There are the four I planted several years ago that are half high (Vaccinium corymbosum 'Northblue').
They are self fertile, and produce a good crop, although only briefly in July, and the fruits are a little tart. Fall color was good, and generally these are pretty plants sitting out there in the sunshine, not too big for the space and kind of woodsy looking.
|In summer four Vaccinium 'Northblue' are between the rosemary on the left|
and the wine colored redbud on the right.
Then I added a very little one, called 'Northcountry', that stays quite dwarf.
|Vaccinium corymbosum 'Northcountry' in a pot on the patio in fall.|
Later I planted it out in the garden.
With five bushes I had enough blueberries for ornamental interest, and for my breakfast cereal for a short time in summer. I leave one for the birds, but put a net over the others.
This spring I added two dwarf blueberries to keep in pots on the deck.
|Vaccinium corymbosum 'Jelly Bean'|
Why more blueberries? Because these were named 'Jelly Bean'.
I am a marketer's dream --- if you call a little blueberry bush 'Jelly Bean' I will buy it. The fruits are supposed to be very sweet, like jam, and that will be nice, since my 'Northblue' shrubs produce tart berries.
Blueberry jam in the raw! Jelly berries!
So far so good -- more than enough blueberries for my needs now.
But then I got six native highbush blueberry shrubs last week. I ordered three from our conservation district plant sale, and thought I'd put them out in the meadow for the birds. They will be tall shrubs, with red color in the fall that I thought would be pretty in front of the native forest I am creating out there. I don't need the fruit, I just wanted the wildlife-friendly woodsy looking shrubs for their look at the open edge of the mini forest.
When I picked up my three highbush shrubs, the volunteer put six in my car. No, no, I said, I only bought three. Keep them, he said. They were unsold during the ordering process.
I guess I looked like someone who could use more blueberries.
The plant sale order form had simply offered a "set of three" blueberries. It turns out the set included one early fruiting variety ('Northland'), one mid season variety ('Berkeley') and one late season ('Darrow'). And since I ended up with six plants, I actually have two of each variety.
Early. Wild berry taste in small fruits.
Orange fall color and reddish winter twigs.
Mid-season. Mild taste in powdery blue berries.
Good fall foliage color, yellow stems in winter.
Late season. The fruits are huge, half dollar size!
It doesn't produce very heavily, though.
(I grabbed these pictures from Northeast Nursery, Inc. when I was researching what I had bought.)
I really only wanted these highbush blueberries for their shrub look in the meadow, but now I'm intrigued with the fruit I might harvest. Does anyone grow these three types?
I'm a little worried, though, that I might have to register with the agriculture department as an operational fruit farm now.