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Two hot summers to blame for best holly berry boom in 20 years

As the autumn days start to dwindle and we all look towards the festive season, we'll soon be decorating our homes in Christmas cheer! And for those wanting to make their own Christmas decorations using holly bushes, they could be the best holly blooms for 20 years.

According to a report issued by the Royal Horticultural Society, holly berries have been in abundance this year. They refer to it as a "mast year" where trees and shurbs put on a better display than normal. As a result, some holly bushes have been seen to produce more than double the amount of colourful berries. And it's not just in the Anglia region, but right up and down the country too!

The bumper crop is a welcome sight for wildlife, despite old folklore suggesting that bountiful holly berries are a sign of a harsh winter ahead...

The phenomenon is more likely thanks to 2018’s blazing hot, dry summer weather

– RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter

It's thought that the hot dry summer of 2018 and the hot summer of 2019 are to blame. Holly bushes are very tolerant to drought-like conditions, thanks to their waxy leaves preventing water loss and the spikes acting like cooling fins on an engine. This year the berries weren't affected by a spring frost as the bushes flowered too late, thus the hot summer of 2019 helped them plump up. But make the most of them because if you don't the birds will!

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