The title given to this beautiful design by William Morris so beloved of the National Trust and the Chattering Classes but it is not only birds who thieve the strawberries!
George and I are housesitting again – this time a delightful former vicarage in Cambridgeshire. Renovated and extended into a warm, comfortable, beautiful family home set in lovely grounds with mature trees. And did I mention the outdoor heated swimming pool which we have permission to use?
We are looking after two dogs – both black Labradors. One elderly and arthritic who greets us with a gappy toothed Goofy-like smile in the morning and he waddles around a bit like me on a bad day. Arthritis ain
t funny. The other dog is two years old - well-behaved and chases his ball relentlessly (I`m lost in admiration at his ability to pant and keep the ball in his mouth!)
One of our tasks is to water the plants in the garden this hot weather. My job usually. We have all the doors open to keep the house cool. By the French doors in the sitting room we use there are strawberry plants spreading out over the gravel drive – and I spotted lovely strawberries growing. One large, plump specimen I gently lifted off the gravel and placed a leaf underneath it to save the fruit from damage. It would be ready in a couple of days.
George and I were in the sitting room yesterday evening and I mentioned the strawberries and told him I had sampled one.
Thats the one I was watching
he said - the large one by the door
. No I replied - the one I ate was small I`ve placed the large one on a leaf until it ripens. ` George protested that it had gone and accused me of eating it. That was enough. I went outside and sure enough, the prime strawberry had vanished - just its hull left on the stalk.
Later that evening I watched the younger dog just outside the open door – he was sniffing around the strawberry plants and gently picking and eating them!!!!! I`ve heard of feeding donkeys strawberries but …