Acer palmatum Trompenberg
It seems I will never get used to the sight of the new leaves on Japanese maples. Lucky me. Going around and checking the young leaves for black-fly is one of my hopeless antidotes at the moment for my depression over the election results.
Acer palmatum Sango-kaku
Acer palmatum Matsukaze
And biggest excitement of the maple year – a new baby.
Every May there is another excitement – the return of the martins. We were a little apprehensive about their reactions, as we had knocked out two of their three regular nests in order to paint the bargeboards round the house. However they are back and seem to be sharing the one nest while building next door. This is a pair.
If you thought the photos of the martins were poor, try my ‘art house’ video of frogs. Actually, best shut your eyes and listen. It is only 9 seconds. It expresses some of my censored comments at the moment.
A week ago I was depressed at the idea of the end of summer, today I am cheered by the approaching autumn. I have planted broccoli and spinach and the vegetable garden still looks amazingly orderly. The potatoes plants were all zapped by ants so we only had one colander full. The sweet peas fried in the heatwave, but everything else has been OK. The leeks are growing and there are plenty of runner and french beans, tomatoes, courgettes and salad to come.
The maples are beginning to turn.
Acer palmatum Sangukaku
From now on until leaf drop they provide me with almost daily excitement. Another happy event is the first fruit on the apple tree (sold to us four years ago as a plum!) We have no idea what sort of apple this is, so it has been a long wait. They look on the small side, but I like the green/orange colour, as I’m not a fan of red apples. I pulled off a tiny one and ate it today.
It has a lovely scent and is thin-skinned and crisp, but with only two tiny bites it was difficult to assess the flavour. Any suggestions about what they might be?
We still have martins feeding young, there have been at least three broods. I hope they have not left it too late to raise them before the cold weather arrives. I made a brave attempt to take a photo of them feeding.
House martins feeding