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Yesterday evening, whilst having drinks on the patio, a steady chugging overhead made me feel rather queasy. It took me back to Cumbria in the 1990s.
As we were promised several hours of rain this afternoon, Jackie spent the morning watering the garden, and I took some photographs. The rain arrived just as Jackie had finished.
I’ll write that again. Because she is going away for three days with her sisters The Head Gardener spent the morning watering the garden. Although rain was expected it does not penetrate the soil in pots and hanging baskets.
My day was largely administrative, involving contacting Environmental Health about next door, visiting the Care Home on the other side of North Breeze to discuss this; arranging for delivery of the greenhouse; and having a meeting at the bank.
I rarely focus on the happy proximity of planting that we enjoy in the garden. Today I will begin with a view that meets us as we open the kitchen door. The erigeron in the foreground has, with Jackie’s midwifery, spawned offspring all over the garden. The petunias and geraniums in the various pots sit pleasingly together, and the tall verbena bonarensis, as it does everywhere, towers aloft.
Across the other side of the patio, petunias, cosmoses, and geranium palmatums blend well with the distant spirea, The contrasting bidens, like every other one in the garden, is self seeded from last year.
We are led back along the Kitchen Bed to this corner from verbenas, geraniums, cosmoses and bidens, through day lilies and more.
Various day lilies lurk behind more suspended blue and white petunias in the Dragon Bed,
pink and white varieties of which share their berth in the herbaceous border with blue and white lobelias,
and purple ones swing on the breeze in the company of bright marigolds and geraniums at the western end of the Phantom Path.
Others produce a white theme with marguerites, with dappled blue and white examples beneath.
A pink display is provided by more petunias, geraniums, and lobelia, more of the first two in the background with the red Japanese maple, rosa glauca against the fence and palmatums in the foreground.
Here, pink diascas are backed by the strident red bottle brush plant.
When the next two poppies open they will have something to say to these phlox.
Verbena bonarensis sentinels surround this Star of India clematis,
whereas Madame Julia Correvon cartwheels across the dead prunus pissardi towards phlox and penstemon.
Petunias hanging near the Brick Path repeat the purple of another Star of India.
This vibrant potted hydrangea reflects geranium palmatums in Elizabeth’s bed containing equally powerful day lilies.
A similar hydrangea takes the eye through red geraniums to a fuchsia Magellanica, with ferns, lobelias, and verbena bonarensis joining the party.
Further along the bed a cooler note is stuck by a paler hydrangea and geranium palmatums.
Two different begonia and lobelia combinations hang over the Brick
and Heligan Paths.
Jackie is particularly pleased with these California poppies grown from seed spilling over the rocks among the grasses on the Cryptomeria Bed.
The red and white of Super Elfin rambler and neighbouring snapdragons contrast like the emblems of Lancaster and York in England’s fifteenth century Wars of the Roses.
Further along the herbaceous border one can rest among poppies, petunias, lobelias, and verbenas.
Clematis Margaret Hunt frolics among verbena bonarensis in the Back Drive barrier.
As I reached the conclusion of this tour I came upon a surprise scampering among the shrubs, pattering across the patio, and hopping under a hole scooped out of the soil under the North Breeze fence. Was this The Beast that burrows into our garded? If so it will not be alone. This prompted my call to Environmental Health. They have already been alerted to the vermin. They are interested in rats. They are only interested in mice if they are indoors. They do not do rabbits.
This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with our own pickled onions and gherkins Jackie drank Hoegaarden.