|Row of peas next to stock tank raised beds|
While growing currants doesn't seem like an Okanagan thing to do, I decided to get some anyhow. I had tried Jostaberries in SK only to have them die of fungal disease. Having observed the success of wild golden currants already on property, I thought I might give a second try at some other varieties in the Ribes genus. I planted two Jostaberries (a complex cross of two different gooseberries and a black currant) and two black currant bushes. I read that Jostaberries can get up to 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide. I am cringing now, worried that we have crowded them, planting maybe 3.5 feet apart? Also, these will shade the east end of the vegetable garden. Something else (not yet planted or planned) will miss its morning sun. If this continues to eat away at me, I may have to move one or two of them.
I had intended on making a fully-planned, attractive vegetable garden like those lovely European country ones on Pinterest, complete with calendulas, a willow-branch teepee covered in pea vines, and a neat herb hedge. Instead, we have piles of dirt on a compacted sandy patch of earth and fiberglass poles. Oh, and I was told two days ago by dear husband that there needs to be an oblique path through the center of the garden for a tractor. That particular feature is never accounted for in Pinterest gardens. Oh well.
|Jostaberry bush, with apples in background|
To increase my chance of success in cuttings (many failures with rot in the past), I have turned to a thick and mysterious-looking dark purple gel I found on the internet. The sellers seemed to imply that I could produce a multitude of clones of my "medicinal plants" with this fantastic product. The picture in the front of the bottle certainly isn't a rose or currant, but I figure that if it is good enough for "medicinal plants", it might work for me. I pulled off the bottom leaves and dipped the cuttings in the gel and inserted them in clean potting mix which was watered till slightly damp. Now the waiting...
|Golden currant cutting among the seedlings|
|Ribes sanguineum, flowering currant in Summerland Ornamental Gardens|
While we are talking about currants, I spotted a lovely dark-pink flowering shrub at the Summerland Ornamental Gardens this morning. It was located in the Butterfly Garden area, but without a label. As far as I can tell, it is a flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum.
It is native to BC, though I don't know if this is some special named variety different than the wild type. Its dark pink flowers are quite attractive.
|Ribes sanguineum, the flowering currant|