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The Snowberry Shrub in Landscaping and Gardens

The common snowberry is a popular shrub in landscaping and gardens due to its decorative white fruit. The snowberry bush is also very tolerant of trimming and can be grown as a medium to tall hedge.

The western snowberry is part of the honeysuckle family. The snowberry shrub grows up to three feet in height and spreads through rhizomes, forming colonies of fruit-bearing plants. The flowers are white to light pink at the end of twigs and upper leaf axils.

Snowberries are an important source of winter food for birds including quail, pheasant and grouse. They are a famine food for humans due to their bitterness and the presence of saponins in the berries. Saponins, a substance also found in many beans, can be destroyed by cooking.

Saponins are quite toxic to some animals such as fish. Native Americans put large quantities of snowberries in streams and lakes as a fishing technique to stupefy or kill fish. An infusion of the roots has also been used for inflamed or weak eyes and to aid in convalescence after childbirth. The branches of the snowberry bush can also be made into brooms.

Snowberry plants have extensive root systems are can be used to stabilize soils on banks and slopes. They grow in open prairies and along streams and lakes in Montana, Washington, Utah, New Mexico, Minnesota and Canada. They can likewise be used in landscaping to reinforce sloped areas and soil around water features.

Try the versatile and attractive snowberry bush to add a decorative and practical plant to your landscaping plans!

Sand Vs Gravel – Basic Information For a Valuable Landscaping Project

Landscaping is an important component in home exterior improvement. Enhancing your outdoors is exquisitely valuable because it primarily affects the curb appeal of your property. Curb appeal plays an important role in the decision of potential home buyers in seriously considering the purchase of your house. In the course of landscaping, it is of utmost relevance to carefully choose between sand and gravel in terms of usage in the entirety of your project.

To start with, it is important to note that sand and gravel have certain common features and specifications when it comes to maintenance. This is because both materials seem to belong in the same group as to the manner of keeping or managing your landscape with such materials. For instance, you do not need a large quantity of water in order to maintain the beauty of your landscape with these types of decorations or foundation. Unlike its grass counterparts that you definitely need a reliable and sufficient water supply and system in order to keep your greenery in good condition and shape. Furthermore, landscapes using grass or other types of foliage are totally time consuming because of it requires you to give much of your effort and allocate your time for trimming and watering your lawn or front yard.

In terms of using sand or gravel, you will find that there is a slight difference in the usage of these materials. It actually shows in the effect or overall outcome and result of the landscaping project. Most home owners prefer using these materials for houses which are located in drier or tropical countries or states. This makes this option an environment-friendly alternative because you are basically lessening your usage of the water supply for your home improvement.

Using sand or gravel usually works hand in hand, since you can make use of one material as a supporting feature for the other. It is good to note that most landscapers prefer to use sand and gravel in lawns or projects that require assets such as desert gardens. Indulging into this particular landscape obviously caters for the integration of sand, rock and gravel into creating a remarkable desert rock garden. This option is becoming a popular preference for home owners who want to have a unique home exterior with exquisite style and features. Furthermore, it is a cost efficient alternative in comparison with other landscape ideas and materials such as using grasses and greenery.

Using sand creates an illusion of expansiveness and continuity in your front lawn and it is further enhanced in aesthetic value through incorporating gravel and rocks. This is because creating a pathway gives the spaciousness impact in your front lawn. You may add other features such as plants and flowers to give color and variation in your decorations and style.

Choosing between sand and gravel is quite a tricky and challenging task to use in your landscaping project. Both have the same features and the quality of their result depends on your preference and creativity to maximize your resources. Hence, it is best to develop a clear vision and plan on which to follow in the course of your home exterior upgrade.

The Use of the Aronia Berry Plant for Landscaping and Its Use As an Edible Ornamental Plant

Introduction

Chokeberry plants are very good plants for growing as part of your landscape. The black chokeberry (or Aronia berry plant) was introduced to western gardens as a landscape plant around 1700, and that its value is reflected by its receipt of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Merit in 1972.

