The Woman In White

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Early this morning our septic tank was cleared. This happens every eighteen months, and Jackie always feels better when it is done.

Knowing we were in for a hot spell, Jackie undertook extensive watering. My tasks involved the eradication, cutting up, and bagging of niggling nettles, invasive ivy, bothersome brambles, and thrusting thistles.

This afternoon we spent much of the time seated on the patio with guests. First Margery and Paul came to lunch, then Helen came bearing birthday presents for Jackie for tomorrow.

Naturally the garden was a focal point.

Gazebo Path 1Gazebo Path 2

Here are two views of the Gazebo Path.

Rose Just Joey

In the Rose Garden, Just Joey

Rose Winchester Cathedral

and Winchester Cathedral have joined the other attractions;

Foxgloves in Rose GardenMargery, however, registered a protest at the number of foxgloves permitted therein.

Poppy in Margery's Bed

She was, however, pleased to find a poppy in her Bed.

Rose Compassion

Compassion rose now proliferates above the Dead End Path.

Sweet Williams

Here is a smaller version of Sweet William that the one previously featured.

Poplar leaves

The leaves of this variety of poplar are delightful at this time of the year.

Bee on viper's bugloss

As promised, viper’s bugloss does attract bees,

Bee on geranium palmatum

as do geranium palmatums

Bee on yellow Bottle Brush plant

and the still burgeoning bottle brush plant.

Florence sculpture

The strong sunlight gives the Florence sculpture the air of The Woman in White, Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel’s musical based on the novel by Wilkie Collins, that was playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre when I photographed it in September 2004.

Alpaca Poo

Among the selection of presents Helen brought was a bag of Alpaca Poo, a garden fertiliser apparently unpleasant to rats.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome beef in red wine with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and carrots, served with swede and potato mash. Jackie drank Peroni and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2014.

Defying Gravity

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Today I divided my time between wandering idly around the garden hunting down piles of weeds and clippings deposited by the Head Gardener; transferring four barrowloads of compost from the south end of the garden to the ficus hole in the Dragon Bed; and, of course, making photographs. Jackie continued with her weeding, clearing, and planting.

Garden view from iron urn

This view from the iron urn features two paths and the yellow bottle brush plant now coming into bloom. The chimney pot on the grass patch is still to receive its portion of the contents of the plant trays to be found in abundance.

Begonias

These begonias are among those still to be given a tenancy.

Phantom Path 1

This splendid rhododendron flanks the Phantom Path,

Rhododendron and geranium palmatum

and has a happy relationship with a geranium palmatum,

Geranium palmatum

one of many to be found all over the garden.

Brick Path

Rodgersias lurch across the older section of the Brick Path,

South end of garden

at the south end of which can be seen the clematises and gladioli in the window boxes and the weigela on the fence beyond.

New Bed

The join with the newer section of that path can be seen in the opening between two foxgloves in the New Bed.

View from Rose Garden

This garden view extends from a corner of the Rose Garden featuring pink aquilegias; the rose Summer Time at the corner of the painted shed; and, halfway up on the left-hand edge,

Rose Ballerina

Ballerina, who trips merrily across her stage.

Orange theme on chimney pot

The orange theme of black-eyed Susan and marigolds atop this chimney pot was determined by the finial of this obelisk. Susan should soon wrap herself around it.

Raindrops on geranium

This geranium sheds a tear or two.

Rose on wisteria arbour

Now that the wisteria has finished flowering, its companion red rose has taken over floral duties;

Clematis and white climber

and the white rambler has now joined clematis Star of India on the arch spanning the Brick Path at the corner of the Phantom Path.

Roses Festive Jewel

Even before we reach the Rose Garden the scent of the prolific Festive Jewel drifts into our nostrils.

Rose Peach Abundance

Peach Abundance,

Roses Peach Abundance and red, and valerian

sharing this shot of the Oval Bed with a large red sky-climber and vibrant valerian, does have a delicate scent completely snuffed out by the more powerful fragrance.

Day Lilies

Day lilies, on the other side of the bed, are now enjoying their twenty four hours of glory.

Clematis Hagley Hybrid

Two clematises offering their first bloom are Hagley’s Hybrid in the Rose Garden,

Clematis Piilu

and Piilu against the redundant garage door.

