so far this year, the raspberries are already in the lead in the epic battle of the uprooted fence posts...

My raspberry patch is going to be out of control, I can tell already. Last year it nearly pulled the fence down, and this year it’s almost as big, but it’s only April- there’s a lot of spreading for it yet to do.

I should have known this would happen- I put a tiny little start from my dads house in because they were pulling up most/ all of them, and I really loved those raspberries, so I set out to save them. The delightful fruit grew in such abundance at my childhood home that the mailman took his lunch at our house in the summer and would stop and gather fruit every afternoon. Everyone I knew gorged on them, including me- pretty much all summer. My mom froze tubs of them, I brought them as gifts to anyone I could think of, and still- we would have an endless supply of leftovers. There were so many that they formed a catacomb like walkway from the stairs to the porch that was so thick it would protect you from rain. Shocking but true.

This is all that’s left of them- there were several varieties I think, but I only got this one, not even the bast one. Still excellent, but it’s a one time fruiter- it fruits in a glut- ONCE, and then that’s all you get for the year.

This year I’ve resolved to make rasberry leather or jam or possibly both- I’m sure I’ll have more than enough to experiment. Next year I’ll have to put up a titanium wall to hold the bloody thing- as you can see I already am using yard debris bins to help it prop up. You’d think I would know better than to dream of planting a hardy kiwi vine…

My house sometime last year- you can see the fig tree popping over the top of the fence, and the struggling grape vine out in front of it. The plant that's eating the porch is called Audrey III, I'm not sure what it is, but I am certain that it eats people.

 This year I’ve had to cut back the fig tree quite a lot. Sure it produced nigh-on 20 lbs of fruit every year, but it also was a great producer of SHADE, something I don’t want a ton of if I’m going to grow veggies around it.

This is what it looked like last year- it reached from one end of the yard to the other, and pretty much prevented me from growing anything but spurge and rosemary underneath it. The branches aren’t particularly thick- and it can let through a great deal of light, even with those big leaves- but it needed a good pruning, and I haven’t the faintest idea how to do that so I just ended up whacking off about 50% of the branches. Hopefully I didn’t murder it- ok, I know I didn’t because it’s already coming back to life- sending out green happy shoots from the places I cut. Hell, I probably just made it stronger.

I do so wish that half of the front wasn’t brick, but because I’ve been doing containers, I think I’ll be setting some big giant pots outside of the gate- though in it still does get plenty of sun.

I arranged a trade with a nice lady from North Carolina whose going to swap some hardy kiwi (the not-fuzzy kind) seeds for some of my leftover black cherry tomato seeds! Eek! How exciting! I know that Kiwi vines can get REALLY big and heavy, though they make take many years to mature. But I think if I put them in a nice big pot and encourage them to grow over the trellis- well I’ll have a heavenly front yard. Wish me luck!

My plans for the yard-  long term- are pretty sketchy. I’d REALLY like to enclose the whole thing with a fence, but Hunter wants a driveway, so *shrug* maybe if I’m persistent enough he’ll cave eventually, or maybe I can just cleave the brick part in two and take half of it and he can have the other half. Or I could just put my containers out there, but we live in a kind of sketchy neighborhood, and I can honestly see people making off with my potted tomatoes, as stupid as it may sound.

Oh, and as a final note- hardy kiwis leaves apparently are very catnip like… that should be hilarious.

Hardy kiwi, as you can see, are neither fuzzy, nor as large as their cousins. I have however heard that they are MUCH better tasting, and well suited for a cooler climate.

Other than that from the garden front I haven’t much to report. There’s been a great deal of sprouting and developing, but none of my plants are lovely looking enough to post photos of really, though the radishes are getting rather glorious looking foliage.

Pretty much I’ve just been puttering along out there, making sure everyone is suitably content- and so far the only moaners are the things I’ve planted too early (tomatoes, peppers, beans)- just to experiment- and it’s no surprise they’re not happy, but if they die I’ll just plant them again. No biggie- though my scarlet runner beans I’m fairly certain are going to live and do very well. They hated me for a little while but I do believe they’ve gotten over it. They’re looking big and lovely and slightly taller every day.

Wesley and I are both getting larger. Honestly, I look quite a bit larger than this standing up, but this is the view I see riding the bus.