Strawberries grow in the Spring. Everyone knows this. Even non-gardeners know that if you buy strawberries from the grocery store in November, you’re doomed to eat tasteless, wooden berries that bespeak their overfertilized, underseasoned existence.
Back in May, on Memorial Day Weekend, I bought two alpine strawberry plants. I expected little from them, especially since so many gardeners I knew had already seen their strawberries come and go for the season.
But I planted them. They were perennials, and I figured, worst-case scenario, I’d just see how they overwintered, and maybe they’d produce next year.
One day last week, I wandered outside, and one had been carefully cropped down nearly to its roots. Then, a few days later, they both seemed to be returning to leafy glory. Whatever rabbit or squirrel took its teeth to them didn’t return.
Last week, as I was watering, I brushed the foliage of the first bitten-off strawberry plant away to make sure I was hitting the roots accurately. To my surprise, there was a tiny blossom, white and delicate, and absolutely pretty. I swept the leaves aside again just to be sure. A flower on the strawberry plant? In August? This made no sense whatsoever.
But then, over the weekend, when I went out to the garden to do a little weeding, I pushed back the leaves again to find, to my complete surprise, a tiny, baby strawberry.
I looked a couple of times, just to be sure. A strawberry? In August? No way.
Yes, way. I don’t expect it to actually survive the season, but who knows.