Progress Of The Thatchers


Jackie tying up roses

During the morning and part of the afternoon work continued in the garden, mostly in the Rose Garden, although I did also partly composite the Oval Bed.

In the front, the Prunus Amanogawa,

and the crab apples are blossoming.

Hoverfly on euphorbia



and our crinkly little orange poppies are appearing everywhere.

This afternoon we drove to Redcliffe Garden Centre in Bashley to buy some metal stakes for holding the log in place in Jackie’s most recent attempt to keep out the big beast. We continued on into the forest, and on our return bought some stone from Otter Nurseries.


The bank leading up to the Church of St John the Baptist at Boldre now wears a blanket of bluebells and dandelions,


alongside those of primroses.

Thatching progress 1

The thatching at East End, on an L-shaped building much more extensive than the front elevation shows,

continues apace; nevertheless I am informed that, weather permitting, this very large job is expected to take five weeks.

This evening we dined on Mr. Pink’s fish, chips, and pea fritters, with pickled onions and gherkins. I drank more of the Bordeaux.

P.S. In a comment below, Quercus Community has provided this informative link on thatching:


  1. I could just keel over from the bliss of looking at your flowers and seeing pictures of an honest-to-God modern roof being thatched. Holy guacamole!

    1. Very many thanks, Laurie. Thatched houses in the forest have to be re-thatched when necessary (after 25-30 years). There are many of these traditional craftsmen around.

  2. Your garden looks absolutly wonderful, Derrick. The reetcutters have just finfished in Cley now. Those thatched cottages looks grand. <3

  3. I’ve never seen a thatched roof in the real. Are there all sorts of creepy-crawlies breeding in the thatch? The life in a thatched roof must surely be a den of iniquity?

  4. Watching thatchers at work fascinates me. I don’t envy the owners the bill though, it’s a large roof. Even having small sections done hurts where it never ought to!

  5. Wow, I’ve never seen any thatching going on! Who knew people still knew how to do that! The garden is beautiful, of course.

        1. I think Mr Trump would sent the bombers. But we could have a go if you e-mailed your address. We already have lots of seeds of the larger poppies. Do you know why you can’t grow them?

      1. Mr. Trump is overly fond of bombers, it seems. . .

        I just don’t know what my poppy problem is. I’ve had a few varieties of seeds work, but they were never happy. And I have bought many actual plants and they never hang on for long.

        It all seems a small problem while I watch the news. Sigh.

  6. I love the thatched roof. They’re certainly making great progress. I’m anxious to see the finished project. The garden is lovely, Derrick. I especially enjoyed the Prunus Amanogawa. Fish and chips sound delicious!

  7. I love thatch (or thatched ?) roofs, they create an instant chocolate box effect instantly, but lots of people don’t like them, I am told, for they are high maintenance. Is that right ?

  8. Such pinks and orange–and up close–love that. You two are so industrious and this all nets such great results. Jackie looks happy and I suspect you are, as well, to be out there once more! The flower names are so impressive.

  9. Must cost a fortune to get the roof thatched, How long does it last? 10-15 years??
    I wonder if Margarets husband was descended from a long line of thatchers

    1. I think the grocer’s daughter must have married a Thatcher’s descendant. 25-30 years. Average cost £30,000 – and this one is far bigger than average. Thanks, Brian

  10. This posted sent me to the Internet to learn more about Prunus Amanogawa having never heard of it before now. I think I read that the Chinese call it “celestial river,” isn’t that apropos? Oh, the garden, the garden, it is divine. I am temporarily knocked a little sideways with pneumonia, so wish I had a garden where I could lay on a chaise in the sun with a blanket over me. Looking at the bright green leaves with the hover fly enjoying the sun has helped.
    I enlarged all the thatching pictures as well and so enjoyed them. I think the cost of it might be compared, here, to a cedar shake roof which some expensive homes wear. The charm and art of a thatched roof is quite valuable, too. I would imagine it is a good insulator, also.

  11. That orange poppy should be the face of spring! What a beautiful color. And I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a thatched roof other than in photos. Maybe I did in Scotland, but I don’t recall. I’ll be looking for them in Ireland this summer!

  12. Thatched roofs are so beautiful. You have a beautiful garden. Summer is on its way, hopefully you will have great days ahead. Between your photographs are amazing.

  13. That is a very fresh looking gardener under a crisp sky. Meanwhile, mystery of the Big Beast continues… You tempt me to be a watchman outside your château!

    Thatched roofs are terrific temperature controllers, providing warmth in winters and cooling in summers. I suspect they don’t fare that well in the rains. Is that a premium concept in New Zealand?

      1. As they say, I have been living under a rock! No wonder all those ponies put up regular appearances in your posts. Methought you had migrated to NZ from UK!
        I may be wrong but New Forest may have been Hardy’s Wessex in parts. And that, deepens the mystery of the beast raiding your garden in the dead of the night!

  14. Many people are fascinated by this thatched roof project. I love thatched roofs on English country houses, Derrick. I liked the front pink flowering vine and the crabapple trees. 🙂

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