Saturday, October 13, 2007

Last of the Summer Raspberries

The trees in the back yard are donning their fall clothes. It's beautiful, but it makes me feel slightly sad at the same time. The garden is rapidly deteriorating, the fruit trees are starting their hibernation, and the sunflowers are flopping everywhere in a wet heap. The one cheerful note to this time of year is all the bulb planting I've been doing.

I was out yesterday planting the bulbs I've been accumulating on all our shopping trips. It seems almost impossible to avoid the racks of bulbs outside every store these days, and places like COSTCO make it practically irresistible for me by selling 120 miniature Iris reticulata bulbs in one bag for $10. And how could I not buy those lovely little Scilla Siberica at the grocery? Or the Bulgaricums (they're fragrant AND beautiful, who could want more from a plant)? Or that spotted pulmonaria? The charming but always breathless-with-excitement Matt James is in love with pulmonaria. Call me a pushover, but I felt compelled to try them solely because Matt likes them so much. I find gardeners like Matt - how do you put it - strangely compelling. Richard thinks it's because we both like to anthropomorphize plants. Matt once told some hapless homeowners that he actually felt offended at how badly they'd treated their garden. They hung their heads and looked embarrassed, while Matt stared sternly at them, then swept his arms around the garden with such distress one couldn't help but laugh.

Anyhow, one of my purchases this summer was a beautiful little raspberry bush: "Caroline." I planted it near the peach tree, so I can train it along the peach's espalier trellis, but in the opposite direction. Yesterday we ate some of the last berries on it. Slightly less sweet than in the summer, but still evocative of summer gardens. We sat in the yard, the kids and I, and divided them out. We each had 5 berries and we savoured them carefully. A sweet note to go out on.

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