Friday, May 31, 2013

Delicious

After such a cold Memorial Day weekend, thunderstorms brought rain and very hot, humid weather. Today is in the 90s and sticky. In the sun my weather station reads 99 degrees this afternoon.

This is what I had for lunch today:

Delicious. After so many years of disappointment with these 'Mara des Bois' strawberries, I am getting a bumper crop this year. Tons of them for days now, and loads of berries still ripening on the plants, and I am getting so many perfect, ripe, sweet berries that taste the way strawberries did in my youth.

I started these in 2009 in clay strawberry jars, and that didn't work out. I moved them to a long plastic container trough and they were too crowded. There were slugs, springs brought poor conditions for fruiting, they languished, I lost so many plants, divided others, planted them out in the garden by the hatchway, and then re-planted them along the gravel garden in 2011.

Finally, they were happy. In the gravel garden border they spread and sent out runners in 2012, and produced a few berries that the chipmunk ate. I got about a half dozen strawberries over the summer.

Now, in 2013 they are wondrous! The cool dry spring, then tons of rain right at fruit set, all seemed to work this year. The chipmunk is nowhere to be seen, and birds have not noticed the red temptations. What lush, vigorous plants (I am even ripping some out where they crowd other things).

And what scrumptious berries! I simply walk out into my garden, kneel down and pick a bowlful. Wow. Jim was impressed. Me too.