She wrote a great profile of Vaccinium corymbosum, the blueberry bush. The giveaway was a copy of A Gardener's Guide to Blueberries from Fall Creek Nursery.
This is so perfect. The guide is in the mail, on its way to save the faltering relationship between a gardener and her blueberries.
My relationship with four 'Northblue' vaccinium corymbosum plants has been up and down. This may help me save it.
One film stunt is several minutes of split screen running two narratives side by side. One side is titled "Expectation" and the other is "Reality". Same scenes, different takes.
Well, I have 500 Days of Blueberries running in my garden. Expectation and Reality are at odds. Here is the split screen tale of my troubled relationship with the blueberries I am growing:
Expectation:Luscious fruit. Abundant berries. Deep blue round treasures dusted in a soft blush. If you net them against the critters, you can have blueberries on your cereal each morning in July.
Reality:I did, I did. . . . I got blueberries the first three years, and the picture below proves it. But this year, despite lots of flowers, I did not get any fruits. None. They simply flowered this spring, and then the flowers fell off.
|My harvest, July 2009|
Expectation:Brilliant fall color. Red, eye popping autumn foliage.
Reality:Nah. Each year the foliage got a leaf spot problem and dropped early. I never got any fall color. Last year I sprayed with Neem, and did get some rusty red action going, but the leaves dropped off before the feathery amsonias behind them turned their lovely yellow color.
|Not much color, and no contrast with the amsonias|
Expectation and reality. Unrequited love. All playing out in a garden plot next to the house.
My plants are in acid soil, a must for blueberries. My soil is naturally slightly acid, and when these were planted I added a ton of peat moss. 'Northblue' is fully self fertile, so they do not need other blueberry plants around to flower and fruit. They are well watered, which their shallow roots need. They do bloom, they grow, and during the early summer the plants look good, a nice clean green filler in between the taller amsonias and some groundcover geraniums.
But the late season leaf problems and the lack of any fruit this year eliminate two of the reasons for growing blueberries. Such expectations. Such disappointment.
The guide I won in the drawing is therefore timely for me. I need to see if I can save this fractured relationship with a plant I really want to love but can't seem to be happy with.