Joyful cherries

I had nearly forgotten that it was time to check for ripe cherries on the small bush in my front yard, when I passed it on my way to have a walk last week.  The walk was dispensed with when I saw that the 2-foot plant was bursting with sweet, dark red cherries about 1/2 inch in diameter.  Oddly, they were all on branches that lay on the ground, but still easy enough to pick.

(Yes, that is creeping juniper you see in the photo.  The bush cherry is part of my front landscaping.  It will eventually reach 3 feet in height, and the spring flowers are just as pretty as those of any other cherry.)

I’m pretty sure that this cherry is the ‘Joy’ variety developed by Dr. Elwyn Meader; it’s self-fruitful, unlike its cousin ‘Jan,’ and I’ve only got the one.  Naturally I have lost the receipt. 🙂

Most of the fruit ripens at the same time, so I was able to nearly strip the bush.  This came to about 2 cups of fruit, or 1 cup plus after I’d pitted them.  (The cherries are just large enough for an ordinary cherry pitter.)  Dessert! I thought, and so I made:

Cherry cobbler.

I’ll have to get a lot more bushes if I want a harvest large enough to preserve, but for now it’s nice to have a July surprise in my front yard.

10 Comments on “Joyful cherries

  1. There are bush cherries? Oh, I have wanted a sour cherry tree for so long, with no place to put it. Bushes I can manage. I know what I'll be looking for/planting this fall! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Wow, I didn't know cherries grow on bushes. I see a few bushes in my back year next year. Oh “Joy”! Your cobbler looks yummy!

  3. Where did you get yours at? Do you have shots of what they look like in the garden or in other seasons? Just curious. Can't find a lot of info on it, but seems like a great plant.

  4. Heidi, afraid I don't have other photos – I'll be sure to take some next spring. I got mine from Pinetree Garden Seeds, but I'm not sure they have any now; maybe in the fall. Any garden catalog that has fruit plants will have bush cherries (Edible Landscaping in VA is one) and you can try calling local nurseries that carry fruit plants.

  5. Erica,
    I am a volunteer working on this year's Friends' School Plant Sale in St. Paul, MN. This sale has grown to be the largest annual plant sale in Minnesota; it raises a good deal of scholarship money for the school and has for over 20 years. We have a wonderful print catalog each year, but it can only accommodate photos of a small percentage of the plants we offer. Our goal is to have a picture of each plant offered on the website. I am a volunteer tasked with finding the pictures for new plants and I am have a difficult time finding good photos of the Meader bush ferry 'Joy.' You have a beautiful picture on your blog.

    Might we use it? Proper attribution would be given.

    If we find others that we need, might we use them as well?

    If you would like to know more about our plant sale, here is our website: or you can ask me!

    Please contact me if you have any questions,

    Laurie Krivitz

  6. Yes, you may use the photo. If you find others on the blog you want to use, just let me know individually, since I didn't take them all. Also, I've had a hard time finding a source for the Meader bush cherries lately, so if you get your plants from anywhere I could place an online order, I'd appreciate knowing!

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