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Wild Berries [Sep. 13th, 2008|09:40 am]
When I was little, I tried to grow raspberries. We had a huge yard and down in the back, bottom corner were a few scraggly vines that somehow got established in the hard-packed dirt.

Raspberries have long been my favorite berry. (Blueberries are a close second.) Plump and ripe, they have a pleasant but not overly sweet flavor and such a wonderful smell, out in the summer sun. As a kid, I was delighted with the idea that we could grow them right there in our yard.

In theory, anyhow. I tried to help the vines by watering them during hot summer weeks and putting down some nicer soil. I was dismayed that the birds were going after them, so dad provided a roll of chicken wire which stretched over them sort of like an awning. It at least kept out the stupider birds which couldn't figure out how to go around under the sides.

The result of all this was about a dozen beautiful raspberries per year. There never seemed to be much more than that and, despite tending to them, the vines never seemed to really grow. They were each one single curl of stalk, brownish around the base and dark green down the length. But there were never more than those few stalks.

Now I live in Washington and berry vines seem to be the state weed! My wife, who's from the Pacific Northwest, never understood my complaint that I couldn't grow raspberries as a kid in California.

The property we own has thick tangles of berry brambles. Vines twice my height are shooting out the top of one of our rhododendrons. And, though birds are still taking their share, these produce prodigious amounts of berries.

On the walk home, I stopped and plucked a little sprig from a bush growing beside the road. That there's juicy, plump berries unclaimed is still a novel concept to me. Around here, we have wild blackberries and some other variety, perhaps marionberry. No sign of raspberries, though. Perhaps I need to start a new bramble?

[User Picture]From: loranskunky
2008-09-13 05:21 pm (UTC)
OOoooooo...wild rasberries....drool :)
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[User Picture]From: ashkitty
2008-09-13 10:45 pm (UTC)
Yay berries!

Out of curiosity, did you guys ever get the party invite? No worries if you just couldn't swing it, of course (especially now that it's in, like, an hour) but thought I would check!
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2008-09-14 02:18 am (UTC)
Oh, sorry about that, we had a miscommunication over here. Kit and I both thought the other was going to respond that we couldn't make it. Our apologies!
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[User Picture]From: ashkitty
2008-09-14 11:45 pm (UTC)
No worries! Just was hoping the invite had not gone astray. Sorry to have missed you!
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[User Picture]From: whobunkyboo
2008-09-15 12:43 am (UTC)
Raspberries are ridonculously easy to grow in our climate in the summertime. There are guidelines about how many canes times how many rows you need to make them grow properly, but if you ignore them properly you should eventually be capable of growing berries the size of a standard thimble.
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[User Picture]From: menagerie73
2008-09-15 04:38 am (UTC)
I love having free fruit in the backyard. I thought I had some tiny raspberry vines growing in a tree but I think I got to them to late to save them.
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