Fabulous Fall Fruits

Botanic name: Berberis koreana
Common name: Korean barberry
Family: Berberidaceae

This Korean native is truly an all-season shrub. It has a rounded shape that gets from 4’ -6’ high.  This fall, you can expect to see it comfortable stationed near the upper garden, adorned with clusters of egg-shaped berries, while the alternate elliptical leaves move from green to a dramatic purple or maroon.

Botanic name: Camellia japonica    
Common name: Japanese camellia
Family: Theaceae

This shrub, though known for its waxy deep green leaves used for tea, and elaborately petaled flowers in the spring, generates a seed pod in autumn.  The pod has up to five divisions within, encapsulating up to eight seeds each. Tea oil is extracted from the seeds and in Asian countries is popular as a sweet seasoning, for use in the care of  knife blades, and in Japan, especially, as a traditional hair care treatment. Here at Leach Garden, we the seed pods are one element of the Autumn show. You can find camellia throughout the hilly area between the upper and lower gardens.

Botanic name:  Gaultheria procumbens
Common name: American wintergreen
Family: Ericaceae

Near the Manor House driveway there is a 6” tall shrublet with dark green simple leaves.  the leaves do remain green throughout the winter, thus leading to the common name of the plant. This time of year it has shy red berry-like fruit that splits open when ripe.  It is native to North America, and while it is not widely dined upon by wildlife, it has been used over the centuries. The leaves and berries are edible, though it is not advisable to eat very much of it as it takes very little wintergreen oil to poison a human.

Botanic name:  Vaccinium macrocarpon
Common name: Cranberry
Family: Ericaceae

​As you wander the perimeter of the Manor House drive, look for a bush vine about a foot tall (though appears taller as it is placed on a slope) adorned with red or pink berries.  This naturalized plant will grow from 3-4’ across, and the simple oblong leaves growing one per node on the stem. The berries are indeed the familiar cranberry, the flesh completely tart, and seeds few and small.  

The Great Leach Garden Bamboo Mystery

In our August Garden Journal entry, we are focusing on the garden’s bamboo…

Quiet Winter Blooms

One typically does not think of a garden being particularly interesting in February, however…

May Flowers

It’s that time of year! Pollinators and garden lovers rejoice, the blooms are here…

The Waking Garden

February may still seem like Winter here in Portland, but in the garden…

What do they have in common?

These plants all have something in common other than being residents at the garden…

Pretty Pink Flourishes

Stroll through the garden and enjoy the many pink and white flourishes…

Bee Loving Native Shrubs

June is a busy time for pollinators, and the garden offers many native shrubs for them…

Fabulous Fall Fruits

Look closely and you will see that the garden plays host to many autumn fruits that are easy to overlook…


December is time for evergreens to shine….


There are several different kinds of Hydrangeas that grow in our area….

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