Knowing we were in for rain today we optimistically shopped at Ferndene Farm Shop for six bags of compost and four of gravel. Jackie had made an early start on weeding more of the brick paths, but as soon as I put in an appearance the precipitation that was to develop into a lengthy thunderstorm began to descend.
On our return from the trip to the shop, I busied myself changing the occasional pictures I first focussed on on 27th April. As before, these A3+ prints have been photographed in situ so that the rooms make their own reflective contributions to the images.
Michael in the kitchen sink has been replaced by an October 1967 shot of him chasing his Uncle Joseph down an autumn leaf-strewn slope in Cannizaro Park.
Helen and Michael have made way for a honeymoon portrait of Jacke taken at The Kings Arms in Ockley in March 1968. The considerable enlargement of what is a very small part of a colour slide has given the picture, taken in natural light, a smooth grainy quality which I rather like.
Although the deluge desisted this afternoon, rain still dripped off the trees, and formed puddles on the ground, enforcing on us a probably much-needed rest.
The accumulated water droplets formed translucent bubbles that clung to the cases of the, as yet inchoate, poppies, or perched on the spread leaves of the sparkling spurge.
We were able to return to the gardening tasks later this afternoon.
Jackie added to her tally of toads when she found this superbly camouflaged beauty which steadfastly refused to be disturbed.
She cleared more of the radial brickwork leading to the house.
I finished exposing and raked yesterday’s unfinished path. From its construction I would date this feature much earlier than the other footpaths so far tackled. The gravel is laid on road stone and sand, without a weed suppressant lining, much like those I created in Newark, under Matthew’s guidance, in the 1980s. I think this was then a long established method. It probably also explains why the area was so overgrown with plants, both attractive and unattractive. A fresh layer of gravel is needed, and I will need to dig out the raised level of the soil against the left hand boundary of brick so that the new pebbles do not overflow onto the flower bed. I have to thank the eagle-eyed head gardener for suggesting this additional task.
In order fully to display the sinuous curves created by the first designer of the garden,I have taken two additional photographs to supplement the same view as yesterday, one at the far end from beside the weeping birch, and the other from the centre of the track. The key is the spray of white flowers no-one has yet been able to identify.
We began this evening’s dinner with a delicious pork and vegetable soup. Chilli con carne (recipe) and vegetable rice (recipe) was to follow, with apple strudel as our sweet. Sparkling water was the drink we each chose.