I have never been a great fan of Fatsia japonica, much preferring its exotic love child with the common ivy, x Fatshedera lizei, especially the glamorously variegated cultivar “Anneweike”. Perhaps this is a touch of plant snobbery. Perhaps it is a little too common for my bohemian tastes. Perhaps I am getting a little too big for my boots, shame on me! Its glossy eight lobbed leaves are especially welcome at this time of year when they can almost dazzle in the gloom. If that alone isn’t enough to warrant a kind word or two, creamy aralia-esque flower umbels are produced in autumn which are followed by raven black berries in winter. These will provide a welcome larder for the birds at a time when they have to look a bit harder for food. I think I may have convinced myself, this is definitely a worthwhile addition to any garden. Watch out for the gummy sap though, it can irritate the sensitive. Like me.