Saturday, 1 June 2013

Grandpa's strawberries

Back when I moved to my Tooting garden in 2008 I took some baby strawberry plants from my Grandfather's garden.  He'd recently passed away and it was nice to have a little something that had been nurtured by him growing in my container garden.

Now strawberries do best with space to crawl about and send their runners out in all directions but I had a container garden so these poor strawberries had to survive in a pot and I kept encouraging the runners back into the same pot.  To be fair I didn't get many strawberries but the ones I got I savoured.  I even fed them worm compost.

So since 2008 these strawberries have been soldiering on but not doing much except making runners.

I realise the school of thought is to throw plants away every 3 or 4 years and replenish but I couldn't part with these plants - they were my grandfather's afterall.  So the last few years I've been concentrating on feeding the runners into new pots to establish new plants from Grandpa's parent plants.

This year I had a lovely surprise... From Grandpa's original plants I have some  nice big flowers and promise of fruit.  I don't quite know how this has happened. Maybe its because I moved the plants back closer to their original home when I brought them to my current garden in Birmingham (grandpa's garden was in Oswestry, Shropshire).  Maybe it was our harsh winter.  Maybe it's because a borage plant grew in the same pot as the strawberries last summer and as it shrivelled away last autumn it fed the strawberry plants.

Whatever the reasons I'm going to celebrate the fact that Grandpa's strawberries are flowering on plants that should by all rights be well past their best!

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