Tag Archives: photography

Styled: an Ikea jug

24 Jul

Last year I took a blogger’s photography course with Emily Quinton (you can read more about it here: Make light photography workshop).

Last month, Emily set all her past students a challenge to take an object and style it three ways.

It was a challenge I really wanted to take part in: styling is the thing I find absolutely the most utterly difficult in photography (especially photography for my blog) and the area in which I really want to improve.

I mulled it over for a few weeks, thinking of various different things I could style and then dismissing them again as I imagined the disappointing photographs I would take.

Then I saw A Quiet Style’s amazing photos for the same challenge and I almost threw in the towel then and there, so beautiful were her shots.

But not wanting to fall before I’d even reached the first hurdle, I looked myself in the mirror and had a stern word.

“Come on, Sabrina”,  I said, jumping up and down and making little motivational jab shots towards my own reflection, “you might as well at least try. Practice makes perfect and so on. Why don’t you take a few photos and if they’re heinously awful then you don’t have to put them on the blog or even admit to anyone else that it ever happened…”

So, safe in the knowledge my reputation would remain unbesmirched whatever the results, I settled on photographing a humble Ikea jug in three different ways. These are the results.

Firstly: the lazy option

I was photographing my July garden moodboard, when I saw the jug and decided to just stick it onto the backdrop and take a photo.

Jug and leaves | Wolves in London

No, there is no rhyme or reason to this photo

One of the very few things I know about styling is that you’re meant to tell a story with your vignette or wotnot. What on earth this story would be, I just don’t know. Milkmaid is on her way to milk cow, but stops to pick some herbs and accidentally leaves her jug behind with the discarded herbs on a pristine piece of paper?

Verdict: okay, definitely failing in the whole story telling stakes, but I quite like the simplicity of the white background with the white jug and the reflections of the green foliage on the jug’s sides.

Secondly, the ‘is it actually there?’ photo

I picked some of my delicious-smelling sweet peas and put them into the jug. (Y’know, in my real life, rather than my pretend styled life.)

And I think it was about two days before it actually occurred to me to take a photo of them. Ha.

Sweet peas | Wolves in London

Look carefully and you can just about make it out…

When I did, I got a bit carried away with the delicate sweet pea veins, which you can’t really make out unless you have quite a close up shot. So the jug becomes nothing more than a tiny background accent.

Verdict: nice sweet peas. Irrelevant jug.

Finally, number three, some actual styling

Okay, please don’t laugh that I call this styling because what is in this photo? A jug. Sitting on a tea towel.

Jug on tea towel | Wolves in London

Styling is all about napkins and tea towels, right?!

But, I have to confess that this took me almost 30 photos to get something I was even a little bit happy with.

I took my jug upstairs to the wooden floorboards (something Emily taught me in the last class, this one: wooden floorboards look nice in photos!) Then I took a nice (unused and still actually clean) tea towel and spent the best part of 15 minutes farting around trying to get a nice fold on it and wondering whether or not the jug should sit on the tea towel or next to the tea towel…

But, finally, I was actually pleased (or, at least, not displeased) with this shot.

Verdict: even things that apparently look really simple can take a bit of time to get right!

So, what do you reckon? I don’t think my phone is going to ring off the hook anytime soon with people begging me to style things for them, but a definite improvement along the way there…

I already have plans to try and style some other things in three ways. Watch this space for more agonising!

NB Can I just let you know how hard it was to resist calling this post, “Jugs.” But resist I did. Some acknowledgement due, surely?

Related articles:

  • I had another mini fight with my lack of styling instincts when I was doing a Blogging your way course last year. That time, the subject was some carrot jam

The garden in June

20 Jun

I know, I know, I’ve been a bit garden-tastic over the past few weeks, what with all my chat about greenhouses and sheds and so on. I am working on some more craft-related posts at the moment too, you may be relieved to hear, but I couldn’t resist joining in once more this week with Mammasaurus’s How does your garden grow?

The sporadically glorious weather of June, combined with some bloody awful rainy weather, has been good to my garden.

