But what can you see ?
The main flower in the photo is Begonia Superstars Red. It has only just started flowering because it has only recently been planted in the basket. You're probably wondering why I'm showing it, if it is not yet at its best. Ah well, it is not the begonia that I am focusing on today. Look closely at the photo. What else can you see ? I'll give you a clue; look at the leaves at the top of the photo. Yes, it's a strawberry plant, with three ripe strawberries and many more to follow.
This is a new take on companion planting, which usually benefits one or both of the plants involved. This combination benefits me, a worthy cause, you must admit. My intention was to grow the strawberry plant amongst the flowers, to keep the birds off without having to cover with netting. It has worked even better than I hoped, as the fruits are the same colour as the begonia, so the birds don't see them.
The strawberry variety is Toscana, purchased from D.T.Brown's in April. The plants are seed raised which means they are virus free. And they have lovely rose red flowers, unlike the white flowers that you normally get with strawberries.
Another advantage is that they are everbearing. In other words, they flower and fruit all summer, not just in June. Oh, I forgot to mention, they taste good too. The ones in the photo were eaten just after I'd pressed the camera shutter. Apparently, as the season progresses, they produce runners that also flower and fruit. My plants haven't reached that stage yet.
And finally, the weather. I've got to mention the weather, we're British you know. Following the wettest summer for 100 years and the dullest summer for 25 years, we've now got glorious sunshine. In fact, September has been beautiful so far. Oh I know they say it's going downhill next week, but we're used to that, aren't we ? Just spare a thought for all those poor slugs and snails, frying in the heat.