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Holly Berries


The variegated holly tree in our front yard is covered in vibrant red berries - which is as it should be in the middle of winter, of course.

To be true to the seasons, I should decorate the house with holly now and not at Christmas, which is in the middle of Australia's summer. In summer, holly trees have no berries at all.

And yet, like many Australians, I persist in decorating my Christmas cake with plastic holly while the sun beats down outside.

And as when all the Summer trees are seen
    So bright and green,
The Holly-leaves their fadeless hues display
    Less bright than they;
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the Holly-tree?


Robert Southey, The Holly Tree

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