life in the slow lane … strawberry ponderings …

 

The modern strawberry is a tale of disappointment and delight.  I have learned to treat each punnet of really good berries I encounter as a box of fleeting, precious jewels, a treat to be enjoyed with unalloyed pleasure; no cream, sugar or splash of Beaujolais, just the warm berry in all its scarlet glory.  That perfect fruit is a rare find, but once you chance upon it life seems, for an instant, to stand still.  Eyes closed, you are briefly lost in buttercup meadows, with bees buzzing on the heavy afternoon air.  It is then, breathing in their honey-sweet scent, the prickle of their yellow seeds on my lips, that I wish they could always be like this – Nigel Slater. 

container strawberry flowers

I have been savouring the delights of my greenhouse strawberries … biting into the soft flesh … still warm … and shiny.  Opening the greenhouse door on a sunny morning … the fragrance of the fruits is overpowering.

SDC14623

Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet, with leafy green wings reaching heavenward - Terri Guillemets.

Just two or three is enough … savouring every  mouthful … raw and sweet … straight from the plant.

home grown strawberries

Nothing speaks of summer so eloquently as a dish of strawberries, eaten warm and richly glowing, straight from the garden.” (Anna Pavord)

There is no comparison with ‘shop-bought’ fruit … after their long journey from the fields … into cold storage … overly large with no delicate undertones of flavour.

SDC10952 

Whilst waiting for the outdoor fruits to swell and ripen … this is my little treat to myself because I’m worth it … the harvest isn’t large … but it is enough … and as the rain lashes against the windows … I look at these pictures and am transported to summer … for just a little while.

SDC10960-001

I don’t want to eat them all the year round … there would be nothing to look forward too … later, when the strawberries in the ground are fruiting … jams and conserves will be made … so that in winter I can open a jar and breathe in the glorious fragrance of summer once more.

SDC10954

The strawberry is a berry that is attached to many positive things through symbolism and folklore.  The flowers and berries together symbolize righteousness and spiritual merit in Christian art.  The structure of the leaves, being trifoliate, represents the Trinity.  Pagan tradition echoes this in that the three leaves are thought to represent the three-fold Earth or Mother Goddess.  In Victorian flower language, the berry symbolizes perfection and “sweetness in life and character.”  It also represents modesty because the berries are often found under the leaves.

SDC10962-002

STRAWBERRIES
by Kathy Randle

Strawberries are like
The signs of high summer
Luscious, sweet, soft and juicy.
Sounds of plink-plonk
From the tennis courts.
Plates of strawberries and cream,
Delicious mouth-watering dreams.

‘Til next time – enjoy the rest of the week.

Comments

  1. We had the best punnet of strawberries that I have actually bought last week. They were English grown from our local greengrocer. A few punnets sat by the door and assailed the nostrils as I entered the shop. I couldn't resist as at the moment ours are just flowerrs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't remember the last time I bought any good ones - I should imagine our local farm shop would be alright.

      Delete
  2. I have only eaten ONE so far this year, but I did notice a few more almost ready.Tomorrow maybe. Our best variety is called 'Gariguette'; amazing flavour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't eat too many as I get strawberry rash which is very itchy. Never heard of that variety must be peculiar to France.

      Delete
  3. Oh that's a great idea. Greenhouse strawberries. I shall nick it for next year! Are they self pollinating or do you need to do it by hand?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are self-pollinating and very successful they are too. Although I don't think you get as many strawberries as you do outdoors but it is worth it for an early treat.

      Delete
  4. It looks like Mark has some serious competition for the best looking strawberry photo sadly mine are not ready yet have only planted them as bare roots in March

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My outdoor plants are still in flower I will have to wait a while for them yet.

      Delete
  5. They look so lovely. I bet they are juicy and wonderful. I'm afraid I'll have to go to a 'pick yourself' if I'm to have any that lovely - the stores certainly won't have any like yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no hint of sourness in them at all - quite delicious.

      Delete
  6. this post had my mouth watering! gorgeous photos too! I love the small wild or alpine strawberries best.. such a powerpunch of flavour from such little morsels!

    Leanne x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My neighbour has alpine strawberries, unfortunately her dog eats all the fruit!

