Greenwalks

Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Strawberries-to-be July 13, 2010

Filed under: berries,flora — greenwalks @ 1:13 pm
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The berry crops in the Pacific Northwest have suffered a lot from the cool, wet spring. What is merely annoying for the home gardener has been devastating for farmers. Every week, at the Farmers’ Market we frequent, we keep hearing sadder and sorrier tales. Cherry crops have been hit hard too, as well as many grains.

I’m not much good at growing fruit, but have always enjoyed having a few alpine strawberry plants scattered around the garden. I usually let my daughter harvest and eat the tiny berries as she finds the ripe ones – they never even make it into the house.

The haul was pretty pitiful this year, but there are more on the way now that the sun is (sometimes) out. I love seeing those bright white blossoms, knowing that they will be transformed in a short while into a treat for my girl. The birds have mostly left them alone, even though some are planted near our birdbath.

This shot is semi-blurry since it was evening when I took it, but you can see the flowers actually morphing into berries.

Alpine strawberries starting to grow

Do you grow berries? Are you getting to eat any this year?

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‘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.