I’ve been pottering about in the greenhouse with my seedlings at any rare gardening opportunities I have, leaving everything else to pretty much get on with it. And get on with it, it has.

Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' | Wolves in London

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’

The plants I bought a few weeks ago are all now planted into their final positions. I couldn’t find a good spot for the wallflower, so I have it in a pot on the table on the patio, where it just keeps growing taller and taller and producing more and more flowers. I’ve been really pleased with this plant (it’s the cultivar ‘Bowles Mauve’) and I definitely want to try and get some cuttings next spring to make a little thicket of them in a bed somewhere.

In the bed closest to the house, I sowed lots of hardy annuals earlier in the year. I think it was cornflowers, nigella and poppies. I then, rather foolishly, paid them little attention and let some weeds outcompete them, so I have a tiny little patch of seedlings coming up and lots of other bare patches of soil where I only pulled the weeds out once they had got really big. Luckily, the other side of the bed is also awash with a rather nice heuchera, a honeysuckle and lashings of campanula. So I shall just focus my attention on the right hand side.

Campanula | Wolves in London

Campanula and honeysuckle leaves

 

Heuchera | Wolves in London

A little spike of heuchera flowers about to burst open

In my main bed, the pin cushion flower has settled in happily. In bud I think it’s just as impressive when in flower.

Scabious | Wolves in London

Quite amazing, isn’t it?

Next to it, the erigeron is also attractive flowering and just beforehand.

Erigeron | Wolves in London

Waiting to open…

Erigeron | Wolves in London

Boom!

And a little further down some nicotiana, bought from the same garden shop trip a few weeks back, are stunning. The flowers are really gorgeous, but they’re on spindly stems, so I think in future I need to grow them through some ground cover to make them look a bit more attractive.

Nicotiana | Wolves in London

Delicate star-shaped nicotiana

Next to them, this alstroemeria is another legacy from the previous residents. It’s very happy here and grows well every year but, though I like it as a cut flower, I have to confess I find it a little garish in the beds. I’m undecided about what to do — try and move it elsewhere, perhaps a spot on its own somewhere where it can be the star of the show, rather than competing with lots of my (predominantly blue, purple and white) flowers? Get rid of it altogether, which seems a shame? Or perhaps I should just cut every single stem as soon as the flowers appear and bring them all inside for vases?! Okay, last option a little foolish, but, hmmm, I really need to think about it a little more…

Alstroemeria | Wolves in London

So very, very red!

On the other side, by the pond, I have no idea what this lovely white plant is, but I love it. (Of course I love it. It’s white!)

White pond flower | Wolves in London

Can anyone identify this?

And opposite, an old and very woody lavender looks pretty leggy most of the year but, oh, it’s worth it for this glorious sight (and smell) in the summer months…

Lavender bush | Wolves in London

Every garden needs some lavender, in my opinion…

Past this point, back towards the greenhouse, it all starts to go downhill rapidly into a vast jungle of weeds. Some are brambles, so at least we’ll have blackberries later in the year, but lots just need to be hacked back and dug up. Something I never quite find time for. I decided earlier this year to leave some unidentified plants that looked a bit like geraniums. They’ve taken over in a massive way and I think they are a sort of geranium weed. The plants are nearly as tall as me, the flowers quite tiny in proportion, but, at least, very pretty.

Geranium | Wolves in London

Yes, the flowers are nice, but they’re pretty hard to spot in the gigantic plant

The hubby is off work for four weeks in July, so I’m hoping to use the opportunity to spend lots and lots of time in the garden then, sorting it all out. And after that, I promise, I’ll show you some photos of the whole thing. (Disclaimer: photos only appearing if I can actually make the overall garden look nice.)

 

Garden moodboard: June

3 Jun

I love my garden, but it sometimes feels as if I am in constant battle with it. And it with me.

Garden moodboard June 2014 | Wolves in London

June moodboard, 2014: a mere selection for this month

When I first started taking photographs for these garden moodboards, in May last year, I imagined that by the following year my whole entire garden would look beautiful, not just the odd flower.

