Sunday, June 12, 2016

Reframing Brambles

I had a big ugly "bramble" in the old midden, near the SE corner. There were a number of "berries" amongst the original fruit bush area. I'd come across plants around the boundaries which I partially recognised from their leaves, and wondered, "Are these brambles or blackberries or raspberries or what are they?" 

You know, sometimes my own numptiness astonishes me. I've at last, this morning, as drizzle keeps me and the dogs indoors, woken up to the wonderful possibilities of the genus Rubus. First of all, "bramble" according to Wikipedia is a generic term, usually referring to Rubus fruticosus, aka the blackberry.

A year ago, I was in too much of a hurry to get everything cleared, taking a Year Zero mentality which I abandoned after a few months when the plot itself, kind of, pointed out its absurdity.

But I do recall that, amongst the feral blackcurrants, nettles and thistles, there were both blackberries and raspberries. They have been replanted around the North/West boundary corner, and have taken. I moved a couple of them just last week from the Eastern to the Northern boundary, and they seemed to greatly resent the move, but perhaps will come back to life soon.

All told, I've probably got a dozen or so Rubus plants about the place, species unknown at the moment. They are very easy to propagate. And the trailing varieties, by Jingo you can almost watch the stem make its way, they grow so fast.

At the Southern boundary, there's a high fence of pallets, maybe 10ft high, but easy to climb over, and I'm pretty sure the thief who got my "...EXTRACT" enamel sign came that way. I've topped it off with barbed wire, but Rubus right along there, with gorse, would be impenetrable by thieves and neds, as I could thread the stems through the pallets.

Gorse and brambles grow naturally together. Gorse and brambles!  Lots of fruit for us and for the birds in due course. And the long tailed tits nest in brambles too. Here's a photo I've just stumbled on, their nest in the allotment in Jarrow, in a bramble bush...