Bring Age & Wisdom to Your Garden With a Huckleberry Plant

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When you pick up a jar of Huckleberry jam at the local Farmer�s Market on a Sunday afternoon you don�t think about the history behind it. When you dip a piece of bread into that hot sticky jelly on a summer evening, you chuckle to yourself wondering just why Mark Twain named that kid Huckleberry after all. And you don�t think about the fact that the huckleberry plant may very well be the world�s oldest living thing. That may have even survived the Ice Age. And you may think that fact is not important.

When you�re selecting fruit-bearing plants for your garden, you want to pick the hardiest, most viable plants that you know will grow successfully in the surrounding environment and climate of your growing zone. What better plant for your hardy garden than one that achieved genetic perfection (like crocodiles and alligators) in the time of the dinosaurs or at least 11,000 years before Jesus reportedly began teaching Christianity?

The huckleberry plant flowers in the spring, bringing butterflies aplenty to your garden to suck on the sweet nectar inside the flowers. But the joys of this plant don�t stop at the swarms of butterflies you�ll be able to enjoy. In the Fall, this plant bears huckleberry fruits, which are similar in taste, size and color to blueberries and are often even referred to as blueberries in some places. Though this may be the case, it is important to remember that each of these fruits has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages for cooking and for growing.

But if sweet tasting, abundant Fall fruit is not enough to entice you to plant huckleberries into your garden, consider the backdrop they make for your perennials. The gorgeous, lush, evergreen foliage of the huckleberry plant, along with its flowers and colorful fruit, make an excellent backdrop and companion for your perennials when planted at the back of the flower bed. And if you�re into pruning�whether you like your plants to take on the shape of a gumdrop or other novelty�this plant handles pruning better than most others of its kind, although, pruning this plant is not recommended.

It can be difficult to find a huckleberry plant, even when looking in Idaho, where the huckleberry is the state fruit. These plants are not among the most popular with nurseries and you may have to travel far or order from outside your state to get the exact plant that you want.

If you do decide to plan huckleberries into your garden and are lucky enough to find a plant or seedlings for use in your garden, remember to treat this plant well. It will most likely survive better when trellised and loves moist, well-drained soil, as well as a spot in the sun.

Remember, if you�re looking for a plant that can add history, life and color to your garden, a huckleberry plant is the right guy for the job �or, as Doc Holliday so prolifically said, �I�m your huckleberry.�

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Author: Tammy Sons

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