Monrovia Plant Savvy
design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. March 2011
simply delicious
  Dear Savvy Gardener,

What’s one of the most popular plants in the edible garden? Blueberry. Savvy gardeners have discovered that they’re easy to grow, attractive in the landscape and teaming with delicious plump berries. With plenty of varieties for both cold and warmer climates, you can extend your fruiting season by planting some early-, mid- and late-season fruit bearing selections. Then just thumb your nose at those pricey little baskets of blueberries in the grocery store.

In planning your edible garden, don’t forget about other tasty berries, like Raspberry, Blackberry, Gooseberry, Huckleberry, Lingonberry and of course, Strawberry. Great improvements have been made in these fruit varieties…many are thornless, have longer fruiting times and improved sweet, juicy flavor.

Our edibles expert, Gilbert Resendez, has some excellent suggestions for improved berries.

  How to buy plants
Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America. New Bountiful Blue® has the bluest summer foliage we’ve ever seen.
a funny fruit with a fabulous taste
  Fantastic Foliage leafgif   black and blue

New Bountiful Blue® Blueberry has a heavy set of large, super sweet berries and has stunning foliage that is blue in the summer, purple tinged in the fall, and it is loaded with dainty white blooms in the spring. Our new Black Satin Blackberry is thornless and produces plenty of tasty, large black fruit in midsummer. A native of the West Coast, it tolerates heat well. Or try Thornless Boysenberry for tasty reddish-black fruit in mid-summer.

Canby Red Raspberry

ouchless raspberries

Canby Red Raspberry is a very hardy variety that produces delicious dark-red fruit from midsummer to fall. Indian Summer is another thornless variety and a good choice for the warm Southwest. Expect a first crop of large flavorful berries in July, then again in early fall. Make room in your garden for Willamette , a prolific producer of juicy, dark red Raspberries. Its canes can reach 10 feet long, so provide a trellis to support this vigorous grower.

Fall Gold

not all raspberries are red

Our favorite yellow-gold Raspberry is Fall Gold, producing a bounty of extremely sweet fruit from mid-summer to early fall. This variety is self-pollinating so it doesn’t require another variety to set fruit. This shrub does have thorny canes, so don’t plant it too close to pathways. It could be grown as a hedge at the edge of your property to create a barrier for wandering pets or wildlife.


a gaggle of gooseberries

If you’ve never tasted a sweet juicy Gooseberry, you are missing out. Our Pixwell is considered the best Gooseberry variety available, producing a large crop of pale green fruit that turns pink when fully ripe. They are delicious in pies and jellies. This is an attractive shrub, with glossy foliage that is virtually thorn free. Another berry you may have never tried is Huckleberry. Thunderbird Evergreen Huckleberry makes a stunning ornamental, with red-bronze new foliage that matures to deep green. You’ll have an abundant crop of small, somewhat tart dark-blue fruit, eaten in jams, pies or fresh chilled desserts.

Albion Strawberry

strawberry fields forever

We have a fantastic new variety, Albion Strawberry that produces an extremely high yield of deep red, extra flavorful berries. This everbearing Strawberry has excellent disease resistance and butterflies are attracted to its white blooms. Another favorite is Seascape, a cross of two favorite varieties, Selva and Douglas. It too is disease resistant and produces large, sweet berries.