The Wisdom Of The Owl


Aaron with tree roots

Two days ago views along the kitchen window and bed opposite featured a sawn tree trunk at the far end. Here Aaron is with the last of the stump he further sawed and removed. As usual, I printed him an A4 copy for his collection.

View alongside Kitchen Bed

This has provided a little extra space at the end of Jackie’s current work area.

Hebe and Brick Path

Here is another view of the gap, taken from a hebe on the corner of the Dead End Path.

Removing a tree is always a last resort. The branches of this one, however, were very brittle and constantly breaking when strong winds beset this whirlpool of a corner. The extra foot of space is also needed for the expected greenhouse.

Bottle brush plant 1

To the right of the above picture the yellow bottle brush plant has now turned brown. On the other side of the gazebo path a bright red variety has drawn its attention.

Bee on bottle brush plant 1Bee on bottle brush plant 3Bee on bottle brush plant 2Bee on bottle brush plant 1

Swarms of bees gather in the attempt to transfix themselves on the beds of nails that are its blooms.

Snapdragons, geraniums and petuniasSnapdragons and geraniums

Other strong reds of snapdragons, geraniums, and petunias blend in the plastic troughs forming the barrier at the start of the back drive.

Marigolds and black-eyed Susan

Equally vibrant are the marigolds and black-eyed Susans now clutching the orange globe.


It is almost a relief to encounter the cooler hues of this foxglove,


these hostas,

Insect on hebe

or the hebes, this example of which has attracted a tiny flying insect I can’t identify.

Although its floor is of gravel, the patio at the South end of the garden is termed the Concrete one. That is because the surface beneath the pebbles was probably where the Post Office vans were parked.

Garden view from concrete patio towards Rose Garden

That is where our mid-afternoon water was taken and we enjoyed views looking towards the Rose Garden;

Garden view from concrete patio towards potting shed

towards the potting shed;

Day lilies and geranium palmatums

of this cluster of yellow day lilies flanked by geranium palmatums;

New Zealand flax

and the New Zealand flax that has flowered for the first time since our arrival.

I haven’t mentioned the wind in the last few days. I thought that if I ignored it it would go away. It hasn’t.

Upturned pot and parasol

A couple of hours after we had been sitting beneath this parasol a sudden gust wreaked havoc. Admittedly the parasol had not been fitted tightly into its base, but it took off like a kite, smashed down into the bed, tipped over the stand supporting the recently planted red geraniums, and dragged down the string of overhead solar lights.

Broken plants

We began by lifting the parasol over everything and slotting it securely into its stand. Then picked up the pot and pedestal. Chucked broken bits onto the compost, and placed what would be salvageable onto one of the tables.

Gravelly soil

It was, I thought, very sensitive of the owl not to give me the benefit of his wisdom as I placed him on a chair and used his table to take the gravelly earth I scooped up and, with fingers and sieve, separated the two ingredients, so The Head Gardener could repot the remains.

This evening we dined on a fusion of more of Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with vegetable samosas. Jackie drank Peroni and I opened Jessie’s delicious Georges Duboeuf Fleurie 2016 and drank some of it.






  1. The picture of the toppled pot and umbrella looks too much like a staged scene 🙂 I love the expression of the owl : it say, oh well, that’s what you get when you don’t secure the umbrella!

  2. I once thought I was understanding and relatively clever. However I was amazed by the fact that seeing that red bottlebrush in an English garden came as a surprise. I accept English flowers in an Australian garden, but the reverse really did surprise me even tho’ it is so obvious. What with the gum tree and the New Zealand flax I would feel quite at home in your garden.

    1. You would indeed, we have many antipodean specimens around, several Hebe and Cordyline Australis (wonderful scented flower spikes!) and of course our gum tree! plus many others, non of these were planted by us but I am very grateful to the previous owners who did choose, and plant them for Derrick and me to enjoy!

      1. How nice to get a response from you. I really love your garden. I have just sold my place. Had about three acres of garden but it was too too much. Anyway My wife now lives in Ballarat in a small garden which she will make beautiful and I am in a small one bedroom flat in Melbourne. No garden at all but I have my blog.
        Regards John

  3. Owls seem to be featuring strongly for me today! Remaining silent at times shows great wisdom, that is obviously a most wise old owl you have there and how fortunate your wise friend was not also battered in the gust. Do English snails like the flax as much as kiwi ones do?

  4. You might well think the umbrella asunder
    And the owl might think it a blunder
    But that is the way
    (I hear the flax say)
    We have our umbrellas down under.

  5. Owls may not know everything about nouance … but are such interesting astute and killing characters. May the space be filled with love and creation 💛

  6. The nasty wind has been gusting and creating havoc in the southern United States more than the breezes in central Ohio where I live. It is too bad about broken pottery but so glad the parasol (umbrella) wasn’t above your or Jackie’s head when it took off! Yikes!
    The owl was silent because it was daytime and he knows how to sleep with his eyes open, Derrick. 😉 tee hee!

    1. I am all caught up now with your posts, travelled from recent to past. . .
      Must go now! Spending time with my Mom is fun and relaxing. Blogging is only somewhat part of each of those traits! 😉 ~ Robin 💐

  7. The happenings in your flower-land are much more sought than the strife-laden broadsheets of the morning. Samosas in your plate released certain liquids in my mouth. Thank you, Derrick.

  8. Goodness, Aaron hauls off gigantic pieces of tree! Your garden is so beautiful. I loved the little mound of marigolds, and the foxgloves, of course.

    1. Many thanks, Lisa. As usual, after a couple of hours he had finished what we had given him to do and wanted to know what he could do for the next hour 🙂

  9. I do believe the War Office has some snapdragons growing in our front garden, they are the flowers we used to call ‘bunny rabbits’ as a child,and I still do!

    I don’t believe you can blame the Head Gardener, more the CEO’s fault I’d imagine; and you being, at least I presume you are, the CEO it’s your fault entirely that the damned parasol blew away.

    Perhaps next time you’ll get Aaron to set the thing up properly

  10. We recently had to chop large branches off a tree in our garden and the weight of them made me realise just how dangerous they might have been if the wind had ever blown them onto somebody

    1. Thanks, John. A man I once knew was killed by a branch his neighbour cut down in his own garden. It bounced when it hit the ground, leapt the fence, and struck my colleague’s husband dead.

  11. Your garden is stunning. Darn that wind. And, yes, wise owls know when to speak and when to be silent.

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