“That’s What Having A Horrible Daughter is Like”


We spent the morning on garden maintenance tasks.

Jackie tidying Wedding Day rose
Derrick tidying Wedding Day rose

Jackie, with minimal assistance from me, retrained the Wedding Day rose

Wedding Day rose on Agriframes Arch

on the Agriframes arch.

Japanese maple 1
Japanese maple 2

We then reversed the process in that The Head Gardener weeded a route through to the red Japanese maple that was looking very poorly, if not somewhat wizened. She then stood ready for me to pass bits lopped or sawn off.

Japanese maple 3
Japanese maple 4
Japanese maple 5
Japanese maple 6

The final result didn’t look too bad.

Urn on brick pillar

We then finished rebuilding the pillar for the urn in the Rose Garden.

View across grass from red tulips

Here is a view across the grass patch between tulips and the eucalyptus.

This afternoon we went for a drive in the forest.


A stream kept one of the Brockenhurst fords under water. That is probably one SLOW notice that is unlikely to be ignored.

Father, daughter, dog at ford 1
Father, daughter, dog at ford 2

As I stood on the footbridge to take this shot, a family descended into view. Mother and son joined me on the bridge while father and daughter, dog in tow, entered into a coercive conversation. The dog appeared to want to go in the opposite direction.

Father, daughter, dog running through ford

It was not long before the reason for this became clear. These three dashed across the water filled ford. When I quipped “I didn’t get that. Could you do it again?”, Dad declined. However he did add “That’s what having a horrible daughter is like”. In the ensuing conversation I was given permission to post both the photographs and this statement.

Car driven through ford

An obliging motorist, without being asked, then drove his car through the water.

Child's shoe and socks

Further on, at Boundway, we spotted evidence that a child had left the woods sans socks and at least one shoe.

Woodland Shadows 1
Tree shadows 2
Tree shadows 3

The high sun cast shadows of the trees onto the undulating leafy terrain.

Brimstone butterfly in flight

A brimstone butterfly fluttered about. Can you spot it here?

Logs, gorse, trees 1

Loggers had been at work above the gorse laden hills overlooking Wilverly.

Cattle among gorse

I think the white figure here was one of a couple of cattle. They were a bit far away for me to be certain.

Wasps' nest 1
Wasps' nest 2

Soon after we left this area, Jackie alerted me to a wasps’ nest on an outbuilding.

This evening we dined on Mr Chatty Man’s Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the madiran.


  1. That Japanese red maple looks a whole lot better than ‘not too bad.’ Do you think one would survive in the Florida heat?
    Looks like you had a few laughs at the bridge.

    1. If I WERE to try to do it in a car – I would go fast, not slow. My thinking is, maybe I’d get through before the engine knew it had been flooded. But I am a certified disaster with cars – so always do the opposite of what I do.

      1. I have become quite calm about driving through the many fords in the forest, only once have I refused to go through, about 2 winters ago after torrential rain and the ford was a torrent about 5 foot deep! I chickened out of that!

  2. I do love Japanese Maples – yours looks a lot better for the care you just gave it. Family fun and games at the ford, though I noticed a miscount with the dog, father and horrible daughter. I’m pleased to report my eyes are good enough to spot the brimstone butterfly without enlarging – though I couldn’t have named it.

  3. Great action photos 🙂 We seldom see good reddening of leaves here in harbour side Sydney so your maple was a treat. I hear it requires cold nights and sunny days. Guess our nights are not cold enough (13 – 15ºC minimums this week).

      1. He is delightful and very friendly, he works hard to remember his customers and, without being intrusive, the family too, always asking after Mr Derrick whenever I go in, he knows exactly what I want before I do!

  4. Thankfully our Japanese maple wasn’t damaged by the hard freeze we had after temps in the 80’s. The photos are beautiful. I especially enjoyed the tulip shot. Cheers!

  5. The garden is going from charming to stately and impressive. The Head Gardener has clearly built something like this before. I thought the garden was going to be a pretty back yard and now I see from the long distance pictures that it is epic.

