Five great hollies

Plant hollies in your garden for winter interest and fantastic seasonal foliage.

Ilex altaclerensis ‘Golden King’. Image: Welsh Holly
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Holly is a fantastic garden plant with a huge variety of foliage and a wide choice of berries and much more. Welsh Holly is a specialist holly tree nursery offering all sorts of holly plants from ornamentals with both silver and gold variegations, to hollies with red, orange and yellow berries and even hollies without prickles on the leaves.

Before you choose the right holly for your garden, think about what you are looking for? If it’s berries that you want, what colour would you prefer? For berries choose a variety that is renowned for good fruits and make sure that you have a male plant in the vicinity to ensure good pollination and lots of berries.

Or if you are more interested in the foliage then consider whether you would like a variegated leaf and if so what colour would you prefer. There are dozens to choose from on the Welsh Holly website and now is a great time to plant them.

Five great holly varieties for your garden

Ilex aquifolium ‘JC Van Tol’
This is a self-fertile female plant that can be grown alone without the need for an additional pollinator plant. It has prickle free leaves too so is a good choice if you have a young family. It’s a regular and reliable fruiter, with oval, elliptical leaves and a pyramidal habit. Grows up to 6m tall. 

Ilex aquifolium ‘JC Van Tol’. Image: Welsh Holly

Ilex aquifolium ‘Silver Queen’
Don’t be fooled by the names of some holly varieties, it can be confusing, for example ‘Silver Queen’ is actually male and grown for its attractive variegated leaves which are broad with irregular creamy white margins and dark olive green centres. The young leaves are an attractive pale pink in colour. Grows up to 6m tall. 

Ilex aquifolium ‘Silver Queen’. Image: Welsh Holly

Ilex altaclerensis ‘Golden King’
This is a female variety (despite the confusing name), popular because it has lovely red orange berries and attractive variegated foliage. The leaves are glossy green in the centre, not very prickly and have an attractive broad but random yellow margins. 

Ilex altaclerensis ‘Golden King’. Image: Welsh Holly

Ilex aquifolium argentea marginata
Grown for its foliage this is a popular silver variegated cultivar with irgegular pinky white margins and lovely red berries.

Ilex aquifolium argentea marginata. Image: Welsh Holly

Ilex meserveae ‘Blue Prince’
This male holly has rich green leaves with a hint of blue and lovely dark stems. It is considered to be a good pollinator partner for other hollies, so it’s a good one to plant in the vicinity of other female plants to ensure berries.

Ilex meserveae ‘Blue Prince’. Image: Welsh Holly
Jean Vernon

About Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon is a slightly quirky, bee friendly, alternative gardener. She doesn’t follow the rules and likes to push the boundaries a bit just to see what happens. She has a fascination for odd plants, especially edibles and a keen interest in growing for pollinators especially bees. She’s rather obsessed with the little buzzers. Telegraph Gardening Correspondent, mostly testing and trialing products and Editor-In-Chief for Richard Jackson’s Garden.
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