We’re ready to try our hand at growing fruit, not just vegetables and flowers.
Influenced by “Landscaping With Fruit,” a new book by Lee Reich that we heard about on “You Bet Your Garden,” we snapped up a couple of blueberry bushes and a red currant plant at a local nursury’s half-price sale. Who knew that blueberry bushes turn red in the fall, offering more interest than just fruit? And both are deer-resistant.
The blueberries will go in the front yard, one near a burning bush planted a couple of years ago on one side of the driveway and the other on the other side of the drive as an extension of the flower bed near the Black-Eyed Susans. Both should get plenty of sun. We’ll have enough time this winter to plot how we will keep the birds from eating all the berries.
The red currant will go in the bed along the back deck, letting it use the railing as a trellis. This one apparently likes some shade, so this is a good location to tone down the sun. If we can keep the birds away long enough, think of the jam I can make…
We’re also thinking about pears, if we can find some and make sure we have enough room to space out a couple between two other trees. Friends had some in zone 5 and had more than enough for themselves and the animals. But maybe that’s next year’s project.


5 thoughts on “Fruitcake

  1. Tomato lovers, take note: the 11th annual Fêtes des Tomates (Tomato Festival) will be held September 12-13, 2009 on the grounds of the lovely 16th century Château La Bourdaisière, in Mountlouis-sur-Loire. Owned by Prince Louis Albert de Broglie (a.k.a. “The Garden Prince”), the château’s unique tomato conservatory features over 630 varieties of heirloom tomatoes in every imaginable size, shape, and color. De Broglie—a passionate gardener—has been collecting tomato seeds since 1995, searching out unique varietals in markets around the world to plant in his garden. The festival’s theme this year is ‘La tomate pour la santé!’ (‘Tomato for the health’) and features tomato tastings, biodynamic gardening classes, and guided tours of the gardens and conservatories (one for tomatoes and one for medicinal plants).

  2. What about a quince tree rather than a pear tree? You can get pears anywhere, but St Lawrence market charges $3 for a single quince — if they ever have them. Think of the jams and jellies you could make with quinces.

    1. And I know just who would help me and take the extras!
      Not a bad idea. Rutgers says they are “seldom severely damaged” by deer — and rates them above pear! If they self-pollinate and come in dwarf varieties (that can still mean 15 feet), even better.

      1. They must self pollinate. When I was growing up we had what must have been the only quince tree for miles around and it did just fine. They have a heavenly smell too. And the $3 ones I saw here were fit for eating raw as well. The ones we had had to be cooked.

  3. I think you’ll like the red currant. I planted two bushes barerooted last spring. This year I had a decent crop – the berries were a nice size and a good balance of sweet & tart. There wasn’t enough for jam – but I had enough for lunches for about two weeks. The birds and squirrels didn’t know what they were. Next year I’m hoping for enough to make jam. They have a really pretty leaf, which is nice for foilage afterward. I have one black currant which produced in its 3rd year – so next year I’m hoping to do both a black & red currant jam.
    The quince idea is a good one, too. My city-yard is too small for trees…

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