The New Bed Is No Longer New


On 31st July 2014 Jackie began transporting concrete slabs I had dug out of the projected rose garden

to form a retaining wall for the one compost heap.

By 9th March 2015 we had decided to move the compost and convert the heap, which had been left by our predecessors, into The New Bed.

What you see in this picture is the result of sifting out all kinds of non-biogradable rubbish.

This was the scene the following day. Note the dead tree just behind the bed.

The above images are all included in our before and after albums, to which I added more prints today.

Poppies in New Bed




By 23rd June 2017 poppies and clematises were thriving, as were

New Bed 1

these lilies, the bulbs of which were eventually eaten by a vole

that also saw off the Bishop pf Llandaff dahlias pictured on September 13th, 2018. The white solanum festoons the original dead tree which is also scaled by

the clematises photographed on June 19th this year.

By September 4th Aaron had replaced the flimsy metal arch with a stout wooden one, to which we have attached a small trowel bearing the legend “Aaron’s Garden” – a present from Becky.

Like The New Forest, The New Bed is no longer new.

This afternoon I finished reading

I would concur with these comments on the back jacket.

My second birthday was one month and one day away when the Allies began their landing in Normandy on 6th June 1944. It has taken James Holland’s book to make me aware that the brutal, bloody, battle for France was to continue until I was more than 25 months old, largely because the German, mostly ill-equipped and untrained, often boys, were ordered by Hitler to defend their positions to the end. The occupiers’ command chain had broken down, and they knew they were being ordered to do the impossible against the vastly superior Allies with their incredibly efficient infrastructure. Details of the carnage and destruction make for awesome reading. There are many notes, maps, charts, timelines, and photographs supporting the stunning detail.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Saint-Chiniian.







  1. I often forget to remember that you had to remove untold rubbish and take the garden back to bare soil in order to emerge some six years later with the glorious garden I so enjoy – more with every passing year! It’s an amazing labour of love <3

  2. And what a stunning bed it is! We are in the midst of putting our garden ‘to bed,’ and that’s always a sad time for me. Winter is nearing.
    Thanks for the book recommendation. I know of several who will like this as a holiday gift. Like my brother. Shhh, don’t tell.

  3. Beautiful and practical. We have a black plastic compost bin in the back that we add vegetable scraps and leaves to regularly, but don’t do much with it. But it seems there are various types of compost. You continue to inspire me.

  4. I can’t garden as you do, lack of land being a bit of an obstacle, but I can read, and I appreciate learning about this book. It’s been entered on my list for the coming winter, which really is my reading season.

    1. As you can see we too had buried rubble, I think we have re- used almost all of it! The previous owners did not travel to the, very local, dump, but chose to bury every thing in the garden, including an old bath!

          1. The man we bought the house from lives next door and denied all knowledge of it! Never mind, we made use of most of what he had buried and hidden and we still speak!

  5. Aaron is such an amazing helper! I love the tribute-trowel and “Aaron’s Garden” on his beautiful arch! 🙂

    It’s wonderful that you have photos to show the hard work, tender-loving care, progress and blood-sweat-n-tears that have gone into creating such an amazing garden! 🙂

    I always enjoy hearing about what people are reading. Thanks for sharing this book with us, Derrick.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  6. Always amazed by the work you both put into the garden to transform it the way you have done and by the fantastic current (work in progress) result! (Kudos to Aaron also).

    Those poppies surprised me as i saw the old buds but thought the flowers must be carnations!

    That solanum is incredible. 🙂

  7. Quite a transformation with the garden. You and the Head Gardener are dedicated–and it shows!
    The book sounds excellent (though not one I’m likely to read). 🙂

  8. Surely what you two have achieved should count as a minor miracle. Perhaps a major one. Sobering to think of the destruction and chaos that was going on when you were a baby. Actually, scary to think of how countries can so quickly tip toward barbarism.

    1. Indeed. After having read the Normandy book I have felt the need for something peaceful and beautiful, so I have started another Robert Gibbings. Thanks very much, Laurie.

  9. You have such wonderful books to recommend. 🙂 … and wonder of wonders, our little library on the other side of the world has it on their shelves. 😀

  10. I always love these garden photos, Derrick and Jackie. You are all hard workers, including Aaron. And little Nugget, too. 🙂

    The book looks like a good one. My father fought in the Pacific, but all my uncles were fighting in Europe. All came home.

Leave a Reply