although I have the odd stray flower clinging on in my garden, defying the colder days and frosty mornings, the main colour now is from the berries. The pyracantha are all laden. This is the only distinctly yellow bush. The other three range from deep orange to bright red. I can remember that the birds have a distinct order of preference, but I can't remember what it is. I shall be looking out for their feeding activity over the next couple of months.
After many dead-headings and a consistent show of blooms, I have finally allowed the roses to develop their hips. These belong to the climber, which is raging rampant over my arch and trellis, in need of a little love and attention. Definitely a task pending!
As children, we used to split the thick rind of the haw to harvest the internal fibres as itching powder; much more cost efficient than buying it at the shop and equally effective! Just thinking about it is making me want to scratch.
Apparently though, rose haws are a real treat for chinchillas; a creature unable to produce its own supply of vitamin C and lacking the ability to process it from all but a few sources. Must remember that if I ever buy a chinchilla!
The cotoneaster berries are also ripened nicely, though these put on a much more subtle show, being smaller and on a ground covering variegated variety, rather than an upright bush. Their position close to both ground and house does mean that they will survive the birds for much longer though, being virtually the last to be consumed. By the time the birds come to this particular table, most self respecting cats will be keeping their paws toasty by the fire!
Finally, I'm never sure whether I like these berries or not. They are a beautiful milky white, but do tend to shrivel quite quickly and produce a lot of brown mess. For some reason, not much else seems to like these berries either, because they hang around all through the winter virtually untouched and take a lot of clearing off the lawn when they drop. In spring, however, this bush will be a blaze of bright yellow flowers. (Roll on!)
I think the plant is called Jew's Mallow, but I'm quite poor on plant names and am totally ready to be corrected.