Brenna Anstett's picture
Posted by Brenna Anstett /
©2016 Michael Tenaglia/LEAF
Are you hungry to plant some native edibles in your yard this spring? We are excited to announce our brand new edible shrub bundles that will help transform your yard into a sweet and delicious landscape!

With spring around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about beautifying our yards. What better way than to plant edible shrubs that offer so many benefits?  Growing your own food is very environmentally friendly; it requires no shipping, uses less energy for harvest and production, is free of unknown chemicals and uses less water than large-scale agricultural irrigation practices.  In addition, freshly picked, homegrown food is cheaper, tastier and more nutritious than store bought food that has been picked and stored for long periods of time. Ultimately, planting edible species in your garden is a healthy activity that can be enjoyed by anyone and it leaves you a plethora of fresh, tasty stock! 

Spring shrub planting


Deciding what to plant in your garden can be challenging – that’s why LEAF is introducing new edible shrub bundles this spring! These bundles consist of four edible shrubs of your choice. We have 10 native species to choose from including the American hazelnut, black chokeberry, lowbush blueberry, nannyberry, serviceberry and more! Each shrub is unique, so read on to learn more about some of my personal favourites!  

Shrubs ready to be planted


My all-time favourite is the northern wild raisin! This shrub is a medium growing, upright, spreading shrub with oval leaves that emerge in the spring with bronze tones, mature to a darker green over the summer and turn attractive shades of orange to red to purple in the fall. Flat-topped clusters of white flowers bloom in the spring and give way to deliciously sweet, bubble gum pink berries that mature to their ripe bluish-black colour over the summer. The fruit can be eaten right from the shrub (my favourite way to eat them) or used to make tasty jams and jellies! 

Wild raisin fruit


Next is the purple flowering raspberry- a small to medium growing, deciduous shrub that has a rounded, spreading canopy. The maple-like leaves are quite large in size and turn a bright yellow in the fall. Fragrant, rose-like, purplish-pink flowers appear throughout the summer and give way to bright red, tart, but sweet, cup-shaped, raspberries in the late summer and early fall. These berries are delicious right off the shrub but can also be dried or cooked and are often used to make jams, jellies and pies!   

Raspberry fruit


Another favourite is the pasture rose. This shrub is smaller growing with a rounded, arching crown and compound, oval, glossy green leaves that turn a bright yellow to red colour in the fall. Fragrant, pink flowers appear in late spring and give way to round, bright red rose hips in the late summer. While the fruit is quite tart when eaten off the shrub, it is often enjoyed in jams, jellies, syrups, teas and even in salads! 

Pasture rose hips


As you can see, there are many different edible shrubs to choose from! A bundle of four edible shrubs, delivered to your door with mulch, one of our planting and care guides and a fact sheet will cost you only $100 + HST- that’s four shrubs for the price of three!  These yummy bundles are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and we are now taking orders for spring delivery, so be sure to contact LEAF today so you don’t miss out on all of the tasty treats! 



Brenna Anstett is an ISA certified arborist and LEAF’s Field Operations Coordinator.

The Backyard Tree Planting Program is supported by York Region, the City of Markham, the Town of Newmarket, the City of Toronto, Ontario Power Generation, Toronto Hydro, and the Town of Ajax.


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