The Bit Between Her Teeth

Each morning at dawn, as I work on my laptop, I watch pigeons

sizing each other up on the telephone cables,

or atop the blighted oak on the opposite side of Christchurch Road.

Later in the morning, Jackie walked into the garden to bring back photographs of her cyclamens lining the Head Gardener’s Walk.

Having got the bit between her teeth she continued with daffodils,

with camellias,

and with hellebores.

Our sister in law, Frances, came over for a visit this afternoon. This was very supportive.

Later, Sam joined us from Australia. We enjoyed fond reminiscences punctuating our shared sadness.

We dined on Jackie’s splendid cottage pie, crisp carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage, leaks, and runner beans. I managed a small portion.


  1. What a wonderful introduction to spring! Looks like Jackie will have a great gardening year! Hope your recovery is speedy. It’s so important to take it slow, Derrick.

  2. The garden looks beautiful! The flowers are so cheerful. I like the dragon overseeing them.
    I’m glad you are feeling a little bit better.

  3. Thank goodness for your garden, Derrick. Good to have it and have family to support you and Jackie in this difficult time.

    On a completely different note, I thought cyclamen only grew in grocery stores for that’s the only place I’ve ever seen them. They look stunning in your garden.

  4. I’m so glad to hear Sam has joined you – that must be a great comfort! It’s also lovely to see signs of Spring coming up in your garden and that dragon is rather wonderful. Interestingly dragons are on my list of things to draw and paint this month……….

  5. Ah, Jackie has got the photography thing going on. Great photos! Our Spring garden show so far is a few sad daffodil leaves regretting their emergence into our snowy world. But the birds sound like spring in the morning, so I live on that promise.

    Glad your family continues to surround you both, as do our thoughts and love.

  6. I absolutely adore hellebores–and I’d never seen them before I started blogging. They have such a variety and just wonderful shapes. I must have some. Yours are gorgeous, and I was able to name them before I saw the caption. I’m learning every day…..Is one allowed to send seeds via the mail? I especially love the featured one–dark magenta or maroon. And the very last pink freckled one. But, I love them all. How is it that I’d never seen one before a few years ago when someone featured them on her blog. Since then Cee has shown them as well.

    1. I only came across them a few years ago when I was seeking shade-loving plants. I’m not sure about posting seeds, but I am sure a plants supplier would be able to tell you. Thanks very much, Judy.

  7. How good to have family and friends to be with you in support and love.

    I love to bird-watch. We get some pigeons on our rooftops.
    Jackie’s flowers are so beautiful! I love looking at how their petals are different shapes, sizes, colors, etc! πŸ™‚
    The owl peeping out is so cute! πŸ™‚

    I hope you are feeling better today, Derrick!

  8. The support from family and extended family is really important in such difficult times. I am glad you have good people around you Derrick.
    It’s been a week since my father-in-law passed away. The way people supported us is incredible. We are really thankful.

  9. The support of friends and family is indeed comforting. We loved your dragon, he looks so majestic. Coincidentally we are in the midst of reading a series of dragon books. The photo felt rather apt.

  10. the second picture.. I really enjoyed .. set a mood on its own…. I confess to being a tad jealous that your growing season has already begun, still looking out at mounds of snow here. big hugs

  11. I love your arrangement of the photos. I really felt as if I was walking through your garden. So wonderful while the snowbank on the eastside of my house is halfway up my window. Your lovely photos gave me hope.

  12. I’ve never really liked hellebores, but could change my mind after seeing Jackie’s. Great photos too Jackie. (If you can cook, garden and photograph I’m sure you can put a few words together on life with Derrick. I bet it would be worth reading!)

  13. Such a gorgeous tour of your garden. Thank you, Derrick. As we sit here in -20 to a high of -5 degrees here in Montana, I am especially appreciative of your gorgeous flower photos. I love the cyclamen. We had them in our yard when we lived in CA. No chance of their survival here. Thank you for bringing some much-needed spring to us. Bless you! So glad you have family members coming to lend their support and shared memories with you during this time of loss and sorrow. May your memories of happy days and your faith see you through this time. <3

  14. Those beautiful flowers certainly lifted my spirits Derrick, i hope they do the same for you and Jackie, Pass my thanks to Jackie for the pics. πŸ™‚

  15. I echo the other comments: So glad Sam was able to join you. Those flowers are lovely, and I am especially fond of cyclamens. In Maine, I’ve never seen anyone grow them in a garden. Only in posts.

  16. We travel south today for Mardi Gras. After Ash Wednesday, we will scoot over to the Gulf where I planted 100 daffodils. I hope some remain in. bloom. These photos are sending me to research if hellebores will thrive there. e

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