Here I am again talking about things that no one seems to address. Why I must ask is it not encouraged to plant edible fruit bearing trees and shrubs in our gardens. I will tell you why. Most designers are stuck in their college architecture class and have very little ability to think outside that box.
Don’t get me wrong. I have my masters degree in education and in most cases will demonstrate all the benefits to getting a college degree. The main issue with education is it doesn’t address many of the realities of practical gardening and maintenance. There needs to be a demonstrated practical exam in design, spacial relationship, soil development and maintenance, that begins the first year student. This planting, design, soil, and maintenance demonstation exam process begins as a freshman and is completed prior to graduation. Upon graduation students demonstrate the growth and evolution of their plantings and designs (Journals describing the process). NOW THAT WOULD BE AN EDUCATION WORTH PAYING FOR.
I could create the curriculum and design the coursework within an existing program but there needs to be teachers dedicated to transferring what they know to their students with great humility.
Back to topic. Blueberry bushes in the north east, Apple trees around the country, citrus in California and Florida. There are so many other options but I will begin with the simplest planting and the easiest maintenance. BLUEBERRIES. Great plant. Wonderful fruit. Invites nature to our man made world. Pretty Fall coloration (leaves turn a variety of reds). Branching structure can be designed to create a maze for winter spring summer and fall. Soil conditions are favorable in most places as long as not overly wet (good drainage).
I bought my house over 13 years ago and inherited 4 Blueberry bushes, 2 different varieties (it is always encouraged to plant at least 2 different varieties for a number of reasons which are not important right now). For the first few years I restored them to a manageable size, no larger than 7 feet high and width based on yard space available. I began caging them after a few years so the birds couldn’t get them before my children had a chance to go picking. Unfortunately the plastic netting posed many problems, for the birds would get tangled in the material. Well after carefully catching and releasing 3 different birds over a 2 years time span the netting was history (always nature first). I left the main cage material up, chicken wire and removed all the plastic netting. The adventure continued because there was always enough time in the beginning of the harvesting season to get lots of berries before the birds discovered them. Once the birds found them that was the end of berries and the beginning of bird watching.
I have since bought a second property (4 years ago) that I grow a number of different plants including Blueberries (12 plants now and 4 differnet varieties). I have also begun the promotion of planting fruit bearing trees and shrubs on my clients properties. The care of these plants in not out of the ordinary and the resulting pleasure is as great as any other plant. The idea behind planting and designing needs to be the practical married to the fantasy. I will tell you all one key to planting these beauties on your properties. Always utilize the outer portion of your property and all wasted space with these plants. Nature is full to be a part of, but at a distance is safest for all.
Go out and plant the adventure. Expand your cerebral garden. Don’t forget all the antioxidants you will be bringing into this world. Organics with all these plants is easy. Just throw everything into the ground, mulch, woodchips, grass clippings, garden scraps with your new plantings. INVITE all of NATURE to HELP your GARDEN GROW.