A couple of weeks ago, my husband, son and I headed off to the San Gabriel Nursery. San Gabriel Nursery is sprawling and has a huge selection of plants, including lots of fruit trees and bushes. I'd done a little research beforehand, and found that you need two blueberry bushes to get fruit. Happily, they had three different southern highbush varieties, which are the blueberries best suited to our area. I picked out one Misty Blueberry and one Jubilee Blueberry.
Here they are potted up in some "half-barrel" planters in the back yard. I planted them in soil specially made for potting azaleas, because blueberries like their soil highly acidic. You can get azalea potting soil at most nurseries. I've had them out for a few weeks now, and they seem pretty happy. One bush has even put out some new leaves.
After we found the blueberry bushes, I couldn't resist doing a little browsing. It's hard when there are so many plants to look at. I noticed some good-looking and inexpensive strawberry plants. I always like growing fresh strawberries, so I grabbed a couple of those.
And then, I noticed something kind of cool sitting next to the strawberries and artichokes in what must have been the perennial fruit and vegetable section: rhubarb. Dakota's parents grow rhubarb in their garden in Iowa, but it never occurred to me to grow it here in Los Angeles. I'm a pretty big fan of perennials you can eat, especially now that my gardening time is pretty limited. So, I decided to go for it.
After getting home and doing a little research online, I have found a mix of opinions about whether it's really possible to grow tasty rhubarb in Southern California. The plants like to get cold, although the variety I got--Cherry Red--is supposed to be the best for this part of the world. So, we'll see.
I planted the rhubarb next to the artichokes on the edge of the upper garden bed. That should keep it away from the hot midday sun once summer rolls around. Hopefully it will be happy there.
Once I planted everything, I realized that I have inadvertently created a pie garden. If all goes well, I could bake an awesome strawberry-blueberry-rhubarb pie from my own backyard. (To be honest, Dakota would bake that pie. He's the pie guy in our house.) Plus, I already have a peach tree and two apple trees. Imagine the pie possibilities! Because I am a huge gardening nerd, the idea of a pie garden is really exciting. I hope it works out.