California is known for its all seasons sunshine. However, our backyard does not have that luxury. New homes built after 2000 are given mostly small land, neighboring homes squeezed together, thus blocking the sunlight from directing to the yard (of course, million dollar homes are not in the list). When we first moved in, we designed our backyard by planting roses and other beautiful flowers, imagining them to bloom just like others’ front yard. But over the years, they died one after another. When chickens were raised in the small backyard, they were such a destroyer that after they were gone, our backyard was left like abandoned, without much vegetation.
The restoration gave us a chance to plant anew, with the idea of cultivating something not costly and easy to take care of. A young blackberry plant was a response to this, as it was spotted by itself out of nowhere under the window of the living room, where the afternoon sun in the summer showers upon for hours. As it grows, it sprawls extensively across the narrow strip, overtaking the areas with its thorny branches and leaves.
It takes more than two years before it flowers and starts bearing fruits. This must be the fourth year that we have the berries. May and June are their ripening season, the fruits turning from being green to red and finally to black. To test if the berries are ready to pick, you need to wait until the fruits are hanging down. Touching them gives you more senses, as a ripe berry is soft and ready to fall.
Hydrangea is a new addition. My last birthday was celebrated by a bunch of purple hydrangea from someone, who rarely bought me flowers. The cut hydrangea did not retain its beauty long in the vase before they withered quickly. We cut the stems and planted them in the pots. New leaves came out, and a few months later, tiny white buds tightly clustered surprisingly formed on the tip of a young slender stem. Now it blooms, changing color itself from light green to lovely pink over the month. What a gorgeous flower!