September 25, 2020

The Strawberry Jar

It's nothing extraordinary to admit we like strawberries. Unlike a lot of people in the country, I have to admit I can't grow them. Or rather, I've not been able to grow them up to this point in my life. I'm not done with trying. There's always next year, and the year after, and the year after...

At some point in my life, my grandmother gave me her strawberry jar. My grandfather gave me seven strawberry sets of an "ever-bearing" variety, and I planted them in the jar. Nothing. The plants died just to spite me.

In subsequent years we tried again. We tried strawberries in a raised bed, which worked but did nothing to discourage the birds from eating the harvest. We tried making a tiered planter and covering it with a thin cloth. It stopped the birds but not the bugs. 

The bottom line is we've not given up. We acknowledged that strawberries are something that needed to wait until we were both home all day, i.e., retired. That time is just around the corner. I think our decision is to try the tiered bed again. If it still doesn't work, the tiers will look good planted in annuals. 

But what did I do with my grandmother's strawberry jar? 

My grandmother's favorite color was red. She was the first person to tell me to always wear red. (I've since learned my coloring is "winter," meaning reds, pure white, blackest blacks, and cool tones rather than pastels look best on me.) Mam loved red flowers, in particular red begonias (wax plants). And that has been my solution for many years.

Every year, the strawberry jar is planted with six red begonias with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in the top. I do this as a remembrance of a woman who loved me well and taught me so much. The strawberry jar sits beside the walk, and so at least twice a day I'm reminded of her. 

I think it's a good thing. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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