I am definitely a berry girl, and raspberries are at the absolute top of my list. Part of it is the sweet, juicy goodness, and some of it is the memories that they conjure.
Growing up, my grandparents had a ton of raspberry bushes in their backyard. All summer long, my cousins and I would feast on these berries. Now, technically, we were not supposed to eat all of them. I am sure my grandparents wanted a few for themselves. But every time I was there, I was drawn to those bushes and the warm, sweet berries. My sticky hands always betrayed what I had been up to, but my grandmother would chuckle and my grandfather would joke that one of these days I would turn into a raspberry.
When I finally had a yard large enough to garden in, the first request was for a raspberry bush. My husband decided that the perfect birthday present was starting my very own raspberry patch. He purchased four bushes, a couple of trellises, and some fertilizer. All summer long, I watched those bushes grow and even managed to have a few raspberries. It was one of the best birthday presents ever.
The next year, we noticed that the plants had multiplied. Not only did I have my four original sturdy bushes, but there were also several other smaller bushes sprouting up around them. We started having to watch carefully where we weed-wacked or mowed to make sure that we did not harm any of these precious plants.
In the next few years ,these bushes continued to multiply until I really did have my own raspberry patch. Every morning all summer long, you would see me out there picking berries, although I will say very few made it into the house. I love them warm, sweet, and freshly plucked.
Then came last year. We had a horrible storm that poured buckets of rain. It washed out a large part of our yard, right where my precious raspberries were. When it came time to repair the damage, it was very hard to save the few bushes remaining. We had to have new topsoil brought in and that whole area was redone. My heart was broken but I figured we could start again.
Imagine my surprise this year when my husband came in from mowing to tell me that I have new raspberry bushes growing. Between the rain and the yard work, the tiny bushes and seeds were pushed more to the edges of the yard. Instead of one raspberry patch, I now have bushes lining most of the backyard. They are still small, but they are definitely growing. I can’t wait for next year and, hopefully, a bounty of sweet treats each morning. Until then, it may be time for a quick trip to my grandparents’ house.