Uh no, not in my garden they’re not. I have nuclear-strength plants. I bought three varieties of raspberry canes last year, late in the season and on a whim. I had a small amount of growth and a few berries on the Newburgh and Meeker vines, but nothing on the Amity. I was worried that the canes weren’t healthy because the soil isn’t great in that area, but lo and behold, not only did they all overwinter properly, they’re sending out shooters! I’m particularly pleased by the Meeker shoots, since there are a half-dozen or so and they’re happily growing, even in our unseasonably cold spell the past couple of weeks. Here they are, like little ducklings next to the second year cane!
To the raspberry bed, I added a Heritage and a black raspberry called Munger. I have no idea if the Munger will work out, but I’m so thrilled by the idea of black and red raspberry jam made from my own berries I can hardly stand it.
We are magically and unfathomably rewarded with miraculous berries in the Willamette Valley. The past two summers, I’ve eaten flats and flats of berries from the farm stand, gorging myself like a starving berry-eatin’ savage. The photo on the header of my blog is from a batch of boysenberry jam I made last summer. The berries lasted and lasted, remaining in the farmer’s market for months, it seemed, until for the first time in my life, I had eaten my fill. So to grow my own is really overkill. Or is it? I guess we’ll see. I don’t suppose the raspberries will really start to produce until next summer, so I’ll just have to make due. Poor me.
And my tarragon? Honestly, I don’t even know what to think about that. I’ve been trying to grow tarragon for years, and last year I just bought a few plants (as usual), making sure they were French and not Greek tarragon, which is a heartier, less delicious variety (as usual), and stuck ’em in the ground (not so usual, since I try to baby them in pots on the porch). Well, wouldntcha know it, the tarragon grew like crazy, all three plants from three sources, and gave me a huge crop. Cleaning up the herb bed the other day, I saw there were three new plants growing! In the cold!
I’m really trying not to get excited about gardening this year, since I’m really busy with my dissertation, but I can’t help but be filled with glee when I see little heads of fava beans poking out of the soil, my peas slowly inching upward, my overwintered artichoke plants proud and lion-hearted in the sun, and those amazing berries. So happy it’s spring. Now warm up, would you?