Two months ago, I had serious doubts that many, if any of the blackberry canes that grew up last year — and from which this year's berries would emerge — had survived the harsh winter.
Now that spring has arrived and leaves are starting to emerge on the canes, I am cautiously optimistic that I'll end up with at least some berries to harvest this summer.
Mind you, I did lose a lot of canes, and the previous year's harsh winter had already devastated the bushes. But the total disaster I had feared back in February does not appear to have materialized.
My guess at this point — gauging by the number of canes that appear to be alive — is that I might harvest as many as 8 cups of fruit. That's not a lot from three mature blackberry brambles, which should each be sending forth a dozen or so fruiting canes. But after this past winter, I'll take what I can get.