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Blueberries in the Landscape

The blueberry bush is best known as a food producer with delectable summer berries, but it has four seasons of interest, which makes it a valuable addition to a garden or landscape.

The Four Seasons of Blueberries

I recommend planting blueberry shrubs for more than just the summer fruits because they have year-round beauty. And like most shrubs, once established they will thrive without much work on your part.

Spring

In order for there to be berries, there must be blooms. In early spring before the leaves come out blueberry shrubs produce clusters of bell-shaped flowers that hang from the tips of the bare stems. The blooms are white with a hint of pink. It's a subtle but beautiful display typical of that time of year when the garden seems so fragile. If you are willing to forego some of the berries, cut a few of the bloom-laden twigs to bring indoors.

Summer

Blueberries in Containers

The glossy green foliage makes a good backdrop for showier plants and there are, of course, the berries. If you are not fond of blueberries, heaven forbid, they will attract birds and wildlife to your garden. You can also harvest the berries to give as a gift.

Fall

Blueberry shrubs have excellent, long lasting fall color. The leaves start burgundy and intensify to a bright red as the temperatures get cooler.

Winter

After a blueberry bush sheds its leaves in winter an interesting framework is revealed. The stems and leaf buds have a reddish cast. It's particularly striking in the snow.

Blueberry Bush Uses

There is a blueberry variety for any location or use. Gardeners in cool climates can grow Lowbush varieties. As the name suggests these bushes hug the ground and spread so they can be used as a ground cover. Half-high are good for small spaces, low borders and containers. They will thrive from about the middle of the country and northward. Plant Highbush blueberries in a row for a hedge and in mixed borders for a focal point. There is a Northern Highbush for, you guessed it, cold regions of the U.S. and a Southern Highbush that can be grown as far south as zone 10.