Berry Ironic

Summer raspberries are on their way out (although as half of ours are fall-bearing, we should have another round in September). But look what else we have: 

Yup, it's a blueberry. It's one of only a handful we'll get this year. And here's where they came from:

That tangled mess is on the side of our driveway that we ignore. Mixed up in a lot of weeds and property-line plantings are a scraggly blueberry and black raspberry. And it's bearing fruit, despite abject neglect:

The cruel irony is that the blueberries that we spent money on and actually take care of in hopes of producing fruit look like this:

What's that you say? You can't see any blueberry bushes? Well the two to the left of this bed are pretty much leafless, dead sticks. The one to the right has like ten leaves on two spindly branches.

The other three are in slightly better shape. Here's the sturdiest of the bunch:

It measures about 18 whole inches high. We planted them last spring, and they just haven't put on much growth at all.

Now it isn't likely that we would have fruit in this, their second year, anyway. The earliest we could hope for would be next year, and it's likely to take four to six years before they bear well. I guess that's somewhat comforting, but I can't help feeling like they should be a lot bigger and leafier, even if they aren't fruiting yet. They've been fertilized and mulched and watered and blah blah blah, but they seem rather stubbornly stunted. 

At least we can enjoy the small handful of berries in the driveway, if the birds don't beat us to them.


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