Life And Death

This morning I employed several efforts at procrastination to defer my tackling the installation of the new Epson Perfection V850 Pro scanner. Included were reading a book, dead-heading roses, and a bit of clearing in the garden.
Eventually, I got down to it, and am happy to say managed the job. I suspect the discs I was most scared of were actually for a Microsoft PC, because it seems the downloads were done on line with a Mac. Maybe Elizabeth will be able to enlighten me when she returns from a visit to Mum’s. A little sister is maybe a good enough replacement for a grandchild.

This afternoon I celebrated by wandering round the garden, which has reaped the benefits of Jackie’s splendid Autumn Clean.

She has weeded and swept paths including the Brick one.

Our colchicums, or Autumn crocuses, continue to spread each year.

The echinacea, however, are not doing so well. Jackie has tried these several times. None have survived, and these don’t look very well. Apparently they are prone to succumbing to sudden unexplained demise. Maybe the botanical world’s version of cot death.

We have many dahlias,

and numerous varieties of fuchsia. Bees were constantly diving into them. Here one grapples with Mrs Popple.

Another busy pollen gatherer swings on a yellow bidens.

Opulent begonias abound.

More dead-heading, as in Absolutely Fabulous was now required in the Rose Garden. Here we have the life-span of these blooms in one shot. Youngsters await their turn to beguile;

while blousy middle-age embraces a spider enswathing its prey, thus completing an opera of life and death.


and Golden Showers

scale the arbour.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy beef in red wine; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots, and tender runner beans from the garden. My wife drank Hoegaarden, my sister, Becks Blue, and I, Albali reserva 2012.


  1. yinga – I love your garden (sorry if I have said it before – but so nice) and the crocus is my fav picture of this post – they are lit up and seem cheery and well – as you noted they are spreading – they are quite happy there
    and sorry about the echinacea

      1. Thanks Jackie, I was amazed at just how much extra garden space was revealed when I removed the hedge, about sixty square feet of growing space. Tomatoes are finished now and we are well stocked up on chutney!

    1. When I was a jobbing gardener I once cut down an ancient forsythia with a trunk 2″ across, left it for a couple of weeks and then used a section of it as a marker for the newly dug veg patch. Over winter it actually rooted and in spring it bloomed. The customer never let me forget it.

  2. Echinacea never survive beyond the year of planting for me. They are extremely expensive annuals. I read somewhere that the way to get them over a winter is to chop all the blooms off and get the plant focused on establishing a good root system in year one. I’ll be brave enough if Jackie is….!!

  3. I’ve never seen colchicums before, I must look out for some for our garden for next year (when do they need planting for first flowering?) Lovey post, Derrick. I took my time reading and looking at the photos, I may pop back tomorrow and click to see them larger. πŸ™‚

  4. It seems that despite your best efforts at procrastination, you got quite a lot accomplished today. πŸ™‚
    The autumn cleaning has paid off–the garden looks wonderful–although honestly, it always does to me through your photos. The flowers are stunning.

  5. A few years ago I heard that all the genetically altered echinacea is prone to a fungus in the soil PLUS they seem to have transmigrated into an annual or at best biennial…. You have to find the old style to get the real perennial. In your scenic shots the garden looks chocolate box ready!! <3

    1. OK I will chop off all the flowers (as suggested by ‘Rusty Duck’ ) and water with fungicide. This is the third and last Echinacea I am EVER buying!

      1. Like Pauline I’ve also read that the species are the most reliable. Perhaps we should go for the straight Echinacea purpurea next year, if the flower chopping doesn’t work.The new colours are so lovely though, hard to resist!

  6. Sounds like you all are getting a lot done today! πŸ™‚
    All of the flowers are beautiful! And the roses make me smile!
    I’ve always considered it an honor to watch the birth, life, changes, and death in nature…plants, flowers, trees, etc.
    Yes, some people are way better with tech stuff than others. And children seem to be the most tech-savvy! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  7. It’s so odd that your echinacea is not doing well, since here we are, our gardens half a world apart, with echinacea plants that are both ailing! It did fine until the end of June, and simply withered away, poor thing! Oh, well, must be a bad year for it…

  8. Ahhhhhhhh! How marvelous! I’ve had my hit of wonderfulness from your beautiful garden and it’s flowers. Now to sleep and dream of days when mine will once again come alive with glory! Love and hugs, N πŸ™‚ <3 xoxo

  9. It is a profound post, aching with beauty and transience of life. The breathtaking beauty of your garden whispers of backbreaking work about it. Congratulations for your new toy and the successful implementation.

      1. My departed father was also a hobbyist farmer. Sometimes he would order us to hoe and weed the corn or vegetable beds for hours under the sun. He would wear a merciless countenance to cope with our glances begging him to set us free. Can’t say we enjoyed those outings, but the crops and vegetables would flourish after that.

  10. Glad to see your garden is still going strong. I like the view of the path leading to the house – very pretty – and the all ages in one rose. Reassure me you are not withholding alcohol from your little sis until she has solved your computer problem.

  11. You’ve found the perfect word to describe your begonias. They are truly opulent. Also, cute how you manage a dig at your sister and her tech talents. Sibling rivalry is all part of the opera of life and death. Your wry sense of humour always makes me smile.

  12. Congratulations on the printer-ly stuff. πŸ™‚ … I think the CD’s are just there as a ‘backup’ in the event that the user can’t, horror of horrors, access the internet and do the installation that way.

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