It’s not just elves and fairies hiding in its branches. Birds too. They make their nest there to better protect their young
and feast on its berries of such an intense red. Persistent, resistant, holly is a strong one with a big heart.
It is the only evergreen tree to live in the northern regions that is not a conifer. This strong and hardy tree regularly exceeds 200 years. We know more than 400 species of holly, very cosmopolitan plants. Due to their very varied shapes and colors, holly are excellent ornamental shrubs, well suited to contemporary small gardens.
Read also: how to grow holly
How to use holly
The holly must be sold to you in containers or lumps.
Plant them in light, deep, preferably acidic soil. Holly tolerates limestone well in general, on the other hand, they do not like too heavy soil.
Open a large hole two weeks before planting so that the soil loosens deeply. Install the plants in the fall in areas with a fairly mild climate, in the spring in other areas.
It is prudent to protect young subjects from the prevailing winds with an awning. Full sun is just as good as shade.
Varieties with variegated foliage benefit from being installed in a fairly bright place. Avoid drafts and drying out of the soil. Water the foliage often during the first two summers.
In winter, shake the holly after a snowfall to prevent the twigs from breaking.
Holly are good cuttings and can be formed into topiaries. They are pruned as they grow (usually in June and September) to keep them in the desired shape. Holly hedges are pruned in March, just before the vegetation leaves, to aerate them a little. Growth is fairly slow, little more than 15 to 20 cm per year. Planting distance: 80 cm to 3 m, depending on use. Be careful, except for some cultivars, it is necessary to combine male and female plants to obtain fruits.
To learn more about holly
France has one of the finest European collections of holly. At the initiative of Pierre Paris, a property in Meung-sur-Loire (tel .: 02 38 63 10 49) has become its national conservatory. The collection of Pierre Paris consists of more than 400 different kinds of holly.