Decidedly Not Smart

A number of terra cotta and yellow kniphofias have self-seeded at various places in the garden and have recently chosen to bloom rather late. These are in the Kitchen Bed, accompanied by hibiscus, petunias, Japanese anemones and fennel.

This begonia and the pelargonium are recovering from near death with the benefit of Jackie’s tender care.

Like the white Marie Boisselot glimpsed in the bottom of the Kitchen Bed picture, this pink and blue clematis and the wisteria are producing their third flushes of the year.

I paused, this morning, to photograph this happy planting of pelargoniums, fuchsias, and Japanese anemones in the front garden before embarking into the car for a trip to Woodpeckers to visit

Mum, now well enough settled into her room to have hung her favourite pictures, one of which is a drawing I made in about 1958 when my sister would have been four and I would have been sixteen years of age.

It portrays Elizabeth watching the family’s first decidedly not smart dodgy black and white TV set.

Leaving Mum to her lunch we took a diversion around Burley on our way home for ours. On Bisterne Close we trailed a young woman riding a white horse.

Although dull, it was another warm day, which brought out flies again prompting ponies to cluster under the trees.

Jackie spent the afternoon in the company of her avian under-gardener who continually converses in the sweetest, almost imperceptible gentle whisper. We can just watch his throat pulsating. He spent some time in the cryptomeria above her head, dropping down to a terra cotta lantern beside her.

Now, “Where’s Nugget?” (21)

This evening we dined at The Wheel in Bowling Green. The food and service were as good as ever. We both chose tempura prawns as starters, with salad so fresh as to have possibly been immediately picked from the garden. Jackie’s main course was thick meaty burger with chunky chips, salad, and onion rings; mine was an excellently cooked rib eye steak with chips, mushroom, tomato, peas, and onion rings. Jackie drank a guest lager which we can’t remember and I drank a good Malbec.

When we arrived a robin greeted us from a hedge in the car park. For a moment we wondered whether Nugget had arrived before us.

Back at home I watched the recorded highlights of the first day of the final Ashes Test match.


  1. Now that would have been interesting – if Nugget had accompanied you out for dinner! Have you gotten to the stage where you can identify him in a group of robins? He’s looking very healthy and round in his close ups. I love that he whispers to you constantly, so lovely! What a treat to have your very own free bird willingly bonded to you. Ain’t life grand!

    1. I love it and feel honoured to be his ‘pig’ I must admit that he is a distraction, and on more than one occasion he was down the hole I had dug for the plant I was putting in, and I had to wait ’til he was finished before planting!

      1. Heaven forbid you inadvertantly plant the robin! It’s one of those Catch22 situations isn’t it – like my elderly cat who sees me going somewhere, crosses in front of me at right angles then slows his pace and precedes me in a stately fashion……… it makes me smile and go ‘Grrrrr’ at the same time.

    2. Grand, indeed, Pauline. Jackie can certainly distinguish between Nugget and others. Strangely enough, we saw three more on our travels today. At one time I would have photographed them…. Thanks very much

  2. Jackie must be feeding Nugget some of her excellent meals…he’s looking a little chunky! He’s certainly not camera shy. Wow! You are quite the artist, Derrick. Your Mum is looking well. I always enjoy when she makes a guest appearance. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. So sweet your mom looks so happy.
    And that drawing is quite nice I did a close up of it as the sketch is difficult to see for me.
    And beautiful photos of the horses

    How are you today?

  4. Your Mom is well settled in her own flower bed, quite like the flowers in your garden. Nugget is a miracle. He is in the middle of the frame, in the slightly upper half.

  5. I love the sketch of your sister. the evening meal sounds yummy. I nearly always choose chips when Iโ€™m eating out but rarely have them at home.

    I love that nugget talks to you both; I found him again too.

  6. OH! ๐Ÿ™‚ The photos of your beautiful Mum made me smile! I think of her often and wish her well! Always give her hugs when you see her! ๐Ÿ™‚ (I miss my mum)

    HA! That might have been one of Nugget’s cousins who greeted you! I hope he wasn’t robbin’ the restaurant! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜›

    Your drawing is wonderful! You are definitely artistic in so many ways, Derrick! Little Elizabeth looks enchanted by the television! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I tell my kids, “I was born before remote controls. We kids were our parents remote control! HA! We had to get up, walk across the room through thick shag carpet and change the channels on the TV!” ๐Ÿ˜€

    I see you Nugget…standing guard between the greenery! ๐Ÿ˜€
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Yes. We were the TV antennas, too! HA! ๐Ÿ˜€ My Dad would tease and say, “Perfect! Now stand there and hold the antenna just like that while I watch this baseball game.” Ha! ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. Good to see Mum settling in making it more like ‘home’!

    Such beautiful pics of your garden, and particularly of nugget, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope no-one mistakes Nugget for one of those stepping stones on the stone path? ๐Ÿ™‚

    The match seems fairly evenly poised after day one, but i was pleased our Western Australian addition to the team earned his stripes with 4/35.

  8. That picture of your sister is really quite good, Derrick. Between your talent and Jackie’s green thumb and cooking skills, you two are quite a pair. It’s no wonder Nugget wants you to adopt him! BTW – I found the little fella right a way today!

  9. So glad to hear that your mum has settled in nicely. As always my friend your photos are amazing. Nugget just looks like a fallen leaf if you weren’t really looking for him. Enjoy the outside while the weather is still tolerable my friend.

  10. It’s wonderful that your mom has settled in–and has hung up your drawing. You are so talented. Your sister looks dazzled by the not-smart TV.
    I wonder if birds hear at frequencies we can’t detect–perhaps Nugget was telling his friends to greet you at the restaurant. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think all who follow your blog are enchanted by [under-gardener] Nugget and his relationship with Jackie.

    1. Thanks very much, Merril. Who knows about avian communication. I think at the time of the drawing I was influenced by The Potato Eaters and thinking the family spent too much time gawping ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Your photography keeps getting better all the time. Beautiful flowers – great images of Nugget – fun to see Mum looking so well. Thank you for sharing, Derrick.

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