Time to be thinking about the garden

So as we are starting to see the end of April where "...April showers bring May flowers."  This just might be a great time to seriously start thinking about what's going to happen outdoors in your Vermont Dream Home.  One of the huge things to consider is the landscaping, shrubbery, flowers, and how about considering Blueberries.

A long time ago, we would take our kids to the "berry farm" and spend hours picking blueberries, strawberries, and having just tons of fun.  Of course everyone had blue faces, hands, and T-shirts.  Oh well, it is one of those great memories from less complicated days.

If you are considering blueberries on your property here is a brief introduction to the delicious world of berries.  

Blueberries are native to the eastern United States and do very well even in the soils that are typical of the northeast.  In our corner of the world most of the soils are acidic, blueberries thrive here because of our plentiful rainfall and the soils are just right.

Basically there are two types of blueberries, there is the Highbush blueberry and the Lowbush blueberry.  Within these two major groups there are numerous varieties almost all of which grow well in zones 4 through 7.  Some of the lowbush berries do well even in Zone 3.  Obviously before you plant your blueberries check to see which zone you are in.  Most of Vermont falls within Zone 3 through 5.  Take time to check the information that is available from The USDA about growing zones; it really can be interesting.

There are so many recipes for Blueberry pancakes, muffins, cake, egad the list could go one forever.  Since this is not exactly a cooking page I'll leave that to others.  But, in addition to eating the Blueberries there is the landscaping beauty of the actual bush  that has beautiful flowers and fall colors.  Since they are so hardy the blueberries are a favorite shrub for landscapers.  Grouped with ferns, lowbush blueberries, highbush berries, and all sorts of ground covers the Blueberries create a spectacular display with white flowers in the spring, blue and black berries in the summer, and quite the spectacular show of reds and orange in the fall.

If you are looking to attract wildlife the Blueberry is perfect.  A huge assortment of bees will be drawn to the spring flowers as a source of nectar.  The actual berries will attract so many birds you might want to cover your plants with netting before the birds eat all the berries.  Blueberry bushes can put on quite a show of excitement throughout the spring and summer.

One last thought - blueberries can be easily frozen for your enjoyment throughout the winter.  Place the fresh berries on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer, they will freeze quickly and then be placed in plastic bags.  When thawed through the winter they can be thoroughly enjoyed by all creating a second round of blue fingers.

Have fun in your new yard.

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