A little miracle has occurred between my blueberries and my perennial leeks! I now seem to have a gorgeous, lush patch of red alpine strawberries where, last year, I had a not very exciting patch of regular strawberries. The soft, green leaves are ever so pretty and spreading like a gorgeous carpet all over the hay and, every so often, incy wincy, brilliant, deep red berries dangle enticingly. The soft flesh drops into my fingers at the slightest touch and is transported to taste buds newly initiated to a rich, delicious flavour never before experienced, along with a concentrated, strawberry perfume to the nose, before even a taste is had.
Never can these tiny morsels make it to a shop and can only be experienced by gardeners in the right climate as I must be. How on earth they appeared or transformed I have no idea and I hope they remain happy inhabitants of this patch for a long time. I have left a row of flowering chicories on their north-west side to protect them from wind and too much summer sun.
This all sounds rather dandy but….. they chose a tricky spot to spread so thickly and, since I cannot bear to damage even one leaf, I must bring into practice much yoga in order to stretch to reach each berry, whilst kneeling on one knee, the other leg used to counter-balance the arm that must reach horizontally to a ripe berry the size of a pea or smaller!
My friend Erika has a garden that makes me sick (with envy). Her strawberries are big and amazing, the patch is a jungle of abundance and I have been the happy recipient of many of her crop. I think my strawberries gave up after over-hearing a conversation about my disgust with mine, compared to Erika’s. Somehow though, a miracle did happen and now I can boast to Erika about my patch.
While I was out there a few moments ago I thought that I would actually prefer mine to hers now because I live here by myself and, by doing daily yoga in the garden, I can farm just enough strawberries to add to my raspberries and other berries for breakfast or dessert. Modern society is all about abundance and striving for more and more. Abundance is fabulous but sometimes it is nice to have almost enough instead of too much.
Life is short; eat dessert first.