Watering And Planting

Yesterday evening we met Becky and Ian at the Darbar restaurant in Emsworth. This was an excellent venue for our dinner. Inspired by the food of the Moguls the meals were quite unusual with aromatic spice blends; the service was friendly, tactful, and efficient. Jackie’s choice of main course was paneer shashlik; mine was goat and potato curry. We both enjoyed them very much. I also tried some of Ian’s creamy mild chicken curry. I’m not sure what Becky chose. We shared onion bahjis, plain parathas, and spinach and pilau rices. Becky drank Diet Coke, Jackie Kingfisher, and Ian and I Cobra. The enjoyable visit was completed when we drove on to our daughter and son-in-law’s flat in Southbourne to admire Becky’s artistic arrangements and refurbishments.

It is amazing that, in mid-May, we need to water the garden. The skies remained overcast but we received no rain.

My task today was to run the hose down the Back Drive and spray Aaron’s planting of yesterday. Allowing the hose to carry out its work in stages gave me the opportunity to wander round with the camera.

This foxglove is visible in the first of the drive pictures.

Clematises that have not featured before include the one on an obelisk just outside the Rose Garden; another Doctor Ruppel beside the Weeping Birch; and one sharing the Ace Reclaim arch in the Rose Garden with Zéphirini Drouin and

Crown Princess Margareta, beneath whom

sits Jacqueline du Pré.

Madame Alfred Carriere welcomes visitors to her domain.

The peach rose in the Oval Bed has really taken off this year.

It romps to the right of this view from the concrete patio; with Its partner to the left it came came with the house. The oriental poppies in the foreground are situated in the Weeping Birch Bed

which also houses this Sweet William.

The New Bed lies on the corner of the Back Drive; at the other end of the garden the bed before the wisteria arbour has filled out nicely.

This powder blue iris stands fronting the grass patch;

our white flowers also include antirrhinums

and Hawkshead fuchsias.

Bees, like this one diving into a geranium, continue to plunder pollen.

Hot lips now splash lipstick impressions over the Cryptomeria Bed.

The bench at the far end of the Dead End Path is never sat on. This is because it is generally covered in pigeon poop. Jackie has therefore filled it with decorative container planting which should mature nicely in the coming weeks.

This afternoon Elizabeth visited with her friend Franz for beverages and convivial conversation.

This evening we dined on moist chicken Kiev; tasty ratatouille including butternut squash; crisp cauliflower; and creamy mashed potatoes with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.


  1. You have a beautiful garden. I know it’s a lot of work but it looks so effortlessly put together and natural. Your photos do it justice. Once again, compliments to the Head Gardiner.

  2. I laughed at the thought and the sight of white fuchsias. It seems like such a contradiction in terms, but they surely are beautiful.

  3. Those clematis blooms remind me how much I like that climbing beauty – and the poppy sure stands out – also – good idea to put a planter on the bench that is loaded with droppings.
    And just curious – what are the top tips for someone starting a small new garden bed?

    1. From the Head Gardener: Test the soil; make sure you plant what it likes and vice versa; enrich and feed if necessary; look in neighbours’ gardens to see what is growing well; be aware of sun direction; how much light and shade? (Incidentally our New Bed is now 2/3 years old – we put lots of compost in). Thanks very much, Yvette.

  4. Such beauty in your garden, Derrick and your descriptions complement the photographs so well! We had a very little rain today; welcome but not enough!

  5. It sounds like you had a lovely evening last night, and a pleasant day in your garden today. The close-up of the foxglove is stunning, but then so are the photos following. The names of the roses and your descriptions always make me smile.

  6. We’ve had somewhat of the same experience with rain this spring…it was cool and dry. But last week the rains were back, and the gardens said, “Ahhhhh”. I love that your roses are blooming again!

  7. And I have been wondering all these days why you hardly ever mention pigeon poops! The close up shots of foxgloves and antirrhinums are marvellous.

  8. Time spent with beloved ones, and time spent in nature…Oh, so good…healing for the heart and soul…bringing joy and peace!
    The color of the clematis…so rich and beautiful!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  9. Wonderful photos again today Derrick That garden is a delight! 🙂

    I love the shot of the pollen diving bee, and those poppy buds look so full of promise!

    So many glorious (and ‘Royal’) roses. Albino fuchsias! Who’d a thought such a thing?? 🙂

    What are the curious brown leaved plants on the right of the Dead End path?? I think they are flowering?

    1. Emsworth now has three Indian restaurants, three Chinese takeaways, one fish n chips, a kebab shop and an Italian restaurant. As well as eight pubs and 10 coffee shop/cafés. The rest is hairdressers and estate agents. Ooh and a tattoo artists called One For Ya Mum!

  10. Thank goodness you can do photography and show off the garden and forest journeys! (My photography talent leaves a lot to be desired.)

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