This addition to our series offers a wealth of information and advice on growing blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries, and dozens of lesser-known relatives otherwise known as vacciniums. Jennifer Trehane explores the historical, ornamental, and edible aspects of Vaccinium, a diverse genus of more than 400 species. The culinary importance of these berry-bearing plants is well known, but too few people are aware of their ornamental potential. Many of the plants described in these pages have brightly colored young growth, flowers that are sometimes scented, and either evergreen or deciduous leaves with brilliant fall color. Some vacciniums become large, bold shrubs, while others remain small and compact, making them ideal for containers and small gardens. This book is only available through print on demand. All interior art is black and white.
|Publisher:||Timber Press, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||7.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Jennifer Trehane and her son have an expanding blueberry business, including a nursery in Dorset, England, that specializes in blueberries, cranberries, and related plants. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in horticulture from the University of Reading and then helped her father plant the first thousand blueberry plants that became the basis of the family business. Her other passion is camellias; she is a past vice president of the International Camellia Society and author of Camellias.
Read an Excerpt
Modern growers of European origin are not, of course, the first to "cultivate" wild blueberries in North America. Indians have gathered the fruit for centuries and still contribute considerably to the harvest. It was they who introduced the practice of burning to control encroaching shrubs, trees and other unwanted "weeds" and to kill the pests and diseases that invade the blueberry patches. This method was not very discriminating, and the European settlers arriving in Maine found a wild, desolate landscape, often with many thousands of acres charred and apparently barren. In Washington County, Maine, the first area of land was officially designated a "barrens" in 1796. This term is now widely used to describe such wild, open spaces, and "blueberry barrens" refer to areas with large patches of lowbush blueberries. It was soon apparent that blueberries thrived under these burning practices and anybody who wanted to could descend on the barrens to harvest the berries for their own use and later resale. By the end of the eighteenth century, most of the land was owned by settlers but others could still freely access it. The freeloaders continued with their indiscriminate burning, which not only increased the area where blueberries thrived but also did considerable damage to the land.
It became obvious that burning the land not only destroyed valuable timber but that the shelter that had previously been created by stands of trees was now gone, resulting in barrenness in some years since the protective blankets of snow were being blown away. Without this snow cover to protect the plants in winter, there resulted both scorch damage and a loss of fruit in the following summer. A stumpage fee was introduced in 1871, a levy that was collected from anyone gathering wild blueberries and that was designed to compensate landowners and to reduce indiscriminate burning. Larger landowners began to lease out areas of land to control production and harvesting, and that was the beginning of modern management of wild blueberries. Leaseholders or landowners continued to burn off about one third of their blueberry acreage each winter, but those whose land was more level started to use mowers.