Recycled Wrought Iron

Racing against the promised rain on this warm but gloomy morning we worked on providing freedom of expression for Compassion. Jackie assembled another Gardman arch for this rose that we have been trying fully to release from the clutches of myrtle and pittosporum. The heaviest pruning the plant has undergone for many years ensued. We then fixed the support in place and tied the remaining stems to them. A number of healthy buds remain.

Compassion Arch

That is not a weak sun peering through the pittosporum, but one of the drops of rain that sent us inside. Not before I had recorded the moment.

Neither of us can remember from where in the garden we had liberated the wrought iron structure that we had been using until now to support the rose. We had upended it and tied it to a beam suspended between the two trees, but we are becoming attached to arches, so it had to go. But where? Well, it might serve better to define the front boundary between us and North Breeze. So we transported it to the side of the house and laid it down.

In the drizzle of the day, I settled down into my chair. Not so the Head Gardener who didn’t seem to realise it was wet. I left her to potter, or so I thought. Until I heard the unmistakeable clang of hammer on metal, that could only mean one thing. She was banging in posts. I couldn’t let her do that alone, so I turned off my laptop and joined in the fray. The wrought iron was to be suspended from assorted metal posts taken from the growing collection of those found in the garden. I interred the posts, to which Jackie fastened the iron ornament. It is now intended to carry a clematis.

Wrought iron fencing

The reason, incidentally, that our neighbouring front garden is more visible than the back is that it was cleared a year ago.

Jackie planting

A quick trip to Otter Nurseries, and the bed was soon planted up with ferns, pansies, and anemones. A clematis, Queen Mother, is going in on the opposite side of yesterday’s new arch to the Campaniflora.

Owl lightYet another owl sneaked a lift back with Jackie, and, through the kitchen window, ogled our dinner which consisted of  succulent fillet steak, crisp cauliflower, and potatoes sauteed with peppers and onions. The Cook drank her customary Hoegaarden, and I drank La Ninadiere Beaujolais Villages 2014.

I have no idea how many owls The Head Gardener has thought it a hoot to introduce into our plot, but we certainly hear real ones away in the forest at night.

James Bird, who lived next door at Newark, once counted 25 birds’ nests in Lindum House Garden. Maybe he could come and hunt down the owls.


  1. The arch was great placement but I like the sideways railing design. Swirls and curlicues of a red metal was a beautiful display. I liked your steak filet, potatoes, peppers and onions and cauliflower meal. You always get my mouth salivating feed a feast for my eyes, too.

  2. You always seem to find the perfect place to put odds and ends that turn out looking as though they were bought especially for that purpose. How do you do that?

  3. Owls, so far- nine, when the kids come I shall get them to find them all – maybe. (whoops just remembered another- that’s ten.).

  4. I am also a fan of archways and owls – and clematis too. Oh [s]hoot I’m a fan of your whole garden…… maybe I should emigrate and come live in the house next door and just peer through those remaining gap in the fence all day long …… It remains wet and dreary here and my garden is going nowhere!!

  5. I am reminded of a verse from childhood:
    A wise old owl sat on an oak.
    The more he saw, the less he spoke.
    The less he spoke, the more he heard.
    Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?

  6. My admiration for you and Jackie only continues to grow. You have wrested a garden out of a real mess, and you have recycled while doing so! At the little house in the big woods, we frequently hear barred owls as they call to each other. From the comments…an owl scavenger hunt sounds fun.

  7. I like a garden with owls–and such fun to hunt them out. I thought this was going to be about a restful day, but even dicey weather can’t stop you and the head gardener!

    1. Definitely, I do talk to my garden plants (much to D’s amusement) and they are awarded genders and characters and moods. First sign of something I think.

  8. A Great Horned Owl moved into our garden this summer. I love all those structures. And your dinner sounds superb. Owl gazing in and all!

  9. Love your recycling efforts Derrick, great idea for any climbing plants, roses especially. I think it is fantastic to have that many owls as visitors to your garden, a very intriguing bird and one that, to me, gives serenity and harmony to a garden.

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