Taking On The Hedge

Jackie, having kept me supplied with plenty of food, drove off this morning for her annual three day holiday with her two sisters.

The griselinia hedge between us and the corner bungalow has begun to push Jackie’s spring planting across the back drive in search of light. After today’s earlier rain, I decided to give the trees a good clipping. This also meant tackling stubborn brambles and ivy infiltrating from the neighbouring garden. The brambles got their own back with thorns, the ivy with stubbornness, and the griselinia with drips.

Every so often we need to remind ourselves what each area looked like two years ago.

Jackie in back drive

This was the back drive then. Jackie is at the far end.

Back Drive

This is as it is today. To the left lies fencing that Aaron and Robin are working on. To the right the griselinia clippings have spilled over the orange bags. A dump trip or two will be required on the Driver’s return.

New Bed

The New Bed which lies on the former compost heap at the corner of this drive contains, among other plants, two clematises, aquilegias, geranium palmatums, erigeron, poppies, and dahlias on their way up. The fuchsia is in fact behind it.

rose Aloha

In the rose garden, Aloha, which was rather poorly until The Head Gardener set about feeding and nurturing it, is now doing well.

As the sun emerged later in the day, they bees came out in force.

Heucheras and bee

They flitted about among the yellow heucheras, taking the nectar on the wing.

Bee on Bottle Brush plantBottle Brush plant

On the also yellow Bottle Brush plant, they did have time to stop and burrow.


A second clematis has now bloomed on the gazebo.

I dined on Jackie’s luscious sausage casserole and mashed potato, followed by her delicious rice pudding. Doom Bar was my beverage.



  1. I’m sure we are all relieved to hear that Jackie left you with adequate meal supplies! The back drive improvement is phenomenal isn’t it – even though there is something quite enticing about venturing into the wilderness that was previously there.

  2. I see you looking forlorn as Jackie’s car disappears from view and lifting the camera, take a photo of the empty drive 🙂

    Glad to know that Jackie left you with food and occupational therapy. I wish her a happy holiday and both of you a glad reunion. Here it is already Tuesday; see how time flies ? 🙂

  3. It’s so important to look back occasionally to see how far one has come and it is one of the things about being able to capture instant images. Your transformation is nothing short of miraculous (if miracles are down to hard work and forethought).

  4. The things I learn from your posts:

    “Doom Bar is the preferred drink of Cormoran Strike, Robert Galbraith’s private detective in the novel The Cuckoo’s Calling”

    Doom Bar yeast tank at Sharp’s Brewery
    Doom Bar is the preferred drink of Cormoran Strike, Robert Galbraith’s private detective in the novel The Cuckoo’s Calling.

      1. And, a big whoops … I didn’t delete an extraneous part of my reply. So now you’ve earned that I don’t pay attention to details!

  5. The holiday for Jackie is nice and special for her. That hedge looks like a big challenge, Derrick! The Aloha rose is stunning. Have a nice week ahead! 🙂

  6. What vision you two have! And it’s amazing what you and Jackie have accomplished. I’m sure Jackie will have a wonderful time with her sisters.

  7. These are beautiful, Derrick! The difference in those before and after shots is amazing. You two sure work hard out there! (Where do you live again? I am sorry I can’t remember……I am 55 after all.) 😉

  8. Your gardening endeavours are certainly bringing rich rewards – two years seems such a short time to have achieved such a transformation. Wonderful to see so many bees.

    1. Many thanks, Tamara. Our only enemy is vine weevil, which, of course, originated in Hampshire, where we live. Jackie is working hard to eradicate it

      1. Oh, is it a bad enemy? My enemy-Deer looks great in our garden, but Little is safe , they love roses, tulips, clematis, to name just a few

          1. I’ve just visited the link, awful creatures , I am happy we don’t have them! About deer, there is my post from yesterday portraiting one of those waiting to jump over our garden;(

  9. Great garden, though I would like to point out that brambles are not a weed but a food crop. I point this out to my neighbours several times a year but they remain unconvinced and ungrateful.


    1. I’ll have that! And, Derrick, they make a great addition to wine. Some time, when you’re at “The First” at the right season, you can sample what I mean.

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