Before The Storm

Threatened with a thunderstorm, after two lengthy dead-heading sessions, I wandered around the garden while Jackie continued with her general tidying and maintenance work.

The blooms in these images of the Rose Garden and the bed at its entrance are identified in the titles of the galleries, each of which can be accessed by a click.

The Shady Path runs between the Dragon the the Palm Beds. The kniphofia and fuchsia occupy the Dragon Bed. The poppies are volunteers having forced their way through the gravel.

Day lilies, sweet Williams, lobelia, more poppies, and geranium palmatums are found in the section of the Dragon Bed alongside the greenhouse.

Day lilies, fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, geraniums, and clematis Marie Boisselot all make their contributions to the Kitchen Bed.

Supported by the Gothic Arch, Wedding Day now flowers above the Brick Path.

More day lilies and a fuchsia thrive in what we now call the Grass Bed.

Here are the current views down the Phantom Path;

from the Concrete Patio to the Oval Bed;

and over the stepping stones in the Cryptomeria Bed through to Margery’s Bed.

By early evening the skies were oppressively leaden, but the storm had held off when we drove into the forest.

On Undershore,

Gilpins is blessed with a quite magnificent cornus, which arlingwoman, below, has identified as Kausa.

On a particularly dark section of Church Lane a trainee rider loomed up out of the murk ahead of us.

Further on a deer dashed out of the light into the dark.

As we arrived at Tanners Lane a pair of kayakers were coming in to land.

There was a distinct dearth of donkeys, ponies and other wildlife in all the spots where we would expect to see them. We came to the conclusion that they had tuned in to the weather forecast and were lying low.

This evening we dined on perfect pork chops; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender green beans; and tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Squinzano Reserva 2014.


  1. I will echo koolkosherkitchen’s comment in hoping your garden is not damaged by the storm. All of those beds and paths are so beautiful. The animals are wise to listen to the weather forecast. We’re expecting thunderstorms later tonight, too.

  2. It is perfection!! Apparently the weather gods don’t like perfection and will send in a the wind and rain and other baddies to do a little tweaking. But I know Jackie has their measure!!

  3. I’ve noticed you always eat plenty of vegetables. Do you have a veggie patch in that gorgeous garden?

    1. You may notice a few runner beans mingling with the roses and clematis, and the odd ‘Gardeners delight’ tomato plant nestled among the petunias, apart from that, I am surrounded by farm shops! and veg are so reasonably priced, that I preserve my energy for flowers and plants!

      1. Understandable! Congratulations on your wonderful garden. It’s clearly a labour of love.

  4. Storms have been holding off here but overcast almost all day. My garden doesn’t look a sixteenths as lovely as yours, but I did spadework all morning.

  5. Something about the surprise of the grass patch endears it to me. And it looks so well groomed. And that dogwood is quite a specimen! Cornus Kousa, I think, which a few people have around here in place of native dogwoods, which are disease prone. Your meal, as usual, sounds delicious.

    1. Sometimes. The first two years we were in the forest it rained almost daily and we were told by local relatives that that was unusual. Thanks a lot, Brian

  6. Your garden is at its full glory, and each bunch of flowers has its own story to tell. Ponies and donkeys have their own system of weather forecasts that probably fail rarely.

  7. Your garden is simply glorious, and full, as a garden should be. It’s what I’m aiming for in mine (but perhaps not quite the same plants) and it all takes time.

  8. We had torrential rain yesterday and it’s raining again today and despite the thunder storm forecast, it never arrived.
    I showed daughter Sophie (a keen gardener) your lovely garden, she now has garden envy!

  9. Love the details tour of your beautiful garden!
    Hope the storm is not TOO stormy or “mean”…hope you all, and your garden, are safe!
    Great deer capture!
    Yes, the animals can sense the weather changes and other things. I’ve always said, “If I’m heading in to a space and all of the creatures are heading out…I’m gonna’ turn around and follow them!” 😮 😉
    HUGS!!! 🙂

      1. Oh, I’m so glad the rain was not damaging! 🙂
        We get some wild July storms, so won’t be long now. 😮
        As for the animals…HA…I figure there must be something they are trying get away from…so, I’m gonna’ follow them! 😉

  10. I love thunder and lightning storms, Derrick, but yesterday it was right above us. One crack of thunder sent the dogs flying upstairs, I hurtled out the bedroom to meet them and the daughter almost catapulted out of her attic room! 😀
    Is there a story behind the Phantom Path?

    1. Thanks a lot, Lesley – now I know you didn’t suffer damage. The Phantom Path is named after an eponymous hydrangea which will be featured when it is in bloom

  11. p.s. Having now read everyone’s comments it looks like the thunder storm honed in on County Durham alone. lol It set loads of security alarms off, ours included, but as far as I know there wasn’t any serious damage.

  12. Great glorious globules of colour and green in the garden! 🙂

    I hope no ill wind blows!!

    Those fluffy poppies are just amazing!

  13. You live in a beautiful environment Derrick, waking up each day and walking through your gardens, and seeing the beauty you have created is a treasure mate, a pleasure to view your efforts and any thanks for sharing your creations.

  14. Seeing these photos reminded me again of how much you and Jackie have transformed the garden. I am still tickled that you name everything: the paths, the arches, the separate sections, even the lovely patch of grass. What profusion of sumptuous growth and colour.

  15. The wild things can always be trusted to know what’s going on before us domesticated folk. Hope all was well. 🙂 … is is just me or have there been an inordinate number of storms there this year?

  16. I love your gardens and the forest drives!

    We have had a couple of thunderstorms here already, and more forecast for this afternoon. Fortunately we have not had hail, yet.

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