      Delete
  7. I could not agree more Elaine. I am waiting for my strawberries to ripen. They are all planted in large pots on the patio. Tosca is one of my favourites.
    Your strawberries look so beautiful, in fact, much too lovely to eat :)
    My Grandmother used to make strawberry jam. I can remember being in the kitchen with her and the lovely smell that would travel all around her little house..

    Seasonal is best..........for taste, for anticipation and so much more.

    Hope the sun is shining on you. Lovely day here.
    Just going into the garden to plant some Heliotrope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My plants get so mixed up I'm not sure what varieties I have now. Home made strawberry jam has such an intense flavour although I do find it hard to get a 'set' sometimes, definitely worth all the trouble though.

      The day has been lovely today I got all my plants out and planted at last - now just got to make sure the slugs and snails don't make a meal of them.

      I love the scent of heliotrope I have just one planted in a mixed container. Have a good week my friend.

      Delete
  8. I totally agree, fresh strawberries are so wonderful,

    ReplyDelete
  9. WOW those strawberries are beautiful. Such a deep rich red. Makes me want a whole plateful of them Elaine. I haven't had any strawberries yet this year. Key word being "yet" :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first ones of the year always taste the best - by the end of the season I start getting a bit fed up with them - but that plateful was quite delicious.

      Delete
  10. I find the supermarket strawberries wholly disappointing. They are often under-ripe, even crunchy sometimes, and seem to have almost no flavour. As you say, there is a huge contrast between those and home-grown ones. I think a lot of commercial ones are grown hydroponically, and they just don't develop the same sort of flavour as "proper" ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They always look better than they taste - I also find that the colour is different from home grown - it seems more artificial somehow.

      Delete
  11. I never thought about the strawberry's lore. Your berries are so beautiful, perfect. My patch has some very healthy plants and some sick ones and some dead ones. We will have a few berries, but not enough for jam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a very big patch in the garden but they are all looking pretty good so far.

      Delete
  12. Mmmmmmm Elaine - my lips are watering. There's nothing quite like freshly picked strawberries. Like you I would not want to eat them all year round but they are a very much a seasonal treat. When I was child I used to help picking the strawberry crop on my uncle's farm in the Fens. I am convinced that I smelled of them for days afterward. My allotment plants are just starting to blush :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine in the garden are nowhere near ready yet. I have been strawberry picking when I was younger - backbreaking work.

      Delete
  13. A mouthwatering post for strawberry lovers!
    I prefer blackberries and raspberries but certainly enjoy my plot ones that I grow. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like each fruit as it comes into season - last year I discovered Loganberries - which to my mind are even nicer than Raspberries.

      Delete
  14. Can't beat a home grown strawberry! We used to pick them, and asparagus and gooseberries from my great aunts garden when we were little. I've grown them when I had an allotment, but it was always a battle between me and the birds as to who got the most!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the birds can be a problem - I know when I was younger my Dad always netted them, then we spent ages trying to untangle blackbirds from the netting, so I don't bother now.

      Delete
  15. Who knew that about strawberries? Certainly not me Elaine. By far the nicest strawberries are those you pick and eat within seconds, still warm from the sun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I didn't know that till I looked it up. There seems to be myth and legend surrounding most things. Oh yes, you can't beat freshly picked that's for sure.

      Delete
  16. Elaine!!! I can actually imagine how wonderful your strawberries smell through these photos if that is possible!!!! You have really captured them in the most beautiful light and there is nothing better than fruit straight from the garden! What a gift and a joy! Here is to a beautiful week ahead! Nicole xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Nicole - they smelled just as good as they tasted - it is such an easy thing to do - put a plant in a pot and keep it warm and before you know it you have lots of ripe fruit. Enjoy your week too.

      Delete
  17. Hello Elaine,

    We absolutely agree with you about only eating fruit in season. One anticipates the coming and relishes the arrival so much more than if they were eaten all year round. Here in Budapest, we have no choice since as everything comes from our local market we only have what is in season.