Félicité Perpétue 1

Félicité Perpétue along the back drive has also produced its first flower;

Rose Félicité Perpétue 2

rather further on is the one in the front garden,

Foxgloves

which also has an abundance of foxgloves.

Bee on erigeron

Bees are now somewhat busy. Here is one exploring the larger erigerons;

Bee on bottle brush plant

another sampling the aforementioned bottle brush plant;

Bee on heuchera

and finally one defying gravity while sipping from a swaying heuchera.

For our dinner this evening we supplemented Mr Pink’s exceedingly good Fish and Chips with Tesco’s gherkins and Garner’s pickled onions. We both drank Cimarosa Special Edition sauvignon blanc 2015.

Floating Leaves

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Today the skies were overcast and leaking drizzle. Jackie continued planting and weeding this morning, and I transported compost to fill the hole left by the ficus Aaron had removed yesterday.

This afternoon I scanned the next dozen colour slides from my Streets of London series, produced in September 2004.

Inglebert Street EC1 9.04

‘There is something timeless about the appeal of an authentic rock and roll pub, where the floor sticks to one’s battered old boots and the whiskey-flavoured tang of a hundred past nights of recklessness is tangible in the air. Such places are hard to come by, for the swagger of tarnished glamour is not something that can be easily imitated. Filthy MacNasty’s on the corner of Amwell Street near Angel is one such place. Attracting weekend rock stars from all walks of life, with the lingering aura of countless cigarette breaths, Filthy’s was once home to a mad, mixed bunch of poets and dustmen, philosophers and gardeners. Its gritty credentials include a delightfully dishevelled list of clientele, including Shane McGowan, Irvine Welsh, Johnny Depp and of course Peter Doherty, who tended the bar here in the early days of The Libertines.

 Known for serving ‘the second best Guinness in London’, Filthy’s is something of a cultural landmark. Its cracked leather seats and low-lit tables have played host to photography exhibitions and to impromptu Pete and Carl sing-alongs. Former NME journalist and author Paolo Hewitt used to organise literary nights under the title ‘The Sharper Word’, which saw the likes of Chris Difford of Squeeze and Ian McLagan of Small Faces, as well as political poet John Sinclair dropping by to do readings and play a few songs to the unsuspecting crowd, securing the pub’s spot in musical and literary history.

The pub is certainly ingrained in the blood stained pages of Doherty’s infamous Books of Albion, and The Libertines played many characteristic guerrilla-style gigs here, as well as serving as a place for Pete to sleep when he had nowhere else to go. In the height of Libertines furor, Filthy’s hosted an exhibition of the band’s gig posters, and girls would flock to the bar asking to see the walls of Doherty’s old bedroom upstairs.’

So wrote Jessica Andrews on the londonist in June 2013 when this establishment on the corner of Inglebert Street, EC1 was about to be closed and replaced by a gastropub.

River Street EC1

Contemporary with Doherty’s band, Oasis advertises on the boarded up window of the empty Village Buttery on nearby River Street.

Lloyd Baker Street WC1 9.04

Crossing Amwell Street from there we come to Lloyd Baker Street, where Jessica, Michael, and I lived in 1974/5. This street,

Lloyd Square WC1 9.04

Lloyd Square,

Granville Street WC1 9.04

and Granville Street are all parts of the listed Lloyd Baker Estate. The latter is now overshadowed by developments in

Kings Cross Road WC1 9.04

 Kings Cross Road, opposite The Union Tavern, a splendid Victorian pub on the corner shared with Lloyd Baker Street.

Calthorpe Street WC1 9.04

Crossing Kings Cross Road at this point we reach Calthorpe Street WC.

Neal's Yard WC2 9.04

From Lloyd Baker Street we had moved on to live in Horse and Dolphin Yard in Soho. Neal’s Yard, then just forming part of the Covent Garden developments, is, according to Wikipedia, ‘a small alley in London’s Covent Garden between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street which opens into a courtyard. It is named after the 17th century developer, Thomas Neale.[1] It now contains several health food cafes and values driven retailers such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Neal’s Yard Dairy, Casanova & daughters and Wild Food Cafe.[2][3]

Horse and Dolphin Yard was a tiny mews off Macclesfield Street which linked Gerard Street and

Shaftesbury Avenue W1 9.04

Shaftesbury Avenue. The eponymous theatre is shown in this shot. The car driver didn’t comment on my activity.

