A New Fashion Print

Jackie working on bed from above 2

Jackie spent most of another fine spring day working on her soil replenishment project. Can you spot her?

Jackie through eucalyptus

You certainly can now

Jackie working on bed

that the sunlight has provided her with a new fashion print.


To the left of the eucalyptus can be seen one of the freshly planted mimuluses. Here is another.

View from frog pond

The red Japanese maple stands at the bottom right of the opening picture. It is also evident in this view from the frog pond. Actually the pond is a filled cistern containing water lilies and no frogs. It acquired its name when Jackie unearthed the stone amphibians in the undergrowth.

Clematis lost label

I provided a modicum of assistance in the soil replenishment process; carted compost about; did some watering; and dug a big hole, filling it with more nutritious matter, for a lost label clematis. The benefit of such a buy is that you get much more for your money, and the fun of waiting to find the answer to more of what. Behind the plant is our insect hotel.

Crane's bill geraniums

Different crane’s bill geraniums are coming into bloom,


as is the small convolvulus cneorum on the back drive.

Bee on ajuga

The bees are still preferring the pulmonaria to anything else on offer.

Grass bed completed 1

Just as the morning light illuminated the start of Jackie’s final day on this particular soil transplant, the evening sun cast shadows across the finished job.


It was greenfinches, resting from feverish flitting from tree to tree, that overlooked our evening rose garden drinks; this one from the relative safety of a neighbour’s garden.


Jackie is beginning to worry that the splendid heucheras she planted as a border to the roses might overawe the main attraction.

Our dinner this evening consisted of Mr Pink’s fish and chips, and  pickled gherkins and onions from jars in the cupboard, followed by Jackie’s apple and sultana crumble with cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the cabernet sauvignon.


  1. Enjoyed the fashion print, the frog pond and the insect hotel….and I can understand Jackie’s worry about the heucheras….for a leaf, they give more vibrant color, sometimes, than many a flower.

  2. “I provided a modicum of assistance in the soil replenishment process; carted compost about; did some watering; and dug a big hole, filling it with more nutritious matter… ” Margery might as well have saved her (e-)breath 🙂 [After a recent visit, she e-mailed Derrick, suggesting he took a proper break to give his knee a ghost of a chance to recuperate. You can’t tell a manager (even an ex- one) what to do!!!]

  3. I enjoyed seeing the plant leaves shadows on Jackie’s fuschia shirt. I love the bright pink. I apparently am not spelling fuchia correctly. I tried it 2 ways. Oh well!
    I liked the paving bricks and how organized and cleaned up everything looks, Derrick. I enjoyed also seeing the art sculptures including the owls. Hope you have a marvelous rest of the week! 🙂

      1. Oh, good point and now, maybe I will remember! My old class of sixth graders were always frustrated at other teachers who advised them to “Look the spelling up in the dictionary.” Often, especially in the U.S. spelling doesn’t make sense nor follow the spelling “rules.” I would usually just tell them, since my oldest daughter was ‘gifted’ in art and mathematics, but horrible in spelling. Thanks for the hint on fuchsia!

      2. A politer way is to recall the Mr (or, probably, Herr) Fuchs after whom it’s named. Vocalizing this while children are present may exacerbate, rather than assuage, Derrick’s rude thoughts.
        I gather there are moves to formally spell it “fuschia”, because so many people spell it that way and (bizarrely) to avoid precisely this kind of puerile sniggering. Just pity the poor physics teachers who have to introduce the subject of K*nz’ Tube to teenagers (I kid you not: the may have renamed this one by now, for the reasons outline above) :-).

  4. I’ll take two of Jackie’s Fashion Print shirts. One in the pink that she’s so elegantly sporting, and one in sky blue, please. 🙂

      1. Derrick, can you spot a marketing opportunity when it rears its beautiful head?

  5. Ummm; I agree with Jackie. Roses don’t like competition at their feet; only cow manure 🙂 You do a good job as the under gardener; I wish I have one. Like seeing the layout of the garden.

  6. I love the “print” showing up on Jackie’s solid clothes!!! What a good catch on your part. And the other photos are all lovely, as usual. What a wonderful garden. Hubby is a gardener, too, but in Arizona that means a lot of watering ;).

      1. Hubby has those with succulents and flowers. He has irrigation on some beds, but for the most part he wanders around with his watering can in hand for a good hour and a half at least, morning and night.

  7. Yes, yes – the “print” was a great spot on your part – something many (myself included) would have probably missed entirely. I just LOVE the look of your garden – I wish we were neighbors and i could pop over with a few plants and you could give me a real tour. You two are a spectacular team.

  8. I thought I spotted Jackie immediately, but I was wrong for I had mistaken her for a beautiful flower. So I looked again and was again mistaken – for it was just the lithe branch of a tree in spring…

  9. I have a thing for heucheras … They are really something, aren’t they? They absolutely glow!

    Lovely spring, and lovely snapshots. 🙂

  10. What a delightful tour as usual. I actually had never figured out the scale of your garden properly before you put up this photograph of it with Jackie lost in the background. I daresay she might be right about the heucheras. I actually did not see the roses well before I blew up the picture. Absolutely loved the flower pictures and the pond. I’ve been wondering about putting one together in the corner of my garden and I think you’ve pretty much convinced me now I should do that.

    1. Correct. When we rented in London for a couple of years we spent every weekend working on my sister’s similar garden near Southampton. Many of my earlier posts feature that. Thanks, Yvonne

  11. Your garden is certainly looking its best. Jackie looks like part of it – a beautiful flower amongst the others seen through your camera. Love the fashion print

          1. Derrick. I like the comment you got back then. But to be really certain you need to look at the leaves, the gum nuts both young and old and the way the branches bend around. Have a look at http://www.hermonslade.org.au/projects/HSF_11_2/hsf_11_2.html
            And don’t get to worried if you get it wrong. Most Aussies just say, “Ooh, thats a nice gum tree Kylie. Watcha call it?” “I dunno. Me mum’s new boyfriend give us it for a weddin’ pressent.”

  12. That is some garden!!!!! And, I must admit I envy Jackie’s ability to garden on her knees.

  13. Absolutely GORGEOUS images, Derrick! Also, you recently left a message on my blog re: a portrait commission. I try to work from life, but it’s nearly always impossible-busy people, busy lives. What I typically do is set up a photo session of my subject and take hundreds of photos. That allows me to get to know the subject a little and to begin to compose the painting in my camera view finder. When the subject lives much too far away, or has passed on, I will try to paint from an excellent photo. It has to be an excellent photo, because with a portrait, I can’t make anything up, except a backround. And working from many different photos is helpful for getting to know the individual a bit, but lighting is always different and this situation does not make for an acceptable painting. Thank you for your question. I hope I answered your question for you:)

  14. Your place is gorgeous as usual, Derrick! You and Jackie have done an amazing job! Do you eat outside after a hard day’s work in the garden? I bet the wine was good! 🙂

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