A Variation On “Where’s Nugget?”

While I was drafting yesterday’s post Jackie nipped into the garden for a matter of minutes to take photographic advantage of

the last rays of the setting sun. From this end of the Back Drive (take note of the larch beyond the compost bins on the right) she focussed on

the Virginia creeper and accompanying Japanese anemones.

She also caught a pink rose with which I hadn’t been successful earlier on.

 

The golden light in the background picked up the the tips of the cypress tree;

the weeping birch,

Japanese maples,

and more.

Today, while the Head Gardener continued with her bed clearance, taking occasional trips to make sure she was safe, Nugget kept the enemy from the gate.

He perched on a tree midway,

puffed himself up,

had a good shake,

and a preen;

until he decided he looked hard enough to take on

his rival who was switching between the hawthorn and the larch on the Back Drive.

So, for a little variety “Where’s Nugget’s Rival?”

This evening we dined on Jackie’s nicely matured liver and bacon casserole; crisp Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, parsnips, mushrooms, and butternut squash; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts and green beans, with which the Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon and I drank more of the Saint-Chinian.

 

Cervine Elegance

Occasional sunny spells on a clouded morning developed into bright sunshine by the time we drove into the forest this afternoon.

Jackie spent some time collecting cuttings with which to populate the

greenhouse pots.

The orange poppies that last just a day don’t normally emerge from the soil until spring. We have several clumps now. These, incongruously beside more seasonal asters, are in the Cryptomeria Bed

which also houses hot lips

still attracting bees.

The cryptomeria itself can be seen beyond the cordeline Australis lending its name to the Palm Bed;

it stands beside the laurel on the far right of the Phantom Path.

The deep red climbing rose soaring over its arch spanning the Shady Path also doesn’t know it is autumn,

although the Weeping Birch clearly has an inkling.

Elizabeth’s Bed

and the patio planting continue to flourish.

Pelargoniums still hang in baskets.

Nugget, this morning patrolled his fences. This fellow, I think, is a rival displaying discretion. I did see our own robin dive-bomb another which immediately scarpered, but he was too quick for me.

These autumn colours brighten Sway Road;

others burnished the landscape beside the A35,

and glowed beneath

an unnamed lane off Cadnam Lane,

along which clusters of mushrooms burst from the moss coating of a fallen log,

and bracket fungus clutched a living tree.

Pheasants, both cocks and hens, dared anyone actually to drive at the 40 m.p.h. limit.

On one side of Tiptoe Road a pair of ponies cropped the verge outside The Old Bakery;

several more slaked their thirst on a winterbourne pool on the opposite side.

A mare led her foal along the road

to add to the chaos caused by a broken down car.

Returning home along Roger Penny Way we were treated to a display of cervine elegance as a young stag stepped on pointe across the road in front of us.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty and wholesome liver and bacon casserole (for recipe see Jackie’s comment below); roast potatoes and butternut squash; crunchy orange carrots, and bright green firm Brussels sprouts, with she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Saint-Chinian 2017.

Cake And Limousine

This morning I scanned another couple of sets of prints from my archives for which I cannot find the negatives.

The first six are from Oliver’s birthday party of 23rd December, 2000, held at Lindum House. Alice sits bemused in her high chair while her gleeful brother, an avid Arsenal fan, admires his football pitch cake.

Emily, Jessica, Sam, Michael, and Louisa also joined the group.

 

Encouraged by Grannie Jess, the birthday boy gathered his puff to aim for goal before turning it on the candles.

Five months later, on 24th May, 2001, Louisa celebrated her birthday in stretch limousine style

with her friends in Newark. Naturally there was a bar on board. Jessica joined the group for the last shot, before the girls made their royal progress round the town.

Jackie spent most of today clearing beds, planting bulbs, and heavily pruning, Later I cleared up some of the refuse.

When not cocking his head in conversation with his adoptive Mum

Nugget is quite at home in his all day breakfast bowl.

Now, “Where’s Nugget?” (39)

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie; roasted butternut squash and parsnips; with crisp broccoli. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

 

Protective Custody

Between watching recordings of the Rugby World Cup quarter final matches featuring Wales and France then Japan and South Africa, I wandered round the garden.

When we arrived here five years ago a variegated myrtle bush that had grown to a tree was in the process of reverting, This meant that the two-toned cultivated leaves had become dark green. Jackie and I have twice removed all those of the pristine hue, but we have been fighting a losing battle.

This morning Aaron stripped the lower trunk to reveal its colourful bark. Thus we admitted defeat.

Nasturtiums, continuing to scale the trellis in front of the garage door, are  hoping they will get away without a frost this winter.

Some of the more established pelargoniums

remain outside in their pots, whereas

 

others, with begonias

and fuchsias have already been taken into protective custody in the greenhouse.

 

Dahlias are still in season,

and the Rose Garden features carpet roses,

Absolutely Fabulous,

Special Anniversary,

and Lady Emma Hamilton.

Self-seeded bidens, like these floral cuckoos among heliotrope and petunias remain ubiquitous.

