When the other gardeners at the community garden plots see me they like to ask me "Jim, are you going to plant any vegetables this year?" And my standard reply is "No, vegetables draw too many bugs." But if they were to look closely, they would find some comestibles among the roses: garlic, shallots, multiplier onions, asparagus, newly planted rhubarb and, maybe best of all, strawberries.
The strawberry variety I planted is the newly fashionable 'Mara des Bois'. Please don't assume I'm one of those folks chasing after boutique vegetables such as ramps, fern fiddleheads or whatever it is that that crowd is currently celebrating. I picked this variety because the catalog description suggested that it might be a strawberry bred with the things in mind which make strawberries so wonderful.
I had two hours free today to work in my little garden up on the hill, and after doing the things on my list, and with a bit of time left, I took a look at the strawberry patch. The corn poppies are in full bloom there, and when the poppy flowers shatter, their petals fall among the strawberries. As I looked at the patch I thought "Surely all that red can't be strawberries". But most of it was, and I spent a happy half hour combing through the strawberry foliage, time after time uncovering yet another cluster of ripe fruits. I was working quickly and raked in a few poppy petals, too.
You see the results in the image above. I wish you could smell the fragrance!