Too often we think of landscaping in purely decorative terms. At most, we can consider what will support the birds during the winter. However, “foodscaping” offers practical application for your landscape without sacrificing the ornamental aspect. As more and more people strive to add sustainability to their lives, they may want to consider introducing color and texture to their garden by adding berry shrubs or edible berries. .
Several types of berries attract pollinators, another important aspect of sustainability that also adds an element of entertainment to the casual observer of the garden. There are many types of delicious berries, and they are berry shrubs that you can plant in your own garden.
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Boysenberry is very similar to a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry. For those who have never tried one, this is probably because they are too fragile to be transported easily. This makes them a good candidate for backyard berry cultivation. Shrubs prefer full sun (with some shade in hot summers) and rich soil in zones 5 through 9. As a member of the rose family, the Boysenberry bush can have thorns, it should so be careful when pruning. But it’s worth it when you taste their berries, which are so high in anthocyanins (which are linked to improving eye health and other anti-inflammatory benefits) that they’re considered a super. food.
A major source of antioxidants, flavonoids (which help preserve memory), and vitamin C, blueberries are popular in muffins, pancakes, pies, smoothies, and more. These fruit shrubs grow best in northern climates, enjoying well-drained, highly acidic soil in sunny locations with some protection from strong winds. There are several cultivars available, most of which have a moderate to slow growth rate, which means it can take up to 6 years to harvest. Although they are self-pollinating, blueberries do best when planted in multiples.
Native to many parts of the United States and southern Canada, elderberry can grow in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 11, preferring moist soils and open areas. The black and blue varieties attract wildlife and humans, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises humans to consume only cooked berries or fermented berry juice. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, elderberries can boost the immune system and provide other medicinal benefits. In the garden, plant one or more elderberries to form a hedge. Either way, the shrub will attract butterflies.
Lingonberries are berry shrubs grown in full sun or partial shade in zones 3 through 8. A close relative of cranberries and blueberries, lingonberries are small shrubs up to 18 inches tall and wide. They require rich soil (but little fertilizer) and dislike competition in the garden. Even under the best conditions, they are slow to mature, often taking up to 7 years. The pretty red berries they produce are smaller, sweeter, and juicier than cranberries, but just as sour, so growers rarely eat them raw. Lingonberries make great jams and sauces and are traditionally used in Swedish cuisine.
5. Goji berry
Native to Asia, the goji berry, or goji berry, has become popular around the world for its health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, regulating glucose, and anti-aging properties. These berries loaded with antioxidants may even help slow the spread of cancer. However, anyone taking blood thinners should avoid goji berries. Thriving in sun or partial shade in zones 5 through 9, these vine-like, self-pollinating shrubs do best when grown against a trellis. Their bright red fruits are sweet and will continue to produce until frost.
Blackberries are a tasty source of antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients. Commonly known as cranberries, they are perennial berries that produce fruit from the canes of the previous year. While relatively easy to grow in zones 5-10 – given plenty of sun and a well-draining sandy loam – mulberries come in as semi-erect, creeping cultivars, each having varieties with and without thorns. Tolerant of both cold and heat, this tangy fruit from this hardy survivor can be eaten raw or cooked in jams, sauces and a variety of dishes.
Sometimes called blue honeysuckle, the blackberry produces a fruit resembling an elongated blueberry, with a taste similar to that of an unripe blueberry or blackberry. Among the berry clusters, they produce the greatest amount of anthocyanins. One of the reasons for their rise in popularity is Honeyberry’s penchant for cooler growing conditions, which makes them viable for zones 2 through 7. They are not difficult with the soil, as long as it drains. Good. The shrubs ripen slowly, but they are worth the wait.
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8. Logan’s blackberry
A cross between North American blackberry and European raspberry, Logan’s blackberry looks like a red-purple blackberry and tastes like a combination of the two. More disease resistant than many berry shrubs, Logan Berry produces long, unruly stems that die off after their second year. These self-propagating plants fruit earlier than mulberry trees, typically mid-summer to mid-fall in zones 6 through 9.
9. Miraculous berry
The sun-loving Miracle Berry grows best in zones 9 through 11 in acidic soil with only partial sunlight and minimal watering. For this reason, the self-fruiting shrub makes an excellent container plant. Native to the tropics of West Africa, the miracle berry owes its name to the effect of its small red berries on the taste buds; it is so sweet that all food eaten after it tastes is also sweet. This can be of benefit to people who are undergoing chemotherapy or diabetes treatment or taking appetite suppressant medications.
This small shrub, native to North America, has a vase shape that expands to form a thicket. It is perfect for providing desirable shelter for birds, which enjoy munching on its fruit during the winter. White flowers in May give way to very tangy dark purple fruits. Full of antioxidants, chokeberry is commonly consumed in jams, jellies, baked goods, tea, and wine. The contrast of its orangey fall leaves against the almost black fruit makes it an attractive addition to the garden.
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A widespread favorite among garden berries, raspberries are another cranberry. Grow them in zones 3 through 9, knowing that cold, humid weather during flowering can produce gray mold. Avoid planting them near nightshades and other berries to prevent the spread of disease. Raspberries should start producing within 2 years. They grow best with lots of sun and good drainage, but the canes don’t like to dry out.
Heavy feeders, raspberries will benefit from compost, mulch, and fertilizer. The stems will need to be pruned and will be on the lookout for suckers that spread by growing from the roots. These tasty berries contain potassium for cardiovascular health and blood pressure management, omega-3 fatty acids to help prevent strokes and heart disease, and manganese, which is necessary for healthy bones and skin.