There is a bumper crop of blackberries this year in Vancouver. This has been brought about by lots of rain in June followed by hot, dry weather after, creating ideal condition.
Blackberry shrubs are found all over the lower mainland — roadsides, fence lines, stream banks, railway tracks — and they grow just about anywhere.
I bike to work on most days in summer. Along the bike route there are also a lot of blackberry shrubs. These shrubs I find along the route are largely untouched because unless you are on the route you will not know they are there.
There are two spots that I find a lot of unpicked blackberry shrubs. The first is the Kent Bike Route near Ontario St in Vancouver. The shrubs is parallel to the railway tracks. If you walk over to the side on the railway, you get even more blackberries.
The other secret spot is the shrubs under the Oak St Bridge in Richmond (see picture below). If you bike between Richmond and Vancouver across the Oak St Bridge, you will see the untouched shrubs.
If you drive, you can turn off Hwy 99 north bound just before getting on the bridge. Drive round under the bridge and you’ll see them shrubs. (Polly, you should check this out on this Google Map. Amanda and Anna would love this).
The blackberries are at various stages of ripening. The pictures here were taken about 4 days ago. I think by now there are even more ripe ones.
One thing though, the blackberry shrubs are very hardy plants and have very sharp spines. If you really want to pick a lot of them, you bring something to cut the long stems and wear gloves so that you don’t get cut by the sharp thorns. You just need to cut away a few stems and you’ll be able to get to the better ones in the middle of the shrub.