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June 2009

Garden Resident #1: Wild White Strawberries

White strawberry
Several years ago I was given a clump or two of some tiny strawberries. The story about them went something like this:

During World War II, a U.S. pilot was shot down over the French countryside. He hid in the woods for weeks, surviving on wild plants. This white strawberry was one of those plants that helped him survive until he was rescued.

I like this story, and have decided not to investigate it because every time I eat one of the berries, I think of the pilot and somehow I start to feel like a rescued survivor myself! The little clumps of berries are now happily acting as a groundcover in an area of our property that I call The Irish Garden. They are spreading among drought-tolerant ferns and columbines, and are now bearing their sweet and intensely flavored fruits. This morning I picked this little bouquet of them and drew them while sitting at my studio window, with the calls of songbirds drifting in. 'Tis sweet, the summertime.