Today being Jackie’s birthday, her choice of activity was to work in the garden. Oh joy.
We managed to postpone finishing off yesterday’s task by going on an arch hunt. Otter Nurseries in Everton didn’t have metal ones; Everton Nurseries had some but they were too small; so we went off in the opposite direction to Stewart’s in Christchurch where we had seen the very thing when we bought the tower/obelisk. Albeit more expensive than the Gardman product, this was much more robust and exactly the right size.
They only had the model on display. We could have it with a 25% discount because it was the last one, and a bit dusty. The very helpful young man dismantled it for us and helped us into the car with it. I commented that it was a pity we didn’t have a bigger car then he wouldn’t have had to dismantle it and we wouldn’t have to reassemble it. Jackie commented that her drive was much easier than had been the one with Elizabeth’s rose arch occupying all three passenger seats and part of hers. We had bought that at the Bishop’s Waltham Garden Fair in May 2012. It did not come flat-packed, as it had been handmade by a local craftsman. There was no room for passengers in the car, so Jackie had to drive alone with the lanky rustic creation attempting to cuddle her all the way to The Firs.
The trip to Otter Nurseries wasn’t exactly wasted because they had a special offer on four bags of gravel, so we bought some.
Straight after lunch I attacked the lonicera, brambles, and ivy once more. Yesterday I showed you what the view over the fence looks like. This is what the lonicera looks like through the remnants of fence after I have hacked it back:
Again, a sister and brother in law provided an opportunity to take a break, by making a visit. This was Shelly and Ron who also brought more of the plants they have been fostering. All the flowers, including these geraniums, have thrived through a comparatively mild winter under Shelly’s attention.
Ron, having broken his heel, was somewhat restricted, but I was able to take Shelly round the garden. Among all the other interesting specimens we have, the Chinese lantern tree is now in full bloom, and a red climbing rose enhances the back of the house.. While Jackie joined Shelly on her tour, I sat and chatted to Ron. The bird feeders have now been erected and he and I watched a young robin trying them out.
Before and after enjoying our visitors’ company I tackled the undergrowth behind the broken arch,and Jackie cleared the front, and fully exposed the edge of the path. The Virginia creeper and all the brambles mentioned yesterday had choked and obscured a very leggy climbing rose which possesses one red bud.
Before attempting to reassemble the new gothic arch, we needed to untangle, and free from the surrounding vegetation, the creeper and the rose. We decided to give the Virginia climber a most severe skinhead haircut in order to allow the rose to toss out its tresses. Jackie climbed the stepladder to tie up the limbs. The arch was fairly straightforward to put together, a little less so to set astride the path. But we managed it and are very pleased with the result. In fact, in football parlance, to obtain the last one the store was ever going to stock, at such a discount, was in itself a result.
This photograph was taken from the Heligan Path, which would not have been possible much more than a week ago. Yesterday, the large tree to the left of and behind the climbers on the arch, was obscured by undergrowth, as was the metal rail and knotted jumble behind that, which is the subject of the first picture above. Incidentally, this clearance seems to be adding about four feet to the width of our shrubbery.
Dinner this evening was delicious chicken jalfrezi (recipe) with mushroom rice and vegetable samosas accompanied by Cobra beer.