Common name: Blueberry
Botanical name: Vaccinium corymbosum
What it is: An upright fruiting shrub with tasty, nutritious dark-blue berries that ripen late June to early August, depending on variety. Very attractive: late-spring white hanging bell-shaped flowers, then fruits, then glossy blood-red fall foliage.
Size: 5 feet tall, 3 feet wide.
Where to use: Makes good-looking, edible hedge along a property line or vegetable-garden fence. Also good along a southern or western house foundation. Best in full sun. Use at least three different varieties for best cross-pollination and to spread out harvest. Good varieties: ‘Sunrise,’ ‘Duke,’ ‘Patriot,’ ‘Bluecrop,’ ‘Herbert,’ ‘Jersey,’ ‘Aurora.’
Why I like it: I love blueberries! Enough said? We have 5 bushes and we picked about 8 gallons in one week in 2010. Unfortunately the birds like them too, so we have to spend some time and trouble putting up a “cage” around them so we have some to eat for ourselves. The birds still manage to get into our fortress somehow and take their share anyway. They are also really easy to freeze. Pick, bag and freeze. Easy as that! They also have nice fall color.