I had a bit of a conundrum with my garden moodboard this month.
On Saturday morning, I was standing in the middle of the garden, secateurs in hand, ready to snip snip snip away at lots of nice flowers to photograph them – as is my wont every month.
But as I looked round my 15x60ft patch of earth, I couldn’t really see any flowers to spare.
I know that anyone who professes to be even a little bit of a gardener shouldn’t admit that they don’t have many flowers in June. But such is the sorry case chez Wolves in London at the moment. Lots of things seemed to flower early this year, but the usual mid-Summer plants are still yet to open up…
The ones I photographed in situ recently aren’t abundant enough for me to want to cut them down. And the ones I have in abundance, I have photographed in moodboards so many times I couldn’t imagine anything new to do with them.
“Yes, yes, luv,” I imagined you saying as you looked at my pics, “we know you’ve got loads of verbena. Stop showing us your bloody verbena.”
And, indeed, I would have no defence for your criticism, for I showed you the verbena last month, and in May, and in July last year. And you know, there are only so many ways you can photograph verbena. (Admittedly, I have only ever selected one: against a white background…)
I decided that this month I’d probably have to give the moodboard a miss and since I had the secateurs in my hand, I’d go and do a bit of gentle pruning on the plum and apple trees and thin the fruits a bit at the same time.
Even if you hadn’t already seen the photos, you could tell where this is going, couldn’t you?!
I looked down at the pile of cuttings and thought to myself, a-ha! This month, I’ll photograph the prunings and maybe a few herbs that I was bringing in for lunch. A kitchen garden moodboard, if you will.
So this month I bring you a few of the small apples that I culled so their brothers could grow bigger, the plums that have caterpillars inside and some extremely unhealthy looking leaves. (Plus some sage, rosemary and mint.)
The plums are seriously abundant so I’ve been removing as many as I can in the hope the ones left on the trees will grow bigger and juicier. Last year lots got a fungal disease and rotted on the tree and most of the ones we removed had caterpillars inside. Not a huge success! This year I am trying to look after them better…
We’ve got three different types of apple tree. On a visit to Wisley on Sunday (more on that later this week), I tried to get them to identify the cultivars for me, but apparently they need the fruit specialist to do it in the Autumn once the fruits are fully grown. We shall return then, and I will finally know what’s growing in my garden…
And perhaps I shall ask them what on earth if wrong with these poor leaves too…
(My guess is: caterpillars chewing on them (which I don’t really mind — it leads to lovely butterflies at least) and perhaps a disease or some sun scorching on the brown bits. At any rate, not terribly healthy.)
The rosemary, at least, seems to thrive on my regime of intentional neglect:
Next month, I promise you some flowers. I spotted a few sweet pea buds this morning and the gorgeous nigella is almost ready to show its face…