An unseen bird in a neighbouring garden has, for some time now kept up an incessant, repetitive, day-long warning cry. This is no doubt related to the fact that a possibly predatory crow patiently waits perched on the branch of a high tree. Perhaps awaiting a chance to plunder eggs, or to pounce on newly hatched chicks? Yesterday evening Jackie clapped her hands and shooed off the vigilant avian. As soon as it flew off the other bird became silent.
Two days ago a magpie was spotted in our garden, suspiciously close to the blackbird’s nest.

This morning the nest was empty, only its cleanliness and two downy feathers attached to a twig, indicating any occupation. There were no broken shells. Sadly, on little more than circumstantial evidence we suspect either crow or magpie of theft of the eggs.
Today I finished weeding yesterday’s bed. In the process, I found a honeysuckle and several more passion flower plants entwined among the other plants.

Trying not to replicate the McDonalds logo, I erected my own golden arches out of bamboo to give the climbers something else to scale.

Perhaps the honeysuckle was seeded from this wonderfully scented specimen, bordering the kitchen garden.                                    

Jackie has continued her creative work. The water boy is now well established in his little corner, complete with more shells and planting.
She is now focussing on further improving the edging of the paths. In many instances, the earlier brick edges have been covered by stones and granite sets.

These have tended to be obscured by covering plants, and have not stemmed the flow of soil into the gravel.  Sieving the earth from the gravel, and placing the bricks on their sides lifts the edges.
The sets will be used elsewhere, where they attractiveness is more apparent. We began with the border between the patch of grass and the long path. I was the labourer to Jackie’s artisan. This meant I searched out more sets, loaded them onto a wheelbarrow, brought them to the mistress craftsperson, placed them roughly where she would need them, and ambled off for some more. Some, in the furthest regions, were covering ants’ nests.
We didn’t quite finish the job before preparing for a visit to Danni and Andy’s new flat. Jackie drove us over to Shirley, where it is; we were joined there by Elizabeth, and all dined at a very good Indian restaurant nearby, the name of which I did not register. We all enjoyed the food; Andy drank Magners, and the rest of us, Kingfisher.


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