Garden

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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