The warm weather and spring flowers are so welcome. I am enjoying daffodils, tulips, violets and cherry blossoms as I begin gardening.
The elderberry bushes in my backyard have produced well, providing berries for elderberry juice. I can the juice, and throughout the past months I have enjoyed adding a couple tablespoons of elderberry juice to my tea in the evenings.
Unfortunately I planted one elderberry bush in the corner of my garden. Last summer new shoots of elderberry plants were popping up all over the garden. The roots have extended throughout the garden space. We cut down that sprawling bush, and I planted new starts in defined areas of our yard.
My current task is digging up the shoots and roots that remain in the garden. If you plant an elderberry bush in your yard be careful where you plant it. Elderberry can be invasive.
Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are familiar. We see them in the grocery store. God has created a multitude of other berries. I feel blessed to have elderberry bushes in my backyard. After reading about the benefits of elderberries I ordered bushes from nursery catalogues. Now I have four bushes and enjoy the different phases as these bushes produce fruit.
In June white lace flowers appear on the branches.
In July the berries begin to form.
The berry clusters ripen at a staggered pace. This bush has berries in different shades of ripeness.
When fully ripe the berries are a deep purple color—almost black.
When the berries are used for jelly or juice, all of the little stems must be removed first.
I pick the berries, remove the stems and freeze them until I have enough quantity to make a juice/syrup for the winter. My recipe for canning elderberry juice is here.