In March 2013, after years of talking about it we eventually sell up and move out of the city with our 2 year old, Gracie. We both grew up in the countryside and this is what we want for our daughter. So we swap a 2 bed flat in London for a small country pile on the west coast of Scotland that needs a lot of work. I've done a bit of interior design and my partner, Ed has a good knowledge of the outdoors – but we're on a tight budget and we've both got a lot to learn. It's a life time's project and this is a record of our adventure…
Our first strawberry patch is yielding a bumper harvest. Ed planted 4 long rows last year – Gracie loves strawberries! – and they’re doing extremely well. They taste deliciously sweet but we’ve more than we can eat and pick – and if we don’t get to them in time the heavy fruit at the bottom starts to rot where the berries touch the damp soil.
Straw is the answer, according to Ed’s dad, which is why many people think they’re called ‘straw’berries. Although it’s more likely that the name comes from ‘strew’ or ‘spread around’ to describe how the wild plant’s tendrils grow – and named long before strawberries were cultivated. As the straw needs to go down just as the flowers finish, we’ll have to wait till next summer to give it a try.
We had to take down a very tall and dying elm that was too close to the house and in danger of coming down in a storm. Ed took a piece and made a swing for G that now hangs from the huge lime tree on the lawn.