How to make perfect strawberry jam. Buy Felicity Cloake's Perfect for £12.99 from the Guardian bookshop In my memory, the hazy golden summers of the 80s smell of cut grass and taste of strawberries – strawberry picking, strawberry teas, sickly strawberry splits; softer and sweeter than the glossily handsome fruit I buy today, and forever teetering on that fine line between ripe and rotten.
Strawberry jam, with its mushy, slightly leathery fruit and syrupy flavour, always takes me back to those sunburnt days, when rollerskates were supercool, and summer fruit came with a lurid scoop of Gino Ginelli rather than a sprinkling of black pepper. In jam form, of course, the strawberry is the perfect compliment to those other stalwarts of the rose-tinted picnic rug of summers past, the scone and the Victoria sponge. Alys Fowler: Roses. I like a wild-looking rose, a little unkempt and blowsy.
Anything that will climb and clothe a tree wins favour with me. I also like a rose that will look after itself: if I have to worry how to hide its bare legs or prune it into the right shape, I look the other way. So it's a good thing I inherited 'Albéric Barbier', which is a hardy, semi-evergreen rambler.