Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Last Handful of Strawberries November 4, 2009

Filed under: berries,fall — greenwalks @ 7:25 pm
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Our early fall in Seattle was lovely – warm, sunny days and cool nights, perfect for easing the garden gently into its winter lull while preserving some of the most stunning colors and extending the food crops just a bit longer. My fall harvest of raspberries was even more pathetic than the spring one, so I might have to rethink their placement or figure out how to urge them on better next year. But the baby alpine strawberries and bigger ever-bearing ones hung on for a last little flush.

There are never more than a few out there at a time and my daughter gets most (okay, all) of them, unless they have already been discovered by a squirrel or bird (why do they always just peck one hole and then leave it?? So wasteful, those wild creatures!). This was the last handful, picked a few weeks ago, and they disappeared down the hatch in about 30 seconds.

Late fall handful of strawberries

There are still fresh berries in the grocery store, tiny portions packed in plastic and shipped up from California, prices too exorbidant to bear. For now, these precious jewels will be just a memory, and something to look forward to again next summer.

(PS Oh, wrote this last week and just noticed today that there are a few more ripe berries! One final gift of summer, but then that will be it.)


‘Pink panda’ Strawberry September 4, 2008

An ornamental strawberry sounds like a complete oxymoron, but I saw these once at a garden show and had to have them. They are a hybrid between a a wild strawberry and a potentilla, I think, and you can start with just a few plants and end up with a mat of groundcover if you want. It spreads via stolons and if you keep track of it, it’s easy to pull out the ones you don’t want. I just let mine ramble, since I need space-fillers anyway. The pink blooms are super cute and cheerful, and since my daughter loves pandas, I planted some in “her” garden (also in the parking strip). The berries are edible but not all that tasty, so we usually leave them for the birds.

'Pink panda' strawberry

(Sorry, kind of out of focus. I think I need a new camera. Any recommendations of good ones for garden photography without spending a huge bundle?)

Here is a link to what they look like when massed. And for more information on its history and growth habits, click here.


Streetberries August 21, 2008

Here is proof that you CAN plant tasty berries in your parking strip, at least in my corner of Seattle, and you will probably have some left for yourself even after any greedy birds or humans have had a taste.

These folks have had a raspberry patch going in their hillside raised bed for a few years running. The canes are pretty tall, almost like a forest, and it seems like the berries are allowed to ripen largely unmolested:

Raspberry sidewalk

Late-summer blueberries fresh from the bush are one of life’s purest joys. But how to ensure that you have enough to put in a pie or at least on your cereal? Here is one street gardener’s solution: raised bed + stakes + netting = happy harvesting.

Protected blueberries

Finally, here is the bravest soul of all – a neighbor dug out a small patch of the parking strip grass and planted a strawberry bed. It’s ringed with a sweet basket-weave fence and gets a ton of sun. Do they get any berries? I hope so!

Street strawberries

Has anyone else tried raising such tempting treats on the street? How’s it going?