More than a year later, the beds are still a mass of weeds and mud and I couldn’t even begin to imagine photographing more than individual flowers to show you here… In all honesty, the overall picture outside is pretty horrendous.

Every time I go out there to do a spot of gardening like pruning or planting or thinning my plums (not a euphemism), I get distracted, instead, with pulling out bindweed and couch grass. Which then grows back with such force, that the next time I look there is even more in the same spot.

But it’s not just the weeds that seem to be standing in the way of my Chelsea-winning daydreams ever becoming reality.

A week ago, I planted 16 bean plants, up some lovely wigwams, with a slug beer trap placed right in the middle.

By this weekend, I had four paltry plants left. And those liberally covered with slug munched holes. By tomorrow, there will likely be nothing left at all.

Oh, sure, I’ve killed hundreds of slugs (possibly quite literally) in the beer trap. But I think they choose to have a nice supper of bean leaves first, before heading over for a post-prandial drink (and death, though they don’t know that in advance of course…)

Overall, it seems like I would need to work on my garden, undistracted, 9-5, seven days a week to have it looking even half presentable.

So, I particularly relish the chance to take my monthly moodboard photos. The best bits of the garden, on a nice clean white background; the weeds, slugs and unruly growth all edited out. (Except for that one time I showed you lots of weeds…)

This month is a bumper one for plants, but I was dashing round with the secateurs on Sunday while the baby, sproglet and hubby napped, so I was trying to be super quick before anyone started crying, and have only brought a few of my very favourites to show you.

Rose | Wolves in London

I am incorrectly claiming these pink roses as belonging to my little patch

The pink rose is in the front garden, growing over from the boundary with next door. Our side of the garden is the south facing side, so I suspect we have all the best roses to look at.

Nectaroscordum siculum (honey garlic) | Wolves in London

Sicilian wild honey garlic. Spoiler alert, it smells like garlic!

The honey garlic was in flower last month, but once the flowers are finished they start to point directly upwards into these amazing seedheads. (When actually in flower they droop downwards in a rather attractive weeping manner – see my pictures from last year.)

I’ve never picked these to come inside before, since I only have a few and they look so stately in the garden, right through into the winter months, but I was suprised — you may say somewhat stupidly, given the plants’ name — by how very garlicky this one smelt once I cut it off at the stem.

Verbena bonariensis | Wolves in London

Lovely, lovely verbena

Verbena flower | Wolves in London

…and it’s teeny tiny flowers

The verbena has been going strong for a good month now and will continue to do so until the end of summer. I adore it. The huge, tall spikes, topped with the vibrant purple, but such tiny delicate flowers. It’s one of my favourite plants in the garden.

Phlomis | Wolves in London

The bees adore the phlomis. I like it too.

Senecio cineraria | Wolves in London

Okay, I know I’ve shared about a hundred photos of this before, but it’s so very photogenic…

The front garden looks pretty good right now, I must say, with some towering blues and purples and a lower lying silver carpet, provided by this phlox and the Senecio cineraria.

Salvia | Wolves in London

By the afternoon, the salvia spikes were all limply pointing downwards in the heat…

Salvia spike | Wolves in London

Another one with tiny, delicate flowers

Daisy | Wolves in London

This plant just shouts, “Summertime!”

Out in the unruly back garden, the salvia and daisy I bought last week are now in the ground and brightening up an otherwise rather bare border.

Campanula | Wolves in London

Anyone know what species of campanula this is?

About the only other thing in flower there are some beautiful purple and white campanulas on spikes. They tend to droop downwards, so I need to plant something a bit more bushy underneath them, I think. (Again, not a euphemism. Why does everything gardening related seem to have a double meaning? Every time I type “front garden” or “bush” I giggle a little bit. Childish, I know…)

Astible | Wolves in London

Astilbe or not astilbe?

Finally, I think this white frothy thing is called astilbe. It grows in a great feathery profusion around the pond, just about managing to outcompete the bindweed.

