I learned a creative new use for blueberry plants during a visit to Costco this week. The latest shipment of plants was on display and included the usual ornamental shrubs, trees, and landscape perennials. But of course the thing that caught my eye was the attractive blueberry bushes that were covered with those unusually shaped white flowers!
They looked great and I began checking the varieties when two women approached who were shopping for new plants for their own landscape. For a second they were attracted to the gorgeous blueberry plants until they read a label and realized what they were. At that point the bushes were looked down and frowned upon because as the woman explained to her friend; “the blueberries would stain my vinyl siding!”
That struck me as being pretty funny in one sense, but sad in another, and I could only picture her picking the ripe berries from her bushes and then tossing them against the side of her house. But even with that treatment it’s doubtful that her home would be discolored by the dark blue fruits.
In fact my blueberry plants grow rather nicely right alongside the house and have functioned terrifically as ornamentals. Hundreds of bell shaped blossoms appear every spring and are followed by huge clusters of sweet blue berries in the summer months. For a showy fall display the leaves turn hues of brilliant red or gold, and even during winter the bare stems and bark add a unique tinge of color to the landscape.
No, these blueberries will work just fine for me as a landscape plant that is not only attractive but also yields loads of nutritious and tasty fruit. And I have yet to notice a single stain from the berries. My only concern was which variety to choose as there was a wide selection that included; Duke, Reka, Northland, Chandler, Bluecrop, Jersey, Bluegold, and a few others.
After selecting a couple of healthy plants I headed for the checkout where I ran into a young woman working at the register who was fascinated by the blueberries and began asking lots of questions about them… “What are they? Is this where the berries will grow? How large will the bushes get? How long will blueberry plants last?”
I was encouraged by her interest and happy to answer every question thinking that I may inspire someone to try growing a blueberry plant of their own. That was when she asked me one last question… “Well what are you going to do with them?”
What am I going to do with them! Did she really just ask me that? Guess I could have responded that I was going to go home and stain the house!
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