It Has To Go

As she toured the garden this morning Jackie was struck by the contrast between the number of survivors from spring and summer still blooming –

including clematis Niobe;

fuchsias Delta’s Sarah

and Mrs. Popple;


hot lips;





and roses in the Rose Garden –

and the harbingers of spring to come, such as the budding rhododendrons;

the new shoots of Michaelmas daisies;

and the burgeoning mimuluses.

One of Aaron’s tasks was to clear dragons, hanging baskets, and other vulnerable artefacts from beneath the

rather brittle cypress that continually sheds dead branches and therefore has to go. It will be removed later in the week.

As we were planning to venture into the forest this afternoon the skies darkened, the previously still air produced gusts of more than fifty miles an hour, torrential rains fell, and the birds left the front garden feeders. Within half an hour tranquility returned.

Blue tits returned to the suet balls.This bird tried to masquerade as one;

and Ron, as we have named the front garden robin, was able to head for his seed feeder before the sparrows returned to dispossess him. It is almost impossible to distinguish between male and female robins. Should Ron turn out to be a female I guess she will be a Ronette.

We then did drive into to forest.

Ponies at Norleywood had calmly weathered the storm that had added to

the pool at the corner of St. Leonards Road,

along which, like cannon-shot, clouds sped across the sky,

against which oak tree branches groped gnarled fingers.

It was not yet sunset when we passed St Leonards Grange and the ruins of its ancient grain barn.

Another winterbourne pool on which oak leaves floated reflected Β the tree limbs and trunks;

a cheerful young girl running down the road was overtaken by a passing car;

and a pheasant was framed by a Star of David.

We drove on past Bucklers Hard, then retuned along St Leonards Road to catch

sunset both at the Grange

and a little further along the road.

This evening we dined on fish pie with Jackie’s succulent ratatouille; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender cabbage, with which we both drank Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc 2016.



Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

86 thoughts on “It Has To Go

  1. I have just, regretfully, arranged to have our overly large Leylandii topped early next spring. It may die, but if it survives it will save planting something else. πŸ™‚ Hope your garden work goes well.

    1. Thanks a lot, Quercus. I thought topping of Leylandii was routine. We had such a hedge in Newark. Fortunately it was the neighbour’s responsibility, but we did have to keep reminding him.

  2. Ah the rain! We had it too. While my city got off lightly the rest of the Island got blasted with flooding and rivers overflowing and bridges taken out, main routes shut down and the major internet and cell provider taken out of action through most of the South Island (including me) for over 12 hours. While my friend in Australia sends me photos of her views destroyed by fire, we drown. It’s bizarre. I’m glad all the robins are doing well, though I rather hope Ron doesn’t segue into a Ronette. That would really bring young Nugget and Muggles to the fisticuffs arena……..

  3. A rather severe panellist on Gardeners’ Question Time last week told us that we probably shouldn’t bother with growing roses here as ground and weather are not suitable. Seeing yours still in bloom while ours are long gone rather reinforces that opinion.

  4. The cannonball cloud is unbelievable; I’ve never seen anything like that.
    This robin will only be a Ronette if she sings like one; otherwise, how would you know? I don’t suppose you’ll be able to look under the tails.

  5. Some wonderful captures Derrick. The seasons seem to move along unite quickly in your neck of the woods. We are heading into a time of deep freeze for at least a couple of months.

  6. Your garden has some beautiful survivors, Derrick. I wouldn’t have a clue as to how to tell the gender of a robin. It’s always sad to lose a tree, but I guess the time has come. 😒

  7. Your garden is a magnet to robins. I am glad to meet Ron or Ronnet! Beautiful dusky skies and glimmering light on the general wetness make for beautiful pictures.

  8. Mother Nature is so unpredictable and fickle. You have flooding we have fires and fluctuating temperatures. And your garden is still looking lovely Derrick.

  9. Ron (or Ronette) Robin, rain, robust-flowers, remarkable-sunset!
    As for the gorgeous, thriving plants and flowers…Jackie must have 2 green-thumbs AND 2 green-big-toes! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  10. You have an uncanny way of taking pictures of your neighborhood and keeping them interesting. I had to laugh at that bird with its head in the feeder!!

  11. I’m partial to the pansies. They have such pretty faces. Oh, and the sunset picture is beautiful!! I like the girl’s photo where she is being “overtaken by a passing car” – and the ones of Nugget at the feeder. Oh my! I didn’t realize your weather could change so dramatically at the drop of a hat, just as ours can do here in Montana! With 50 mph winds?? Rather startling, isn’t it?

  12. Oh, I revisited, that wasn’t Nugget… it was a robin. Anyway, fun to see birds at your feeder! We have only magpies, some falcons, and cinnamon tail hawks. Also, a family of hungarian partidge (10 of them) visited a couple days ago. They make nice fox and coyote hors d’oeuvres. (Sad face!)

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