It’s a tricky spot to weed, what with the danger of falling in, inaccessibility of the bit behind the pond, numerous frogs and tadpoles that I’m trying not to disturb and constant requests to the attendant sproglet to please stand back.

Blues, whites and silvers. My favourite garden colours. In reality it’s not quite as refined as this, of course, but I’m leaving the bright red and orange flowers – a legacy from the old owners – sitting happily in their beds.

Oh and one last picture. This little guy came inside on one of the plants so I couldn’t resist photographing him too. He’s pretty splendid, but moved around very quickly and wasn’t too keen to stop and pose for the camera.

Spider | Wolves in London

Definitely a spider…

And a postscript: a massive thank you to those who commented on yesterday’s post. I was really touched by the kind things everyone said and pleased to hear that this mish mash of a blog, with its random subjects, chosen only from what interests me personally, seems to interest others as well. I shall keep at it! Gardening, crafts, fabric, general chat and all…

Joining in, as ever, with Asa.

An impatient gardener

29 May

Last Autumn we spent a weekend laying new turf in our garden and re-shaping the flower beds.

In the beds, we dug out all the bulbs and plants (regular readers won’t be surprised to hear that 80 per cent of the plants were rhododendrons) with the plan that the following weekend, once the soil had settled, we would re-plant everything we liked in a more pleasing arrangement.

Except, the following day the builder we had waited nine months for to start work on our house, told us he was free to start in a week. So, instead of gardening, we packed all our possessions into boxes and moved out.

When we came back again this February, six weeks later than planned, we’d spent all our renovation budget and hadn’t finished decorating (we still haven’t). With a wish list of plants as long as my arm, I decided I had better grow everything from seed to save money.

I had plans of creating amazing borders this summer, entirely with plants I had lovingly cultivated myself in our gigantic greenhouse.

Three months later, this is how my seeds are looking.

 

Seedlings | Wolves in London

Not looking too big and flowery as yet

Glorious, no?

And the beds are mostly just a great big layer of mud and weeds…

Finally accepting my limitations as a speed propagator, we headed to a garden centre on Bank Holiday Monday to stock up a little.

(We went to Croxted Road garden centre, a little gem I’d not visited before in Herne Hill. Highly recommended for any SE Londoners reading this…)

This is what I got:

Scabious | Wolves in London

A beautiful Scabious, aka the pincushion flower. I have grown some seedlings of these too, but they are yet to look anything as wonderful as that…

Daisy | Wolves in London

Some cheerful daisies, which always make you feel summery.

Erysimum | Wolves in London

This delicate erysimum (wallflower) called ‘Bowles mauve’ — I had seen this variety spoken of in lots of gardening magazines, so was excited to see it in the shop. I hope for great things!

Salvia | Wolves in London

Stunning bright blue salvias (again, I have some seedlings just waiting to turn into something as wondrous as this).

Lupin leaves | Wolves in London

These lupins will at some point boast huge spires of flowers, but at the moment the leaves are rather attractive and perfect for collecting little rain drops…

Some colour at least, for this summer.

And next year! Next year, I tell you, my borders will be overflowing with glorious plants I have grown from seed and with cuttings I plan to take from this original stock too. Dream big, I say…

Joining in with Mammasaurus and How does your garden grow?

A love of trees

27 May

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know have a bit of a penchant for photographing flowers. (For which read, my feed is stuffed full of floral photos, mostly taken on my daily wanderings round Peckham Rye Park.*)

Rose | Wolves in LondonFlower | Wolves in LondonMagnolia stellata | Wolves in Londonwisteria | Wolves in London

But there was another reason that my feed was 90% flowers: my crappy iPhone 3 which objected strongly to photographing anything indoors in focus and most other big things outside too. Flowers, for some reason, it was fairly happy with.

Since I’ve just upgraded to a phone with a much better camera, though, I thought it was time to branch out (geddit?) and move past the individual flower to whole trees as well.

Acer | Wolves in London

I’ve developed a bit of a love of trees since starting my horticulture course last year. I mean, it’s not that I ever didn’t like them, but now I’ve started to really notice their individual characteristics.

