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Leaving their van in our front drive
and their slip-on shoes outside the door,
Barry and Owen, who are New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs, having first serviced Mistletoe Cottage next door, provided us with their trademark clean and efficient job.
A dust sheet is laid down;
face-masks making father, Barry, and son, Owen, sound like Star Wars stormtroopers are applied;
a shield is fitted into place, and the soot vacuumed out, leaving the room spotless. As you can see, there was no need to cover furniture. The job was completed and the equipment cleared away in about an hour. If you need a chimney sweep look no further than http://www.findachimneysweep.co.uk/sweeps/new-forest-1-cg-7641-qualified/?area=&service=
This afternoon we met Elizabeth at Lavender Farm at Landford, where we wandered around, enjoyed refreshments, and purchased a few plants.
Beside the car park lies a very long greenhouse on the inside of the glass windows of which tiny trail-blazing cartographers have etched uncharted territory.
Apart from the many plants laid out for sale, there are a number of more formal herbaceous borders;
various climbing roses;
splendid displays such as these salvias placed in a bed in the midst of a brick path. Jackie, in red, investigates plants for sale in the background of the first view, while Elizabeth approaches in the second.
Glorious gladioli abound. This example is embraced by one of the many metal sculptures.
Potted banana trees have been reduced in price.
Unusually this elderly gaura stands guardsman erect.
There is a large freely planted area through which it is possible to wander,
or run around among the lavender.
Many visitors come to spend a pleasant time seated at table with friends, tea, coffee, and cakes.
A spectacularly colourful coleus
sat in a shiny bright blue pot close to our table. A sparrow walked around it. The background blackboard already advertised Christmas lunch.
Elizabeth couldn’t eat all her scone, which was broken up and tossed on the decking for the little bird and its companions.
Some of the dining areas were under cover, such as one sheltered by a thick transparent plastic material. As I passed this, a mother, exclaiming “Look. That man’s taking photographs”, brought her daughter to peer through it. She was amused at the result.
Before Elizabeth returned home, the three of us dined on Jackie’s superb spicy lamb jalfrezi with fried onion rice, followed by chocolate eclairs and vanilla ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; Elizabeth, alcohol free Becks; and I finished the Fleurie.