Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Sunday, 21 September 2008


This is a post left over from when Loose and Leafy was a work of fiction. Later, it evolved into what it is now - a blog about the wild plants of the South Dorset Coast.

To make sense (in so far as there is sense) of these early posts, you may like to take a look at Esther in the Garden.

* * *

It is a mistake, I have discovered, to look after the garden of a murderer.
It’s her own fault. She should have had flowers to attract insects.
But, no!
Flowers are too gaudy for Esther.
“Green," she said "is cool.”
And by cool, she meant properly 'cool' . . . 'not hot'.
For Esther, most definitely is not trendy.
She wilts in the sun and thinks the purpose of a garden is to provide air, food and
And it’s the food bit which has gone wrong. The grapes were not pollinated. The olives were not pollinated. You can’t expect olives to do well in Dorset but she might reasonably have expected a few. The apples, of course, did very well. Their blossoms simply suck in bees - grapes and olives are more discreet.
She'll be disappointed - but the blame for that, I am certain, can't be laid at my door.
The dearth of tomatoes is another matter and that's what's bothering me most - keeping me awake at night.
At first, they looked good; strong growth, deep green leaves, lots of flowers.
Then the flowers fell off.
They kept falling off.
I flicked them, just as she does, every time I passed but I had Ceres to look after - still do - and couldn't be going next door every five minutes to flick her flowers.
Maybe that was it.
Maybe it was erratic watering. It rained; then it didn't. I thought the soil was wet - when it wasn't.
Then, suddenly, late on, they were there. Green tomatoes. They began to ripen; they went orange-ish, then murky orange-ish, then brown, then black - and I've been chopping up her plants ever since and putting them in the dustbin - and worrying what she'll do when she returns.
For Tomorrow's Post


Barbee' said...

What gorgeous photos, Lucy! Esther, being a gardener on the lam, surely will not expect things to be perfect, when, or if, she returns. I think it has not been a good year for tomatoes in some areas, and with so much rain no wonder pollination was an iffy thing. You are a good neighbor to take on the responsibility, and to care. Do you really think she will return? Time will tell.

rosa said...

Aah. So good to have you back blogging again, Lucy, although I've enjoyed 'Pictures' very much this summer-it's a whole different thing with words, though, isn't it?
And don't worry, I thought I was the one who owed you the rest of an email!

Esther Montgomery said...

Ah, Barbee. Time has told.

I'm back!


P.S. Hi!

P.P.S. Hello Rosa!

garden girl said...

Beautiful pictures Lucy. So sorry about the tomatoes. I imagine Esther will be disappointed, but hopefully she'll understand.

Welcome back Esther! I've missed you!