Aaron’s main task this morning was taking shrubs in hand.

He began with the camellia beside the Dead End Path. He pruned lower branches to lift the plant which has continued to bloom for at least two months.

The prolific Compassion rose has persistently refused to drape the arch spanning this path. Our friend from A.P. Maintenance therefore staked it up enabling it to continue in the direction in which it is determined to lurch. Here he discusses the finished project with the Head Gardener.

Finally he tidied the viburnum Plicata.

Last autumn Aaron had heavily pruned the roses in the Rose Garden, except for Rosarie de la Haie which is the only one currently fully in bloom. The host of heucheras brighten the borders and buds adorn the other specimens.

Elsewhere rhododendrons, phlox, honesty and aquilegias thrive; white clematis Marie Boisselot is opening out and diurnal yellow poppies demanded dead-heading.

This evening we dined on tempura prawns followed by Jackie’s spicy pork paprika and savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot Bonarda.


  1. Iโ€™ve got now two year old lilac bush that had shrunk a foot each year as Iโ€™ve had to prune away deadwood. It is now about 36โ€ tall. This spring I decided to put it out of its (my?) misery and rip it out, but Thor begged me not to because he likes its (only) purple blossom. Argh. Okay, it now has a 12 month reprieve.

  2. Your garden is a work of wonder. The rhododendrons, phlox, honesty and aquilegias are my favorites. So beautiful! In our Montana yard where only the daffodil and a few crocus plus one lonely tulip add any hint of color, the proliferation of color from your garden feeds my needy spring senses. Thank you!

  3. I treated myself to new secateurs this weekend. Im desperately trying to steal a few hours to prune the errant bougainvillea in particular.
    Prawns… A good supper Derrick. I made a lamb curry.

  4. My mother was a keen gardener and sheโ€™d have loved your garden, as do I. Congratulations to your Head Gardener.

    1. Yes so great! He has come into his own this spring, I have really needed him !

  5. Your weather looks so much better than ours. We’ve had a stormy weekend. The camellia is perfection! That top photo would make a beautiful greeting card.

  6. Beautiful Camelias… and i love the lone, lingering Bluebell in the bed with the heucheras and rose.

    Tempura prawns! – one of my very favourites… now i feel hungry!

  7. Aaron is such a wonderful helper! I know he and The Head Gardener teach each other and work together and, OH! their results are beautiful! Marie Boisselot is lovely! And you captured her portrait well!
    Does Jackie use a tempura mix (from a box) or does she have her own recipe? I love tempura but have never attempted it from scratch. I should google some recipes.
    Sunday was Cinco de Mayo in our neck of the woods, so we celebrated with our dear Mexican friends and had Mexican food.
    HUGS for all!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. After killing rose bushes all my life, I dared to purchase a peach-colored on about a week ago. Due to heavy rain, the flowers have disappeared and my better-half is nervous about me pruning the now dead remains of those flowers. What do Aaron and the Head Gardener say about me doing this now that we are nearly in our summer weather?

  9. I’ve learned over my gardening years that pruning is probably the most important care you can give a plant. And just look at the results! I’m looking forward to another summer of mouth-watering pictures of your garden!

  10. I LOVE camellias! Unfortunately, where I live now does not have a climate conducive to the gorgeous shrub. I shall enjoy them through your photographs.

  11. Good pruning is such a combination of skill and knowledge. I’m always cautious with it, but it’s nice to see it done well!

Leave a Reply