This recently planted panicum Warrior grass has taken well to the Weeping Birch Bed.

The solanum swaddling the dead tree will probably be blooming long after the birch has shed its leaves.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s flavoursome cottage pie; tasty carrots and Brussels sprouts; and tender green beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

 

Fauna And Flora

This morning I watched the recorded Rugby World Cup quarter final match between England and Australia.

After lunch Jackie drove us into the forest where most of the free ranging animals were on display.

Donkeys with a foal basked in the sunshine at Bramshaw, where

another wandered up a lane towards the green occupied by

 

 

 

red brown and black Highland and other cattle.

In the vicinity of Nomansland we drove down a lane in Deazle Woods, up and down which a pair of walkers walked several times. Our paths continued to cross as we continued towards Newbridge. Each time I left the car with a camera they were there.

Here are some scenes of the woodland I wandered through.

Returning to the road from Nomansland we encountered a couple of sows with two piglets snuffling among the mud in search of mast.

One little piggy let out a fearful squeal as its mother butted it out of reach of one tasty morsel she wanted for herself.

Another donkey foal sat in the road as we approached Newbridge.

Sheep and cattle shared pasturage here.

One mother suckled her hungry calf. There was a certain amount of avid spillage.

A young lady speeding astride a sturdy steed seemed amused to scatter the sheep.

Just outside the village a small Shetland pony kindly enhanced my view of a backlit autumnal tree,

while a larger animal gave a demonstration of how to cross a dry ditch.

Back at home I watched the rugby quarter final match between New Zealand and Ireland, while Jackie planted more pansies and snakehead fritillaries and cleared more beds.

She photographed fuchsias Army Nurse and Display, heuchera leaves, phlox, and a  Japanese anemone.

Nugget was, of course, in attendance,

and wishes it known that he does feature in this garden image, perched above the central hanging basket. We considered that this was too difficult an example for the “Where’s Nugget?” game,

and made him settle for this “Where’s Nugget?” (38).

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie, the mash topped with fried potatoes; piquant cauliflower cheese; and crunchy broccoli and carrots with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Parra Alta Malbec 2018.

 

Vacuuming

This was a day of fleeting sunshine, pelting showers, and gusting gale force winds.

So far I am still wearing sandals with no socks. This is because I always continue with this footwear as long as possible; and because it remains difficult to don shoes and socks. When answering the door to a neighbour I managed to drag the front door across the big toe of the more recently operated leg. The ensuing gash – and Jackie – suggested it was time I reverted to more sensible footwear.

 

Fortunately this morning Jackie and Nugget were able to manage a certain amount of planting – when

the little familiar wasn’t getting under the Head Gardener’s feet.

 

As usual, Nugget would occasionally zip up to a level at which he felt more equal in stature.

“Where’s Nugget?” (37)

This afternoon we drove to the bank at Lymington where we completed the forms for adding Jackie jointly to my account. Next call was at Ferndene Farm Shop where we acquired three more bags of compost.

We continued into the forest, where, on Burley Road, trees bore increasingly autumnal foliage,

as, less so, did those of Burbush Farm.

Ponies at Thorney Hill seemed to be waiting patiently for

pigs, clad in their own autumn best, making their way along the verges snuffling and sloshing about their business of vacuuming up the acorns for their equine neighbours’ culinary comfort.

This evening we dined on fish cakes – one Thai flavoured with Jackie’s savoury rice, the other cod and parsley with Duchess potatoes; piquant cauliflower cheese, crunchy carrots, and tender runner beans with which The Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon and I finished the Malbec.

 

 

 

Special Anniversary

It was not until 26th June 2014 that we decided to make a before and after record of the work done on the garden begun on 1st April. We regret not having thought of this from the  very beginning.

This was when we decided to turn the remnants of a kitchen garden into a Rose Garden.

Wire contraptions had to be removed from the eastern fence. This process, with additional photographs, was featured in the post of 5th July.

Concrete slabs, buried bricks,

 

assorted paving,

 

 

and even a discarded bath were all unearthed during the next three months.

By the time Aaron joined in the project in February 2015, I had cleared the plot ready for him to level it by the 8th.

He then set about laying down brick paving to our design.

By 8th October The Head Gardener had selected and planted the roses and furniture had been installed.

The above photographs all appear in previous posts and are contained in the garden record albums.

Today I produced a batch of prints from May to September this year to bring the album up to date. Here are a few of those:

Jackie uses this one from 31st May as her screen saver.

Here are a couple of smaller scenes showing the additional planting of lavender and heucheras;

 

 

and individual roses such as Lady Emma Hamilton;

Gertrude Jekyll;

 

and Special Anniversary from July. This last one is a happy coincidence because today is the second anniversary of our second wedding.

The Crown Inn at Everton has changed hands since we were last there. That is where we chose to have our anniversary dinner. The ambience and the menus are different; the service and food were good. Jackie enjoyed the house burger with fries and salad, as did I  a perfectly cooked rib eye steak with similar accompaniments. Mrs Knight drank Moretti and I drank Riscos Chilean Malbec 2018.