Arbutus unedo – Strawberry Tree

We finished our extension of the lawn beds today and as we walked, with a slight swagger of success, to the potting shed for our lunch I caught a glimpse of white on the Rhody Bank.  Surely it couldn’t be the Arbutus unedo flowering for the first time.  I would not be surprised if this neglected tree had complained to the Union, it was planted in embarrassing poor soil, in an outrageously exposed position, forgotten by the person who planted it (I was diverted) and to add insult to injury has been systematically chomped by a combination of deer and squirrel.  Now that is a scary thought a hybrid of deer and squirrel, the damage that dirrel could inflict on a poor unexpecting garden, a shiver goes down my spine at the very thought of it.  But I digress.  So after our mid day cocktails and canapes, I fought my way along the bank and found said neglectee smothered in glorious bell-shaped flowers.  These flowers are pollinated by bees and as Betsy’s Bees are still active I hope they have found their way to do their best on these ones.   We will have to wait a full 12 months to appreciate the strawberry fruit which are ripe at the same time as the next tranche of flowers.  Do not be deceived by their beauty, unedo means “I eat one” referring to the fact that once you have tried one you will not go back for another!

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