Number 32

One of Aaron’s tasks today was to reinforce the

wobbly posts on the entrance to the Rose Garden,

cerinthes have proliferated by self-seeding.

The Oval Path curves round the bed beyond that entrance.

Shadows fall across the Gazebo and Brick Paths.

The yellow and orange diurnal poppies are preparing for my daily dead-heading routine.

The rejuvenated red Japanese maple rescued first by me and then by Aaron a couple of years ago blends well with honesty and the background camellia.

The eucalyptus enhances a number of views.

A spreading white spirea graces the Palm Bed.

Honesty, bluebells, daffodils, and a variety of daffodils add their points of colour.

Bees busy themselves gathering pollen from the crab apple blossom.

This afternoon we all drove to The Beachcomber at Barton on Sea. This had clearly been a most popular idea. The cafΓ© itself was virtually empty, but the garden was packed out. We managed to find a table and wait for our drinks. A rather wearied staff member would come out with a tray and call the relevant number of the order.

I watched one young gull preening on a rooftop, while

a black headed gull seemed taken aback by the sight of

a most glamorous dog-walker.

Smaller birds, such as sparrows, hoped to find crumbs on the tables.

Bolder starlings emptied the plates of left-overs. When they carried off their prey they were lucky if it was not snatched by the marauding gulls. This group was feasting on the scraps of number 32.

This evening we dined on succulent roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and parsnips; multicoloured carrots; green beans; Yorkshire pudding; sage and onion stuffing; piquant cauliflower cheese; mint sauce; redcurrant jelly; and flavoursome gravy. Jackie and Becky drank Western Cape Chenin Blanc 2018, Ian drank Kronenbourg, Louis drank water, and I drank Moravista Merlot Bonarda 2018.


  1. Is that how big the Japanese Maple gets? I bought one a couple of years ago but made a mistake in planting in the shade. There’s a Piers Forest Flame near it which is doing well, but I guess it is tall enough to get sunlight from over next door’s fence. The other stupid thing I did was run over it with the wheelbarrow, thus performing a bisection. Chris

    1. The red Japanese maple was much bigger and had to be cut down to remove the dead branches. We hope it will return to its previous height. Thanks very much, Chris

    2. They seem to come in all sizes and colours, We have one that thrives under an enormous copper beech tree, only gets late afternoon sun, and is bred to be small, (Sorry don’t have the name.) It is less than 5ft tall.

  2. It’s so nice to see the what the warm weather brings out – though I think it wasn’t only the gull who was startled……. Now is that delightful Louis still helping out in the kitchen and having a generally good time with his hilarious friends?

  3. Lots of glorious photos today Derrick, and definitely my favourite, the rejuvenated red Japanese maple that was rescued, and truly blending beautifuly with the background camellia.

  4. Around here, it would be gulls rather than starlings doing cleanup. I was a little surprised to see the starlings taking away tidbits. I didn’t know they would do that. I’m actually rather fond of them. They have a melodious little call that I find very pleasing.

    Your flowers are really putting on a show. Lovely photos, Derrick.

  5. I didn’t know gulls were such bandits as to rob poor little birds of the crumbs they so hopefully gather. That is indeed a most glamorous family complete with dogs.

  6. Your beautiful photos just made my day Derrick!!

    Look at the sparrows; they do not know what they will do in the next moment.

    Let us literally live from moment to moment.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  7. YAY for warmer weather and birds of a feather! I love how the birds are enjoying some delicious meals!
    I once saw a seagull walk into a store and take a bag of chips…after walking back outside he opened the bag and had a go at the chips. πŸ™‚ I laughed! πŸ˜€
    Aaron sure is a good garden-helper! And does wonderful work!
    HUGS and Hope you all had a Happy Easter!!! πŸ™‚
    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

  8. Such a wonderful garden and it is definitely coming into it’s own!

    I love the iridescent sheen of the spotted starlings. πŸ™‚ The starlings certainly weren’t starving. πŸ˜‰

  9. Excellent photos.
    The birds stealing food reminds me on having breakfast by the sea in Northern Cyprus and the birds were stealing all the food, so you could hardly eat. πŸ™‚

  10. In nature, nothing goes to waste, and those birds were proving the point. Those black-headed gulls are handsome. And the garden…beautiful as always.

  11. The symphony of colors and shapes in your garden is glorious, Derrick.
    P.S. I have never seen poppies of colors other than red; your yellow and orange ones seem much less dramatic, but more joyful.

      1. Can’t wait to see them. I was out this morning fighting the aphids on my new plants. Soap and water seems to work at this stage.

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