The changes in the garden this week have been a lot more subtle. I don’t have any new plants, and the netting has survived both the mowing of the lawn around it and what looks to be a bit of shoving by my feline interloper and we’ve had a happy week of watering, occasional weeding and staring. Lots of staring.
It’s become part of the rhythm of our days over the last few weeks that every time we open the door we all go and stand and stare at the veggie garden. First it was to watch for that very first tiny seedling in a big dark earth bed, a sign that all our planting and watering hadn’t been in vain, and then we watched them grow and grow and tried to figure out whether we’d grown weeds or something edible, and then as the strawberries flowered we watched the petals fall and big green strawberries begin to appear.
And now we’re at the really exciting part. The new strawberry patch is just beginning to flower, but the more established patch is full of fruit, and it’s turning red.
Just in the last week we’ve watched a blush appear, a first tinge of pink spotted by the girls and announced with great cries of “the strawberries are ready!”. And every morning we’ve been out inspecting each fruit, turning them slightly to get the sun, wondering whether today will be the day for the first harvest.
Well technically the first harvest was a cheeky robin who snuck off with half a strawb before we got the netting on and came back for the other half through a little hole in the netting.
I’ve been holding off and holding off and hoping that we pick them at the perfect moment and then today there were just a couple that were looking perfectly red and juicy all over. Not enough for the whole family but this afternoon, while H was working from home and Pip and Elma were snoozing, I collected Kitty from her first settling in session at school. It’s so rare for me to spend one on one time with my biggest girl and I really treasured the time walking back hand in hand, taking a little detour to the park, just because we could, and chatting about everything that she’d been up to during the afternoon.
And as we climbed up to our back garden to come in by the patio door we passed the veg beds and I knew that the first strawberries were something that I really really wanted to share just with the one child who has been most into the garden this year (if you discount Pip and his soil eating). So we sat on the grass, reached inside the net for our treasure and sat and enjoyed them in the sunshine. They were delicious – and there are many many more to come.