Where’s That Smile?


The lower temperature brought a cooler and more pleasant day on which The Head Gardener continued her creative planting, serious weeding, and cutting back. I dead-headed roses, carted debris to the compost heap, and made a few pictures.

Kitchen wall planting 2

The planting on the kitchen wall now seems complete. But you can never be sure. It might be possible to squeeze in something else.

Kitchen wall planting 1

Surely, however, the corner viewed from the patio has more than its share of hanging baskets

Kitchen corner planters featuring petunias, violas, and bidens

and a profusion of pots beneath them.

Kitchen BedKitchen Bed 2

Even the kitchen window reflects its eponymous bed.

Urn containing petunias, alyssum.geraniums, and cosmoses

This is the stone urn standing behind the frog pond on the patio end.

Rose Garden

We have a number of carpet roses which provide a profusion of ground cover. This one in the Rose Garden flirts with Love Knot and Alan Titchmarsh.

Rose Hot Chocolate

Some of you may prefer Hot Chocolate.

Rose Mama Mia

Mama Mia produces a splendid show,

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

and, Emma Hamilton hangs her heavy head into the arms of Absolutely Fabulous.

Rose Super Elfin

Super Elfin, the red rambler in the herbaceous border, virtually uprooted by the beast coming under the North Breeze fence, has benefited from our deterrents and promises to climb to dizzy heights.

Hydrangea 2

Of all the spindly little plants that have received nurture from Jackie, she is justifiably proud of two colourful hydrangeas with dark-trimmed leaves.

Clematis and rosa glauca 2Clematis and rosa glauca

It has taken two years to train this clematis, now mingling with rosa glauca on the arch spanning the Head Gardener’s Walk.

New Bed 1Poppies in New BedPoppies in New Bed

The New Forest is not new. It was, after all where William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, was killed. But, like Jackie’s New Bed, now two years old, it was once. Both are ageing gracefully.


Did you, as a child, ever have a kaleidoscope toy? If so, I imagine you could have produced something like this verbena, nature’s own.


We have many antirrhinums. Here is a red one.

Petunias in hanging basket, Jackie's smilePetunias and Jackie's smile 2

Jackie took the occasional rest. Sometimes she sat on the Ace Reclaim bench where she could admire her plantings such as the petunias in this hanging basket;


the blue phlox in the bed facing her;

Phantom Path

the Phantom Path;

Florence sculpture

the sculpture entitled Florence, now perhaps bidding for the name Flora;

Garden view across Margery's bed from Ace Reclaim bench

and the view across Margery’s bed with its proliferation of day lilies,

Day lily 1Day lily 2

Β other examples of which are these.

Did you spot both smiles?

This evening, the friendly Mr Chan produced our meal, which Jackie collected from Hordle Chinese Take Away. I finished Jessie’s excellent Chablis.




  1. I saw the smiles and they made me smile, along with the collection of wall and hanging baskets!! The garden seems to have so much more blooming this year!!

      1. I wish Jackie could bottle some of that green thumb of hers. I have a gardenia that blooms at all crazy times, seeds that won’t grow, bulbs that multiply faster than I can separate them or won’t come up at all!!

  2. Jackie’s roses are remarkable. And the wall of flowers – Donald Trump could take a page from Jackie’s gardening book.

  3. Yes, we see her smiling behind the basket of impatiens and petunias. The baskets are stunning. I love the weathered look of the red shed.

  4. It’s hard to believe this garden has been under Jackie’s care – and you able assistance – for only three years. (Do I have that number correct Derrick?) The wall of flowers is breath-taking! I would think I had died and gone to heaven to wander amongst such abundance!! <3 Oh, yes – smiles duly noted, though I thought Florence's (or Flora's) a little smug….

  5. One stunning photo after another, Derrick!
    I liked this observation: “and, like all of us, the Absolutely Fabulous blooms fade from the glowing pink of youth to the softer shades of age.”
    I think we’re having Chinese take out tomorrow–too bad it’s not Mr. Chan’s. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks very much, Merril. Unfortunately my eloquence was in error. The pink blooms are, in fact, Emma Hamilton hanging her head, so I’ve had to amend it – at least your comment has kept my phrase on record πŸ™‚

  6. It’s a slice of heaven you and Jackie have made for yourself ! If English Cottage Garden is in a dictionary, it should be accompanied by photo’s of yours. Everything is so pretty, especially the kitchen wall, wow! I’ll say it again, “wow” ! What you call ‘antirrhinums’, we call Snapdragons. They’re one of my favourites, especially yellow and pink together. They smell so good πŸ˜€ Cheers to the hard working gardeners! xBoomdee

  7. As always, your garden is a Paradise, Derrick. I know you work hard every day, but it is worth it every second. Now, I love your first picture. It looks like the house of the 7 dwarfs πŸ™‚
    Mo-hugs for you two <3

  8. Only one word—wow! And maybe another wow for good measure. That garden sure is something to smile about.

  9. I am eating my Saturday morning pancakes made by the M & M girls. So, I know where my smiles are!
    I saw a frog’s half smile and Jackie’s happy smile! There is a demure smile on Florence, or Flora.
    Derrick, such an apt description of the gorgeous, stunningly perfect verbena! A kaleidoscope flower indeed!
    Roses with your fun messages, for example, of hanging head of Emma Hamilton over Absolutely Fabulous, made a great read! πŸ™‚

  10. I think I am all caught up with you again, Derrick and Jackie! Your gardens are looking beautiful, and it is always good to see what the ponies and donkeys are up to.

  11. The title of that first picture should be “Happiness” – because no grumpy person could ever make so much beauty. This post is a treasure from top to bottom. The photos are stunning and the commentary is brilliant. Do these words just roll out of you, at this point, since you are doing it every day? Or are you agonizing and correcting every nuance? My guess is a little of both. : )

    1. Many thanks, Jodie. As long as I remember to try to use words that say something apt, they do rather flow. I’m fortunate in that way. Sometimes I have to think a bit – but I don’t really have time for much contemplation or revision at the end of the day. I do appreciate your insightful comment

      1. Rain doesn’t count for containers, as Jackie has probably told you. I’m thinking of buying Julia an automatic watering system for her birthday. But I’m also thinking it might not be my best idea…

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