Landscape

The ornamental attributes of chokeberry plants include three seasons of interest: white flowers in spring, lustrous green foliage in summer and black bluish fruits in late summer, and bright yellow-orange-red foliage in autumn. There is growing interest in this plant as a multi-season native shrub for landscapes. Its adaptability to a wide range of soil conditions and freedom from major problems makes it a good candidate for wetland reclamation projects, roadside and highway plantings, parking lots and use in your garden and landscape.

The chokeberry or Aronia plant is a native North American plant. However recently this cultivar has been developed in Europe as an orchard fruit, but its attractive value was rapidly realized (as it began obtaining awards for its decorative value.). It is now a favorite ornamental fruiting plant grown the world over. It grows in zones 3-8.it is one of the most ornamental fruiting bushes you can grow.

In spring the Aronia bush is covered with clusters of white, sweet fragrant flowers. They are cold tolerant and avoid most frosts by blooming in late spring. This is followed by gleaming green Aronia berries that turn a dark bluish black in summer into early fall, and fire-red fall foliage. The round, pea-sized fruit can be eaten fresh although it has a distinct taste. It is known for making good and healthful juice that also blends nicely with other fruit juices. Aronia is NOT bothered by pests or diseases. Once established the Aronia bush is highly drought tolerant. It’s very hardy, and the pea sized fruit can be eaten fresh. Fresh chokeberries right from the bush are not particularly tasty raw because of their astringency, some people like them when they are completely ripe. Aronia berries have a unique, satisfying flavor. Their astringency is the awareness that most people first notice. They will make your mouth pucker. The dry, puckering taste comes from being high in tannins. The secret is to freeze the berries before using them to break down the tannins. You must wait until September when they are fully ripe before you pick them. The berries can be used to make jam, syrup, juice, soft spreads, and tea.

One person described it as one of the most attractive fruiting bushes I have ever grown. It is a delight in the garden the whole year. Fragrant flowers, attractive fall foliage, and healthy berries make it an essential plant for astute gardeners.

In the spring clusters of sweet-scented white blooms develop among the shiny green to dark green leaves covering this 3- to 5-foot-tall, 5- to 6-foot-wide bush. The flowers attract bees and butterflies. The long-lasting flowers are enjoyably, and are followed by small berries that steadily mature to dark bluish black. The dark bluish black berries of chokeberry hang in groups of up to 12 berries. They do not require trellising, spraying, or bird netting.

The three most popular varieties are Viking, Nero and Autumn Magic. Viking and Nero were developed in Europe as an orchard fruit and recently shipped back to the United States here they are becoming popular. They are also sold as a favorite ornamental fruiting plant. Autumn Magic was developed in the United States from a seedling in the eastern part of the U.S. The Autumn Magic plant is a commonly sold ornamental cultivar. It was selected for its ornamental characteristic white flowers, glossy green leaves, red-orange fall foliage, and purplish black berries. It does not grow as tall as Viking and Nero. Viking grows to a height at maturity of 5 to 8 ft. Nero grows to a height of 3 to 5 ft.

Health benefits

Aronia melanocarpa is commonly known as chokeberry and has a very nice-looking purplish black color. Interest in Aronia berries has been growing because of its health benefits and as a natural organic food coloring. It has a very stable dark pigment.

Chokeberries belong to that group of purple berries that are in today’s news concerning health and nutrition. It fights cancer and heart disease.

The plant produces dark pigmented berries that are extremely high in antioxidants, even higher than blueberries, higher than pomegranates, and higher than cranberries. Its juice has been reported to help people with heart conditions. Chokeberries have been a significant and important part of the Native American Indian diet since before Europeans came to America. It is high in antioxidants, anthocyanins, phenolic acid, flavonoids, vitamin C and trace minerals.

Summary

Chokeberry plants are very good plants for growing as part of your landscape. The plant produces dark pigmented berries that are extremely high in antioxidants. It has award-winning its decorative value. They are higher than blueberries, higher than cranberries, higher, even, than pomegranates! Its juice has been reported to help people with heart conditions.