So they have a purpose after all!


After a long battle with snails this year, for once I caught them doing something useful.

Every year, an ancient apple tree drops inedible apples on my patio at the top of the garden. These apples are huge Bramleys that rot, even while they’re on the tree; a tree that’s gradually dying but I haven’t the heart to cut down.

When my dog was a puppy, she used to like playing with the apples and I dreaded her chomping on a lurking wasp by mistake. On countless occasions I’ve almost twisted my ankle on apples or skidded on their slushy remains in the rain. I can’t sit at the table on the patio in the wind without wearing a tin helmet. They jump like bouncing bombs across the lawn, requiring picking up before mowing the grass. And for all their sins, not a single apple pie to be had.

Hopefully, the baby apple tree at our allotment will produce its first yield of Cox’s this year. Meanwhile, perhaps I should transport a bag of rotten Bramleys there to keep the snails off our vegetable produce. On the other hand, perhaps every snail within a mile would head to our plot for the chance of a squidgy apple feast.

To check out my earlier posts involving snails and slugs, you’re welcome to follow the slime trail @~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~

Monday Morning Haiku #23

The Allotment into its Fifteenth Month

Wordless Wednesday: Mr Slow Worm, the Garden Hero that Eats Slugs

Wordless Wednesday: Garden Demolition Expert

tanka 13

Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. When stuck for words, she sketches or paints instead. She's into nature conservation, sustainability, gardening, dogs, natural health, and reading. Her sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

12 thoughts on “So they have a purpose after all!”

  1. Sarah: your photo and description make the snails look so beautiful, though. And I can hear those apples hitting chairs, tables, tin helmets! We have a similar crabapple tree that probably needs to be cut, but we haven’t. Maybe I’ll dig out a funny old story about my battle for the crabapple tree; it’s the appropriate time of year here for it.


    1. I think the bark on old trees is so beautiful. We already lost one tree to age and I was sad enough about that. They take so long to grow and leave such a gap when they’re no longer there. My office overlooks the garden, so I can see this particular tree all the time.

      “Battle for the Crabapple Tree” would make a wonderful title for a novel! Yes, do write a post about it, Leigh.


    1. Just now, Sylvia, a wide-brimmed straw hat will have to suffice, as I’d fry my brain under a tin helmet! It makes me wonder just how hot it was for medieval knights wearing those metal helmets of theirs in midsummer.


  2. What are they doing useful – eating the apples? Maybe you should try cooking them and serving with garlic butter. Good on you not chopping the tree down though – that would be sad.


    1. I don’t think that common garden snails are very edifying to eat. They need soaking for a long time in water (? salt water) to remove the impurities or you would end up quite ill. A man and woman I know said they’d feasted on the blighters once when they’d run out of money for food but fortunately they knew about soaking them first, or they might not have lived to tell the tale.


  3. Is your tree too far gone for restoration? When we moved into our current home nearly eight years ago, the garden was dominated by a rambling and gnarled old Bramley apple tree which seemed to be heading into senescence. However, I cut away some dead wood; a low branch which, at head height, had concussed me once too often; and each year, cut a few suckers and small branches. Not so much as to kill the tree, but a judicious trim each year kept it alive and yielding lots of lovely apples which we give to family and friends for making chutney.


      1. Not necessarily. My tree is riddled with canker. I sprayed it one year, but haven’t for at least the last two – and yet it still produces apples as big as babies’ heads. There is still hope.


  4. Fabulous – thought of you and you snails today – I found a ramshorn snail which had been fished from a choked pond. It has the colours of precious metal. When I have finished sorting my photos out I will put it on my blog and dedicate it to you.


    1. Thank you. What an honour 🙂 I don’t mind pond snails at all, as they don’t eat my garden. But I admit to even finding the garden snails quite attractive to look at, but… D:


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