A.P. Maintenance

Aaron fixing house name 6


In the garden this morning, envious of the attention given to the daffodils yesterday, many other plants clamoured to be photographed.

Readers may have noticed a hyacinth lurking among the daffodils. Here are a couple more, one seeking camouflage from the as yet uncleared autumn leaves.

Cowslips soar from the soil at the bottom of the back drive.

Along the beds there we have perennial wallflowers and primroses. That lady’s bedstraw will have to come out.


Alliums are beginning to proliferate,

Grape hyacinths

and grape hyacinths are popping up.

Some bulbs, like these forcing their way through geraniums

Bulb unknown 3

or these from between patio stones, we cannot identify. The second, thanks to Rusty duck’s comment below, I can now say is Ipheion uniflorum. Geoff, thebikinggardener.com has added this information: ‘The first one – the pinkish one, is Chionodoxa ‘Pink Giant’ and the next one is Ipheion uniflorum as you say – although it has just had its name changed to Tristagma. (not just a minute ago)’


Some aubretia seem almost fluorescent.

The tiny clematis Cirrhosa now festoons the gazebo.

Jackie spent the morning clearing the garden beds, while I transferred the residue to the compost heaps.

Anyone who has followed this blog for the last two and a half years will know how invaluable Aaron, of A.P. Maintenance has been. He gets through a phenomenal amount of work on his regular Sunday morning visits. Today, for example, not only did he finish weeding the back drive, but he also

fixed the House sign into position at the front of the house

and pruned the crab apple trees in order to promote fruit for next winter’s blackbirds.

Old Old Post House sign

Jackie’s sign has now been switched to the other side of the entrance.

Ponies in the New Forest are normally to be seen fending for themselves. They are naked but for their own hair which generally lengthens during the winter; and they have to find their own food. Late in the afternoon, we drove out into the forest where, close to Linford, I spotted an equine group who appeared to be enjoying hotel facilities. They were all chomping away at a large hay bin, and one wore a rug. Like young children at the trough, more of the fodder landed on the floor than reached their stomachs.

The five-barred gate on which I leant to photograph the diners bore the sign for Newlands Farm. On our return home I Googled the farm. It was indeed a horse hotel of sorts. This is what their website has to say:

“Newlands offers you over 75 acres of well-managed grassland. We offer two types of grass livery care packages,with amazing riding from the farm gate directly onto the open New Forest , with no roadwork at all.

The farm is superbly located being less than 3 minutes from the market town of Ringwood yet set right within the New Forest National Park. The farm is run and situated alongside New Forest Livery and Training. Newlands is a professionally-managed farm providing superb grazing and care packages for your horse combined with access to superb outriding.

Grass Livery – Horses at grass are either :

– Visited regularly by their owners, or

– Retired/resting, ‘Owner-Away Option’, where owners visit less often, so we maintain the care.”

This evening we dined on Mr Chatty Man Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away’s delicious fare. I finished the Fleurie while Jackie drank sparkling water.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

64 thoughts on “A.P. Maintenance

  1. I’m so excited to see the pictures of the flowers! It reminds me that we’ll have flowers soon and that, to me, is hope! The ponies make me miss my farm. Our boys each had his own pony along with the 4-H and ARBA animals. Seeing the ponies here makes me feel all warm and nostalgic!

  2. I can imagine the plants clamoring for your photographic attention, Derrick. Those ponies seem much better taken care of than the usual feral ones (not that they aren’t cute, too) about whom I occasionally worry.

      1. I’m worried about their feet and general air of neglect. Kind of like range cattle that never get rounded up. But they must be okay–and I guess do get rounded up once a year.

  3. I’m excited to see the garden coming into its own this year – it just keeps getting better and better! The new sign is very professional looking and certainly couldn’t be missed, but I like Jackie’s quirky hand made sign too. I’m pleased it wasn’t relegated to the recycle bin!

  4. I’d hazard a guess the patio stones bulb is Ipheion uniflorum. Google it (images), you’ll see in some of its forms it has the two groups of three petals, as yours does.

  5. I think, when I die, I should like to come back as a New Forest pony; so if any of your readers know how to accomplish this, will they please hurry, and let me know. 🐻 🙄 🙂

  6. Your combination of Aaron for his particular kinds of tasks, Jackie who has a flair for presentation in her gardens and your useful ways of transfer and transport it all adds up to an amazing amount of work being accomplished, Derrick. Your photos and information about the ponies are beloved and appreciated.

      1. It is nice to hear how many participate by teamwork, in different areas of your lives. This is a sign that you and Jackie are much loved.

  7. Aaron certainly seems to know what he’s doing … and to work hard doing it. Your flowers are lovely. The aubretia certainly does look fluorescent.

  8. Sweet spring has come to the Old Post House. Not so much to the little house in the big woods. As always, I so enjoy the pictures of the ponies.

      1. Be sure to take a look at my post today—I’ll be posting it soon. You’ll be doing a spring happy dance 😉

    1. Thanks very much, Brenda. Actually it’s our name for the proprietor – for months we didn’t know his name and Jackie called him Mr Chatty Man. When he told her his name was Chan that just got added 🙂

  9. Lovely photography of not only the flowers and the ponies but even Aron whose work was very artistically captured I must say. The horse farm sounds like an interesting concept. I envy your life in the countryside, seems like bliss 🙂

  10. Love all of the signs and decorative pieces Jackie adds to the garden. She has great taste! I must say…I like the sign she made the bestest! 🙂

    The flowers are beautiful and their bright colors bring smiles! 🙂

    Oh, I do hope the ponies can get enough to eat. I am thankful for those who put out food for them. Their hay meal reminds me of eating shredded wheat cereal…I love that cereal! 🙂 The original is my favourite! 🙂

    PATS and PETS for the ponies… 🐴 🐴 🐴
    HUGS for Jackie and Derrick… 🙂 🙂
    HUGS for Aaron, who is a wonderful helper! 🙂

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