|Blueberry 'Pink Champagne' - photo by Briggs Plant Propagators.|
When I came home with this little sweetie, I'll admit I couldn't find a home for it right away. In August, you see, my garden is pretty much wall to wall plants. There are leaners and spreaders, reseeders and just plain space hogs. Without going into much more detail, suffice it to say planting it out in the existing landscape would be tantamount to throwing it to the proverbial wolves.
I cut some Celosia to dry, pulled up some slackers that hadn't done much during their time with me, and carved out some space for Blueberry 'Pink Champagne', the oxymoron of a plant generically known as a pink blueberry.
Hybridized by the United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Station at Chatsworth, New Jersey and further evaluated in Michigan, 'Pink Champagne' could easily dominate this year's farmers markets during blueberry season. Introduced by Briggs Plant Propagators, this berry also makes a great landscape plant, with white spring flowers and good fall color. For more information about this berry's parentage, check out the USDA page.
'Pink Champagne' has a relative out there called 'Pink Lemonade'. According to the USDA release, the presence of tender species in these two varieties could be an issue in seasons with late spring frosts. Still, to me it's worth a shot, just to see if I can grow berries in my sun-challenged (and somewhat crowded) garden.
Why a pink blueberry? Think back to the first yellow coneflower, the introduction of a red coreopsis, and the emergence of not just one but two pink Annabelle hydrangeas. We crave novelty. Whether that novelty will grow on us, or we'll grow tired of it, it's something that breaks us out of the sameness that we inadvertently settle into as part of life.
And if it doesn't do as well as the old-fashioned blue blueberry, that's okay too. It will give us something to talk about.