One becomes two and two becomes one – a tale of two berries

I still have to make a frame to support them and there may be too many in there - but I like raspberries!

I still have to make a frame to support them and there may be too many in there – but I like raspberries!

While I have a scientific background from too many years ago that I care to count, I would like to reassure you that I haven’t been dabbling in genetic modification in my garden shed.  I have been doing some good old fashioned digging.

The digging in itself, while back breaking and a bit laborious, has been a welcome escape to my week.   It is the school holidays.  In this situation any time alone in the garden digging is a pleasurable escape.  It is almost as desirable as time weeding in the school holidays.  Any other time these two chores are just that – chores.  A dreaded must do.

Once the winds ceased I was able to test my latest attempt at irrigation.  As pretty as it is - it still needs refinement!

Once the winds ceased I was able to test my latest attempt at irrigation. As pretty as it is – it still needs refinement!

These holidays have been good…  hmm good.  The first week there was a storm.  A big storm.  Really strong winds, loads of rain and all the usual stormy conditions.  Suddenly xbox parenting isn’t such a bad thing.  Meanwhile in the breaks in the rain I was wrestling sheets of cardboard in 50km winds to line the bottom of my latest raised bed.  The show must go on – the garden needs to be ready for spring.  I nearly got blown away!

I managed to get my garlic in, however my onion seedlings are a few cms too short and have been denied  like a kid at a theme park ride!

I managed to get my garlic in, however my onion seedlings are a few cms too short and have been denied like a kid at a theme park ride!

During these holidays we welcomed a visit from two lovely city kids for a week to spend time with their country cousins.  However after the fall from the hay bales and trip to A&E for x-rays, once again xbox parenting seemed somehow safer.  The storm disappeared leaving blue sky days laced with an icy start.  It made it much easier to work the garden.  Despite all the rain, the driving wind dried the soil out just as quickly as it had become sodden.

Surely the third attempt to care for raspberries will be third time lucky?!

Surely the third attempt to care for raspberries will be third time lucky?!

 A thought casually mentioned in the last blog post became cemented in reality and I set about moving the raspberries.  I built two new beds, because I have two different types – autumn fruiting and spring and autumn fruiting so I will be able to treat them individually – once I figure out for once and for all what they actually need.    Then I set about removing the choicest canes from the weedy mess that was supposed to be the cherished home of such delicious wee fruit.  Once I had taken what could fit into the new bed – although I may have over done it there – I salvaged the remaining healthy looking canes and bundled them in eight groups of ten, which I shall give away like some kind of benevolent raspberry fairy.

The Blonde Angel and her fairy garden

The Blonde Angel and her fairy garden

My gardening was interrupted by yet another trip to A&E and still nothing is broken.  Surely this makes for great parenting to have nothing broken after two trips to A&E!    To lift moral for my poor wee patient we decided to build a fairy garden, with butterflies, a pink Hypoestes polka dot plant, moss, brightly coloured pebbles and a lot of creativity.   You can imagine her delight the following morning when there was evidence of a visitation from not one but two fairies to the garden – judging by the fact there was blue AND silver glitter!

This is no way to treat a superfood!

This is no way to treat a superfood!

With the cousins safely returned to their own home and an emergency trip to the doctor with the Joeyosaurus – he’s ok now, and the premature demise of my laptop, I really needed some serious garden time so I sorted out my poor neglected blueberry bushes.  I am surprized they haven’t been choked to death by the weeds engulfing them.  Initially my berry shrubs were planted straight in the ground.  I quickly saw the error of my ways as they soon became little islands surrounded by a swampy sea of winter floody water.  So I built them their own little raised beds, but they were a pain to mow around and the weeds soon crept in.  So berry by berry I have replaced their beds with a more communal set up.  Red currants with red currants, black currants with black currants and more recently gooseberries with gooseberries.  Finally it was the turn of the blueberries and I must say they look mighty fine in their new home and it shall be easier to give them the love they deserve.  I all have to do now is mulch them with the remains of last year’s Christmas tree!

Much better!

Much better!

Although there was one further casualty in my week.  Instead of parking the car in its normal spot and lugging the compost to the garden, I drove the car to the garden and unloaded the compost beside it and reparked the car.  On returning the garden I realised I had run over my 3 pronged cultivator and broken it.  Luckily at the time it was facing down or I would have some explaining to do….  Sorry Hubby the Un-Gardener, in a week of carnage I have saved the best for last – I think I broke the car!

Come again soon – I think I only have 8 beds to go to clear the lot, which seems quite doable!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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16 Comments on “One becomes two and two becomes one – a tale of two berries

  1. Hi Sarah, I have raspberries, but haven’t had much success with them. Other than the fact that they pop up everywhere! Your berry gardens sound wonderful 🙂

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    • Hi Julie. The first attempt I put the raspberries in the orchard, but it was too far from the house so I didn’t go there often enough to care for them properly. The second attempt was in my garden but the prickles on the stems made weeding painful so I avoided it. This time I shall mulch! Weeds seem to be easier to control in raised beds because they can’t sneak in from the sides! I hope this time it works – I want to make raspberry jam.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Virginia. Yeah, we are pretty blessed with our winters, it is mild and mostly dry. We complain when temperatures dip below 16C! Although today we did have a frost and so I think it is ok to call -4C a little chilly. But the sunny is melting the ice and it will be a lovely blue sky day.
      I am so pleased kids bounce… Although it doesn’t stop you from worrying!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Wow you have been so busy, and so many near disasters. I think you need some of those wee pixies to help you pick up the slack. Good luck with what remains of the break.

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    • Hi Lucinda. I think sometimes it is best that kids are in school, where they are safer! But it has been really lovely having so many kids about the place – it adds life, and a rich life at that. We are so blessed. The sun is shining, today is another good day. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. Oh dear but at least everyone made it home in one piece and no plaster casts 🙂

    The 6 week, summer break starts next week for the Mudlets and in September, Middle Mudlet starts her final year of primary school!!!!!

    I wish we had room for raspberry canes …….

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    • Hi Elaine. Kids grow up way too quickly! And the holidays also go by way too fast. I shall look back on this one as a blur of fun and laughter, with a few little hiccups thrown in for good measure!

      There is always room for one more plant in a gardeners garden! A teeny tiny raspberry cane… just one, somewhere in a corner…. Planted among your strawberries perhaps….
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. I only broke a few things this week…I bow to your prowess Ms Sarah ;). I have lots of enormous blueberry bushes sitting in a heap of spent horse manure that I had NO idea what do do with! I might have to get Stevie-boy to help me lug them up to the enclosed veggie garden and try to bodge a spare garden for them. Lucky they have shallow roots…

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  5. Sometimes you just have one of those weeks. Sounds like everyone is fine and you still managed to get a lot accomplished. I hope you get many raspberries!

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  6. My goodness, Sarah, you have had quite a week. Those emergency trips with children are the worst. Panic, fear, crying (you and them!) and then relief.

    I laughed at your XBox parenting lines. Good for you for keeping it all in perspective.

    Your bed clearly is moving along. You are a gardening goddess!

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