To The Next Level


This morning, not only did Aaron prune a hawthorn and a maple; take out an old, not really productive, vine; and heap compost and bark mulch onto the rose garden, but he also cut the grass, thus relieving me of my first task this afternoon.

I did, however, participating with the customary division of labour, assist the Head Gardener in pruning and clearing the shady side of the Palm Bed, with the effect that

Garden view from Shady Path

the vista from the decking, across Aaron’s well mown grass, to the Compassion rose visible through the cleft in the eucalyptus is revealed.

Tree, yellow, unidentified

Long-term visitors may remember that the yellow-leaved tree, also seen from this point, looked rather dead when we first arrived here. Only the long diagonal limb on the right bore any leaves. It has, however, from a reduction of encumbrances and an increase in light, recovered well. We might even be able to improve the shape by removing the now stray branch.

Jackie watering hanging baskets

After this, Jackie continued filling and watering her hanging baskets which will soon lift the garden to the next level.

Later, I drafted the next section of A Knight’s Tale, making use of these two pictures from ‘Cricket In The Street’;

from this photograph and edited text in ‘Holly’

and from this studio portrait in ‘Wagon Wheels’.

This evening we dined on spicy pizza, pork bacon, and plentiful salad. We’d already each consumed a beer on the patio beforehand.


  1. You breathe air into your descripive words. I see and feel the hard work that undoubtedly is now reaping rewards. A green thumb is what you both possess.

  2. If you already had “Beer on Patio” why did you have to go and eat food? I like the flower basket on the wall that looks like a Sombrero.

  3. Being a terrible Romantic at heart, my first thought with the pruning of the hawthorn was to hope that the fairies at the bottom of your garden were not disturbed! For, as you would know, it is considered a tree sacred to the faeries, and thus to be regarded with considerable fear! My neighbour has just chopped down his hawthorn tree, and this morning we got our first frost… 1 and 1 are 2!

    1. Oh my! I’ve still got two more hawthorn trees in the back drive (or the gravel borders as I like to call them) hope the faeries are kind.

      1. Faeries are always kind if you like them. But they do like an albeit insignificant ribbon (I’m sure you can google it!) hung from the branch of their trees! You’re so lucky to have hawthorns… no wonder your garden is so blessed!

        1. Many thanks, Bruce. We have actually taken one out – it was in the middle of the path round the side of the house and had been hacked about by our predecessors. Maybe the faeries saw that as an act of kindness.

  4. What struck me about the first black and white photo is the commonality of the era – that could have been taken here any time during the 40’s and early 50’s! We played in the streets too – it was common then and the gathering place for all the neighbourhood kids. Scattering for the odd car that ventured along was part of the deal, no matter the game underway.

    1. Many thanks, Pauline. I am so lucky that my Mum kept that picture and Elizabeth copied it for us. Because we were in an L-shaped side road we didn’t even have to scatter for cars.

  5. I really like how you are progressing in your memoir and era biography, Derrick.
    The garden additions on the wall were very attractive, Jackie. I love
    what we call “pocket gardens.”
    The iron metal wheels stuck in the ground make a pretty and rustic border. Best of luck with your compilation of pictures and text.

  6. Your garden is so beautiful–and like Mary, I was taken by the hat on the wall. What a life you have, Derrick! And what a treat to read about it.

  7. The group photo is a treasure. All children used to stand like that, in that exact pose, at picture time. Oh, the serious looks on those young faces! And the boys in the back were yucking it up, just as they do now!

    1. I like the way little Derrick is subtly leaning in towards the big blonde girl to his right, such things come naturally to some………..

  8. Love, love the hanging planters on the perpendicular walls; especially the hat (like everyone else). Oh, those two baby Derrick photos – Love them. And your face with the hand- holding girl — priceless!

  9. The pots hanging on the wall are really creative! I’ll have to try that when I go back home for a visit.

  10. Jackie does a lot of work in those gardens! They look enticing.

    I love those old photos from your memoir in progress. Are you the little fellow on the left?

  11. Delighted like everyone else about your writing and photos of your garden Derrick, very lovely! So nice to read about other people’s gardens!

  12. The hats are it for me Derrick – they look great on the wall and I can’t to see them later this summer when they are fully showing off. The garden looks lovely – nice shot of the patch of green grass peaking through.

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