The Holly Ilex Aquifolium Silver Van Tol, well it was a toss up between JC Van Tol with the green leaves, or the variegated form Silver Van Tol, silver won the day
Performance in our garden
(Ilex Aquifolium Silver Van Tol) All this faffing about with making sure the Holly which you plant will have berries gets on my nerves. Perhaps you only have room for the one plant, did you buy a male instead of female, not surprised considering some of the males are called Queens and some females are Kings.
Best bet is to get a self fertile variety, one that really does work, like, JC Van Tol or the hard to find Silver Van Tol.
In Aberdeen, a few years ago, I planted JC Van Tol, the plain green leaf variety in a friends garden. The shrub thrived and produced masses of berries each Autumn/Winter
Here, in our new Cheshire garden, I have planted a full standard specimen. of Silver Van Tol.
We did get it at a reduced price, as it was the last one available, and was actually looking desperate to be planted out.
A few weeks later, it fairly perked up and the yellow berries have now turned red, the lollipop shrub is looking good in early October.
Silver Van Tol has pride and place in the central border of our back garden, and being self fertile like JC, will I am sure look even better next year as the garden develops.
The green oval shaped leaves of Silver Van Tol are edged in varying shades of cream, and not at all silver as would be expected.
White insignificant flowers are produced in Spring, masses of them will indicate a bumper crop of berries to look forward to come Autumn. Which brings us on to the pruning of Holly.
In Aberdeen I have cut back Holly shrubs in all four seasons without causing any harm to the plant. However it makes sense that if you prune back stems in Spring which have flowers or for that matter cut back stems in Summer which did have flowers, then it stands to reason that you will be reducing the amount of berries which it will produce come Autumn.
The simple answer which has worked well for me is to prune lightly, by shaping up the shrub if necessary just after the berries have gone over in Winter. If you feel it is getting too large and out of hand then hard pruning in early Summer will cause no harm, and will rejuvenate the plant, you will of course have very little or no berries in the Winter of that year. Pruning is easy with JC Van Tol as it bears no spines, the silver one which is a sport of JC is more or less spineless, some leaves at the tip may be a little prickly.
Our new standard form of Silver Van Tol will probably not require pruning in the first two seasons.
Thrives in any decent free draining soil in full sun or semi shade.
Silver Van Tol is difficult to get a hold of, if you see it being offered, as I have done, as being green with silver edges and very spiky, this is not van tol and will be one which probably is not self fertile.
JC Van Tol available on the link below. This is the Nursery where I purchased Silver Van Tol, I think they are out of it at the moment, pretty sure they would order it for you.
Below, are plants which were blooming in our garden in early October, some of which were clearly just hanging on.
Place your cursor over the the picture to reveal the plant name.
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