Isle Of Wight Tomatoes

Early this morning the crow, having adopted the back of the bench as its new taking off strip, flew directly onto the top of the bird feeder, but didn’t stay. It can only scavenge from a tray in the construction, not the closed containers. Jackie is wise to that, so isn’t filling it at the moment. The blackbird, with her partner perching guard on the snake bark tree,  continues to sit on her eggs.

It is now possible to see through the entrance to the kitchen garden from some distance away. Pictured here are two sides of a path surrounding an oval flower bed at the far end of the garden, as they appeared at the beginning of the day. They are in there somewhere. It was my task to begin restoring them to their former glory, whilst Jackie continued transforming the central gravelled walkway. Here, the brambles were rampant and well established. A certain amount of eradication of them from the beds was required.

This revealed more hidden plants, like the day lilies, the colour of one of which seems to have confused a bloodsucking insect into thinking it was clamped on to my forearm. With some painstaking sifting of

earth and gravel Jackie completed the central path today. I, on the other hand, although making a good impact on the left hand side and far end of the ovoid ring, came to an abrupt halt when I encountered the bamboo. A number of strong stems had penetrated the path and defied my fork.

That was a battle I was prepared to fight another day. It had taken three months completely to eradicate a clump of the insidious roots of this grass at The Firs, so I wanted to be fresh for the job. Mañana.
On a sunny day such as this, the light streaming through the kitchen windows at lunchtime is stunning.

Placed at random at the end of the table when preparing it for the food were a vase of tulips Shelly had given Jackie, an accident pot containing alliums and a petunia,   and a bowl of tomatoes.  These tomatoes were a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. And they were delicious. Jackie had purchased them at Setley Ridge Farm Shop, to which a couple from the Isle of Wight travel weekly to supply them. Apparently supermarkets cannot sell them because they are not uniform in size, redness, and rotundity.
We received a very warm welcome from the family at The Family House Chinese restaurant in Totton where we dined this evening on the usual good food and Tsing Tao beer.

The streaks in the sky on our way home were of the equally warmest hues.


  1. What a delightful blog! I have just enjoyed reading several days as I rested after 4-5 miles walking in the sunshine to the start of the Seven Sisters and back with my friends and their dog. This garden is clearly a labour of love for you and Jackie, and I look forward to reading back further and seeing how far you have progressed. The photographs are stunning. I particularly enjoyed the one with the odd tomatoes in a dish alongside the flowers. They looked scrumptious!

    1. Many thanks Alex. We spent two years of weekends doing something similar for my sister who lives in West End, not far away – from 2011, but didn’t start the blog until 2012. The tomatoes are scrumptious.

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