This is the view from my rear kitchen window – believe it or not, it is central London and when the foliage falls, the neighbours on the other side of the square come back into view.
Meanwhile it’s summer and the window boxes are flush with herbs and edible flowers – I float Tagete blooms in a jug of citrus drink or shred the florets for citrus flavouring for dishes as well as yellow colouring, akin to saffron.
The centres of Tagete patula are flat but complex in form and mostly attract hoverflies to the windowsill. This female dronefly probed intensely for her portion of pollen.
The tiny flowers of the miniature pelargonium ‘Grandeur® Odorata Apple’ are too beautiful to eat but I will use the leaves to add apple aroma to sugars, desserts and pot pourri. A diminutive moth seemed drawn to the scented leaves and settled for a while in the shady underside.
Further investigation revealed it to be the Mint Moth (Pyrausta aurata). All of 20mm in size, this highly patterned moth looks as though it has been woven from an exotic carpet, complete with fringe. It lived up to its name by flitting from the pelargonium to the Oregano blossoms (this wild marjoram is a member of the mint family), feeding long enough for some close-up shots.
Each year my London borough hosts a Camden in Bloom contest, as encouragement for us to make it a cleaner space and greener corridor. My windowsill planting has certainly proved the worth of such an endeavour.
[Postscript: Wild Marjoram or Oregano is one of the longest flowering, pollinator magnets in the herb garden – see ‘mountain of happiness‘]