Thems The Berries!


While sweeping off the balcony this morning, some brilliant reds caught my eye and I captured a few.  The scraggly old rose bush has put forth some beautiful hips, or haws.  I’m sure everyone knows that rose hips are high in Vitamin C and make a delicious tea.  It’s very soothing and beneficial when one has a cold.  In fact, rose hips are supposed to provide relief from colds and flu, diarrhea, gingivitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and urinary tract infections!

You can make tea from dried hips, or those fresh from the bush, but they should be a bright orange or red in color, preferably after a frost.  To prepare berries, cut both blossom and stem tips off and slice in half, or cut into smaller pieces.  I don’t bother removing seeds as I strain the tea into my cup.  I use 5-8 hips per cup of tea, depending on their size.  Put them in a small pot with a cup of water and bring to a boil.  To get the most flavor, let simmer gently for at least 10 minutes — 15 or 20 is better.  In color, the tea will be anything from a light peachy orange to deep red, again, depending on the hips, and how long they’re brewed.  The tea can be a little on the bitter side, and I sweeten mine with a bit of honey.  A delicious and healthy gift from Nature.



Many shrubs display berries and the birds are having a feast.  These noisy grackles were the only ones who would pose for me.  I’m not sure what this shrub is, but it shares a raised bed with a rhododendron.  It has very fragrant, white blooms in the summer.  These berries are fairly small and would look wonderful tucked into a Christmas wreath or by themselves in a vase.


It was difficult to get a good picture of this Viburnum trilobum, or Highbush Cranberry, as its foliage competes with the color of the leaves on the ground.  It has gone through it’s burgundy leaf stage, but still hangs onto lots of berries which will doubtless soon disappear.


It’s almost 25°C here today!  Positively balmy, but with rain on the way.  The geraniums, which have been cut back to just a few inches above the soil, are still putting forth new leaves.  They just don’t know when to quit.

And that’s the view from my balcony today.


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

23 thoughts on “Thems The Berries!”

  1. Fabulous information on making the rose hip tea Nancy! I have some gorgeous orange hips right outside my dining room window that I think I’ll try it out on. Your berry photos are good too. Enjoy the warm before the storm.

  2. Gorgeous photos, Nancy! How heartwarming just to look at them. We have lots of rosehips here, from the rugosas, the eglantine, and a beautiful species rose with grey-green foliage against one side of the house. I, too, love rosehip tea, and I haven’t had any in a while. I think I’ll head off and put the kettle on now…

  3. Hi Nancy, thanks for those images and the recipe. I have never had rose hip tea but do have a few rose hips. I didn’t know what to do with them and now do. What a heavenly color the tea becomes!

  4. I’ll have to try the tea. I know rose hips are in a lot of the tea mixes that I buy.

    Aren’t the berries pretty? We have quite a few different ones with in sight of our house, but since the wild turkey flock in our area has grown, the berries disappear quickly.

    Have you ever made jelly from choke or pin cherries? We did once, and it had a good taste.

  5. We have only just discovered the wonders of rose hips and have claimed our neighbor’s bushes as our own for harvesting the fruit. Next year we’re going to pay closer attention to where the wild bushes are and mark them for harvest.

  6. I have always wondered how to make rose hip tea. Thany you. Now my roses will provide more than just beauty. The vibrunum berries are so pretty in the fall. They stand out against the drab browns and make themselves known to all those birds. 25C isn’t too bad for this time of the year. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  7. I had no idea you can make tea out of it. I think I’m too panaroid about eating anything from the wild that I can’t identify. But now I know! I always thought they were Goji berries.

  8. I’ve enjoyed rosehip tea but never made it myself, not having had roses in my yard. The berries this year are thick and luscious in the woods, and my possumhaw branches are bending underneath the weight of them all. Must share photos of them soon. Lovely post, dear. Especially on this gray, rainy day. Think I’ll go brew some tea now…

  9. That would be just perfect on a day like today. It is a bit rainy and after some short sleeve shirt days is going to get colder. I want a rose that makes a lot of hips.

  10. Nancy,
    What great photos. I have a number of rugosas in my garden. One year a teen age neighbor and I decided to make rose hip jam. It was an enormous effort – and we decided not worth the trouble. Still, it was one of those things that I can say – I did that. Rose hip tea is a lot easier. I will try that. We’ve had our frost and the hips are ripe.

  11. Geraniums have to be one of the most determined plants I’ve ever come across. They just might be up there with cockroaches as impossible to kill.

  12. I gathered some wonderful, large red rose hips a couple of weeks ago while we were out walking in the woods, intending to make jelly, but never did. :-(

    I’ve taken all the pictures for a berry post, but I’ve not finished writing it yet. It’s this time of year that those berries really stand out, isn’t it?

  13. Thanks for posting the info on the rose hips Nancy. I love to make tea from them and I planted my Rugosa rose last year just for its beautiful large hips!

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