Strawberries in the Desert


Last spring I bought a Fort Laramie everbearing Strawberry at Backyard Gardens and Gifts in St. George. It was a beautiful plant.  Lush, green, not a hint of brown on its lovely self. I put it on our back porch which gets morning sun from the southeast.

As if on cue, my sweet plant quickly rendered up two delicate strawberries, so tempting they didn’t make it into the house. I popped them in my mouth and relished their juiciness, their texture and the fact that they were mine. Silly me.

As I watered my dear plant through the months of May and June, it flourished. Granted, it was clear about its need for daily water, but I was, to borrow a phrase from my grandkids, down with that. It became my habit to check and water it just after lunch when the sun had disappeared beyond the peak of our roof.

My stawberry  grew stems, which produced dark green leaves in the typical array of three. It draped its branches over the hose caddy on which I had it perched. It grew and grew. I watered it each day, and searched it for more sweet berries.

Nothing. Nada. Not one more berry. Really?

And then I left for the month of July.

I left it, as I left all of my plants in the capable hands of friends. For The Strawberry I left strict instructions. Water. Daily.

Now that I’ve returned mid August, my strawberry seems none the worse for my absence. I resumed watering it daily except for more than a few brown, flaking leaves. Inspire, I gave it a late summer haircut, trimming away everything dead or dying.  As I cut, the familiar plant of last spring  emerged. I’d come to accept the fact that this Everbearing was to become a Never-rebearing, but still, I loved it.

And then, this morning as I tended it, look what I found! A single, lovely and strong flower.

What, I wonder, is the lesson here. Never give up, or get a good haircut for the summer months. Whichever, I am hopeful that I soon will be writing about the taste of my next first strawberry.


About marianne

Gardening in the St. Utah high desert? Have questions? Easy ones? Stumpers? So do I. I grew up gardening in the Midwest and arrived here only recently. I knew immediately I’m wasn’t in Michigan any more. What exactly is a trickle system? Two growing seasons? Really? Roses? Who knew? So drop in as I learn the answers to these questions, others as they arise, and any questions you might have. I don’t have answers, yet, but I know who to ask.

One response »

  1. I think the lesson is never give up with the corollary that a rockin’ hair cut makes you look good while you’re waiting.

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