Hello from Holly.
And a single tear slides down my family’s collective cheek.
It was a beauty—a stunner, really. We’ve eaten off of them for weeks. Even Mr. Blackberry-head put aside his hatred of anything not banana Laffy Taffy to enjoy their bounty.
(That’s my husband. Isn’t he so cute?}
At first they weren’t making it through the door. The bitties just put on their brave faces to reach through the thorns and eat them warm off the vine lest they lose their daily chance at bwackberry wipstick.
Organic blackberries and fruit snacks: we are a lesson in contradiction. Clearly we’re keeping it it well-rounded. Sorry this pic is so blurry—I couldn’t stop laughing at her choice of pairing. She is her father’s daughter.
When it came time to pick bowlfuls I stashed them in the fridge til I was ready spaghetti to make some jam.
Boom slam jam. It’s super yummy. And I made it with my kid, so it was also fam jam.
(I’ll quit now. Promise.)
I would like to pause here to note that baking with your child is, well, how do I say this? It’s just never what you think it’s going to be, is it. Maybe it is for grandmas, or for people babysitting other people’s kids, but when it’s your own and you’re all STOP TOUCHING EVERYTHING WITH YOUR JAM HANDS NO DON’T SIT ON THE COUCH WHY ARE YOU PUTTING SEEDS IN YOUR SISTER’S EYE…you know, something just loses a bit of the Pinterest magic.
Alas, the blackberries sensed when it was time to go. I think I heard them shout “INTRUDER!”
They all but peaced out right after this adorable first tomato of the season showed up. The vines followed and bowed the knee to the circle of life (you’re welcome for getting that in your head all day long) and went from looking like this:
(It was a dress-up bin kinda day. Also, only one of those is my kid. Mine is the one channeling Sarah, Plain and Tall, not the one channeling my sister’s 1991 ballet recital.)
To looking like this:
Cutting those puppies out looks like a pretty prickly job, if I do say so myself…
Enter dad, stage right.
(Not Mr. Blackberry-head dad, father of my children-dad, just to clarify…my actual dad dad. He has a penchant for coming into town just as a garden task I’m not thrilled about doing all by myself is ready for the tackling. Mr. Blackberry-head is a hand and forearm model and has to protect our income stream, so he tries to stay away from anything without a joke on the wrapper.)
(There is a lot of name calling up in here today, isn’t there. Which is the perfect way for you to become affiliated with my parenting style do as I say not as I do. JK. Hope not. But I’ll knock it out with the name calling.
Up to this point it’s really just been payback for last week when the bitties and I were watching Anne of Green Gables and David walked through the room and compared Anne to Eddie Haskell. If you need us, we’ll be in counseling for the next ten months.)
(Just so you’re clear, this is my authentic parenting style:)
(How did I get here.)
Baby daddy…Eddie Haskell…CPS referral…ACTUAL DAD.
So actual dad dad has a penchant for coming into town just in time to put together a composter or stake a peach tree or…
cut back thorny floracanes!
You rock dad.
Little nip here…
Little tuck there…
And wham-o, bitty E and her rain boots were super confused as to how they could walk where the thorns would have once snagged you.
These boots were made for walking.
“Mom, I’m going to do a cartwheel. Hold my legs up.”
I feel way more confident with primocane suppression now that I’ve done it a couple of seasons. It’s pretty much always trial and error for me. Even as recent as last season I messed it up and chose a wrong cane (long story, and you look busy), but those blackberries were super forgiving and still rallied in spite of my ignorance. Oh how I pray the children will do the same.
Til next season when we meet again, blackberry friends. I sure am going to miss you. I’ll take this year to work on my heckling and you take this year to up your game for next season, if that’s even possible.
Me, the bitties, and Mr. Blackberry-head will be awaiting your next move.
This seems as good a time as any to remind you to send along those burning gardening questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for our monthly segment, “Asking For a Friend,” invisibly subtitled “Dumb Gardening Questions Submitted by Readers or Maybe Not Readers at All Maybe Just All My Dumb Questions but Why Would I Own up to That?”
Know those questions you feel silly to ask, but really really would like to know the answer to? No? Just me? Anywho, send ’em along. I will change all the alibis and identifying details so your Junior League Garden Club won’t know it’s you and Joe will be answering them for us. Likely with all the grace and levity of an actual Junior League Garden Club and none of the awkward I would bring to such a party.
Don’t ask him about a burning rash though. It’s probably poison ivy, and you should see a doctor.