My Berry Garden in early May

The berry garden is beginning to really take shape now, in early May.

I suppose it is more appropriate to call it a perennial garden. Though it is mostly berries of different types, I have also included some other vegetable plants.

The rhubarb I planted last year came back in full force this spring. The leaves are lush but the stems have been mostly green instead of red.

Last year I planted two currant bushes that leafed out but then shriveled suddenly. I was worried they were dead but they too came back this year and are looking strong and healthy. I added three more plants to my little patch. If I keep adding year by year, eventually I should get a good enough crop to replicate my grandmother’s currant jam, one of my childhood favorites. Here you can see one of the plants has a handful of tiny currants forming.

Asparagus season is just about wrapping up. I added a second patch this year, which I have not touched. The roots are putting up thin little stalks that look like asparagus ferns after a couple day’s growth.

I put my garlic in here last fall when this was my vegetable garden so here it grows this spring.

Raspberries and blackberries are leafing out all along one side of the garden. I haven’t seen any blossoms yet though. I hear raspberry leaves have medicinal value – something to learn more about!

The 200 strawberry plants I put in this February are doing well. They have loads of flowers now.

My first baby strawberry in process!

It’s hard to believe that I started with one elderberry plant a couple years ago, a volunteer probably brought across the street from Rita’s patch by a bird. I moved it up by the house not knowing what it was. When Rita identified it, I moved it into my herb garden. Then I realized how quickly they spread and I moved them again over by the tree line where they could spread out. By then I had 10+ healthy bushes. Early this spring I moved them one more time into my new berry garden, where they are forming an elderberry forest. I was out weeding my herb garden last week and I found new shoots popping up there too. I guess I missed some of the roots when I moved the plants last year. I think I will leave them grow there and I’ll have two patches of this amazing plant to harvest from – maybe one for flowers and one for berries! There are so very many uses for elder.

Here you can see the tiny flower clusters beginning to form.

The last plant that I am putting in this year is ground cherries. I started them from seed and have been waiting for the air and soil to warm before putting them in. My first batch of seeds didn’t germinate very well, only resulting in 5 good plants. So I planted those and sowed another round of seeds inside. Are you familiar with ground cherries? They are another well-rounded multi use berry. Last summer I learned to make ground cherry jam, pie, salsa and more!

Blueberry bushes are heavy with little bell shaped flowers.

I also have aronia berries which are leafing out but not flowering yet. They are supposed to grow very well here and produce an abundance of small berries.

My perennial garden is ushering in the growing season with gusto. These next few weeks I’ll be getting more warmer weather crops into my new veggie garden too. The time of busy days and dirt forever under my fingernails is here again and I am so very glad to welcome it’s return.

3 thoughts on “My Berry Garden in early May

  1. I have an awesome recipe for that currant jam. From memory, it goes something like this… LOL

    Peel and poach 8 pear halves in two cups of wine. Remove the pears and reduce the wine by half. Add 8 oz of currant jelly to make a syrup. Make a shortbread EXCEPT substitute cornmeal for flour. Arrange the pears on top and bake. Cover with that syrup and be prepared to swoon with the sublime flavors of your poached pear tart!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elder is one of my very favorite plants. Right now my huge bush is perfuming the entire deck area. I need to pick some blooms for elderflower syrup this week!


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