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Glorious in the Garden Now… Ilex aquifolium

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Glorious in the Garden Now… Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium, most commonly known as “Holly” is a charming evergreen that is currently flourishing gloriously throughout a number of our gardens this November. 

Providing a sheltered and safe space for wildlife, Holly is a garden favourite that has been traditionally used to decorate interiors during the winter period. A divine evergreen that burgeons a beautiful contrast of cherry red berries against glossy dark leaves, it’s no surprise that Holly has been historically recognised as a top late autumn and winter garden planting choice. Supporting local wildlife and diffusing a delightful array of seasonal interest throughout the garden, uncover the beauty behind Ilex aquifolium. 

When and where to plant:

Best planted from November until early March, Holly is a hardy shrub that thrives within the winter months and can be included in a variety of winter planting schemes. Filling the garden with a glorious structure, Holly is fabulous for adding depth to borders. Due to Holly’s hardy nature, it can be planted in a range of challenging spots too! Grown in areas that receive full sun to full shade, Holly grows best within moist and balanced soil.

Tolerance and resistance: 

Typically flowering in June and July, female Holly plants also produce striking red berries from the autumn and throughout winter. Extremely hardy shrubs and specimen trees, Holly is known to originate from the UK, therefore it is a plant that is extremely resistant to colder temperatures, differing soil conditions and various tricky planting locations.

Curious cuttings:

Now known as a prime symbol of wintertime, Holly trees were once regarded as a symbol of fertility and were often used as a tool for warding off witches, the devil and other threatening creatures! If you were to cut down a holly tree this was also viewed as an extremely unfavourable act that would leave you susceptible to significant bad luck in the future.


A charming plant full of personality, Holly is a magnet for attracting waves of pollinators and wildlife to explore the garden. An aesthetic garden shrub, Holly plays a crucial role when helping garden wildlife during the colder, harsher winter months. Supporting bees, insects and butterflies, Holly also produces seeds for birds and makes a wonderfully secluded spot for hedgehogs to cosy up throughout their hibernation period.

Discover more plants that are glorious in the garden and outdoor living inspiration by browsing our stories below. 

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