I love this plant (Symphoricarpos albus var. Laevigatus) although very vigorous, putting on runners that will take over if allowed. However, this isn’t a problem if planted as a hedge, the fullness gives density and with timely pruning, the plant can be maintained to your desired height and depth. This ‘common snowberry’ looks fantastic in the autumn and early winter, resplendent with white malteser sized fruits.

If you wish to feed your garden birds naturally then this could be a plant to add to your garden. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) want to hear from you, if you would like to watch exactly which berries your birds prefer to eat. They are about to carry out a garden bird study and are offering a free ‘Garden birds and study pack’ which gives advice on what plants to grow to help the birds. The study begins on 30 september and ends march 2013. Telephone 01842 750050 or email gbw@bto.org.

This deciduous plant really brings a great show to any passer-by and if planted in front of deep green, black or red stems, I am thinking of Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ (Dogwood) or Phyllostachys nigra (Black Bamboo). Mmm.. absolutely gorgeous. These luminescent white berries are beautiful and I hope not just to me, the garden birds too!

About the plant

Botanical name: Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus
Other names: Common snowberry
Genus: Symphoricarpos
Species: S. albus var. laevigatus – S. albus var. laevigatus is a thicket-forming, deciduous shrub with upright, arching shoots bearing oval to oblong, dark green leaves and, in summer, small, bell-shaped pink flowers followed by spherical, pure white fruit.
Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus is: Deciduous
Flower: Pink in Summer
Foliage: Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Autumn
Fruit: White in Autumn
Habit: Arching, Upright
Toxicity: Fruits can cause a mild stomach upset if ingested.

If you would like to talk with me about a new planting scheme for your garden or a bespoke Dingly Dell, please do feel free to get in touch, my email is judi@judithegardener.co.uk. For gardening development and maintenance enquiries (North-East London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Enfield) please telephone 07818 005773.

Happy gardening!