A Thorny Tale

Once there was a gardener who followed a bunny down a messy blackberry bramble.

Her sense of order insulted, she began to scramble!

Though scouts had offered their assistance, she could stand the eye sore no more.

Impatiently, she proclaimed “off with their heads!” – and so began the chore.

Simple, she said. “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.”

With great determination, she clipped, and tugged, and swore, and chopped.

“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” she declared while tackling the prickly beast.

“Curiouser and curiouser,” we observed. Will she never cease?

“Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” we decried.
“We will go and go and go,” she would chide.
“But we have mowing and watering and weeding to attend!”

Stubbornly she pushed forward. “We will finish this project, or it will be my end!”

As the sun began to set, she disappeared from view.

Shouts were heard in the distance, “but wait, we are not through!”

With a nod to Lewis Carroll…the blackberry removal project is officially underway at the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden! Stay tuned.

A Thorny Challenge

The blackberry bushes at the Homeward Bound Memorial Garden are surprisingly surviving the birds to produce fruit (perhaps they are too full from lunching on the nearby grapes to care).

We’re anxious for their season to start – and to finish. The bramble has taken on a life of its own. Now home to bunnies – and who knows what else – it is overgrown and unmanageable. We are told that there are two raised beds in there. Who knew? Worse still, it is front and center at the entrance to the garden. It started as a beloved project, but countless other priorities preempted it. Hopefully, we have proven ourselves worthy of tackling this mountain of thorns this fall.

Blackberries produce fruit on 2-year old branches or canes. First-year canes don’t flower. Second-year canes flower in the spring, produce fruit in the summer, and then die. Once a branch has produced berries, it won’t produce anymore. To keep the bushes productive, the canes should be pruned after they’ve been harvested each year.

Wading into this mess will require armor, but once tamed, it will open up the view to the garden from the road – and likely produce larger berries in the future. Put in a good word for us and wish us luck!