Before The Thunderstorm


For the best part of the day there were two consistencies in the weather: it was very warm and it was dry. This meant the overnight rain soon evaporated. The sun, however, vied for dominance with the clouds.

Sack barrow

Stopping on the way to buy a necessary sack barrow from Milford Supplies, we drove to Molly’s Den in search of two more stone urns for the rose garden. We were successful and installed them into position.

Planter in wrought iron

We also bought a red-painted wrought iron planter.

Front garden

Early on, in the front garden,

Tulip and raindrops

tulips’ in-built umbrellas protected their stamens.

Clematis Montana with bee

Bees preferred the pollen from the clematis Montana. If you can’t spot this insect filling its thigh sacs, you may choose to enlarge the image,

Bee on clematis Montana

or opt for this one instead.


Pearly drops slipped from aquilegias.

Viburnum plicatum 2Viburnum plicatum 1

The viburnum plicatum had benefited from the warmth and the rain.


Two years ago, outside the utility room door, stood the stump of a wisteria that had clearly been heavily pruned, we imagine to make way for the plumbing for the en-suite bathroom above. It has responded to nurturing the first year, and training the next, to produce a fine drapery which should increase even more next year.


Another stump, this time on the grass patch, has recovered to produce a pieris that now shows signs of feeling crowded by the Castle Bench.


Offspring of the erigeron, outside the French windows to the sitting room, have been adopted by various other parts of the garden.

Urn 1

Urn 2 (Jackie reflected)

Just before the thunderstorm hit at 4.30, after Jackie had planted up the urns, I joined her for cold drinks and a rest in the rose garden.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s prize chicken jalfrezi, now nicely maturing; meat samosas, egg fried rice, onion bhajis, and parathas. I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone, while The Cook abstained.


  1. These are absolutely mind-blowing. I love the flowers of course but was also struck by the one with the blue pots showing small parts of colour here and there in the garden. What a gorgeous garden, God bless

  2. Of course you torture us, with the delicious food you post, whilst we sit in our empty larders, bemoaning that speed of light travel to your kitchen is not possible. On the weather side, we’ve been having a crazy time of it here in good ole Texas where there have been I kid you not, golf ball sized hail. Ruinous for cars needless to say. I find changable weather romantic and disturbing and inspiring, unless of course, one is caught in the downpour but even then …

  3. It is just beautiful in your garden Derrick. And nice to see the mirrors being put to good effect. We were forecast a thunderstorm last night – as it never arrived I assume it detoured to your place 🙂

  4. It’s not easy being a bee; I wonder if they see the beauty that they plunder? Not called ‘drones’ for nothing, I suppose, although they probably gave meaning to ‘drones’.

    I admired the lady in the mirror, and her menu.

    1. It does and for the first time in my life I have a garden that can just about cope with it. When we first came here to Downton, the clematis had completely overgrown a poor living tree(still unidentified), We set to and cleared it out of that tree and forced it to cover a stump of a dead tree it has taken two seasons for it to recover(and the original host tree!), and this year I have already started the continuous cutting back as the Montana begins to spread where I don’t want it!

      1. We have one in the garden we inherited and it is running rampant, trying to nudge out all its neighbors. I foresee a battle.

  5. All the hard garden work is paying off in leaps and bounds. Wonderful!
    Your red garden trolley is 100% identical to mine – even the colour. Perhaps we’re related…

    1. Have you checked you’ve still got yours? We’ve only got HIS word for it that they bought it at Milford Supplies…

      1. I’m far too inadequate at crosswords to be too closely related – maybe a third cousin two times removed? And you garden, Jackie, is quite fabulous; always a discovery of “look at that!”

  6. I always enjoy a new view of the gardens, Derrick. The statuary and the bird cage were quite special today. I enjoyed the variations in flowers especially the purple and white ones, the aquilegias. The drops of water were so perfect! The drinks in the garden sound good, although we are on different time zones! I just finished work. . . almost due to leave the library! 🙂

  7. Now I am thinking we are a similar climate! Our columbine (you say aquilegias) are in full bloom – 3 feet tall and looking beautiful. We have the purple/white as you do – also full purple and pink/white. ALSO – our wisteria are blooming – You had seemed so far ahead of us with all of your flowers blooming – but maybe you just have that many more flowers. . . LOVE the new red plant stand!

  8. All photos are stunning (love the reflection of your Mrs.). I especially enjoyed what you said about the tulips and their built-in umbrellas. ? Such a poet, you are, Derrick!

  9. Great series of photos ~ along with your words you lay out a great scene for your own garden of Eden. How I miss getting my hands dirty with landscape 🙂 Great post.

  10. Derrick, your garden is divine. And the food – sounds equally divine 🙂 Thank you for your visit and follow at my humble blog.

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