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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Sunday, July 06, 2008


As I stood in the shade of our largest fig tree, briefly resting from the rigors of blueberry picking, I thought of many things. Many of these thoughts were cast aside for the lack of interest but there remained two – briars and brambles. I’m not sure which of the two is the most invasive and harmful to the good plants – but I do know that I don’t like either in my garden or blueberry patch.

The brambles are irritating because there are so many of them and hard to get rid of because if a single small piece of root remains in the ground, a new plant will grow. The only good thing I have found about them is since they are in the blackberry family and do produce small berries, they have caused many smiles on the faces of the local gruntmonkeys as they ate the found delights.

The briars, while not as numerous, produce much more length of vine (and longer thorns) and the roots are much deeper and harder to finally get rid of. It is hard to find anything good about them. Some folks make pipes out of the knot of the briarroot, if they are of a smoking persuasion. The only other good thing I have heard had to do with an old southern tradition.

Years ago an older friend of mine was telling me how much trouble he was having getting rid of briars that would grow around his front door and all up on the porch. After chopping these out several times he finally found and dug out the large root of the plant. It was only afterwards that he found out it was a southern tradition to have a briar to grow up on ones porch to have some greenery.

He was a bit outdone at himself for not knowing this so he went to the woods – he was a logger by profession – to find another briar and replant it at the edge of his front porch – he lived in a rural area. Traditions are strange things at times. What brought this whole subject up was the several briars growing in one of the blueberry bushes at the end of the row.

I had to do some briar trimming to even pick the berries. I made a mental promise that once the berries are harvested; mister briar is going to have to see if his roots can breathe air. The problem with this particular endeavor is that briarroots go so deep that the digging can be very unsettling to the roots of the blueberry bush – I will have to be very careful.

I’m of the opinion that these briars are direct descendants of the thorns that troubled Adam when he got booted out of the Garden of Eden. In spite of all this I got more berries picked, bagged and put in the freezer – the total now stands at 49 quarts of blueberries. Blueberries are a blessing from a good God. ec


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Briars and brambles are indeed no fun. But your good attitude and focusing on the "prize" at the end of your troubles gives me heart.

Yummmmmmy blueberries!

Have a wonderful week!

7/07/2008 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr. Eddie ~~ I am so glad that you and your wife had a lovely weekend and just having it with each other is so nice for a change.
You sure have the job ahead of you with the briars,but the blueberries
have sure paid you for the attention you have given them. Thanks for your comments, it was nice to see my friends, and another blogger is visiting next Saturday, briefly which will be so nice also. Take care, Best Wishes, Merle.

7/07/2008 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

With the roots hard to dig up completely, it sounds like the briar will eventually grow back, but you can set it back a long way.

7/07/2008 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger ancient one said...

Briars are everywhere in my yard. They are growing all up in the azealas and those bushes are so big, we can't even reach across them, therefore we can not get to the middle to cut the briars out. We just clip the ones we can get to. They are worse each year.

I saw the birds enjoying some of the blueberries on the best bush today. We got a little rain, maybe 1/4th inch, last night. Everything is dry, dry, dry around here. The dogwoods are really hurting.

7/07/2008 11:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had blueberries on a cake this weekend--and thought of you!

7/08/2008 12:12:00 AM  
Blogger itsboopchile said...

What do you do with your blueberries? Have you any special recipes?
Blueberries are fairly new to me so I keep looking for recipes.
Dean can't eat them so they usually wind up in my cereal.
Still delicious.
Betty G

7/08/2008 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

Oh my!!

You're doing good with your blueberries- in spite of the troublesome briars and brambles!

Take care,

Junie Rose

7/08/2008 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jayleigh - Picked more berries today and they are a "prize", a very tasty one.

merle - The things worth having - berries - are worth the effort even in spite of the 'prickly' situations involved. :)

AC - My hope is that the briar roots are off to the side of the bush enough that all of it can be gotten out. If not I will have to settle for just setting it back some like you say.

ancient one - I really have more brambles than briars but both are irritating and my eradication efforts continue on them both. I see a few birds in the berries but not enough to effect the harvest much.

momto3cubs - I enjoy most anything that blueberries are in or on plus it is said that they are good for the body.

itsboopchile - Most of my berries are frozen and used later. I like them in cobblers, on ice cream, in cereal and one of my favorites, "blueberries in the snow", a dessert the Spice makes. I also eat them frozen as a snack.

junierose - I thought I was about to the end of my berry harvest but I picked more today and bagged up 5 more quarts for the freezer - bringing the total to 54 quarts. ec

7/09/2008 12:07:00 AM  

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