Even The Dog Knows……


Helen and Shelly visited this morning for coffee, scones, and a trip round the garden.

Unfortunately the sun disappeared during their visit. My later photographs saw better light.

Red campion

This red campion is allegedly a weed, but we like it.

Roseriae de l’Hay now flaunts her flounced skirts in the Rose Garden;


larger deep orange

Yellow poppy and allium

and small yellow poppies are flowering;


mauve lamium lines the Brick Path;

and a blue clematis climbs the gazebo.

The tour along the Back Drive reveals clusters of creamy May blossom; two varieties of iris; this year’s honesty; white libertia, red and yellow wallflowers; sculptural euphorbia; differently hued heucheras; roses rambling and bushed; daisy-like erigeron; geraniums, including Johnson’s blue; wispy bronze fennel; deep red valerian; and no doubt much that I have missed.

After lunch we transported the two large orange bags of clippings to the Dump, now known as the Efford Recycling Centre. Making up for having left empty-handed last time, we came back with two tables and a mirror for the garden. As we turned into Christchurch Road a dog on a lead was taking its own dump on the corner of the verge. While its back legs still frantically tossed up various items of herbaceous vegetation, the desperate creature was dragged away by its owner. I observed that even the dog had more idea about cleanliness than she did. My comment was made inside the car, as Jackie, who hadn’t seen the event, drove us away.

Later, while the Head Gardener continued tidying, weeding, and planting, I gave the buddleia in the Palm Bed such a severe trim as to refill one of the orange bags with the cuttings.

There was plenty left over from yesterday’s Indian takeaway for us to have second helpings this evening. I finished the Fleurie. Jackie had consumed her Hoegaarden on the patio earlier.


  1. The red campion is attractive. Apparently the root used to be boiled to extract a substance used as a substitute for soap. Also allegedly fiercely guarded by the fairies as it is a good source of nectar. Good thing you’ve left it well alone. 🙂

  2. As always, seeing the beautiful photos of your garden is a treat. I liked “This red campion is allegedly a weed, but we like it.” I’m never certain what makes one plant a weed and another not. Two tables and a mirror for your garden? Quite a find!
    (That’s a shame about the ignorant dog owner.)

  3. My understanding – which may be erroneous, but I like it, is that ‘weeds’ are self seeding wild flowers, often used in herbal treatments for common ailments and therefore not much liked by pharmaceutical companies or plant breeders. Do anti-social dog owners get fined in the UK?

    1. Thanks a lot, Pauline. Your understanding re weeds seems sound. Theoretically the dog owners are subject to fines. But who will police it in the countryside?

  4. Leave it to a dog to be more clean that its owner. I love the yellow poppy, Derrick. Speaking of Poppy…I hope she makes an appearance soon. 🙂

  5. Envious of Jackie imbibing on the patio. Were I to do that I’d need my gumboots/Wellies/rubber boots (not sure which applies in your corner of the planet) an umbrella, a raincoat/Mackintosh over a warm sweater. Spring has not sprung here.

  6. You should have taken photo’s of the dogs owner with your every trusty camera and posted them; better still get yourself a movie camera thingy, and have it available for such events and post it on YouTube.
    My dog my responsibility, when I go out.
    Makes me sick watching people pretend nothings happening when their dogs are dropping ballast, and usually they’re pretty young too. The owners not the dogs.

  7. I have two comments so feel free to move on! The first is about the dog. Here in Grenoble the issue with dog muck is quite dreadful (I know this is an issue in France generally and in many other countries too). Bags are available and bins to deposit them in, areas for dogs to perform where you can leave it for some poor municipal worker to come and shovel into special bins and take away, all designed to help and yet people still just let the dog dump and then drag the poor creature off tout de suite, presumably so the owner doesn’t have to smell the acrid aroma of faeces. I carry bags and pick up every morsel (and they are quite small) Her Beanship lays because, as I point out to the people who laugh at me, ‘personne ne riait quand le caca est en dessous de sa chaussure’. Grrrrr. My other comment is about your garden. So beautiful. We had friends from Moscow, Anglophiles extraordinaire both, staying for the weekend and they were talking about the garden at their Dacha and wishing it was like an English cottage garden. We spent time looking at your blog and I have sent them a link. They were entranced. Your fame, and that of the Head Gardener spreads ….

    1. Very many thanks, Osyth. Generally speaking people are more responsible about caca here. But there are still too many like that woman. Wonderful comment about your fiends and spreading fame.

  8. I do have a couple of points today!
    I CLCIK(ed) ON (the) IMAGES and I believe they hatched!
    I don’t recall you starting the Fleurie, and now you’re finishing it! I shall have one myself and then try to CLCIK ON (the) IMAGES to see if it works a second time!!

  9. Oh, to have tea and scones in your garden. Lucky guests! As for dogs…they often know better than humans 😉

  10. A weed is just a plant out of place. So your red campion no longer qualifies as a weed. It looks beautiful in its place.

  11. Our yard is full of wildflowers, herbs and dandelions. To me that is a healthy lawn. I love your red campion. I remember pink ones and white ones from back east.

    I am sorry to hear about about the irresponsible dog owner.

  12. The pictures are magical, I thought nurturing plants was a painstaking job, but I’m inspired and may also someday try my hand at gardening. Good job with the post!

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