immature blackberry

Hope Abounds Everywhere I Look

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apple blossoms
It began earlier this spring with these apple blossoms.

Nothing says hope like a garden! We plant, not knowing if we will be here to harvest. We plant, not knowing if they will make it through the many hazards for plant life here, including untimely snow, drought, scalding heat, insects, and dogs. There are so many ways things couldn’t work out, and yet, many times it works just fine.

immature apples
The apples are off to a good start this year on our new tree!

Last year, I was out in misty rain with shears, harvesting grapes, tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos just hours before the first hard freeze of autumn. It was still going strong, but the early freeze and snow put an end to it. As I brought in a bushel of grapes and quarts of vegetables, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of our small garden.

white currants
White currants are not ripe yet!

As our nest has emptied, we have more energy for our yard and garden. This year, we wanted to expand our garden. Due to the heat and frequent drought, we spend a lot for water to keep anything alive. What is worth the expense? I wanted some trees that give back by feeding the urban wildlife of squirrels, birds, and us.

blackberry blossoms
Blackberry blossoms

We planted apricot, peach, and apple trees and blackberry and raspberry bushes. My daughter’s dog came to visit and ravished the raspberry bush down to nubs; it did not survive. The blackberries could fend for themselves with their thorns, though, and they have thrived. Now that we have a second apple tree, we hope to get sufficient cross-pollination to improve our fruit yield.  

immature peach
A tiny fuzzy peach rests and grows.

These brave little trees are just a few years old and we expected nothing from them this year, particularly because it snowed after they had blossomed. A freeze after they blossom means no fruit. We covered the salsa garden in advance of the snow, and it came through with flying colors. But the trees? We weren’t sure.

immature apricot
Only one little apricot blossom beat the snow to become a small fruit. It will be glorious if it survives until ripeness!

This week, I was excited to patrol the yard and find it full of babies! There was just one brave apricot that survived the snow, but there were peaches, apples, grapes, blackberries, and currants.

immature grapes
It’s hard to believe that these will be fat purple grapes some day!

Our cat, Russell Sprout, was dedicated to our garden, and with his passing, I’ve tried to step up to the plate and minister to our plants as he used to do. Garnet seems to have taken up the call as well, and she was my main helper this year. It’s nice to have her there, lending her energy and quiet support.

Black schnauzer
Garnet takes her gardening rather seriously. She was happy to help me this year.

Our little garden has braved a snowstorm and several small hailstorms this spring, and yet the trees and plants still spread their leaves and soak up the sun. They have no problem taking that which is freely given and turning it into something beautiful and nourishing to share.

immature blackberry
This blackberry will someday make a juicy bite!

Can we humans do the same to nourish our environments and home? Are we a good use of food, water, and resources? Digging in the dirt, it’s easy to wonder such things and how we can make a difference. Or maybe it’s just enough to be here, like the shade trees and the grass, spreading their calm and tranquil energy to the yard?


  1. Mee-yow Wow Miss Karel an Garnet yore garden an fruit treess are simpley amazin!
    You have dun so much werk; it takess mee breath away….
    Mee betss Russell Sprout iss lookin down from Purr Land an watchin over all of you an THE garden!
    **purrsss** BellaDharma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so. We are going our best to nurture the garden as he would have wanted. We miss him. We had a surprise yesterday! I found that some cherries survived the snow and so the birds will eat well again this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely crop from your small garden. Makes all the watering well worth the results.

    (I can’t press the LIKE button on your blog since I bought the new computer, but since there are other blogs in the same ‘boat’, I guess it’s something to do with the style or way they’re set up. Or even the theme used? Oh well. At least I can comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of all my readers, I can see that you are the one most able to relate to spending water on the worthy. It is such an effort and cost that I feel the plants/trees must give back for all we put forward. I don’t mean sharing with the birds and critters, but it needs to contribute.

      As for your computer issues, Hmmmm. Are you running the latest version of WordPress? It crashed for me at launch this morning and I had to update the software.


    1. So far so good! We have a pretty short growing season, so we’ll see how it goes. For now, it is green and lush as we’ve had a lot of unexpected rain and oddly cool weather. We never know what to expect any more!


  3. Congratulations on your successful gardening. The pictures were beautiful. I was surprised how much the apple blossoms petals look like dogwood blossoms. The leaves are quite different though. I am so glad that you are enjoying the gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t care much for flower gardening, to be sure. Flowers trigger allergies in a more intense way. But I can get behind raising organic food for us and the local urban wildlife!


  4. OMC I can’t wait to hear when the fruit is all ripe, Karel. We had lots of grapes last year, and one or two apples, now we have a tree full of apples, but the storm has broken two branches and it’s a young tree. We don’t mind to share the fruit with the birdies, I’m happy with my bird tv live😹Pawkisses for a Happy Tuesday and week ahead🐾😽💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have made homemade wine in the past and it was pretty good. I’m not planning on doing that again, though, as I really don’t like wine. Last year, I gave a bushel of grapes to a neighbor intending to make jelly. Don’t worry though, I share grapes with my parrots!


  5. You are very ambitious. I had fabulous peach trees which provided bushels of peaches. I was lucky if I got a half dozen. The deer ate the low ones and the groundhogs climbed the tree for the high ones. My apples got scab. I took out all the fruit trees but I miss watching the growing process. My neighbors planted big white pines which shade much of my garden area. Not sure why they did that because they can’t see them from their house. Whatever. I had raspberries for many years until the deer decided that they were indeed delicious. They are gone too. I am hanging on to my tomatoes tenaciously. Planting my favorites every year and they don’t disappoint. I have them in a dog fence pen with a people door. Smartest move I ever made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also have a fence with gate around my vegetable garden, mostly to keep the dogs from digging everything up. And we have a fence around the base of the grapes because they were irresistible to our daughter’s dog who chewed up the first two sets of vines. I don’t mind sharing with the squirrels, birds, and raccoons. In the suburbs here, deer are not an issue. The birds always get the cherries first, but this year’s snow killed the blossoms, so it’s not happening this year. I guess I’m enough of an Earth-Mother type that I just want to feed everyone!

      Liked by 1 person

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