The Strawberry of Serendipity

I am having a sort of zen relationship with my garden lately.  I try to do a little Frank Lloyd Wright style organic architecture contemplation when I am out in my garden to see if there is any way I can accommodate the natural tendencies of the garden rather than forcing it to do what I want it to.

This week, I had a delightful surprise.  I was voraciously weeding for my garden transformation pulling out so many different kinds of weeds when all of a sudden I came across this:

My weeding surprise . . . a strawberry?

“Huh?  That kind of looks like a strawberry.” I thought.  “Do strawberries grow in Virginia?”

I thought it was funny so I left it there and avoided weeding it out.

When I asked my husband if he thought strawberries grew in Virginia he said he thought they probably did.  “Look it up.” He said.

A little Googling later and I had the answer.

Yes!  Strawberries do grow in Virginia and they are even native plants!

Fragaria virginiana

The fruit is described as “the finest, sweetest, wild strawberry.”  The Virginia strawberry was hybridized with another strawberry from Chile (known for its large size) in the 1750’s to create the commercially produced strawberries we eat today.

Amazing!  And it took zero effort from me. Finally, nature provides me with a useful “weed.”  This incident reminded me of the book A Perfect Mess that I reviewed early on in this blog.

“Even though you can’t count on serendipity, it’s more likely to find those who are open to disorder.”

–Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman, A Perfect Mess

I informed my spouse of my interesting discovery and we now both feel as though we are cultivating a prized crop, right there in our front yard.  I thought this quote summed it up the best:

“Put up one of your little signs so I don’t run over it with the lawnmower.”

The serendipitous strawberry . . . an official plant in the garden now.

Has serendipity found you lately?  Please share in the comments.