Strawberry (this bed is mostly Fragaria × ananassa). This is one of many plants in bloom right now. I chose to feature strawberry because we grow a few varieties on our property, pollinators like them and they provide wonderful food for humans, too. The strawberry is not a true berry, but is part of the rose family, Rosaceae.

Some of the plants in the field are early and others are midseason so we’ll have a slightly extended harvest. Everbearing will usually provide a second harvest, extending a season even further. There is nothing like spying a glint of red later in the season and having just one more taste. Here’s a great site for all things strawberry:  http://strawberryplants.org. I particularly like their interactive list of strawberry varieties/cultivars.

Honeybees did not visit these blooms when they first appeared, we decided that there must have been something more attractive to them further up the mountain or in the valley. The strawberries did draw pollinators, however, I saw a feral bee and a bumblebee visiting our field while taking pictures and Stuart saw several other species of bee and insects. The last couple of days have seen more honeybee visitors.

While we keep honeybees, we recognize they aren’t the only pollinators and encourage everyone to plant to their hearts content those plants that provide nectar and pollen, particularly in places that were previously barren such as lawn or mulched but empty landscape beds. Of course, there is the totally natural method of allowing lawns to return to the wild, but many towns and suburbs discourage this particular approach to garden design.

StrawberryFields