The way a birch tree’s branches sway and flitter in the wind; the amazing unique leaf shape of a Gingko biloba; the fabulous bark on a mature horse chestnut…

Gingko biloba | Wolves in LondonTree trunk | Wolves in London

But, I have to confess, I’m still able to identify only a very few trees, so my aim over this summer is to photograph lots and find out what they are.

If this sounds vaguely interesting to you too, follow me over on Instagram to see some more. (All photos in this post are from my feed.)

And if you’re a good tree recogniser, I will be calling on you for help over the coming months!

*A park I love and to which I highly recommend a visit if you’re local. You can see more about in my post from last year: A stroll round Peckham Rye Park.

Growing, growing, growing

21 May

With a May bank holiday weekend coming up, and everything settling back to normal life after the arrival of sproglet two, I’m hoping to spend quite a bit of time out in the garden.

Dandelion head | Wolves in London

Everything, but everything, needs attention. The weeds are rampant. There are veg seedlings in the greenhouse outgrowing their tiny planting modules and getting far too leggy, because I still need to prepare their outdoor beds. Two flower beds are completely empty of plants. (Well, intentional plants, anyway, like everywhere else they are stuffed with weeds.) The plum tree needs a prune. The apple tree needs thinning. There are empty pots waiting to be filled and seedlings waiting to be potted on.

Basically, everything that didn’t happen when I was heavily pregnant needs some serious attention right now.

But still, in amongst the chaos, there are a few bits and pieces of loveliness to be found. Like this little plant, which I am unable to identify, but find very beautiful.

Flowers | Wolves in LondonThe plum and apple trees seem to be putting out a bumper crop. Since studyin’ deep at hortikulcher last year, I now know I need to thin them to get some decent healthy big ones (and prevent next year being a year of famine…)

Apples | Wolves in London

One of these little apples will be for the chop…

The biggest success story out there right now, is this campanula (or, at least, I think that’s what it is), which is thriving in pots as well as most of the flower beds.

Campanula | Wolves in London

Out in the front garden is bee heaven, thanks to the Verbena bonariensis…

Verbena bonariensis | Wolves in London

… and the phlomis

Phlomis | Wolves in London

Pootling around looking at the plants and flowers is more interesting to me than the rest of the family.

But luckily there are other diversions at hand too.

A favourite pastime for the sproglet is finding some snails, pouring water onto them so they think it’s raining (taught to him by Daddy) and then waiting for them to come out of their shells.

Snails | Wolves in LondonSnails | Wolves in LondonSnails | Wolves in LondonSnails | Wolves in London

And if the excitement of the snails pall at all, then we all head off to look for spiders.

Joining in with Mammasaurus and How does your garden grow?

Garden moodboard: May

6 May

No brain power for much chat today, with a one-week-old newborn, but I did manage to pop out into the garden yesterday morning to gather some flowers for my May moodboard…

Garden moodboard May

(For once) I’ll just let the photos do the talking….

 

Bluebell

The bluebells are on their last legs now but have been brightening the garden for a good six weeks

Geranium

A lovely bright pink geranium

Rock rose

The rock rose I planted in the front garden after we moved in is doing very well, it’s covered in a huge spray of flowers

Grass seed heads

The grass seeds in the front garden always look beautiful at this time of year.

caption

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might remember that there were more than 30 rhododendrons and azaleas when we moved in. We brutally dug most of them out, but I still have four or five dotted around the place. This one is my favourite…

 

Apple blossom

Last month, the plum tree was covered in blossom. This month has been all about the glorious pink buds on the apple trees. Almost all gone now, but I am hoping for a good harvest later in the year…

Rose bud

A bright pink rose bud

Yellow poppy

These colourful yellow poppies appear all over the place, self-seeding with wild abandon. Luckily, I love them…

Saxifrage

Finally, this delicate little flower is a saxifrage. I had mounds of it last year, though it’s not looking quite so happy this spring… It probably didn’t like the really wet winter.

This marks a full year since I started taking these photos. Interesting to compare this warm spring with what was in flower this time last year.

Joining in with Karin A.

