Substituting scissors for secateurs, the Head Gardener began the day by cutting my hair. We settled the dispute about how long ago she last performed this pruning, by referring to our customary aide-memoire – this blog. It was 14th March. There were no pestiferous flies to eradicate.
It seemed only fair for me to cut the grass.
Before that, in the dim light penetrating the complete cloud cover, I photographed three of yesterday’s rose purchases.
Mum in a Million, yet to be planted, is positioned in front of Love Knot, already ascending its obelisk, as does Laura Ford, named after the contemporary sculptor, seen here on Wikipedia which tells us that the artist ‘[grew] up in a travelling fairground family to the age of sixteen and attended Stonar School in Wiltshire. [She studied] at Bath Academy of Art (1978–82), whilst spending a term at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. She was invited to take part in the annual New Contemporaries at Institute of Contemporary Arts(1982). Ford has lived and worked in London since 1982 since studying at Chelsea School of Art (1982–83).’ She is photographed working on China Cats, commissioned by Shanghai Sculpture Park in 2012.
On the former compost bed
the gladioli have opened out; the echinaceas have taken on their natural pink hue; and pollinating bees vie for position, plundering the remaining poppies.
By this afternoon blooms had appeared on the roses
Summer Wine, already slaking the thirst of a hoverfly,and Jacqueline du Pré, named after the great cellist.
Wikipedia, featuring this photograph of du Pre with her Davidov Stradivarius of 1712, and her husband Daniel Barenboim, has this to say about her:
‘Jacqueline Mary du Pré, OBE (26 January 1945 – 19 October 1987) was an English cellist. At a young age, she achieved enduring mainstream popularity unusual for a classical performer. Despite her short career, she is regarded as one of the more uniquely talented cellists of the second half of the twentieth century.
Her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at the age of 28. She battled the illness for many years, which ultimately resulted in an untimely death.’
Everyone of my generation will remember her well.
We completed more planting.
Jackie moved the Mum in a Million, and, in honour of her late, beloved mother, flanked it by two Veronicas. Then came the turn of Hot Chocolate, and Rose Gaujard, known until yesterday as lost label. This bears the name of its mid-twentieth century breeder, Jean Gaujard. It was slightly disappointing to learn that there was no-one called Rose for whom the plant was named.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s sublime cottage pie, enhanced by the inclusion of ground cumin and coriander leaves; peas, cabbage, and carrots; followed by profiteroles. My accompaniment was more of the merlot. Jackie had already finished her Hoegaarden.
Afterwards, I made the mistake of watching the highlights of the first day of the Lords Ashes Test Match in which Australia scored 337 runs for 1 wicket. That’s good news if you are an Aussie.