A Nation Uncomfortable With Being Ahead

Head Gardener's work area

Today, just as humid, was slightly cooler and breezier, which was just as well, because we made a start on clearing the Head Gardener’s work area to make room for the shed to be delivered in two days time.

First, Jackie needed to plant the rest of her prolific purchases, so I took a walk along to the paddock in Hordle Lane and back.

Dry ditch

The deep ditches were now bone dry.

Horses in field

The horses in the paddock, protected by their fly masks, had, early in the morning, no need to shelter under the oak. Watch the one on the left,


now again summoning the customary energy to investigate my presence,

Horses at trough

then to be first in the queue for the water trough.

Clematis Mrs N Thompson

Clematis Mrs N Thompson (not to confused with my daughter, Mrs E Thompson), now mingles with pink roses on the front garden trellis.


Jackie has added this strident perennial coreopsis to the rose garden.


A far more subdued aruncus bows respectfully

Weeping birch

alongside the weeping birch,


from where I was able to snap a crow on the far side of Christchurch Road.

View from Fiveways

Patio corner 1Patio corner 2

These views, one from Fiveways, and two of patio corners, display less recent planting.

This afternoon, on TV, I watched another Brit narrowly miss going through to the fourth round at Wimbledon. This time James Ward lost a five set match to Vasek Pospisil. You have to understand we are a nation not comfortable with being ahead in sport – unless it is cricket against the Australians.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. My choice of meal was chicken Jaljala with a plain naan; Jackie’s was prawn Sally with the perfect accompaniment of a delicate lemon rice. We shared an onion bhaji, and both drank Kingfisher. Everything was as good as usual.


  1. I belong to a family – possibly a nation – that prefers anyone to be ahead of the Aussies in cricket!! The maturer plantings are looking just stunning and make me realise how much I am missing the vibrant colours of summer time! We are expecting snow to sea level this coming week and brutal antarctic winds.

  2. The second to last photo, with those bright who-dackies growing next to the what-ya-ma-call-its, is stunning. You and Jackie are having a bad influence on my bank account: yesterday I purchased 6 dark red lily bulbs (“Mapira”) to grow amidst my white lilies. Hopefully, both with be in flower at Christmas!

    1. Who-dackies! How I love that! Who-dackies they are from this day on. Your red lily’s amongst the white sounds v, adventurous, hope the’re scented. J

      1. Thanks Jackie. I have no smell! But the red and white motif peppers the garden at Christmas (being summer) – red and white dahlias, petunias, lilies. The other colours start to arrive after New Year! We have no need for a Yuletide log – so we make do!

  3. I love the first photo – at last a bit of mess if only temporary. Mine’s on permanent display. This post is ‘as good as usual’ except the bits about sport; they as usual fly over my head. Don’t you worry about the colonials getting too big for their boots; Australians are still very much your servants. Your Queen is still our Queen and C&C will be… excuse me, I’m feeling ill.

    1. Steady on, Mary! We Aussies (and I think you are one, too) are emerging from under the thumb of Royalty … we are, aren’t we?

      1. No, of course not. That’s why we foot the bills for Royal visitors. I can’t bear to think how much C&C are going to cost us, the tax payers while we are cutting fundings on social service, humanitarian assistance and the arts.

          1. So hard not to get angry, Derrick. Our government is robbing the poor to pamper the rich. There will be dire consequences but they couldn’t care less.

          2. You probably know that Sam’s wife, Holly is Australian. Holly posts lots of anger about Tony Abbot. When I asked Sam what this was about, he said it was mainly averageness

    2. Thank you Mary. I’m not worried about Australian politics. The cricketing rivalry is fundamentally good natured and historic. There is an iconic photograph of one of the English heroes of the 2005 Ashes series, kneeling and consoling an Aussie one. Had the game gone the other way I’m sure the gesture would have gone the other way.

  4. Thank you for the lovely walk through your garden Derrick – a delightful time seeing the gorgeous container gardens. Have a wonderful week ahead.

  5. Oh, Wimbledon. I remember Borg McEnroe matches on TV and Edberg matches. Those days, we in Sweden had hard times when not winning tennis matches around the world. But that was long time ago. Beautiful garden pictures and the horse pictures also great.

      1. and Lendl, Chris Evert Lloyd, Navratilova,Graf,Becker and all of the other, those were the days 🙂 They’re all part of one of the reasons I started to play tennis 🙂

  6. Ah yes the Ashes. I have an Australian physiotherapist working on my neck just now. We agreed I didn’t need to come back until after the third test. I wonder if I will have the courage to confront that worst of creatures – a magnanimous Australian?

  7. I had two beautiful weeping birches in front of my house when we first moved in. A blight took both slowly (in spite of our attempts to reverse the damage) and Hurricane Isabel (several years ago) finished the job. Very sad.

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