Around Our Patch


Yesterday, I took a tour around my  Social Work patch from the 1970s and ’80s. Today I took several around the domestic one I share with The Head Gardener.

Back door

I began by stepping through the kitchen door into the patio. The large window box filled with mimuluses and pansies stands in earth which was so poor that we believed it to have been used as a midden in more recent times than one would imagine. Jackie did a very thorough job of getting rid of the rubbish and replenishing the soil under and around the planters. The plentiful erigeron plants have populated the rest of the garden. Between one clump and the window box can be seen flowers of one of the two thriving thyme plants I transplanted from the blue painted Butler sinks in our first year. The wall by the path to the right is crammed with an assortment of planters.

Rose (patio)

This little patio rose has responded to feeding,

rose peach

as has this peach coloured beauty.

rose peach stems

There were just two blooms on straggly stems when we arrived. They will soon be cascading from stronger limbs.


We have a new rhododendron in the Palm Bed.

Passing this on the way to the Rose Garden,

rose Altissimo

where Altissimo stands sentinel,

I was reminded of a visit to  a perfumer in Bergerac. This was with Emily and Alice a few years ago. They spent ages choosing a present for their mother, Heidi. The scents were most enticing. But they couldn’t match those emanating from our living blooms.

Rose garden entrance

Petunias and geraniums in the foreground urn lead us to the entrance arch bearing Summer Wine, Madame Alfred Carière, and honeysuckle;

Chris Beardshaw, Festive Jewel

Chris Beardshaw introduces Festive Jewel;

Rose Magic Carpet

and Magic Carpet is beginning to fulfil its function.

Cordyline Australis cabbage tree

Even these wonderful aromas, however, are not as far-reaching as the sweet, heady, scent of the Cordyline Australis. Anything smelling less like a cabbage, (it is also called Cabbage Tree) I cannot imagine.

Jackie planting Elizabeth's Bed

One of Jackie’s major tasks today was further planting of Elizabeth’s Bed. She can be seen in the centre here working on this.

I have mentioned before that geranium palmatum has taken over from honesty in its ubiquity. It can be seen dancing in synchronicity with

geranium palmatum, clematis Rouge Cardinal, rhododendron

clematis Rouge Cardinal and rhododendron;

geranium palmatum, rose Compassion

with rose Compassion;

Clematis Natacha, geranium palmatum, aquilegias

with clematis Natacha;

Foxglove, geranium palmatum

and with foxgloves.

Bee in antirrhinum 1

Lazy bees were about this afternoon. This one dusted its rear in an antirrhinum.

Waterboy Bed

The pieris I brought in a pot from Sutherland Place is thriving in the centre distance of this bed, that also contains heuchera, marguerites, geraniums, bronze fennel, and, further right, out of shot,




We have a solanum under the dead snake bark maple,

rose Félicité Perpetué

and Félicité Perpetué is now opening in the front garden.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack and vegetable risotto followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.


  1. This post was charming, Derrick. I loved the tour, from the beginning when we stepped onto the patio (like entering an enchanted garden) and all through, including finding Jackie in the center of the one photo. Some of your phrases made me smile in delight–“dancing in synchronicity.” 🙂

  2. What a delight it must be to step through that kitchen door and just let your feet take you where they will ……. I hope Jackie knows what a beautiful spot she has created!

  3. If I were a bee, I’d never leave your garden. This was certainly my most favorite tour yet. You and Jackie should be featured in a gardening magazine because yours is amazing.

  4. Your roses are exquisite.
    I have a picture of a foxglove ready to post. June is such a colorful month! Thank you for sharing all this beauty!

  5. Every time I think we can’t possibly see more beauty from your garden than we have already seen you prove me wrong. The roses are my favourite but all the others flowers are beautiful too. What a wonderful garden

  6. So beautiful Derrick … And full of memories of my English and Scottish gardens. Alas here around Philadelphia many cannot survive because of the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter.

  7. Derrick, your garden is one I could spend hours and hours exploring and never, ever tire of. I know how much work goes into a good garden, but the two of you must get such joy from knowing it is yours. Thank you for the lovely tour. I envy you each and every beautiful flower. The dinner you and Jackie had sounds lovely, too! 🙂

  8. I really like the photo with the white flowers in it. Also, if you remove the spent roses from the bush, does that encourage more blooms? Just wondering….

  9. Your garden tour was magical for my eyes, Derrick. If virtual is magical, I wonder how it is for real? To be there and to see and smell all those fragrances.
    xoxo <3

  10. So beautiful, Derrick. Your garden is paradise. What an incredible pattern in the iberis! I love the vibrancy of the pic that shows Jackie working in the distance- what is that red flower? It is always really lovely to dream a little while looking at your pics.

  11. Looking at the pictures or your garden makes me feel like swooning with delight. Took me the longest time to find Jackie. I thought she was a flower 😉

  12. Foxgloves and the bee in the Antirrhinum are my favorite photos today while the collection of rose buds, all new and still unfurled are beautiful, Derrick.

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