Articles in Category: Berries Attract Wildlife

Blackberry 'Triple Crown'

on Saturday, 11 February 2017. Posted in Berries Attract Wildlife, Attracts Pollinators, Edible, Perennial

'Triple Crown' Blackberry

Blackberries2'Triple Crown' Blackberry will surprise you with its vigor, the size of its berries, and how long you harvest. Blackberries may be one of the easier berrries to grow if you are just starting out in the edible world, they aren't as picky about soil type as blueberries and raspberries, and don't need refreshed as often as strawberries.  They thrive in the heat and can tolerate clay soils better than other edibles.  The main thing they require is a sturdy trellis or structure to be trained against.  Most blackberries will spread to at least 5-6' wide and 4-6' tall depending on how you train them.   A well draining soil is best and we mulch well with straw to keep moisture in.  Make mounds or grow them on a berm if your drainage is not ideal.  'Triple Crown' is a thornless variety so it is easier to train and harvest. The berries are at least thumb sized and ripen over at least 6 weeks in mid to late summer.  Be sure to attract pollinators to your garden with other blooming perennials and shrubs so that the bees will find your blackberry flowers.  Bareroot plants are typically available in Feb-March and that is the best time to get them in the ground and established before summer heat.  A weekly deep soak is usually enough to keep these berries happy. Here is a post on how to prune them in the late winter.

See our Fruiting Plant list for other varieties we carry.

Ilex meserveae 'Blue Girl'

on Monday, 05 December 2016. Posted in Good for Screening, Winter Interest, Berries Attract Wildlife, Evergreen, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant

Blue Girl Holly

photoIlexBlueGirl250x376

Holly may seem a bit pedestrian of a choice for a plant of the week, but it fits the season and the red berries brighten up these gray fall days. Plus 'Blue Girl' Holly is deer resistant (although in Ashland, the deer are ignoring this advice), drought tolerant, tough, and can tolerate sun or shade.

The glossy dark green leaves do have spines but they are not as sharp as many other holly types or even barberry. The leaves look fresh and clean and are complimented by purple stems and bright clusters of red berries. You can keep this holly around 3'-4' if you like with occasional pruning or let it get 5-6' tall and 3-6' wide for a dense hedge. You do need a  'Blue Boy' to keep the berry production up, but it seems that there is usually a holly bush in the neighborhood to assist with pollination. This species is especially cold hardy and can handle clay soils, appreciating the typically acidic pH of clay soils.

Keep watering to the drier side of the spectrum, and prune back if needed in the winter. 'Blue Girl' Holly is not a fast grower, so it is a good choice for growing in a container paired with other festive-colored plants, like Heuchera, Nandina, and ornamental grasses.

Viburnum trilobum and V. plicatum var. tomentosum

on Tuesday, 19 April 2016. Posted in Berries Attract Wildlife, Attracts Pollinators, Fall Color, Edible, Shrubs, Flowering Plants

Cranberry and Doublefile Viburnum

photoViburnumPlicatumTomentosum-DoublefileViburnum250x166

There are a lot of Viburnum species out there and these are two of our favorites.  Simply elegant and easy, the Cranberry Viburnum (trilobum, photo at bottom) and Doublefile Viburnum (plicatum tomentosum, photo at top) sport a flower more similar to a lacecap hydrangea than the more common snowball Viburnum.  They are much easier and less fussy than the moisture-loving Hydrangeas.  The flower clusters are interesting to watch unfold over the late spring weeks adding a long term interest for a flowering shrub.  The flowers of both varieties turn to red fruit but the Cranberry Viburnum's fruit is technically edible and more profuse.  These deciduous Viburnums also get nice fall color, a wine red.  The Cranberry bush Viburnum has a lovely tiered, layered habit that fits nicely in a woodland or more naturalistic garden.  The horizontal branching of the Doublefile Viburnum gives it a nice form even through the bare days of winter.   We have a Cranberry Viburnum on the NW corner of our house and seems to take the afternoon heat and part shade in stride.  Their preference is probably not the hottest location you have but dappled light, part shade, or protection from all day sun, although once acclimated seem to tolerate it. 

Mahonia species

on Monday, 30 November 2015. Posted in Winter Interest, Berries Attract Wildlife, Native, Evergreen, Shade Plants, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Oregon Grape

mahonia_compacta

Being a local native plant, Mahonias can take both our winter wet and summer dry, and can be very drought tolerant once established. Their thick leathery leaves and spiny edges also make them unpalatable to deer.

Most species of Oregon Grape are evergreen, but still turn a rainbow of colors in the fall and winter giving them more interest than the average evergreen shrub. Spikes of cheerful yellow, fragrant flowers emerge early in spring and turn to blue-black fruit that are edible but more appealing to birds than humans. Most varieties spread via underground runners and make a nice colony, so best to give them room to shine and do their thing! 

The ones we use the most in the Rogue Valley are:

Mahonia flowerMahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) - This is the taller species of the native Oregon Grape, getting to 6' or more and spreading by underground runners. They look best as a mass planting in a native woodland situation and perform best in shade, but will take some sun. Can be pruned hard if getting too leggy and will quickly fill in. Is resistant to oak root fungus so good choice under native oaks, as it also doesn't need much water. 

Mahonia aquifolium 'Compacta' (Compact Oregon Grape) - Pictured above left. This variety will stay about 2' tall  and makes a nice, broad colony. New foliage is glossy and becomes matte with age. This plant always looks good, staying full to the ground and cheering up the dark days of winter with its bronzy red winter color.

Mahonia repensMahonia repens (Creeping Mahonia) - This native has a spreading habit and will get about 2-3' tall.  It will tolerate more sun the the taller Oregon Grape as well as part shade and is very drought tolerant. It's leaves are usually more matte than the upright Mahonia but get the same yellow flowers and blue fruit. Great choice for mass groundcover or under oaks.

Mahonia nervosaMahonia nervosa (Longleaf Mahonia) -This Mahonia is a little more particular than the others, requiring more shade but still drought tolerant.  The leaves are more stiffly upright and bit longer.  Makes a nice low shrub or groundcover - around 2' tall - for a shady, woodland garden.

Mahonia x media 'Charity'

on Tuesday, 10 November 2015. Posted in Winter Interest, Berries Attract Wildlife, Evergreen, Shade Plants, Deer Resistant, Shrubs, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Charity Mahonia

Mahonia 'Charity'

Looking for a dramatic addition to your drought tolerant shade garden that is plagued by deer?  Mahonia 'Charity' is a large, upright, evergreen shrub for shade to morning sun and provides extra large spikes of yellow flowers in early spring making it stand out from other Oregon Grape.  This Mahonia is very drought tolerant once established and it's toothed, coarse leaves make it very deer resistant. Best in protected spot- hardy to Zone 7. Would look great in a red container or tucked in a shady corner that needs a large filler.  This gets large- 6-10' tall and 5' wide.  We saw this Mahonia used in front of a more modern looking series of townhomes in Portland and it really made a statement from a distance.  Very striking and sculptural and clean.

More reading about it here:

http://www.greatplantpicks.org/plantlists/view/977