Current State Of Play


It is perhaps no bad thing that the sun went AWOL today. This is because we spent the morning on spring clearance, and in the afternoon there wasn’t much light shone on what still needs to be done. Nevertheless I wandered around to capture images of the current state of play.

Here we have the result of Aaron’s work on the back drive. In the second picture daffodils and vincas are thriving.

Garden view from Florence

Daffodils and camellias appear in most of the views, like this one that sculptured Florence looks upon,

and these from different sides of the Palm Bed.

Hellebores, such asΒ these in the Kitchen Bed are also ubiquitous.

Head Gardener's Walk

The Head Gardener’s Walk adds cyclamens to the mix.

We’ll get around to the Cryptomeria

and Weeping Birch Beds soon.

Alongside Kitchen Bed

Jackie has spent some time clearing out the hanging baskets and pots

Alongside patio doors

and tidying the patio.

The previously scarcely-existent front garden has bedded in well, euphorbias standing sentinel,

and daffodils, primulas, and hellebores adding colour.

The Monday Pie of our childhoods followed the Sunday roast meal. This Β was the left-over beef or lamb minced up in a Spong and turned into cottage or shepherd’s pie. Jackie has her own version. I know it isn’t Monday, but then her roast dinners are not confined to Sundays, and we enjoyed roast lamb yesterday. Her pie, on which we dined this evening, consists of the meat coated in gravy, wrapped in tin foil, and heated through very slowly in the oven. This renders it superbly succulent. The dish is topped with roast potatoes and mushrooms. Today it was served with sage and onion stuffing, carrots, cabbage, and green beans. With this, Jackie drank Hoegaarden. My choice was Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.


  1. All I want is roast lamb and gravy at 7:37 a.m. Guess I’ll have to wait for lunch. Looking forward to seeing more of your garden now that spring is there. We are having the change of season storms and my garden is being battered. I seek consolation in poetry.

  2. I used to have a ‘spong’ mincer!! It was one of my no longer needed utensils that departed several kitchen clean-outs ago. Mine was inherited from my favourite aunt, so was probably an antique πŸ™‚ This morning puppy and I have been walking in an English mist and I thought of you and Jackie πŸ™‚

  3. Not being a Hellebores fan I thought them being ubiquitous was rather iniquitous.
    Did I spy a globe artichoke in the Weeping Birch Bed, or is it just a fern?

      1. It’s a fern, I would quite like an artichoke or cardoon somewhere in the garden, something to dream about.

      2. I’ve run out of being able to reply to a comment, so this is in response to Jackie: Surely you can grow globe artichokes?? They grow like billy-O in Normandy (and New Zealand) where the weather is forever dull!! I couldn’t do without my globe artichokes – we have them for nibbles before every second meal! and as for the Jerusalem artichokes – all winter it’s my favourite soup. And at present they’re flowering and growing higher than the house! I’d post a photo if I knew how to do it!

  4. I will ask the library to order a Flora Thompson book for me, Derrick. I have most of Miss Read’s books, I’m missing a few, and to my surprise when I bought a dozen paperbacks on eBay a few years back, many of them were autographed by Miss Read.

    I am amazed by the beauty of all the different kinds of flowers that grown in you part of the world. The garden must have been left very neat in the fall because it looks so nice already. I’ve never seen Euphorbias. Please tell Jackie that I heard on National Public Radio last week that we are not to cut back hollow overwintered dead plants with stems before it warms up because certain little insects spend the winter inside of the hollow stems. I think I’ve mentioned that I take care of five of the public perennial gardens here. Anyway, Jackie, when I heard that, I thought, do I not have enough to worry about without the horticulturist laying that on me now?

    1. That’s a good idea re the insects, a good excuse to leave the dead stalks ’til last! thank you for saying that the garden looks ok but in fact I was rather under the weather with an ongoing infection last fall (love that, it is so american, as here we use ‘Autumn’ I believe that ‘Fall’ is old English and the Pilgrims retained it) I feel bad now as there are no baskets of pansies, and so much old dead hanging baskets and containers still to be seen to. I have to tell myself that I have all summer to put it straight!

  5. We love the photos. How original. Please come on by to our blog Gastradamus on WordPress And share your thoughts on our latest post called Eaten an Eskimo, your thoughts are wanted and I hope to see you there soon

  6. So many wonderful images of your garden Derrick. and yes there is always lots to do when the sun comes out and brings us out in the garden to do our annual Spring Clean…
    Sending my thoughts your way.. Today however is a big change… A lot cooler and raining here..

    Happy Gardening when the Sun next comes out to play.. πŸ™‚

  7. A nice mature garden Derrick, enjoyed looking at your photos of it, so much going on. Wishing you a great season, will be keeping an eye on how it all evolves πŸ™‚

  8. I’m starting to wonder; Jackie does all the cooking,

    Seems she’s also the gardener, when it comes to cleaning out the rubbish

    So what I’m wondering is!

    What does Derrick do? 😈


  9. As usual I am left envious of both garden and catering. I feel the urge to mince something now but that is countered by an equally strong urge not to go and look for the mincer in the garage.

    Oh how lucky Jackie is to have her very own Bodwell! Keep up the good work Derrick.

  10. I liked the light green chairs waiting to have company and time to sit down for awhile. They were a fine color choice and i remember when you got them last year, Derrick.
    The last two photos of the Terra Cotta pot with pretty violet flowers and daffodils and those sentinels, (above) euphorbias, made me happy to be included in your views. πŸ™‚

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