Small Fruits for Edible Landscaping

Fort Collins Nursery has a broad selection of small fruit vines and bushes.  You’ll find more than a dozen popular varieties like blackberry, blueberry, rhubarb, raspberry, and grape, plus some of the less common varieties like currant, goji berry, haskap berry, and serviceberry. 

There are many mouth watering reasons to add small fruits to your garden landscape. They produce beautiful blooms and fragrance as well as a bounty of delicious edible fruits to snack on throughout the summer.  They not only taste better than most store-bought fruits but they can save you money during peak season pricing as well.  You’ll also take pride in the fact that you grew them all by yourself!

No disrespect to fruit trees, but small fruits do offer some advantages over their larger relatives. Most fruit trees produce their fruit in the fall and require some patience to reap the rewards until harvest time. On the other hand, you’ll be able to snack on most small fruit and berry varieties all throughout the summer months. Fruit trees require a large space to grow but you don’t need a large yard or an orchard to grow small fruits. Berry plants are small enough to look suitable in any size yard and if space is extremely limited, you can try growing your fruit in patio containers as well. Vining fruit varieties like grapes, hops, and kiwi take up more space than most berry bushes and require some training.  However, keep in mind that much of the space needed is vertical space which is usually plentiful and under-utilized in most garden designs.

Fort Collins Nursery has over 80 small fruit varieties in stock and here are a couple of tasty examples for you to try:

Hardy Bush Cherries

Romeo Bush Cherry

Prunus x ‘Romeo’

The Romeo Bush Cherry is a recent introduction that was under development for nearly fifty years, grown for its exceptional cold-hardiness, dwarf stature, and high flesh-to-pit ratio. Due to its small size and ability to self-pollinate, this is a perfect variety for the home garden. Romeo produces deep crimson, full-sized, glossy fruit that are great for baking, canning, juicing or eating fresh.

  • Height: 9-12’
  • Width: 7-10’
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: White/ Spring
  • Zone: 2-7

Juliet Bush Cherry

Prunus x ‘Juliet’

Juliet is a small yet very prolific bush cherry. It produces dark red cherries that ripen in June-July. The fruit has thick flesh and excellent flavor with a high sugar content and is very good for eating fresh as well as for making pies, juice and jams. This self-pollinating bush grows in an evenly rounded shape and produces elegant white blossoms in spring.

  • Height: 6-8’
  • Width: 6-9’
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: White/ Spring
  • Zone: 2-7

Carmine Jewel Bush Cherry

Prunus x ‘Carmine Jewel’

Carmine Jewel is a recently introduced self-pollinating, hybrid pie cherry displaying exceptional cold hardiness and resistance to pests and disease. This naturally dwarfed bush is easy to maintain and ripens before other dwarf cherry varieties. Carmine Jewel sets large, purple-red fruits with the perfect balance of sugar and acid, creating a rich flavor, perfect for baking.

  • Height: 6-7’
  • Width: 4-6’
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: White/ Spring
  • Zone: 3-8 

Grape Vines

Saint Theresa Seedless Grape

Vitis sp. ‘Saint Theresa’

Saint Theresa Seedless Grape is a hardy table grape for the Rocky Mountain region. This purple, (mostly) seedless, slip-skin grape ripens in early September. It has excellent flavor, perfect for eating fresh or for jams and jellies. The vine is vigorous and healthy and shows little concern for our alkaline soils. Saint Theresa Seedless Grape was bred by Elmer Swenson (renowned for breeding many selections of cold hardy grapes) and is a 2008 Plant Select introduction.

  • Height: 15-20’
  • Width: 3-8’
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: Inconspicuous/ Spring
  • Zones: 4-9

Reliance Seedless Grape

Vitis ‘Reliance’

Reliance Seedless Grape is a red seedless table grape with dessert quality. Its vigorous vines produce generous clusters of deep-red grapes packed with juicy flavor. This variety is perfect for eating fresh and makes an irresistible, healthy snack. Reliance blooms late to avoid spring frosts and ripens in August. It is seedless and resistant to anthracnose and mildew.

  • Height: Varies
  • Width: Varies
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: White, Green/ Spring
  • Zones: 5-8

Swenson Red Grape

Vitis ‘Swenson Red’

Developed by the University of Minnesota, Swenson Red Grape is a firm, meaty, red table grape with a unique fruity flavor. Hardy vines produce conical clusters with large, round, red grapes with firm flesh that ripen in early September.  Its sweet flavor and high sugar content makes it well suited for desserts or used in white or rosé wines. Swenson Red requires minimal maintenance, is easy to grow, and is a favorite for many cold climate growers.

  • Height: 6-8’
  • Width: Varies
  • Water: Moderate
  • Bloom: White, Green/ Spring
  • Zones: 4-8


Pixwell Gooseberry

Ribes hirtellum

Pixwell Gooseberry is an almost thornless plant with berries that hang away from the bush, making them easier to harvest. It produces large, oval, green berries that turn pink in mid-summer when they are ripe and ready for eating. The sweet, juicy fruits are perfect for pies, tarts, jams and jellies. Pixwell is very hardy and adaptable to high elevation. It needs regular watering for best flower and fruit production but can also tolerate dry conditions.

  • Height: 5-6’’
  • Width: 3-4’
  • Water: Moderate to low
  • Bloom: Red, Green/ Summer
  • Zones: 3-6

Originally published on August 6th, 2019. Updated on May 1st, 2024.