The woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) was the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th century. The garden strawberry (Fragaria ananassa) was bred in Brittany in the mid 18th century by crossing Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis from Chile. Picked and eaten fresh from the garden with cream and meringue, they are regarded by many as the quintessential English summer fruit, and synonymous with Wimbledon, sunshine, and afternoon tea.
Strawberries prefer a sunny site with free-draining soil, to which has been added some well-rotted manure to improve the structure of the soil. Summer fruiting strawberries (like the classic 'Cambridge Favourite') are the most popular with just one flush of fruit from May to June. Whereas, 'Everbearing' varieties (such as 'Flamenco') produce fruit in flushes between August and October or until the first frosts. The little wild (or alpine) strawberry F. vesca rewards the patience required to find and pick the tiny fruit, in the intensity of its flavours