Blueberries as Edible Landscaping

comments (6) March 4th, 2010

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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I dont recommend sending the kids out to harvest blueberries. They usually dont return with any.
 
Photo by Pink Sherbet under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
This could be the view on your kitchen table.
 
Photo by crabchick under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
Blueberry varieties can be either deciduous or evergreen.
 
Photo by Jim Clark under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.
I dont recommend sending the kids out to harvest blueberries. They usually dont return with any.
 
Photo by Pink Sherbet under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

I don't recommend sending the kids out to harvest blueberries. They usually don't return with any.

 

Photo by Pink Sherbet under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.


Here's something new to us this year - blueberries in our front yard landscaping. I've been trying to do this for years but ended up on some other gardening escapade instead. I mean, there's like a kazillion ways to go with this gardening thing. So many plants; so little time and all that. But this year we got the blueberries in and along with our columnar apple trees, they're creating a truly edible landscape.

Recently edible landscaping has gotten a lot of attention and I have no idea why it hasn't caught on earlier. It's such a brilliant way of taking advantage of the little bit of land that many of us have but use strictly for ornamentals.

Not that I'm against ornamentals - on the contrary. I have 6 Japanese maples adorning my yards, 5 camellias, and quite a few roses, to name a few. And trust me, they aren't coming out. But it might not be obvious that food can be just as decorative and brings the added benefit of feeding you, too.

Take my blueberries, for example. The dwarf varieties are compact and nicely shaped just as any ornamental shrub should be. They'll reach about 1 1/2 to 3 feet high when they're mature. If you'd prefer taller bushes, you can plant the highbush plants that will grow to 5 or 6 feet tall.

Right now they have these darling little pink bell flowers on them which began showing up in February when many other shrubs are refusing to share their blossoms. In the summer, we'll have plump, delicious berries for snacking, pies, ice cream, and muffins. After that, many blueberry bushes will add fall color by offering brilliant red or even yellow leaves.

I'm having a hard time figuring out why blueberries aren't routinely added to landscaping to begin with. I know what you're thinking. You're figuring that maybe people don't want a plant that loses all of it's leaves. That there's no winter interest, am I right?

Not to brag (I mean I didn't create the variety) but the blueberries we planted are called "Sunshine" than they are an evergreen shrub (zone 9). That said, most blueberry varieties are deciduous shrubs. But are you honestly going to find fault with a lady for taking her time to get dressed? And when she does show up, she looks like a million bucks - for months at a time. C'mon, you couldn't pull that off.


posted in: berries, blueberries, Edible Landscaping

Comments (6)

VeraJames writes: Awesome
Posted: 1:21 am on November 2nd
jorgepalmer7 writes: Great effort
Posted: 5:13 am on March 2nd
JimmyLee21 writes: Looks Yummy
Posted: 2:24 am on February 2nd
Acerfan writes: I planted 2 Sunshine blueberry plants in containers last spring and enjoyed picking handfulls of blueberries a couple times a week for months. These bushes are small, approx 18" tall and wide. It was great. I bought another from the same garden center this year. They're not evergreen in my zone 7 area, but they did have pretty red leaves in the fall. I plan to use them as a low hedge near the garage entrance to the house. I'll be able to harvest them on the way into the house after work.
Posted: 7:26 am on March 22nd
ChrisMcLaughlin writes: JadaE: That's wonderful! One of the things that I noticed is that when I began to use the term "edible landscaping" it opened up a new world for me. I no longer thought planting food in a certain garden area and I found I had a lot more space than I realized.
Posted: 12:58 pm on March 15th
JadaE writes: For my birthday, my hubby agreed to plant 5 blueberry bushes, 3 blackberry bushes, and an elderberry bush! I bought 'em, he will do the back breaking work of digging and planting them!

For all you Southern gardeners out there, I recommend Willis Orchards out of Berlin, GA. They specialize in varieties that do well in our hot, humid summers. I needed the rabbiteye varieties of blueberries, and Willis had several varieties so that my harvest will go on for weeks! They also have great prices on 3-4 yr old plants, that will likely give you fruit THIS summer!

This edible landscaping thing is FUN! :)
Posted: 11:10 am on March 13th
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