How He Hinders

In yesterday’s fading evening light Jackie photographed

her helianthuses Lemon Queen, complete with bee, against the phormium and mahonia reaching for the gentle sky.

Today’s skies resembled damp fleece and the air was fairly breezy. She spent the morning attempting to get on with her planting. She managed two in as many hours, including a

delicate blue and white petrovskia and an ailing

similarly hued campanula.

You might have a couple of questions about this. Why still planting new additions? And why ailing specimens? That is because this is the season that the garden centres are virtually giving away stocks and Jackie operates an excellent floral hospital service. Not only that, but the need for soil replenishment in preparation for the winter means that multiple trips to buy compost are required and it is not possible to pass up special offers whilst she is at it.

A further question might be why at the rate of just one per hour? This is where her little friend comes in.

He has various hampering techniques.

Whenever she digs a hole he plants himself on it;

whenever she tackles a root he offers assistance;

he dives between her legs;

and is continually under her feet.

Now, “Where’s Nugget?” (20).

Apart from a short break for her own lunch, Jackie spent the entire day in the company of her little robin.

This evening, while Nugget tucked into mashed peanuts outside the back door, the real humans dined on Jackie’s flavoursome liver and bacon casserole with champ and cabbage, with which she drank Blue Moon and I drank more of the Shiraz.


  1. This dear tiny robin has developed so much trust in Jackie – it is delight to witness it through your photos and prose. I see he is also now learning how to pose effectively using the greenery as fetching drapery πŸ™‚

  2. β€˜Hospital floral service’…I love that! Nugget is a treasure and has provided your readers with a great deal of enjoyment.

  3. I love this episode of “Where’s Nugget?” He looks like he is hiding on purpose! He is such a character. And poor Jackie must be watching her every move for fear that he will literally get under foot. Nugget makes me smile every day.

  4. I presume you’re making plans for Nugget to move in over the winter. Some snug, interior quarters would suit him just fine, I think. Next you’ll be serving him his peanuts from fine china in the dining room — and I wouldn’t quibble with that one bit.

  5. I love Nugget!! OK, the notion of a hospital for plants is very appealing because Jackie has a similar nature to my gardener’s. He wouldn’t think of throwing away a plant when he try to transform it.

  6. Jackie will continue to work her magic on all of the plants! Her tender loving care is healing and helps them to not only survive, but thrive!

    I really think Nugget is TRYING to be a helper! He just loves Jackie so much he wants to be as close as he can! πŸ˜€ Come cold weather you might find him perched in the house on YOUR chair, saying, “Sorry, sir, but you’re gonna’ have to find yourself somewhere else to perch yourself!” πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ HA! πŸ˜›

    YUM, I love liver! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  7. Loved the helianthuses (and the petrovska) – did you also spot the flying bee in the 2nd pic?

    Nugget certainly enters the spirit of the Where’s Nugget competition now! He also seems to ‘hinder’ his Mum by taking up her time capturing him for posterity, and the adoration and appreciation of his many blog followers! πŸ˜‰ (For which i am deeply grateful!) I wonder if he would like some macadamia??

    Bigification was not required to find him today, but as always, i chose to. πŸ™‚

  8. I enjoyed seeing how Nugget “helped.” My cats sometimes help me, too. πŸ˜‰
    He is adorable though, and I’m sure Jackie enjoys the company while she is doing her plant magic.

  9. I enjoyed Jackie’s ‘Lemon Queen’ pictures and am willing to believe Nugget is holding her back as much as the pictures suggest, but I can’t believe she was drinking Blue Moon. I tried one in the US and couldn’t finish it.

  10. The retail store I worked for would sell ‘late season’ shrubs and trees at super low prices. We did have a clearence rack for plants that came in to us damaged. I think Nugget knows that where Jackie is working, he will find food.

  11. Nugget is no ordinary bird. His desire to help reminds me of our dear departed Australian Shepherd Mix, Beep. Whenever David would dig up anything, she would help him vigorously and hunt for worms. She must have believed worm hunting was the main point of any digging.

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