22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 17


Popular Hollies THE celebration of Christmas cast its shadow before it in many country places in the shape of lorries that were sent in numbers round the lanes to gather holly. Most of the holly is filched, but a certain number of landowners whose estates lie near great towns make a limited amount of money out of the harvest. They argue that they get their hollies pruned gratis—and a holly " cuts " well—and receive a little hard cash. Others protest strongly, though they confess that the holly thieves do much less harm than the briar thieves, who sell rooted plants to nursery gardeners. The harvest is this year bumper. Almost every berried bush has flourished, though by Christmas most of the berries, always excepting the hollies, have vanished. The market for this seasonable coral does not appear to have been much affected by the war.