|Fierce spiny thorns on gooseberry|
Next on the list is picking the gooseberries and black currants. This week brought a revelation about gooseberries. I have always thought you had to cook them with sugar to make them edible but a friend told me to just leave them on the bush until they are almost falling off - and he is right - they are divine. No sugar necessary - at all! But their picking is not a job I relish as their prickles are so fierce - more like spines. In fact when there were some attempted burglaries in the area I was most distressed that someone had jumped over my (high) fence and demolished half of my precious pink gooseberry bush. But maybe I had the last laugh - I bet in REALLY hurt! That was the last straw before I decided to get a burglar alarm fitted (not that it will help the gooseberry bushes much!).
Another very spiny plant that produced the most beautiful berries is mahonia, also known as the Oregon grape as apparently the berries are edible, although I have not plucked up the courage to try them. Usually I don't get chance as the blackbirds go crazy for them - developing all sorts of unblackbirdlike acrobatic tactics of hanging upside down, jumping and diving at them. This year - for some strange reason - they are leaving them alone!
|Mahonia berries showing very spiny leaves|