‘That’s A Fork’

Unidentified Fir Bed 3

Today I joined The Head Gardener in the continuation of the clearance of the Unidentified Fir Bed. This meant tackling it from the Phantom Path side. Once freed from the rampant, choking, vinca, shrubs such as hebes had to be cut down to compensate for the legginess that had developed. The unnamed tree itself now revealed the base of its trunk for the first time.

Unidentified Fir Bed 1Unidentified Fir Bed 2

In order to promote healthier growth, Jackie cut back a splendid ornamental grass, some of which has been placed in the vase which is an old chimney pot.

Opening out a bed to this extent is quite scary. It is our intention to retain a sense of surprise each time one turns a corner in our garden. This means it would be best not to be able to see right through certain beds to whatever lies beyond. It is an act of faith that, after regrowth and new planting, The Unidentified Fir Bed will regain its height.

The recent rains have given some of the rose blooms such as

Rose Love Knot

this Love Knot,

Rose Mamma Mia

or Mamma Mia, a motley appearance.

Rose Schoolgirl

Schoolgirl, however, retains the bejewelled freshness of youth.

This afternoon we left the garden to its own devices and drove to the bank in New Milton and thence to Ray and Daphne’s to deliver prints of the photographs I had been unable to e-mail. At least one reason for this failure was that I had the wrong e-mail address.

Jackie produced an excellent meal of chicken in black bean sauce and egg fried rice of which the chef at Royal China would no doubt be proud. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

Chicken in black bean sauce

There is, perhaps, nothing more chastening than when you insist on using chopsticks and your dining companion asks: ‘Wouldn’t it be easier to use a spoon?’, and you know that it would be. On this occasion I eventually succumbed and used my spoon. We then decided to have a Post House Pud, which long-term readers will understand consists of meringue nests topped with whatever is available. This time it was rhubarb crumble flavoured yoghurt. I had used the spoon pictured above, but still had my fork, which I considered adequate for extracting the yoghurt from its pot. ‘Now you haven’t got a spoon’, said Jackie, getting up and placing one beside me. Somewhat absent-mindedly I continued to start my dessert with the fork. ‘That’s a fork’, she said.


  1. It’s good to see the development of a new bed from scratch. Just yesterday my friend Jan who was visiting from Bellingen remarked that it would have been nice to see before and after photographs.

    Jackie’s Chinese food looks impressively authentic. How lucky are you. Of course she is lucky too to have an under gardener of your calibre 🙂

  2. Oh dear – it’s all down hill from here Derrick ………. soon Jackie will have to start leaving little notes attached to items so that you can identify and use them correctly……… 🙂

  3. I was sure this would be about a garden fork. Alas, you live with someone who wants you to use the right tools. That tree looks familiar to me. I have sent pictures of it off to a friend (who keeps telling me what it is when I see it and I keep forgetting; and there’s no one here to make sure I use my spoon 😉 ). I’m hoping he can identify it.

      1. I was going to suggest cryptomeria japonica this morning, as Paul got back to me. Congratulate Jackie on her research. It’s still a long name, but marginally shorter than unidentified fir bed 😉

  4. The Unidentified Fir Bed is quickly becoming “The Bed That Wouldn’t Be Made.”

    Day after day
    four hands toil and tug,
    under the sun and rain
    they’ve cleared out and dug,
    but for all their efforts and pains
    of weeding out grass in a jug,
    somehow they can’t seem to name
    the bed that’s no longer snug.

    Head Gardener
    can skewer a slug
    (for supper, not game)
    with a side dish of mealybugs,
    the assistant would eat just the same
    as long as there’s wine he’s smug
    but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tame
    her cutlery challenged, faithful shutterbug.

  5. I liked the tall grass in the chimney pot, Derrick. Great effect and I like when sizes and lengths create a layered look. The cleaned up garden is really looking great! The meal looks delicious, Jackie,cracks me up with her silverware advice. I am one who does this, I need a man who will know my kind intent and not think I am “being bossy.” 🙂

    1. ‘Tis tough sometimes not to come across as a nag, but bless my guy he does sometimes make life so hard for himself I find it hard to shut up, tho’ am learning to ‘turn a blind eye.

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