Protective Pruning

This morning dawned bright and comparatively cold, but work in the Rose Garden could still be carried out in shirt sleeves.

Here Jackie prunes Mama Mia which had already been trimmed a short while ago. These photographs  show the new shoots persisting – but they had to go before winter winds rocked the stems and loosened their roots.

Climbers escaped the treatment, allowing their hips to colour the arch. One white Madame Alfred Cariere bloom has survived.

Nugget, of course, shot down to investigate. Muggle kept a low profile in the larch.

Late this afternoon Jackie drove us to Emsworth where we dined at Durbar Indian restaurant with Becky and Ian.

We stopped at Everton village shop and Post Office to post a package to Australia.

Here is the village poppy display.

Jackie thinks this cloud formation ahead of us on the M27 indicates a spell of cold whether. Can anyone confirm this?

We were almost an hour early for our 6 p.m. date. Then we hit this roadworks queue which occupied a little time.

The mogul inspired restaurant is excellent and rather out of the ordinary. We shared rices, a paratha, and onion bahjis. My main course was Goan pork vindaloo; Jackie’s, paneer tikka; Becky’s, chicken biriani; and Ian’s, another mild chicken dish. Our son-in-law and I drank Cobra, his wife drank rosé wine, and Jackie drank Kingfisher. The food was very well cooked and the service exemplary.


  1. I think colder weather is definitely on the way. Wet here at the moment – pissing it down in fact. I love that pic of Nugget flapping his wings. Sorry Jackie’s still having to prune… it’s never ending, isn’t it?

    1. Thanks very much, Val. It is still mild enough to produce plentiful buds, so it is a shame to keep pruning – but unfortunately necessary as a precaution, I’m told.

  2. Your food predilections are emphatically subcontinental. Rice, planner tikka, onion bhajia… the only thing missing prominently is dal tadka. Try it sometime —you will get hooked!

  3. I laughed out loud at that first photo, because the words that came to mind were ‘snicker-snack.’ It took a minute, but then I remembered: they’re from Lewis Carroll’s great poem “Jabberwocky.” Here’s the verse where they appear:

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    Tell Jackie to hang on to her vorpal blade. Those can come in handy!

  4. Shirt sleeves, I wish!
    In my elevated little patch of Yorkshire it has temperatures of -3° reaching 7° later. The incessant rain coupled with the chilly wind is proving to be more than a nuisance, last evening water began dripping through the kitchen ceiling. My son-in-law believes the heavy rain was being blown into the extractor fan, the pipe runs underneath the upstairs balcony and across the kitchen ceiling space. Today, in the daylight he will investigate further. And for me it will be another log burner day.

    I do so admire Jackie’s hard work in the garden, what a grafter she is, an absolute star.

  5. There is Jackie giving tender-loving-care to the plants and flowers! 🙂
    Good to see Muggle and Nugget on the job! 😉
    The poppy display is bright and beautiful and so important. 🙂
    I have a religious friend who would say “Those are Jesus is Coming clouds!” 😮 😉
    Your meal with loved ones sounds delicious and lovely! 🙂
    I fixed grilled salmon and kale-quinoa-carrot-chickpea salad for dinner.
    HUGS to all…and tweets! 🙂

  6. Local news said that we’ve had five months’ rain in five weeks. There was a landslide in Mansfield caused by the excess water lubricating the different layers of soil. So it’s not just grim up north, it’s really wet as well!

  7. The head gardener is so knowledgeable–I guess that’s why she’s head. 🙂 It’s nice of Nugget and Muggle to give her advice though.
    It sounds like your dinner was excellent.

  8. Lovely post, Derrick. Of course I especially like the poppy display!
    That cloud formation reminds me that we are supposed to be having a “cool” front moving in. They rarely get this far south, but any drop in the temperature is welcome!!

  9. Working in short sleeves. In Maine, we are all bundled up when we go outside, and last night, in some sections, it snowed. But not in central Maine, where I live.

  10. With a background in weather, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut about casual predictions when I haven’t been looking at a weather map. Jackie seems to have been up to the task of her own research. I did notice some virga in your picture and thought I could teach a weather term if you didn’t already know it. Virga: when rain falls from a cloud, but does not reach the ground because of evaporation.

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