Guess what —every full moon has a name, not just the harvest full moon in September.
The June full moon is called the strawberry moon, and it is happening this very night! Or anyway this week. It turns out it’s kind of squishy to actually know when the moon is perfectly full. Well and there are different names for the June full moon too. Like rose moon, which I also like. But today I’m calling it the strawberry moon so just go with that okay?
I love strawberries, almost as much as I love the moon—-a great combination of images. Which is why “strawberry moon” is the name of countless businesses and record albums and drinks and other marketable things.
But first it was just a moon, shining when the wild strawberries were ripe in this part of the world, and ready for people to pick.
In my gardens I grow the Pacific Northwest native berry called the beach or coastal strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis. It has shiny dark leaves, pretty white blooms and tiny edible berries which actually aren’t ready yet so I guess its moon setting is off a bit, although it seems the full moon names originated in the eastern part of the country so that could explain it.
The beach strawberry loves sun and is the most perfect low evergreen groundcover.
There are mean rumors that the beach strawberry is too agressive and even uncontrollable and should not be allowed into civilized gardens.
Of course I quite like the plant and have no complaints at all.
There is another native Oregon berry, the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), and I have a descendent of it called “Mignonette” which cools the roots of a twinflower shrub (Linaea borealis).
This deciduous plant is taller and has slightly bigger berries than the evergreen beach one, and when I grew it beneath roses the roses didn’t like it or maybe the strawberry was framed, I don’t know. (I must stop watching those episodes of Scandal.)
My efforts at growing standard strawberries have never produced much, especially when the deer got in, but now I have a pot of a couple plants. I bought them early this spring in a fit of being little–you know when something zings out of your childhood memory and suddenly you are little? These cute plants are making a few berries which I mosey by and munch with great happiness.
But when they are not enough—-when the time comes for serious strawberries…
…I turn to the friendly lady with the booth in the hardware store parking lot…
…and I buy the lovely sweet fragrant berries just out of an Oregon field, picked that very day.
I keep going back to buy more, like a true strawberry junkie. I have 35 little jars of freezer jam stashed now (a couple years’ worth).
And oh those warm strawberry scones with summer breakfast coffee in the sunshine of the front porch!
For the scones I use the recipe found at the Confessions of a Tart blog (love that title) except I add a teaspoon of vanilla because vanilla makes the food world go round —-along with chocolate, brandy and coffee. And ginger. Well I suppose there’s more stuff but vanilla is really important and a great addition to what was already a fabulous recipe.
Of course we have strawberry daiquiris with rum (recalls to me my pirate incarnation) and strawberries on granola, strawberries on shortcake, strawberries on waffles…but mostly we just eat the berries, deep red and sweet, the taste of Oregon summer.
So anyway I do hope the night sky is clear at your house this week, and that the strawberry moon lights up your garden.