Whether it is color, flavor or scent, you can have strawberries and chocolate in your garden. This will require a little a little planning, but here are some ideas how to make your garden a haven for strawberries and chocolate.
Strawberries are not only relatively easy fruits to grow but they can be designed into the landscape to create attractive effects. Strawberries creep along with stolons. Stolons are creeping stems that root as they ramble over the surface of the soil. The result is that they can root along a surface creating a handsome ground-cover or cascade decoratively over a wall, down a hillside or over the edges of a container.
There are many varieties of strawberries to choose from. Edible strawberries not only have pure white single-petaled flowers and decorative leaves but come in large-fruiting varieties and small-fruiting, extra-tasty alpine plants. There are now even decorative pink-flowered varieties. There are enough different cultivars of strawberries that you should be able to grow at least one variety to thrive in your climate, wherever you live.
You can also plant strawberry plants for beauty rather than edible fruit. These are not necessarily in the Fragaria family like the edible strawberries. One ornamental strawberry is known as the Duchesnea indica or the Mock Strawberry, with yellow flowers and tasteless tiny red berries. Another attractive ground-hugging plant, called the ‘Barren Strawberry’ is the Potentilla. Both are ideal for covering open soil with a soft, attractive mat of green with small, strawberry-like flowers. The Potentilla will not set berries and the Duchesnea can become invasive in some parts of the country.
Not only can strawberries be excellent ground-cover choices but you can get creative designing with your strawberries. Mix strawberries with taller growing plants that have the scent of chocolate like the Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera lyrata) or Chocolate mint (Menta) and you will create a strawberry and chocolate garden that is great to look at (and smell).
Plant edible strawberries along the edge of a raised vegetable garden to spill over the edges and fill in behind them with Digitalis parviflora ‘Milk Chocolate’ or the ‘Kissed by Chocolate’ Delphinium. Blend strawberries into mixed planters to add texture and offer a contrasting habit of growth. Make unusual container gardens by planting strawberries in tire rings, stacked strawberry pots, or planting them in old fountains to dangle over the edges like living, green waterfalls. Strawberries are ideal for growing on green roofs or vertical wall gardens. Then pop in a little chocolate in color or scent for contrast.
The strawberry is a favorite fruit of many people. It can also be a favorite plant for gardeners. Think of all the ways you can design strawberries into your garden. Mix the strawberries with chocolate brown colored flowers like pansy varieties, the chocolate brown Calla lily or any of the new brown rose varieties. Mix ‘em and match ‘em for color, scent or edibility and you can have a deliciously beautiful strawberry chocolate garden. And if you want to pass on growing the chocolate plants and simply go for growing big, tasty strawberries, just snip off your bright red fruits, bring them into the kitchen and enjoy dipping them into melted chocolate for a strawberry and chocolate feast from the garden!
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