A Cracking Match

Lace cap hydrangea

This morning’s task was to dig a pit I had chickened out of last night. This was for the lace-cap hydrangea alongside the orange shed. Beneath about two inches of poor soil lay an impacted heap of rubble. With pick-axe, fork, and spade, I managed to get through what we hope is enough of it for the plant to find its way. Jackie filled the hole with good multi-purpose compost, and gave it a good watering.

It takes the two of us a couple of hours to irrigate the trillion hanging baskets, window boxes, tubs, chimney pots, and various other plantings that the Head Gardener has stuffed with flowers. This, today had to form the bread in a sandwich, the filling of which was an absolutely cracking Wimbledon ladies final. Despite dropping the opening game in which she served three double faults, Serena Williams recovered her champion’s composure to win in straight sets, over Garbine Muguruza, who was no push-over. Both women thrilled the crowd, and even I was choked up, with tears in my eyes, at the gleeful dance of the unbeatable American, and the reception given, at the presentation ceremony by the crowd, and by Serena herself, to the runner-up. I cannot call Garbine the loser.Serena WilliamsGarbine Muguruza and Venus Williams

She will be back. But this was the serene Miss Williams’s day, which she was generous enough to share.

It was difficult to get my photos in focus, pointing at the TV, from the sofa, in a somewhat emotional condition.

Rose - possibly Aloha

The lost label rose we bought some days ago, has now produced a flower. We think it may be a David Austin Aloha. When it opens out a bit more, we will have a better idea.

Nasturtiums 1Nasturtiums 2

The varieties of nasturtium in the front garden have been multiplied,

Day liliesDay lilies and petunias

as have the day lilies in the main one.

I thought we may have had a visit from an apparently almost extinct butterfly. This, however,  is not the Large Tortoiseshell, but the

Butterfly Large Tortoiseshell on verbena bonarensis

Comma, attracted by verbena bonarensis.

I am grateful to Norma and Laurie Palmer for correcting me.

Bottle Brush flower

The red Bottle Brush bushes are now in flower.

View from Pergola Path

The one above has this view from the pergola path.


Yellow/green nicotiana has now joined its white neighbour on the patio.


We are aiming for a very scented rose garden, but, just at the moment, our new plants cannot compete with our neighbours’ buddleia draped over our fence.

Clematis Carnaby

Reminiscent of our pink camellias, which turn pleasing shades of ochre, the sepals of the clematis Carnaby have now matured into the texture of parchment.

This evening we dined on cheese-centred haddock fish cakes; sauteed potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and peppers; and crisp cauliflower and carrots. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.


  1. Nasturtiums are a favorite of mine…I have not seen that double-colored one before.. when I see those gorgeous roses, I think it’s too bad “they” haven’t yet developed sniffability on our computers….

  2. I never saw nasturtiums with sheared petals like that. Amazing picture of that Tortoiseshell butterfly, Derrick!! Wow!! I also love the way you depicted that bottlebrush. I’m guessing you have mended completely since you are wielding a pick axe. I am very glad.

  3. Buddleia is my favourite smell in the garden, after stock. This might be construed as slightly mean of me – the buddleia belonging to the neighbour and the stock nowhere in sight! However, having lost my sense of smell about 10 years ago, the sight of your beautiful garden more than compensates!

  4. I don’t think I ever shared on my blog that once I had a garden almost exclusively in pots and tubs. I lived on the side of a hill and grew everything on a large deck. It was a magnificent display and I became quite skilled at ‘pot gardening’. The highlight of my day was to arrive home at the end of a long stressful work day and spend a couple of hours watering and tending to my pots. I was convinced it was that one on one care and attention given to every rose, every lemon tree, every clematis and jasmine, every overstuffed basket of lobelia and pansies and geraniums and other flowers who’s names elude me at the moment, that made my pot garden grow in such abundant splendour. Your garden reminds me of that time in my life! 🙂

    1. Oh Pauline I couldn’t agree more! Watering and dead heading as you go is the best bit of the day. How I would love a lemon tree! I would need an ‘Orangery’ somewhere in the garden to achieve that. maybe one day?

      1. Picking your lemons fresh from the tree as needed is just the best thing! Yes, I watered, dead headed and squished aphids as I went – So often I would lose track of time and not have a single worrisome thought in my head the whole time. I think an Orangerie would be a marvelous thing for you to have – is there any room anywhere though?

  5. I hear a note of impatience at the mention of watering…would it have something to do with what’s on TV? Ah, the opportunities lost on the sport of binge-watching…how fortunate you are to have Jackie’s garden to save you from becoming a couch potato.

  6. Your photos are beautiful, as usual. Even the ones taken off the television! Do you ever use the nasturtiums In salad? They have a nice peppery taste.

  7. Just wonderful take. It requires a special trait to click special features of flowers or any bounty of Nature. You really have been grace this bounty in abundance in our Lord.

  8. That sounds like a busy day. I am pleased that your ‘Phoenix’ nasturtiums have the flowers you expected. A lot of mine – and most of the plants that flowered first – have ‘ordinary’ flowers without those ragged edges. The caterpillars don’t mind though!

Leave a Reply