Last fall when we would go on family walks we made certain to walk past "our neighbor's garden" and help ourselves to any of his delicious red raspberries whose branches were hanging over his fence into the street.
"It's legal." Jeremy would say, "They're in the public right-of-way." (He is getting his masters in landscape architecture after all--he knows his city code.)
We'd talked to this neighbor on occasion before. He's very interesting. He also keeps bees, and chickens. His passive-solar home is painted kelly green, so is his tool shed which has a 6 foot rainbow painted on it(?) Also, dead trees on his properties are cut down to 7 feet and carved into wooden statues. . . a bear, a rabbit, and the Patron Saint of Gardeners.
On a nice day this winter we were out walking and ran in to our neighbor. We told him how we'd enjoyed his berries and he offered to give us some raspberry plants. Raspberries spread like crazy, so in the spring he was planning on digging up some plants for a few other neighbors. We were definitely excited about that prospect.
So last night, we went and dug up some raspberry plants. . .
And planted them in our backyard.
This is what the plants look like. The roots are pretty woody. They spread out underground and then pop up somewhere else and start growing more raspberry canes.
Our neighbor chopped them to the ground after the first freeze last winter, but by late summer these bushes will be waist-high and covered in berries.
I've been reading up on raspberry care online and if we only prune then back minimally in the fall then we can have two crops next year, a spring crop and a fall crop! I can't wait.
I've always heard it said that the best way to get started with gardening is to find a gardener --Old ones are best-- they love and are willing to stand around and tell you all their tips and tricks, provide you with extra materials they have, and then in the end take pitty on you and share their bountiful harvest while you are still learning.