Juneberries in July

In previous years, the tiny fruits on my Amelanchier lamarkii tree (commonly called Juneberry) haven’t ripened that well, but this year, they are a dusky plum purple, and for a couple of days I’ve heard the soft ‘chip-chip-chip’ of a pair of blackbirds swooping hopefully about the garden. They’re getting bolder as the fruits ripen, and today, the branches were swaying under the gleeful assault of the hen bird – now she’s found the tree, it will only be a few days before all the fruit is stripped.

So, I thought I’d try a few while I could, and to my surprise, they are quite sweet and tasty. But I won’t forage them – the blackbirds are welcome!

(This is a special tree – my father’s ashes are planted under it; he also has a cat for company! We chose it because he died in April when the hospital grounds were full of Amelanchier blossom. That aside, the tree is a delight all year – lichened twigs in winter, silky copper leaves and frothy flowers in spring, red and purple berries in summer and bright gold or orange foliage in autumn.)

Edit: 9th July – only one or two shrivelled berries are now left, and the blackbirds have moved on!