Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strawberries forever

The strawberry nursery.

The two strawberry plants in pots on the terrace's edge (pot on the right in picture, with berries) made more over the last weeks, by sending out long, unstoppable runners which I encouraged to root in neighbouring pots. The one strawberry planted on the terrace itself is less lush by far, as it receives about half as much sunlight. Nevertheless, it, too, had faith in the future and reproduced. What do they know that I don't?

I spent some time this evening potting up the rooted runners, and putting some nice new potting soil within reach of runners that have leaves, but no roots yet. I had to sacrifice two small pots of basil (lemon and Thai), in flower now for two weeks already, and beloved by all manner of bees and bee lookalikes. I felt pretty bad about that. Especially since one of the bees today was ... a honey bee.

Imagine saying that in awed terms. Honey bee. Remember my bee dream?

There are still other flowers for them - the agastache, a small pot of purple basil just for the flowers, lots of calamintha (all family Lamiaceae), um...the Verbena bonariensis, which I cut back quite heavily today, too, and ...that's about it. Maybe not lots. My big pot of purple basil is for leaves for eating so I don't allow it make flowers.

Sounds like quite a fascist terrace.

But strawberries are all about Brideshead Revisited. About Oxfords's dreaming spires, about Charles and Sebastian:

"I've got a motor car and a basket of strawberries and a bottle of Chateau Peyraguey - which isn't a wine you've ever tasted, so don't pretend. It's heaven with strawberries."

The BBC miniseries is perfect. A rare case of book becoming film, faultlessly.


  1. I LOVE your blog! It keeps me inspired for my little terrace "garden". Since I am new to gardening, I have an idiotic question - what do you do in the winter? Bring everything inside or cover them with burlap to protect against the cold weather? Any tips would be appreciated!
    Keep up your beautiful rooftop farm!

  2. Hi Nina - thank you :-)

    It's not an idiotic question. I don't do anything. Nada. And I'm usually away for a couple of months in winter, too, so can't even water.

    The plants I have are hardy for my zone, and that is really the key.

    The strawberries, however, are new - and are in small pots, just like the herbs that come back every spring (the sage and chives are in very small pots). I'm not sure if the strawberries will make it...But since Alpine strawberries grow at altitude and come back out of the snow, I think they must be tough!

  3. The strawberries look great! We have all of our strawberries in the garden, but I'll have to try new ones in pots!

  4. So envious of your beautiful strawberries (truth be told, of your entire beautiful garden)! Mine has been putting out nothing but weird, twisted tiny fruit for weeks now. Lack of pollinators?

  5. I've grown strawberries in a pot for the first time this year but the fruit (about 6 berries so far!) is nothing like yours (a bit like the previous comment). So I'm very envious.

  6. The strawberries are really beautiful. We grew them years ago in a sunny garden, cannot now sue to too much shade. I am jealous! I bet the full sun and reflected heat on the rooftop has something to do with how well everything is growing for you.

  7. Like Nina, I have a question - something I am curious about. How/where do you hook up a hose for watering? Do you anticipate leaving all the farm pots on the roof over the winter too?

  8. Hose - I have a faucet on the terrace. I use a splitter so that one hose goes to the roof, and one to the terrace.

    Strawberries - they get a lot of sun, 6 hours plus, and I also feed them - Sun is key, I think; but I am new to strawberry farming.

  9. I miss the usual photos and garden news and wonder why you've not been updating the garden blog?

  10. Hi Nancy - Uh, I've not been updating the garden blog every day because it is the middle of winter!!! Come back in spring.


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