Related articles:

Outside

17 Apr

It’s been a gloriously sunny few days here in London, but I’ve been rather too gone in pig to venture far out of the front door.

Instead, afternoons have been spent lazing in the garden.*

There’s a little spot where I like to sit on a tiny brick wall underneath my lovely acer tree. I always head here first, cup of tea in hand, to look up at the blue sky…

Acer | Wolves in LondonAcer | Wolves in London

The plum blossom is over now, but the apples are just starting to come out. I love the pink little buds before the flower unfurls.

apple blossom | Wolves in LondonBlossom | Wolves in LondonAnd the clematis is looking especially glorious at the moment.

Clematis | Wolves in LondonI think this must be my favourite time of year in the garden; everything just waking up and looking fresh and new, ready for the summer ahead. Thank heavens for sunny spring days, long may this good weather last…

Joining in with How Does Your Garden Grow.

*I say lazing, a more accurate representation would be to imagine me sitting, prone, on a blanket and issuing a series of requests / instructions / shrieks at the sproglet along the lines of, “please don’t run by the pond,” “don’t dig in that flower bed where I’ve just planted seeds,” “please don’t pick up that giant paving slab and drop it on your foot” etc etc. before lugging my giant body off the floor to go to the loo for the hundredth time that hour…

Related articles:

Garden moodboard: April

4 Apr

After nearly a year of photographing these monthly garden moodboards, I’ve come to realise that getting the main shot is a little like taking a group family photo.

Garden moodboard April | Wolves in London

Spring has sprung!

You line everyone up neatly, check they’re standing in a good position, look through the lens, go back to the group, move someone a little, ask someone else to take off their glasses and, click, take what you think is a great photo. And it’s only when going through the photos later on your computer that you realise someone always had their eyes shut, or someone’s hair is blowing in the wind, covering up the face of the person to their left. And you scroll through all the photos, to discover that though you have one in which every individual person is looking good, there isn’t one of them all looking good together…

(My family are notorious eye closers. From all the events of the past few years — four weddings for each of my siblings, new babies, first birthday parties and so on — there is not one single photo where we all have our eyes open…)

This month, it was the artemisia letting the side down. Look at that photo above, everything looks magnificent except for the bit of slightly wilty green foliage, snuggling a little too close to the blossom and just generally looking a bit drab. But, the artemisia is a glorious little plant really, here it is showing off its colours with a little more panache.

Artemisia | Wolves in LondonArtemisia 'Powis Castle' | Wolves in LondonIt’s got lovely silvery foliage, covered in fine hairs, and it smells absolutely wonderful rubbed between your fingers. This cultivar is ‘Powis Castle’ – it’s growing in my front garden, but looking a bit bedraggled, overall, after being buried under scaffold planks and who knows what else for the most of the winter. I think I might need to take some cuttings and hope to start again with a sturdier plant now.

But it’s full on spring outside now, so there are plenty of lovely flowering plants as well. I’ve got two different types of bluey / purpley bulbs that I can’t identify. A big prize for anyone who can give me names for these two (small print: no actual prize will be forthcoming):

Update: a huge thanks to Philippa from Mini eats and Natalie from Slate grey, lime and hay for identifying both of these bulbs for me as, respectively, Scilla forbesii and Ipheion ‘Rolf Fiedler’

blue bulb | Wolves in London

Lovely blueish bulb flower. Is it is a scilla, perhaps?

Purple flower | Wolves in London

I had one solitary flower of these, but I didn’t feel too bad cutting it out, since it was at the very back of my garden completely out of eyesight

Others are more familiar to me. The gorgeous grape hyacinths are nearly over, but I managed to find a few still poking their heads up, though the bottom flowers on the stalk are already shedding seeds as you can just see here:

Grape hyacinth | Wolves in London

The bottom flowers are spent already, the middle ones have seeds waiting to spill…

The yellow primulas are still going strong as well. I know I showed you these last month, but I’ve since dug out my macro lens, so I thought they deserved a better close up photo this time round:

Primula | Wolves in London

It’s the colour of spring, isn’t it?