      1. Ah – that’s it – thank you – It is more impressive than I had remembered. I don’t know how you keep it all so well. I have an acre and the only part that ever looks good is the part I just worked on.

  6. I love a rose over an arch – And the Red Japanese Maple looks stunning now that you have spruced it up.

    I looked and looked but couldn’t find the missing shoe. . .

    1. Lots of laughter here, Jodie. You’ve got me thinking I should go back and look for it. The maple looks a bit like a Japanese painting. Thanks very much.

  7. You are Jackie are a wonderful pair–I like your teamwork!
    It sounds like quite an amusing time at the bridge. (Amusing for you–I’m not certain about the family.)
    I particularly like the photos of the trees with their shadows.
    It’s been a while since I’ve seen you mention Mr. Chatty Man Chan. 🙂

    1. Many thanks, Bruce. My knowledge of cars is mini-Mum, so I don’t know if it was made by Henry’s descendents. Checking this comment out with Jackie she doubted that it would be very Popular.

      1. Which reminds me – the next door neighbour here earns a living selling firewood. The large sign at the gate reads: Firewood – Pine, Gum and Popular.

  8. The ford looks deep enough that I would get out and have a look before driving through, though that car you photographed was creating quite a wake!

    1. There are so many around the forest that you can tell by looking at them. There is also a measuring post the car is passing (seen more clearly behind the SLOW sign) indicating the depth of the water. The more you ignore the sign the more wake is created. Thanks, Lisa

  9. The title really caught my attention. The first thing that came into my mind was my dad would have said something like that to me (given a chance) 😂😂 sometimes it’s difficult to be around a short tempered prankster 😂
    I love your garden. 😀 We too have a garden at home, but mostly potted plants due to limited space. And few fruit trees.

  10. The garden is paying back the love the two of you keep showering on its denizens. In time, I will have known those folks stalk by stalk. The incident about the recalcitrant daughter and the rather unenthusiastic pet is hilarious. It made for a killer title and an suitably humourous account. Those are sharp images. I could make out two bovine beings, white and red, the interesting sign where a child forgot a shoe and a sock, the carpet of leaves and the wasps. Your aperture must be set to a lower value. using a monopod may sharpen the shots still.

    1. Many thanks, Uma. Lovely, detailed, comments. I find the technical aspects of camera settings a bit bewildering these days, so I rarely stray off automatic. Maybe I can find someone to advise me.

      1. Maybe Bryan Peterson’s ‘Understanding Exposure’ will help. He is my guru whom I’ve never met, but then I am hardly a shooter. Although cameras have become pretty smarter​ these days, the automatic guy in there is like a toddler. It will do what it will do, like Siri or Google Assistant. That said, I look forward to enjoying your shots each morning.

  11. I’m partial to the shadows on the leafy terrain. Lovely. I must be dense. I don’t get why the father called his daughter horrible.

    1. Neither did I, maybe she taunted him for being too ‘chicken’ to run through the ford?!

  12. That gorse was introduced to Australia as a garden plant by an idiot and it has spread and become a real problem in some areas.

  13. Your stories bring much happiness to my day! As a daughter, and mother of daughters, I totally got the “horrible daughter” humor! All in fun! Great photos, as usual. I enjoy your blog so much:)

  14. Your conversation that led to the title was quite interesting! Clipping the red maple tree was more like art sculpturing, Derrick.
    Those shadows and curved trees, as well as branches, had me loving your captures of their shadows.

  15. Ah, your lovely garden photos always make me want to sit at a patio with a tall glass of lemonade. 🙂 I also enjoyed how you opened up your post with the photographs of you and Jackie. Those cargo pants you’re wearing are fabulous, Derrick — all those pockets must come in handy!

        1. Thank you. Two pairs have more than the others. Today I have seven, and it is a good thing you made me count them, cos I still have a pair of secateurs in one. 🙂

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