Planting raspberries

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

Can't see it too well, but this is a 'Jewel' raspberry cane, planted over the weekend in a large container. The folks who sold me more than a dozen canes of red, gold and black raspberries insist you can grow them just fine in containers but I'm skeptical. Definitely need to net them and plan to trellis them, too. Netting is the more important, given the expert gleaning skills of the birds in my neck of the woods. They strip the grape vines, blueberry bushes and fig tree clean.

I bought four varieties of raspberries - besides 'Jewel,' there's 'Killarney,' 'Fall Gold' and 'Heritage.' Nothing exotic; these are well-known, reliable producers, and these in particular are already two years old. So they should fruit this season. Everyone smiles when they hear I'm trying raspberries. Guess they have some associations, as I certainly do. We has a large, unruly raspberry patch when I was growing up. Birds used to dive-bomb us as we picked and I remember the dog getting pecked in the head. Mom remembers being scratched by brambles till her arms and legs bled. A little pruning might've helped but for some reason, that wasn't on the radar. Regardless. Just thinking of those berries, warmed by the sun and popped into your mouth, makes me hungry. They were wonderful for breakfast, for lunch, dinner and impromptu raids throughout the day. Just hope they can deal with life in a container in the middle of the city.