    And so, we are currently revelling in the appearance of the first cherries. Mountains of these luscious, glossy fruits piled high. And, how wonderful to have your own Strawberries just waiting to be picked. No taste can compare, we are certain! Yummmmm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are lucky to live so close to a market where everything comes in fresh from the countryside. I can just imagine baskets full of cherries - what a sight they must be.

      Delete
  18. Interesting insights - and I love the picture of the vivid red strawberries on the blue and white plate...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I agree Pat - the blue and white shows them off perfectly - I think I ate them more or less straight after I took the picture - they just looked too good not to.

      Delete
  19. My mouth is watering too ! We only grow them outside and they are still at the flower stage. We were given some plants when we had an allotment and the flavour of those strawberries was far superior to the ones we had in the garden. They are such a wonderful taste of summer. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine in the garden are lagging behind - we need some more sun now to get them ripening a bit quicker.

      Delete
  20. How wonderful they look enhanced by such pretty china. I wouldn't want to eat them all year round either. You have my mouth watering for some now, but as I only have flowers it'll be a long wait!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Snowbird. For me, the first of the season are always the best.

      Delete
  21. oooooh....such a tease.
    I've started with a whole new batch of strawbs' this year, having had a major vine weevil infestation. I've ignored all the rules and allowed the first years flowers to fruit & we do have a few plumping up. Just need to make sure we get to them before Mr & Mrs Blackbird though x

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's the good thing about growing a few plants in the greenhouse - no wild beasties can get to them.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You have almost perfect berries, they look so delicious. I can hardly wait until my Sister's farm has berries for sale. It's a fun time of year.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many good things to come too.

      Delete
  24. Oh yes, my mouth is well and truly watering here. Those strawberries look amazing. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to see you here Suzy - the strawberries were truly succulent.

      Delete
  25. I would love to see how they are growing in your greenhouse, Elaine. What a good idea, I shall copy you next year. Meanwhile the outdoor crop is looking promising (and the blackbirds agree.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will add a picture on my next post of the greenhouse strawberries - especially for you.

      Delete
  26. Those strawberries look absolutely perfect. With our Indian Summer I noticed one on one of my plants a day or two ago but, unfortunately, it had gone over-ripe. Will have to wait till next season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the weather is right they do seem to keep on cropping for ages.

      Delete
  27. I have been watching my strawberry plants grow and can't wait for my first taste of this year's home grown bounty. Enjoy xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because of all the rain we have had lately the strawberry plants outside have grown enormous - just hope the fruit matches the size of the leaves.

      Delete
  28. Such perfect berries Elaine! I have flowers on my strawberries and am already thinking that I must find a way to say them from bunnies and birds. Netting perhaps?
    Yesterday the boys chased a muskrat from the garden. I have seen him before and think he must have taken up residence. Sure hope muskrats don't like strawberries too. I am sooo looking forward to actually enjoying a few of my homegrown berries this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't bother netting mine as the blackbirds usually leave them alone (famous last words). Enjoy your berries when they finally arrive.

      Delete
  29. Must grow strawberries in the greenhouse; must grow strawberries in the greenhouse; must grow .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia - you must grow strawberries in the greenhouse ...

      Delete
  30. We live just down the lane from an old fashioned PYO strawberry farm ... you wouldn't believe how good the air smells here in summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you - the smell is as inviting as the taste is delicious.

      Delete
  31. Now I can't wait to eat my first strawberries out of the garden this summer. These look so wonderful, Elaine! :) I hope the ones in our garden will grow fast - I want one now. Oh, that reminds me that I got fresh strawberry cake from my neighbours this morning - I will have one of those in the meanwhile :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strawberry cake sounds delicious - I think I may make one once the rest of the strawberries ripe

      Delete
  32. Dear Elaine - such lovely sentiments regarding that most beautiful fruit. You are so correct too that there is no comparison to those grown in your own garden with the store-bought. Reading your post I can smell them now. Looking forward to picking some fresh ones here too. Take care and thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Very nice :) Found myself on this part of the internet after Googling for images of frost patterns :) (I don't usually visit blogspot) I like what you're doing here (in general!) with stuff n things, I like that you're enjoying it, blogging that which you love =)
    We live in a beautiful world :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

the rise of the apple and the fall of the oak ...

Down to Earth ...

the sweet calm sunshine of September ...