A Garden Of Delights


Japanese anemone suspended petal 1Japanese anemone suspended petal 2Japanese anemone suspended petal 3

Watching the suspended petal of a Japanese anemone this morning set me musing. First I considered the strength of the thread that grasped it. As the flower part spun and twisted in the breeze, its captor clung on, just as it would with a fly’s frantically thrashing death throes.

On a more musical note, my head recalled the rhythmic tones of chirpy Chubby Checker from 1960:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHGXwQeUk7M&w=560&h=315]

This afternoon we went on an outing to Stratford Tony Manor House garden which was open under the National Gardens Scheme. It was my idea of a delightful garden.


There was space for large lawned areas, many trees, a stream, and a lake.

Shrubbery 1Shrubbery 2

The large borders, especially those planted against walls, were really rather splendid,

Couple admiring border

and admired by many,

Jackie admiring festooned wall

including Jackie.

Sculpture 1

There were a number of interesting sculptures.

Three girls sculptures

Three girls sculpture 2

The story behind those of three girls sheltering among cyclamen under a weeping willow is  rather endearing. Made some twenty years ago, they are the daughters of the family. The eldest, now brings her own child to visit the family home. This scene, reminiscent of Enid Blyton characters from an earlier time, has been brought into the 21st century with the subtle placement of a mobile phone. The standing child once had a tennis ball placed with  equal whimsy, but the dog kept taking it.

Fossilised stump

Two apparent sculptures were in fact fossilised stumps with polished tops.

Photographer photographed 1

A more modern garden ornament features in this photograph of a photographer and her subjects. We had a delightful conversation about this, and I gave them details of this blog.

Photographer photographed 2

The next picture I made of them will be a surprise to them. (I hope you like it, folks).

Visitors to garden 1

Some quite large groups of visitors wandered around, negotiating the sometimes steep slopes,

Tea Terrace

leading to the tea terrace where a very busy team of helpers kept us all supplied.

Flower arrangement

On each table was placed one or two very tastefully arranged vases of flowers.


There were suitably placed bridges over the still lake;

Crossing the bridge

visitors enjoyed crossing them,

Lake 1

or just contemplating the tranquil scene,


the tempting water,

Swan 1Swans 1

and the swans.


The nicely rusting iron gate to the kitchen garden contrasted with the green grass behind it, revealed by suitable excised symbols.

Field 1

At a short distance from Stratford Tony, an army helicopter chugged over crows in a recently harvested field

Field 2

now draped with striped curtains.

Back at home, Mr Chatty Man Chan of Hordle Chinese Take Away provided our evening meal with which Jackie drank sparkling water and I drank more of the Kekfrankos.


  1. Intrigued by the name ‘Stratford Tony’ I googled it and found it was once named ‘Stratford St Anthony’ and suddenly all became clear 🙂 What a glorious garden! I bet you had a moment somewhere along the way of being glad you didn’t have to mow those lawns. I love the final photo!

  2. What a delightful post, Derrick! I enjoyed it all from falling petal blossoms to Chubby Checker to the splendid garden (and Mr. Chatty Man Chan, of course).:) The sculpture of the little girls is endearing, especially after you explained the story.

  3. Looks like an enjoyable day, great set of photos. In the first shot at the manor house gardens, and in another later down, I think I see a weeping larch by the water. Am I correct?

  4. The way you described the suspended petal on a thread, weaving to the song, “The Twist” was fantastic, Derrick.
    The photo of the couple being photographed was sweet, with the young woman and young man behind the bush to create a frame around them.
    The statues were varied and unique. I liked the brass turned green half flower or shell shape on the pointed base. So much here to enjoy. . .

    1. Many thanks, Robin. These two similar comments were in my Spam folder. So pleased you enjoyed so much. Jackie tells me it’s coco de mer (not to be confused with the sex shop named after it for fairly obvious reasons if you look at the google images)

  5. I really liked how you described the suspended petal and connected to the Chubby Checker’s song, Derrick.
    The statuaries were all unique and varied. My favorite was the pointed copper base and the brass turned green flower or half shell atop it. 🙂
    The couple getting photographed, then your taking the other combination of the young man and woman framed within the bushes was fantastic.
    I liked how the rows of mown fields do resemble curtains, as you observed!

  6. Delightful gardens indeed. I loved the chubby checker video. It got me in a really good mood this morning together with your beautiful photography.

  7. I hope you had an English cream tea. Your post has mde me want to go and visit. I loved the Enid Blyton reference and the girls (live ones) looked to be telling secrets and having fun. ?

  8. Excellent how you inserted that video, sir – I am not sure I could manage that. Loved the “striped curtains” reference. Oh, how I would love to spend a day there!

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