Growing Strawberries in Singapore

Pots of strawberry plants were dangling in a Kovan landscape garden, amid golden orchids, bougainvilleas and creeping vines.

Some fruits were green, turning white even as others acquired pink hues.  

For a while, I wondered how they'd taste - ripe, succulent flesh bursting with dribbles of juice. Sweet or tart? Tangy or sour? Maybe I should have picked one off and tried.

There is something tragic about them, about them being here.

They don't belong, not in this heat, not under this sun. 

They require more attention to flower and fruit. Once, in my Aunt's home, I saw a clump of green leaves, tired and crumpled. It turned out to a strawberry plant, wilting under the weight of the tropic heat.

They need hospital-like care just to survive.

It's easy to buy them on a whim. Less than twenty dollars for one pot, with perhaps seven to eight fruits already hanging there. It's harder - much harder - to meet their survival needs.

Strange, isn't it? How human beings have been shaping the environment with such wanton force. Even clusters of strawberry plants aren't spared.