Plant Families For Success

I ordered this spring four Saskatoon bushes but really they are service berries since we are in Wyoming. The same bush has a plethora of names depending on where you live and they grow almost anywhere including within two inches of my garden shed where I found mine. They are for zones 3-10 so they might be just something you would like to add to your yard. Not knowing what I had except something that did not belong there, I chopped away each year the two bushes against our garden shed. Then I did not get it done one year and when the next rolled around I had an inkling and decided to let them grow to see if I was right. Yup, we had a chokecherry tree just inches from a service berry and just two inches from the shed. I’m starting to get dizzy from all the head shaking I’ve done on this property. What were the previous owners thinking?

One taste of the few berries growing on the service berry bush and I ordered four Saskatoons or service berries for this year. They are growing in the orchard now and I can’t wait until they are large enough to have berries, lots of them. I’ve left the one by the garden shed and the chokecherry too. I’m hoping for starts of the chokecherry to move it to the orchard and another taste of those luscious service berries.

Chokecherry alone is a bit puckering for me but add sour cherry and you have a divine pancake syrup or jelly. It helps take the pucker out of the Chokecherry. The bushes will have to be chopped down eventually as the garden shed could use a fresh coat of paint but I”ll wait until next year just so I can move some starts elsewhere.



Service Berry Fruit




 Rose Hips ( Wish I had a better picture)

When I discovered that apples and roses are cousins, I began to wonder if a service berry was too. The fruit at a young age looks like a miniature version of a rose hip or apple. That is what sent me on an internet search. Indeed apples, roses, and service berries are all in the rose family. I thought those service berries tasted a bit like you had mixed apples and blueberries. YUM!!


Apple Blossoms

It wasn’t just the fruit that gave me the hint that they are related but the flowers are alike too. Simple five petals for each whether you are looking at a Rosa Canina, an apple tree, or Service berries.

Maybe it is something I should think about further.  The rose family is hardy and grows well in our climate and altitude. Hm… just how many plants are in the Rosaseae family? In fact there is 2,500 species and 90 genera. So what are some of my choices? Almonds and pears, well maybe not those. But raspberries, strawberries, and cherries yes, in fact I already have those. I now know I have a chokecherry and a service berry too. I’m thinking this is a real win situation. A yard with lots of family members, plant wise that is. It is definitely a key to success.

So what else do I have that is in the family. The peach tree I just planted are my strawberries I just transplanted and the raspberries I just hacked paths through. Blackberries too and those are going in the garden next year. Apricots are in the rose family but won’t be invited to our reunion. They just aren’t to our taste. I did invite a peach tree for zone 4 and planted it this year as well as two plum trees which are cousins.

Then just to see how far this family thing might go, I checked out chokecherries and low and behold they too are members of the rose family. Who would have guessed. If they are members how about elderberries, nope they are in the honeysuckle family. Neither are the red and black currents and the gooseberries but they are cousins to each other.  Seeing a pattern here?

What grows well in your yard? Are you thinking of what you could add that will grow well. Maybe it needs a family reunion of cousins and aunts and uncles. I’m sold that it is the key to a successful garden.

Just a quick apology for the long wait. I needed some time to handle the news on our daughter’s cancer. None of the therapies have worked including the present one. Her aggressive cancer has mutated twice now and is more determined than ever to destroy her. The future is complicated to say the least but we have spent the last couple weeks trying to anticipate needs. And we are setting goals to get our own house financially and physically in order. This gives us direction and a way to fight the depressive situation. It is time to put the pedal to the metal and ” Get er done!” as we say but first we must get ready for the family reunion this weekend. A human one with the Aunt Grandmas as we affectionately call my sisters, their offspring, and my father who is in the last stage of Dementia. Won’t he be confused. Thank you for your understanding on this bumpy ride.


5 thoughts on “Plant Families For Success

  1. Valerie

    I am happy you have found so many edible plants that will hopefully grow in your garden. I am sorry about your daughter’s situation. She and all of you are in my prayers.


    1. Thank you so much for your prayers. It is the strength that comes through prayers like yours that keeps our backs straight and moving forward. The Lord is calling our daughter home and though we do not know how soon, the time grows ever closer. I am at peace but I pray for the strength, wisdom, and endurance it will take to serve her and her four young daughters in days that will become ever increasingly more difficult.


  2. Debbie

    You and your family have been on my mind so much the last few months. Prayers for strength as you “put the pedal to the medal.”



    1. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I want you to know that we feel them. Our daughter’s time in this existent state will be short. Yet I must count my blessings for when she was born she was given little chance of survival. I must not murmur for we have been given the gift of more time with the added bonus of 4 granddaughters.


  3. Pingback: Nanking Cherries – Easy Living the Hard Way

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