Regent's Canal 9.04Floating leaves and seeds

Regent’s Canal is not exactly a street of London, but I have run or walked many miles along this stretch, so it seems appropriate that a couple of slides of this slipped into the collection.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla, where food and service was as excellent and friendly as ever. My choice was lamb achari and special fried rice; Jackie’s was chicken shashlick, salad, and vegetable curry. We both drank Kingfisher. The restaurant took delivery of a new range of food heaters yesterday, and presented us with two of the older ones which will come in very useful.

‘Road Kill’

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Struggles with erratic internet connection means that this post has taken some considerable time today. But let’s not go into that. Suffice it to say that I didn’t lose my cool and kept going off to do something else, sometimes involving a little garden clearance.

No way, however, can I match Aaron who today dug out and removed a mature ficus, pruned and reshaped the winter flowering cherry, cut the grass, laid some stepping stone paths, and

Aaron nailing beams to tree stumps 3

nailed beams across old tree stumps to support rambling roses. He had already built the fence behind him some time ago.

Garden view from patio along Dead End Path

Here is this morning’s view from the patio along the Dead End Path; the fresh bud low down to the left of the picture

Rose peach

is on the same bush as this rich peach one.

Garden view from frog pond

A large poppy will soon bloom behind the stone frog in this scene.

Triangular Bed

Purple campanulas in the triangular bed outside the wisteria arbour link the startling red Sweet Williams and the two clematises above.

Clematis 3

Here is one of those.

Clematis 2

Others can be found on one of the arches spanning the Brick Path,

Clematis 1

in the New Bed, and in many other locations.

Palm bed

Penstemons and foxgloves also compare hues in the Palm Bed.

Rose Gertrude Jekyll

Flamboyant Gertrude Jekyll parades in the Rose Garden,

Roses patio

and this pale pink patio rose thrives in the Kitchen Bed alongside the Brick Path.

Jackie continues to make excellent progress with planting up tubs, urns, and hanging baskets such as

Urn planted with cosmos, geraniums, petunias, and allysum

this stone urn filled with cosmos, geraniums and petunias flanked by filigreed ferns in the bed beneath;

Cosmos and calibrachoas

cosmos and calibrachoas in a terra cotta pot;

Calibrachoa and diascias in pot

calibrachoas and diascias in a hanging basket;

Petunias and geraniums

petunias and geraniums in a faux terra cotta container;

Petunias and marigolds in hat

petunias and marigolds in the leaden hat;

Diascias and petunias in iron urn

diascias and petunias in the iron urn;

Black-eyed Susan and marigolds

and marigolds and black eyed Susans perched on a Victorian chimney pot. The black eyed Susans should, in time, climb to the top of their obelisk.

Aaron's truck

Aaron’s truck contains the tools of his trade and garden refuse he takes away when he has created it. This shot was taken before he loaded up the ficus root and branches.

Aaron's 'Road Kill'

Country roads often contain road kill, or small animals and birds that have been struck by motor vehicles. Our friend is building up his own collection of little creatures.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent lamb korai, peas and rice, and sag ponir. We both drank Kingfisher.

The Swinging Rat Pack

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

An overnight thunderstorm had freshened the garden and reduced the temperature to a degree that Jackie could continue weeding, hacking, and planting; and I was able to enjoy the game of wandering around seeking her piles of garden waste for me to gather up and transfer to the compost heap or the orange bags for the dump.

In between times, for the next instalment of ‘A Knight’s Tale, I amended some text and

Derrick and Chris 1947

 

included these two photographs from ‘Pink Petticoats’.

I then scanned another batch of colour negatives from 1990.

Lindum House 5.90 1

I converted to black and white this image of Lindum House made that May.

Lindum House and James Bird 5.90Lindum House 5.90 2Lindum House 5.90 3

These show the colours.

Matthew, Louisa, and Carolines's dog

Matthew created a testing improvised seesaw for the ever-game Louisa. The dog belonged to Jessica’s cousin Caroline.

