The End Times were near—for the strawberries, that is.
I’d planted them with optimistic visions of having a neatly tended strawberry bed, but my Strawberry Utopia had become the planty version of Lord of the Flies: The tough and dogged survivors were spreading frantically on runners (a garden term that seemed almost literal, so fast and far did they go), fighting for their lives against the ground ivy and grass that seemed to hunt them.
There was just no salvaging the strawberry patch; it was early spring, and the Tiller of Doom must come for a great purging of the weedy Sodom. There was no merciful God to save the hapless strawberries, but there WAS a Guilty Gardener. Though I was hardly divine, I DID have a trowel and its ensuing power over garden-level life or death.
Thus began the Strawberry Rapture. Said Guilty Gardener wielded a trowel frantically to dig up as many of the pretty little plants as possible and move them to their new home at the end of the garden. I was still frantically digging even as my husband approached with the aforementioned Tiller of Doom, and I’m pleased to report that many strawberries were saved that day.
They’re not exactly in heaven now—renegade comfrey keeps sneaking into their patch, and grass insists on planting itself even in the deepest mulch—but they have their little lives. Better yet, they’re happy enough in their new homes that they’re beginning to put out berries.
The Strawberry Rapture involved some fairly intense labor, but at least it wasn’t in vain: The Guilty Gardener God shall receive her sweet offerings on an altar of mulch.