This year I have a bumper crop. I bring a bowlful like this in every morning.
I started these in 2009 in clay strawberry jars, and that didn't work out. I moved them to a long plastic container trough where they were too crowded. There were slugs, springs brought poor conditions for fruiting, they languished, I lost many plants, divided others, planted them out in the garden one year, and then dug them up and re-planted them along the gravel garden in 2011.
Finally in the gravel garden border they spread and sent out runners in 2012, and even produced a few berries that the chipmunk ate. I got about a half dozen strawberries over the summer. He got the rest.
But this year they are wondrous! The chipmunk is nowhere to be seen. What lush, vigorous plants. They taste the way strawberries tasted in my youth, nothing like supermarket strawberries. They are big, although 'Mara des Bois' is supposed to have very small fruit. I am beside myself with delight, but cannot explain the incredible bounty this year.
I tried pruning off the shooting upper branches to make it lower profile, and more like the other deutzia gracilis plants nearby, but it was having none of that. The plant just sent out replacement shoots in exactly the same explosion array. I cannot explain why this one plant is such a different shape and style.
This year the dappled willows (Salix integra 'Hakuro-nishiki') are the pinkest and billowiest ever. I dithered over pruning them, coppicing them, or what to do. I'd had less than happy results when they were left alone to grow into wild lumps in past years. And I had less than great results the year I coppiced them and they regrew awkwardly, without the salmon pink edged coloration.
But I did nothing this spring and now they have formed beautiful huge arching shapes, with leaves strongly tinged in pink and white. They bounce in the breeze. I can't tell you why this year they are finally such a beautiful shape and color.
This year the Blushing Pink knockout rose by the front door is covered in roses, with more buds to open. It has bloomed before, but not so hugely. I don't know why it took off this year so exuberantly.
The three visitors by the front door don't seem to know what's been happening this year either. They appear dismayed at all the unexpected turns of events this spring.
Like them, I can't explain it all, but unlike them, I am more delighted than alarmed.