Ditto the last of the magnolia flowers, from next door’s front garden. I was reading something in my RHS magazine this month (uh huh, I’ve just subscribed, I’m getting serious about this gardening lark!) from a garden designer who said that in a small garden, every single plant has to perform to the fullest and provide interest in every season of the year. So he wouldn’t put any plants into a design that only had a short season of interest — no matter how appealing they were in that time. But the magnolia! I immediately thought to myself. How could you miss out on such a wonderful couple of weeks, even if it does very little for the rest of the year?

Magnolia stellata | Wolves in London

Magnolia stellata. A few weeks of glorious display, only, but fully worth its place in the flowerbed, in my opinion…

I planted lots of Leucojum aestivum bulbs (common name, Summer snowflake, says the RHS) in the front garden when we first moved in, though only a few have come through again this year. In the back garden, though, I’ve suddenly got loads around the pond, which is really beautiful. They look a lot like snowdrops, but grow on much taller stems.

Leucojum aestivum | Wolves in London

Just like a snowdrop. But not.

Most pleasing of all, though, is the proliferation of blossom on my plum tree. I hold out hope for a good plum crop this year, unlike last.

Plum blossom | Wolves in London

So delicate and so hard to photograph!

And for a little variety in colour, I had to show you a little of my forced rhubarb with it’s heavenly pink stems…

rhubarb | Wolves in Londonrhubarb stalk | Wolves in London…and these (what I think are) miniature tulips, with their red-and-yellow flowers:

Tulip | Wolves in London tulip | Wolves in LondonBut back into the front garden again for my last two plants. My batch of white snap dragons from last year have self-seeded back into the same pots and, so mild has it been, some have even started to flower, a good three or four months early:

Snapdragon bud | Wolves in LondonFinally, a little look at another silvery foliage plant, this gorgeous ‘Silver Dust’:

Senecio cineraria 'Silver Dust'I grew it from seed a few years ago and am amazed at how it’s continued to thrive, despite usually being grown as an annual in this country…

Once I’d finished photographing all these little beauties, I bunged them into a tiny jar so I could continue to admire them. Sweet, no?

garden flower jar | Wolves in London

A thimble full of cuteness

Joining in, as every other month, with Karin and Asa.

Related articles:

  • If this is your thing, lots more moodboards to be seen here: Monthly garden moodboards
  • You can also see my pick of my fave photos from mine and others’ moodboards over on Pinterest

Amorous frogs…

16 Mar

…it must be Spring!

Frog | Wolves in London

Wot yew lookin at?

It seems to be frog mating season in our pond; every time I wander down to the end of the garden I can hear a low melodic ribbiting and look over to the pond to see at least four sets of frogs, clinging to each other in an endless embrace in the sunshine.

If I walk too close and disturb them, they rush back into the depths, one still clutching onto the other’s back.

Mating frogs

They stay like this for hours, clutching on to each other…

The frogspawn multiplies by the day. When I first noticed it, there was one little ball. The following day, two. Now, the surface of the pond is practically covered with it.

A winter of neglect while we were away has meant the fish have died one way or other (I suspect at the hands, or rather paws, of the neighbours’ cats, since there is no evidence of fish bodies anywhere), the plants that are still there look very sorry for themselves and the water has turned a murky brown from all the decomposing apples we didn’t fish out.

But the frogs seem to enjoy the lack of competition as I have never seen so many of them in there…

Affectionate frogs

There’s something sweetly affectionate about the way the one on the right is touching the other one

Elsewhere in the garden, other wonderful signs of spring are everywhere. Nothing better than the fabulously blue sky…

Plane

The sproglet gets terribly excited by the sight of a plane flying overhead.

… the blossom on the tree next door…

Blossom | Wolves in London

A treeful of gorgeous white flowers

… and the acer buds starting to burst out against a backdrop of London rooftops.

Acer in bud | Wolves in London

I think these will be fully unfurled by next week

London rooftops | Wolves in London

Sigh. If only every day was like this…

Days like these warm the soul, don’t they?

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