The Meteorologists Kept Their Promise


Becky, Ian, and Scooby returned, last night, to their home in Emsworth

The wisteria, sharing its perch with a red rose, is now fully in bloom;


and aquilegias (columbines in U.S.) are cropping up everywhere.

We live in a fascinating microclimate where, despite the vast improvement in the accuracy of weather forecasts, our experience is often better than we are given to expect by the meteorologists. Take today, for example. We were promised an afternoon of rain.

Our gardening was therefore done this morning.

My major task was to cut the grass, after which I reshaped the Japanese maple standing on it, so that the lower branches no longer restrict our access to the small sward, and  the chimney pot planter may be viewed from the Gazebo Path.

Jackie continued tidying and weeding. The wonderful pastel shades of the peeling eucalyptus bark lead us into the first of these pictures. Not having complete faith in the promise of rain from mid-day, the Head Gardener slaked the thirst of the drooping rhododendron beside her with several buckets of water. Naturally this ensured that the meteorologists kept their word. It rained all afternoon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole, with boiled new potatoes and curly Kale. The Culinary Queen drank Peroni and I drank Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2014.

P.S. Note exchanges with Mary and Gwen, below. We have Lemon Scented Gum ( Eucalyptus citriodora ),


  1. Although we also know them as aquilegias here in New Zealand, I grew up calling them (and still do) granny bonnets! I always wondered what columbines were – mainly because of Ophelia’s “There’s Fennel for you and Columbines” in Hamlet.

    1. Granny bonnets! I have the very same (purple/white) that Derrick shows & have never known them as anything other than columbines. I won’t start calling them aquilegias – because I don’t know how to say it – but granny bonnets could stick.

  2. Derrick, I’ve never seen a tree trunk like the one pictured on the left in the captioned photo. Fascinating. How wonderful to see your garden come back to glorious life!

  3. I studied your header picture for a while, wondering if you had boosted the colours of the eucalyptus to match Jackie’s gardening outfit. Apparently it was all a serendipitous meeting. Just beautiful!

  4. When I was reading about you admiring the peeling bark of the eucalyptus I was thinking, yeah, that not what gardeners here say when they are cleaning up their yards day after day. And then I read all those positive commments. We do take for granted the things we are used to. It is a particularly nice species, the one where it reveals a pearl pinky white trunk. Pity I can’t remember its name. Mary Tang will probably know.

      1. I used to have them on my property before I downsized. We call it the Lemon Scented Gum ( Eucalyptus citriodora ), the bark reveals a pink trunk. There are probably others with similar appearance.

  5. Gorgeous bark, gorgeous columbine/aquilegia by whatever name! Your garden is so lovely. I do like Jackie’s kneeling/weeding bench. I have thought of getting one of those, but an still using a pad to sit/kneel on when working. Glad you got the chores done early!

  6. Love your wisteria. We have two across our front verandah. No bloom yet but perhaps spring 2017 will be the first! One unruly shoot (is that what they’re called) found its way into my ear as i walked past it last night, fetching firewood. The aquilegias are lovely too (columbine has negative connotations).

  7. That wisteria makes my heart go pitter pat, it’s so lovely, I wish it grew here…
    Of course watering the garden – or washing the car, always ensures rain. 😉
    I love your new header Derrick, it that Poppy?

  8. A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
    A Jug of Wine, A Loaf of Bread—and Thou
    Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
    Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

    I borrowed some words as I didn’t think mine did Jackie justice. 🙂

  9. That sausage casseroles getting a bit of a hammering of late. Perhaps you should make Jackie spend more time in the kitchen, a mans surely entitled to a bit of variety in his meals after a strenuous days work, taking photographs, being driven around, what is Jackie up to?

  10. The wisteria blossoms over the wooden awning over the patio with the colombines (aquilegias) were my favorite photographs. Jackie is a trooper and wonderful cook! I respect how you both work so hard on the gardens and paths. Makes me feel guilty for reaping the pleasure of multiple beautiful views.

      1. You find a wide variety of subjects to take photographs of, bringing interest and depth to them, Derrick. Many note your dry wit and fun elements, too. 🙂

  11. Makes me feel guilty for reaping the pleasure of multiple beautiful views. I won’t start calling them aquilegias – because I don’t know how to say it – but granny bonnets could stick.

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