The Life and Times of a Raspberry Patch

Last summer I decided that I wanted to grow more herbs.  I have a small herb patch plus I grow a few herbs in the flower border, but I wanted more.  My plot is small and I did not want to loose the vegetable beds nor the small wildflower patch.  The question on how to achieve more space for growing herbs literally throbbed  in my mind for months.  The answer came late summer with the yearly offer of  “help yourself to raspberries, I have more than enough this year”. Eureka!  Don’t get me wrong, I love raspberries, but if there is one food item that my fellow plot holders give away, it’s raspberries.  So I decided in October that the small raspberry patch would go.  It was not an easy decision but during the winter months I spent many hours browsing the herb society website and became really excited about all the herbs I could grow.

So in January I started cutting back the canes, many of which will be used as supports this year.  Then came the time to dig up the roots.  It was physically hard, and at times I felt quite emotional at digging up perfectly healthy roots that just wanted to grow.  I am near completion.  The patch is not quite raspberry free and I think it will take another year for all the roots to be dug up.  One or two gardeners were pretty flabbergasted – “why dig up a perfectly good raspberry patch for a few herbs”.  Why indeed!  the words lemon balm, yarrow, caraway, coriander, chamomile, rosemary, thyme, sage, nettle, borage, dill, angelica, tarragon, cumin, eyebright, fennel, woad, st john’s wort, hyssop, flax, wild marjoram, mint, basil, parsley, savoury, valerian, soapwort, wood betony and vervain come to mind.  I am not a medical herbalist but I do enjoy making tinctures, teas, salves, and herb vinegars.    It’s the end of an  era and the beginning of a journey into the world of herbs and I know the bees will be happy.

raspberry 1 delights of 2014  Selfie My first and only selfie in the emerging raspberry patch 2014Crocus x 2 The crocus bulbs spent a couple of years in the raspberry patch.  They have now moved to adorn all three rose bushes.  3 Autumn sunlight – the leaves seem to say hey we are beautiful don’t dig us up!

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