I love the taste of blackberries, but I hate picking them. This plant defends itself rather aggressively. The thorns are vicious and you either get your arms and legs scratched up or your clothing torn. Add to that, the wasps that claim the ripe berries and resent you reaching in to steal them, and spiders that hide behind the leaves and scurry over your fingers as you touch their webs. Shudders! I let the Captain do the picking if he’s home, or his 96-year-old mother (pictured below, picking last year’s berries), if he’s not. They both love picking blackberries. Go figure!
But I think I have found a solution. Take a close look at the vines on these blackberries below. What do you see? More importantly, what do you NOT see? Thorns! Also, the blackberries are growing on my garden fence so the tangles and spider hiding places are not as many.
Yes, thornless blackberries. Domestic, of course, but I like the idea of no thorns. The berries have a slightly different flavour, but they’re pretty good, and I don’t have to get stung or touch spiders, or tear up my arms and legs to get a few berries. Whoever developed this thornless variety deserves a medal.
These berries are not quite ready, but they seem to be fairly early this year. It won’t be long now before they’re ready to pick.