At mid-day friends Caroline and Keith, Margery and Paul joined us for lunch. Jackie laid on an excellent vegetable soup with croutons, followed by onion bhajis, spring rolls and prawn toasts; a choice of meats and pies, and various splendid salads, with several different breads. A little red wine was drunk, but most of us preferred water, still, or sparkling.
The general consensus was that we should spend the afternoon in the garden before tackling the scones with jam and clotted cream, the fruit salad, and/or the strawberries and cream. Even then, no-one had room for cheese.
We enjoyed warm, sunny, weather, with a slight breeze, making it ideal for the garden tour. We wandered round in twos and threes, occasionally meeting up.
Here, Caroline and Keith contemplate the Brick Path. When they reach the sweet peas which will be to their right, they will enjoy their fragrance.
To their left lies the New Bed whose bees fascinated them.
Jackie and Paul paused at Fiveways.
Jackie went on to the rose garden where she delighted
in displaying our achievement.
Margery tried out the armchair under the arch,
then led the way back through the pergola.
Much of the afternoon was spent in happy conversation on the patio, surrounded by arrangements like this, of fuchsia Ringwood Market, petunias, geraniums, and succulents, with a pink hydrangea peaking out from behind.
A red rose petal came to rest on the Ace Reclaim bench
which is visible from the Dragon’s Bed.
There was a very brief programme of highlights of the fourth Test Match. This is because it didn’t take England very long to dismiss the last three Australian batsmen, thus winning the match, and the series and retaining the Ashes. The Ashes are a symbolic representation of the ashes of English cricket described by a Sporting Newspaper after Australia’s 1882 victory. The following year England’s Captain Ivo Bligh vowed to regain those ashes. Said to be the remains of a burnt cricket ball, they are fought over every series between the two countries, although the urn that contains them never leaves Lord’s cricket ground