Delivering flyers (how quaint, in these days of social media and app marketing) for our Christmas wreath initiative, there was a doorway with a range of odd sticks. Aha! a small boy lives here, came the thought, as I was reminded of my now towering son, and instructions to leave wayside garnerings outside.  But gardeners also have an eye for a good stick, as plant support is all when it comes to that lush, unstoppable late spring/early summer growth.

Back to a cold, damp new year’s day and a lovely pottering job cutting out last year’s autumn raspberry canes. The fruit will be made on this year’s growth, so the old is cut away in the dormant season.  Summer raspberries are cut back after fruiting to make new growth for production the next year. If you did the same for autumn rasps, they would put on sappy growth that would die in the cold. On rotation I cheat the canes so that a few retain last year’s growth and also give me an earlier summer flush of berries. If I had space I would do both kinds, and indeed have lots of different varieties. Canes are usually bundled in 10s or 12s, so you get a batch of one variety.  I got mine from Tuckers originally – see the feature on using catalogues for link to them.

Lovely reddish sticks 70-90cm long; weaker stems and side shooots made into 15-20cm lengths of tinder just right for pushing into a kelly kettle for hot water for tea.

I couldn’t find a picture of raspberries, so here is a proud shot of some high season produce with raspberries as part of the ‘rainbow’.

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