An Early Post Box


The Dragon Bed sign

A couple of days ago Jackie made a new sign for The Dragon Bed, and left a photograph on my camera.

Paul and Margery made a brief visit at lunchtime in order to deliver a birthday present ordered from their last exhibition. Both were looking in fine fettle.

Afterwards, Jackie drove us around the forest.

HeatherHeathland floor

Like many other plants this year, the heather seemed to be blooming early.

Ponies and heather 1Heather and poniesPonies and heather 2

Not that the ponies noticed.

Ponies and heather 3

They just kept their eyes on the grass.

Ladywell 1

On the outskirts of Burley we took a pot-holed drive down Tyrell’s Lane,

Ladywell 2

where I was struck by the topiary fronting a house called Ladywell. This reflected the thatched roofing

Peacock thatch

which bears a peacock motif on top.


Next door, Tyrell’s Way’s garden sports a magnificent gunnera.


As I have occasionally mentioned, sheep are inquisitive creatures. This one in a field at the end of Tyrell’s drive, even lifted its head from its grazing at my approach.

Sheep models

This was in stark contrast to the low maintenance ovine mother and child occupying a garden in Furzley, who completely ignored me.

Shetland pony 1Shetland pony 2

Stony Cross Plain, just north of the A31, seems to be the province of Shetland ponies,

Shetland pony 3

one of which thought that a discarded tissue was not to be sniffed at.

Shetland pony foal 2

A recumbent foal

Shetland pony foal

occasionally stirred itself to stand. This creature has become accustomed to flies,

Pony and foal 1

which is more than can be said for its younger cousin at Nomansland, still skipping in confusion at the irritation.

Jackie at Powder Mill post box

A visit to Eyeworth Pond revealed nothing of interest, except for this post box near the Royal Oak, that we had not noticed before. Shultze gunpowder factory operated near the pond from the 1860s until the early 20th century. This receptacle was erected to make the postman’s life easier, in the days before delivery vans. It was recently restored by the Forestry Commission.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s roast chicken, savoury rice, breaded mushrooms, tempura vegetables, and salad. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon/tempranillo.


  1. So many wonderful photos. I love the ponies in the heather (which makes me think of “The Heather on the Hill” from Brigadoon.) ๐Ÿ™‚
    That post box is interesting. I don’t think I would have known what it was.

    Do the plants in the dragon bed have anything to do with dragons, or is it just the sculpture? I just showed my husband Jackie’s garden map, and he is equally impressed.

    1. Thanks very much, Merril. We wouldn’t have known either, but for small explanatory plaque on a post. There are various dragon effigies in the bed, and I believe one plant has a connection. When Jackie reads this, I expect she will clarify.

    2. Finding plants that are ‘Dragon’ related and that will thrive in the shaded, rather dry bed, has been more difficult than I imagined. It was my plan to fill the bed with such aptly named plants. So far I have managed Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’ and, rather feebly, a few Antirrhinum, Snap Dragons of course! Now the Ficus has gone and one of the trees causing some of the shade has been removed to make way for the greenhouse you have inspired me to renew the search!

      1. Thank you for the reply, Jackie. I didn’t know what all the flowers were, so I didn’t know if they had “dragon” names or not. Good luck with your search. I have confidence in you, and I’m sure we will see the results documented on this blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you for planting the image of sniffing at a discarded tissue in my head first thing in the morning – NOT! I’d rather sniff the aroma from Jackie’s deep fryer.

  3. Tonight we dined on soya, garlic, ginger & honey marinated chicken cooked on the BBQ along with fresh corn, a green salad and buttery broccoli. Homemade chocolate ice cream followed for dessert. I drank half of my husband’s “State of Mind Session IPA”. Miffed that he didn’t have the whole thing to himself, he opened and finished #57 on his Canada 150 project (150 craft brews to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday) charmingly named “Ransack the Universe Hemisphere IPA”.

    The forest ponies always delight and the images of them nibbling nimbly around the heather make a body smile.

  4. I am living like a nomad on rationed Internet and time, not that I am sulking any ounce of it. Today’s images are a fascinating lot, right from Jackie’s nameplate for the Dragon Bed, the topiary fronting of Ladywell, the aptly monochromed peacock motif, little sheep and ponies as usual. Thanks for the sojourn.

  5. Antique Furniture Restorations, Islington. Thoroughly enjoyed this trip, and the comments that follow. I found you by accident some time ago when you not only mentioned but included a shot of my Shop in Islington…. and so a link was sent to me. Have been following you ever since, and your photographs which are always a great pleasure to see – but the other thing I enjoy is your wonderfully descriptive language that conveys the whole atmosphere you are experiencing during the trip. Look forward to our next Day Out! Alan Cocks.

  6. There are subtle differences betwixt thee and we in the bucolic sights you show BUT we never see such a sight as that beautiful thatched roof.

  7. Always such a pleasure to read your posts Derrick, beautiful photos too and interesting talk. Loved that post box, but also your little foodie bit at the end of your post, it’s always inspiring!

  8. Those horses and ponies are adorable! Your photo of the Ladywell house. I liked the photo of the pretty, traditional house and beautiful roof
    I really liked the sheep and lamb sculpture lawn statues. I enjoyed the live ones, too.
    I like Jackie’s new Dragon Garden sign with sculpture. It is a very attractive presentation. ๐ŸŒผ ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ’ฎ

      1. I enjoyed every part of my catch up and hope to stay in touch over the weekend (after First Friday’s events downtown here.) โ˜•โ˜•

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