For me, this fruit is just so evocative of Summer; there’s nothing like biting into a soft, sweet strawberry, particularly when you’ve had the satisfaction of growing them yourself. I purchased two different kinds of strawberry plants from the garden centre this Summer. They produced a small but, steady, harvest. To stop the fruit rotting, I placed nests of straw around them (presumably, that is where the name strawberry came from). Straw seems to put the slugs off; broken egg shells are also a deterrent. In the top bed of the patio, are three strawberry plants with lavender in-between. I love the purple of the lavender, it’s such a pretty colour but I haven’t noticed much scent. To suppress weeds, I’ve added a layer of mulch; it also keeps the soil moist. Our patio area gets very hot (the garden faces South) and, the strawberries have loved the heat. My eldest son is ten and, experimented with making jam from the strawberries. It was not the most palatable but, it’s lovely to see him embracing the Good Life! Now it’s September, I’m already looking forward to the strawberries we might have next June.
My patch of green is around half an acre; it slopes down to a stream and woods. When we moved here a year ago, there was an abundance of weeds in every flowerbed, a slightly decrepit Wendy House and, the patio area, which is tiered, was crumbling apart. The overall sense: sprawling, yet somehow beautiful, abandoned chaos. No Chelsea Flower Show, that’s for sure.
With three kids, a husband and the usual busy lifestyle, for a long time gardening was on the back burner. But gradually, I’ve found myself drawn into the odd bit of weeding, then the odd bit of planting, the Alan Titchmarsh books are being thumbed through again and, the garden is starting to look just a little bit how I’ve been planning it to. But, I’m not aiming for manicured and perfect; it wouldn’t suit us as a family. Also, in avoiding pesticides, I’m encouraging the presence of bees and wildlife which, for me, is important.
I thought it would be interesting to chronicle my experiences as I work on the proverbial jungle! And, If you’re a green-fingered sort too, then I hope you find something of interest on here.
“Tender age in bloom”