The first of the goumi berries (Eleagnus multiflora) are ripe. Â I picked a handful, and my eldest promptly ate them all.
We have four goumi bushes (2 ofÂ Sweet Scarlet, and 2 ofÂ Red Gem), but only two are old enough to produce any berries. Â The young plants will produce a few pints of berries -which as you can see in the above photo, ripen in succession – but in the future, we should get more than enough for batches of jam and fruit leather and fresh eating. Â As a bonus, the shrubs are nitrogen fixers, so I have situated them near fruit trees in the orchard, and just uphill from one of the raspberry patches.
Another look at our little persimmon guild. Â TheÂ Early Fuyu persimmon has lighter colored, glossy leaves (upper right). Â Clockwise from the persimmon: chocolate mint, Japanese iris, Russian comfrey, horseradish, mojito mint, black currants. Â Unseen are two young lilacs, burdock, a highbush cranberry, and the goumi berry bush shown earlier in the post.
Adjacent to this guild is a recently added aÂ SmokeyÂ Juneberry (Amelanchier alnifolia). Â Juneberries are known by many names, including “saskatoons”, “serviceberries”, and my personal favorite, “chuckley pear”. Â I ordered three plants of two different varieties from Burnt Ridge Nursery, which arrived as little dormant sticks, but rapidly leafed out and are doing quite well. Â It will ultimately grow 6 or more feet tall, and after a flush of fragrant white flowers in late spring, produce abundant harvests of pinkish-purple fruit, rich in vitamin C.
The black currants all around the yard have been spared the plague of gooseberry fruit flies that have ruined my other currants.
A final shot of the burdock (with my foot thrown in for scale). Â It is such a handsome plant, and growing rapidly. Â I have had to remove flower heads multiple times this week, and look forward to trying the root in stir fry later in the summer.
Hal, our six yr-old, thrilled to have found the first ripe red raspberry of the summer. Â Gardening with children is such a great experience. Â They know the garden and its plants as well as I do, and I hope they will have fond memories of running barefoot in the raspberry patch, snacking as they go.