Strawberries and Wimbledon – everyone’s a winner

Whilst the crowds whooped at Wimbledon, I did my own.. aptly over a Strawberry.

Coinciding with a little-known tennis competition win, comes the equally as exciting news that my first strawberry from my garden has arrived.

A Strawberry
The first Strawberry of 2013.

Plump and smelling of that wonderful strawberry aroma, Strawberry ‘Elsanta’ has provided its first fruit and it is now sitting in my fridge.

I’ve been buying strawberries lately, but this is the first this year, from plants that managed to survive a winter (they haven’t tended to in the past, despite the severity of the winter we had this time).

There’s plenty of strawberries coming, including ones from my recently purchased Strawberry ‘Judibell’ plant, I’ve just got to remember to keep watering them so that they have enough to produce more of these red fruits.

April Showers (June Edition)

Rain arrives! So, it’s off to the garden centre where I pick up some strawberries and yet more herbs.

At last – the rain arrives. And it does it properly. Everywhere has been completely soaked by almost a day’s worth of rain.

Admitting defeat, I ventured off to my usual gym session but got stuck in my car for 10 minutes whilst thunder, lightning, hail and torrential rain turned the carpark into a reservoir.

About 90 minutes later it had stopped and the sun was out, so I took the chance to go Homebase, and Garden and Leisure in nearby Huntingdon to see if i could find some nice plants and some pots.

Having found the pots i needed to do some overdue houseplant re-potting, I found myself looking round the garden plants and noticed that the bees were all over the bright blue flowers of the Salvia ‘Nemerosa Ostfriesland’, so in the basket it went.

Salvia
Salvia ‘Nemerosa Ostfriesland’.

Over at Garden and Leisure I remembered that I had a ‘get a Strawberry plant for free’ voucher, so decided to pick up two Strawberry ‘Fragaria x ananassa Elsanta’ plants (very green and lush). Last year’s Strawberry ‘Judibell’ are all but dead – apart from a few runners where they shouldn’t be, and a couple of tiny signs of life. I picked up some more organic compost and then ended up with yet more herbs Parsley Japanese ‘Cryptotaenia japonica’ and Tarragon French ‘Artemisia dracunculus’ (the latter is good with chicken apparently).

Monty Don said a couple of weeks ago on BBC Gardeners’ World, that if you’ve had a Tarragon plant growing in your garden for more than a year, then it is undoubtedly the Russian Tarragon as it is hardier and is characterised by a bitter taste. However, whilst Russian Tarragon was in stock, the French Tarragon also says that it is frost hardy, so it’ll be interesting to see how this one does when I plant it out.

It all starts on the windowsill

The 2011 growing season for the garden has started – on the windowsill

So 2011’s garden is well underway.

Tray of seedlings growing on a windowsill
Sweet Pea, Marigold, and Aubergine spring to life on the windowsill.

 

Back two rows are Aubergine ‘Black Beauty’, middle 4 rows are Marigold ‘Boy O’ Boy Orange (French)’ – these should discourage black/greenfly that feasted on the veg last year, and in the foreground are Sweet Pea ‘Cupani’ – a bright, climbing and very fragrant variety which should help bring in the bees and other bugs. They’re about 5 inches tall now and need to start going outside a bit to harden them up a bit before going outside full-time.

Lots more to plant, or already underway including Antirrhinum ‘Chuckles’ (again for the bees), and Courgettes, Rocket, French Beans, Peas.

Perhaps this year the Strawberries will have established enough to provide fruit?