James Bird and Louisa 5.90

James Bird, who here swings with Louisa, is the lad who found the coot.

Wolf and Luci 5.90

Perhaps more cosy in the hammock, Wolf and Luci were another pair of swingers;

Rats on swing 5.90

more precarious were the Rat Pack – popular little pets, of course.

Jessica and another 7.90 1

In July, at the Staunton temple opening, featured in the coot post highlighted above, Jessica shares some amusement with an attractive elderly guest.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent lamb korai, sag ponir, and boiled rice. I finished the cabernet sauvignon. Jackie had consumed her Peroni on the patio beforehand.

Opulence

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Once more, today was scorchingly hot. Apart from gentle tidying up, watering was the order of the day.

Garden view towards Rose Garden

The hose in this garden view was trained on the Rose Garden, where

Rose Garden 1

pink foxgloves, golden heucheras, and blue clematises romp among roses like the yellow Laura Ford, and deep red roseraie De L’Hay;

Rose Garden 2

where pink Summer wine, and white Madame Alfred Cariere cover the blue wooden entrance arch;

Rose Garden 3

where Summer’s sculpted image just manages to peep through For Your Eyes Only;

Rose Jacqueline du Pré

and where Jacqueline du Pré has been fortunate to find shade.

Poppies 1Poppies 2Poppy 1

Giant poppies blaze in the first view above.

Bronze fennel, poppies, Canterbury bells

There are more alongside Canterbury bells and bronze fennel on the north side of the Back Drive,

Viper's bugloss and geranium palmatum

where viper’s bugloss, given to us by Giles in order to cater for bees, burgeons before geranium palmatums;

Rose Dearest and libertia

and where the buxom rose Dearest can just about hold up her head.

Clematises and gladioli

Clematises and gladioli thrive in the row of deep plastic window boxes that divides the Back Drive from the garden proper.

New Bed

Alongside this display stands the New Bed.

California poppies 1California poppy

We have California poppies in the Cryptomeria Bed,

Rhododendron

on the other side of which my favourite rhododendron is now blooming.

The last three days of sunshine have brought opulence to the garden.

This evening we dined on roast lamb, mashed swede and potato, carrots, cauliflower and runner beans, all cooked to perfection by the Culinary Queen, who finished the Bergerac blanc while I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

‘Wait For Me, Mum’

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

This morning I tidied up after some of Jackie’s cutting back yesterday, and was then rewarded by delicious scents from the roses as I dead-headed them.

Elizabeth came to lunch and dinner. This afternoon the three of us drove out to Hyde where we enjoyed refreshments in the café, and the ladies bought plants from the farm shop.

Ford 3Ford 1Ford 2

 We drove on for a while, crossing the ford at Frogham. The stream under the road was as shallow as we have ever seen it.

Tractor wheelsTractor wheel

The rusting tractor parts up on the bank were in no danger of inundation,

Pony mare and foal

and a pony mare and foal set off to find refreshment elsewhere.

Mare and foal crossing road 1

On Roger Penny Way, bringing the traffic to a halt, another pony led her offspring across the road.

Foal running across road after mother

As she bent down to chomp the grass a cry of ‘Wait of me, Mum’ rent the air and the little foal began frantically running after its oblivious parent. I have never seen a foal run before.

Foal hiding under mother

Further on, having similarly crossed the road, another little pony took refuge under its mother, producing a rather deceptive image.

Elizabeth photographing

Before returning home we took a diversion to Bank, near Lyndhurst, where Elizabeth and I took some photographs.

Lane

My sister and Rob had lived here when they were young adults, and she took us on a nostalgic wander along the lanes

Forest scene 1Stream 2Stream 3Stream 1

and into the forest with its somewhat depleted stream.

This evening Jackie produced an excellent meal of poached haddock; swede, parsnip, and potato mash; piquant cauliflower cheese, carrots, and  runner beans. Jackie and I both drank Bergerac blanc sec 2016, and Elizabeth chose Louis de Camponac cabernet sauvignon 2016.

P.S. See wfdec’s comment below. He has identified the ‘tractor parts’ as a timber jinker. Many thanks to John.