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Tennis - and strawberries, anyone?

Wimbledon is an annual sporting event that happens this time of the year in London, England. While I had heard of this event many years ago, and I have been aware it involves tennis, this has been the extent of my knowledge of the event. This is the first year I had ever watched any matches.

This is all thanks to a new friend. She has introduced me to Wimbledon but also the fact that eating strawberries and cream is the traditional food to eat while attending this event. That made it much more interesting in my eyes.

While our growing season will not see strawberries quite yet, it is a great time to get some plants in the ground.

I have a particular interest in plants that come back year after year. They are good gardening buddies. Popping up through snow and/or mulch as if they were old friends stopping in to say hello. With a little love - and luck - they return bigger and better than the year before.

Strawberries are a very familiar summer berry. Last spring I purchased mine through our local green house - Hallets Nursery. I went down the road and nestled them in my garden box at the Eastport Community garden. (Ask st the Eastport town office if interested). Last year was the first year in their new home. I was a little early and the frost got to some of them. Only a couple of plants survived, but they look great. I can update later in the season just how many bushels I will be harvesting this coming season.

This photo (below) was from a berry patch I started in St.Chad's. A young friend of mine was selling through a school fundraiser. I add compost every year and the plants have been doing extremely well. They have also produced some beautiful fruit. It is unfortunate that the slugs tend to get to them before I do. Slugs! The bane of my gardening existence!

An older strawberry patch needs to be selectively culled every now and then. They crowd themselves out and it isn't good for the patch. If you happen to have a friend with an envious lot; spilling it's abundance, you may want to make a casual inquiry as to when they plan to remove some of their plants. This may open you up to a temp gardening gig but you also get yourself some strawberry plants.

The wild strawberry is the top of the crop. It's sweet taste is beyond compare. Its small size however makes it unlikely you will be able to produce a pie or bottle of jam. If I can manage to get a couple of handfuls back to a kitchen - without eating them as though I would never get the chance to eat again, I like to mix them with some fresh cream. The taste isn't lost and the small berries flavour can be stretched to a dessert that can be shared among friends - if sharing these priceless treasures is something you feel is required.

You still have ample time to catch some Wimbledon on the T.V. The Ladies Final is July 13th & the Gentlemen's Final is July 14th. If you are new to tennis. like myself, it is one way to learn some of the rules of the game. It's also fun to get to know the major - and minor players. It has increased my interest in the game and I am waiting to hear when the rink will be tennis ready. Stay in touch to get the latest updates on that!

Tennis - and strawberries, anyone?

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