Blueberry Blossoms | Hitchhiking to Heaven

Garden Journal: Raspberry Shortcake in a Half Wine Barrrel

Raspberry Shortcake Plant Variety | Hitchhiking to Heaven

When I walked into the nursery and said I’d come for a strawberry shortcake, they looked at me like I was nuts. It doesn’t really matter that I had meant to say “raspberry shortcake,” because that doesn’t make sense either — unless you know about this new plant. It’s a thornless, dwarf raspberry developed especially for container gardeners. It was developed by BrazelBerries, and my local nursery didn’t have any trouble ordering it for me when I asked them about it. (That’s my little Rangpur lime tree showing off in the background. It’s having a good year.)

Rasberry Shortcake Plant Variety | Hitchhiking to Heaven

I had decided not to have a garden this year. I told myself it’s too much work. Plus, we spend every August in Alaska and it feels like I miss half my harvest. I get back just in time to catch the stragglers and clean up the mess. But this raspberry got me going, and I’ve since started a few new containers for herbs and seeded a little bed of greens.

Now I want to get some new blueberry bushes, too. I already have two different kinds of blueberries in big containers. They’ve blossomed furiously and beautifully this year . . .

Blueberry Blossoms | Hitchhiking to Heaven

BrazelBerries has also developed a new dwarf blueberry for containers. (You’d think they were paying me to say all of this, but they’re not. They don’t even know me.) It’s called Peach Sorbet, which seems like a strange name for a blueberry, but I think it’s because of the color of its spring foliage. I can see using it on my patio, or even creating a compact hedge in the raggedy garden alongside the house. I’m coming to understand that my favorite way to landscape is with edibles. I walk around in gardens saying, “That’s gorgeous. Can you eat it?”

Here’s another edible in the making . . .

Blenheim Apricot Blossom | Hitchhiking to Heaven

Our dwarf Blenheim apricot tree is doing so well this spring. It has been worth all the effort of caring for it since a couple years ago when it was just a stick in a pot. We’ve pruned it, fertilized it, and built an enormous new box for it. Now we’ve been able to watch it go from blossom to leaf . . .

Blenheim Apricot Blossoms and Leaves | Hitchhiking to Heaven

And from leaf to its first baby apricots! (That took three years.) I just counted them yesterday and there are more than fifty. It’s a small tree, so we’ll have to see what it can bear. I’m wondering if it will drop any fruit, or if some of it will need to be culled.

Baby Blenheim Apricots | Hitchhiking to Heaven

Finally, here’s a last daphne blossom. Not edible, but so sweet.

Daphne Blossom | Hitchhiking to Heaven

Are you growing anything new in your garden this spring?

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  • Reply Denise | Chez Danisse April 3, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I’m going to start calling you Snow White.

    • Reply Shae April 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

      Ha! Snow White and the Twelve Dwarves.

  • Reply Cynthe Brush April 3, 2013 at 8:43 am

    LOVE reading about your fruit gardening, one of my favorite garden endeavors. You probably won’t have to cull your apricots. The tree will drop what it can’t mature, depending somewhat on the weather. At least that’s what my aprium does.

    I have mini blueberries in the ground. Bet they would do much better in large containers. May have to give that a go.

    Also have two bird poop Himalayan blackberries that I have been pulling up every year. One is growing where I have trouble getting anything else to grow. Maybe I should leave it in the ground and keep it controlled. Uh, oh! Do I dare?

    • Reply Shae April 3, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Thanks, Cynthe. I figured the apricot might drop some of that fruit. I am so curious to see what happens, and so excited that it set so much. I thought maybe it would set two or three!

      I think the benefit to blueberries in containers is that it’s easier the soil. I am tempted by the idea of creating an in-ground hedge, but I don’t trust myself to be able to create the soil conditions it would want.

      You know, I would be sorely tempted to let one of those blackberries go wild, but anyone who lives around here understands the risk. Keep me updated. ;-)

  • Reply Julia April 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Oh, those baby Blenheims are so exciting!! I’ve been walking by my trees noticing the buds, which aren’t even plump yet. The hope that gardening breeds!! I had one apple last year, but still I am looking forward to more plants. And I’ve always wanted a daphne just because I want to smell one.

  • Reply Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen April 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Blenheims!!! My jealousy is enormous. The idea of berries in containers is interesting – I always thought they were sort of out of my reach. Thanks for the info Shae!

  • Reply meg- grow and resist April 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Looks great! Things started blooming last week– the promise of it all makes me giddy! Your baby apricots are beautiful!

    • Reply Shae April 8, 2013 at 6:26 am

      Thanks, Meg! As you can tell, I’m particularly excited about the apricots. I look forward to following the progress of your garden this year, too.

  • Reply BrazelBerries April 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

    We don’t know you but we want to Shae! Thanks so much for blogging about your BrazelBerries experience! We love to see how our babies are doing and if people are enjoying them.

    • Reply Shae April 8, 2013 at 6:24 am

      Thank you for creating such wonderful options for containers! I look forward to trying the blueberries, too.

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