Checking Out The Venue


Canna lily

Late this morning sunlight burst onto the canna lily given to us by Helen Keenan.

Bee on dahlia

The garden beyond was alive with the buzzing of bees

Small White butterfly on hanging basket

and fluttering butterflies like this Small White three quarters of the way up the lines of a hanging basket

Comma butterfly 1Comma butterfly 2

or this Comma hiding in the shadows.

Dahlia 1

The dahlia in the first picture is one of those

Patio plants

supported by the white pedestal in the patio.

Dappled stable door

Dappled starlight seemed to brighten the Stable Door.

Marguerites, petunias, bidens

Marguerites, petunias, and bidens continue to bloom on the edge of the Dragon Bed;


deep violet petunias spill from the Iron Urn;

Geraniums and petunias

while pale pink striped ones accompany similar hued geraniums on the

Cryptomeria Bed

Cryptomeria Bed also sporting Hot Lips salvias.

Dahlia 2

More dahlias continue to bloom alongside the Dead End Path,

New Bed

and in the New Bed.

Ginger lily

A Canna lily lifts its flaming torch over the Palm Bed;

Rose Garden

Blue Ming Marvellous campanula once more lives up to its punning name in the Rose Garden;

Rudbeckia, New Zealand flax, grass

New Zealand flax, rudbeckia, and the remains of a crocosmia Lucifer still provide a sinuous sweep in the Palm Bed;

Clematis Comtesse de Bouchard

and clematis Comtesse de Bouchard flounces once more over the gazebo.

Sedum and fuchsia

Sedum, fuchsias

Herbaceous Border 1Herbaceous Border 2

and asters parade along the herbaceous border.

Weeping Birch

An orange begonia hangs before the Weeping Birch, the leaves of which appear to confirm that summer really is thinking about departing.

This afternoon we drove out to the other Downton, near Salisbury in Wiltshire, in order to checkout the route to the venues for Rachel and Gareth’s wedding on Saturday. The service is to be held at Timberley Lane, Redlynch, which was our first stop. From there we travelled to Barford Park Farm, where the reception is booked.


Cattle grazed in the field

Cattle, Barford Park Farm entrance

on one side of the entrance drive.

Landscape 1Landscape 2Landscape 3

The fields on the opposite side of Barford Lane basked in the warm sunshine. What a shame that the forecast for this area on the wedding day is continual rain.

Driving through:

Lover sign

Telephone Box Book Box

on our way home, we noticed that the village public telephone box has now been converted to a book exchange.

Books 1Books 2

Naturally we rummaged for romantic novels.

Jackie's choice of book

Jackie all but made off with her favourite find.


The cricket season has ended, but ponies still carry out groundsmen’s duties on the outfield at Nomansland.

The Green Dragon 1The Green Dragon 2The Green Dragon pub sign

We stopped for a drink at The Green Dragon, Brook, then continued on home.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese, crunchy carrots, new potatoes, and runner beans. I drank more of the malbec.


  1. Love the colours of the rudbeckia and flex etc,; the borders look great.

    Those book exchanges are showing up everywhere here too. I keep forgetting to put some books out.

    Dinner sounds yummy.

  2. England, my England … your pictures speak straight to my heart and remind me that I will never really leave. The book exchange idea seems to have legs and I am so delighted that it does. On that note, I shall leave you in peace to dream of that England, forever tattooed on my heart ❀️

  3. Sigh. The garden is beautiful, the countryside is beautiful, Jackie is beautiful, the pub building is beautiful. Even the dragon sign is beautiful ……….. And there’s a village called ‘Lover’ πŸ™‚

  4. Photo after photo–just beautiful, Derrick. I love the Green Dragon sign. Is the Lover sign on the route to the wedding?
    The phone booth book exchange is great.

  5. The images taken around Barford Lane and The Green Dragon, Brooke are brilliant. The book exchange booth is a heartwarming idea. Jackie seems to have hit cloud nine!

  6. So enjoyed both trips – the garden (looking good thanks to the Head Gardener and that other chap involved! I believe you know him well! πŸ™‚ and so great to see the countryside though your lens!
    What a great use for the old phone booth!

  7. Your gardens continue to look so lovely into the autumn, Derrick and Jackie. I love the converted telephone box, and the countryside on the way to the wedding is beautiful!

  8. Love that picture of Jackie!! Ha! And the idea of conversion of a telephone box into a library is great. Though I miss public telephones over here…so few left. As you may have seen in my posts, people in my area often build sidewalk-facing free libraries in wooden boxes on posts–or in old-fashioned mailboxes marked: “Free Book Library.” Some are decorative as well as useful. Always fun to see what people are reading.

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