Sunshine And Shirtsleeves

Today was one of sunshine and shirtsleeves.

While Jackie worked on the Oval Bedย I carried a few trugs of refuse to the compost bin, and a few cans of water to the Head Gardener. It may seem hard to believe that the plants need watering at the moment, but we have not received rain for a while.

We have bright magenta aubretia.

Bees are very much in evidence. Interestingly they seem to prefer yellow flowers, selecting that hue from this pot of tulips, particularly ignoring this

pale pastel specimen nearby.

Celandines have nestled beside one of the

two pots of tulips

brightening the Rose Garden.

We have a number of creamy yellow primroses

and golden cowslips.

Hoping that some would successfully germinate Jackie had buried clusters of wood anemone corms around the beds. We now have numerous clumps.

She is even more delighted to find the first blooms of her new camellia Jury Yellow.

Various euphorbias are also flowering.

Overhead, the copper beech still bears bare branches

The winter flowering clematis Cirrhosa Freckles continues to adorn the iron gazebo;

while summer snowflakes defy the season.

Jackie also photographed snowflakes with daffodils;

honesty which promises to be prolific;

new shoots on a pink carpet rose;

backlit honeysuckle leaves;

and her own perspective on the Rose Garden.

Nugget put in a few fleeting appearances, showed no interest in the worms the Head Gardener was unearthing, and declined to spare the time to pose.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken soup with crusty bread from the freezer. The soup consisted of the compost base made yesterday with plump chopped chicken breasts, crispy bacon, peas and sweetcorn. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mezquirez reserva Navarra 2013.


  1. You and Jackie clearly have plenty to keep you exercised in the fresh air and sunshine – with beautiful results too!

  2. I do love the colour of the euphorbia! And glad to hear Nugget is out and about, though terribly busy. A pregnant missus will do that to you. I was relieved you didn’t call the soup ‘compost soup’ for that has a distinctly untasty ring to it, despite the fact it is morally, ethically and wholesomely good for you! <3

  3. I can’t believe how far ahead your garden is of mine. We just have tulips coming out, and I can see a shimmer of green on bushes and trees. I love the tulip pots. Great colors.

  4. Well I certainly timed my trip to The Forest badly. What a glorious display. I bet that pink tulip will be visited when it opens a bit more. The lady who came to collect the bee swarm a while back told me bees don’t particularly like black and they see red as black.

  5. Shirtsleeve gardening weather! I wish it were so here today. It is cool and overcast with rain in the forecast for the next week. Your flowers are beautiful, Derrick and Jackie!

  6. I was all set to compliment you and Jackie on the beautiful tulips, but then I got totally distracted by the chicken soup. It looks so good! And it has bacon!

  7. First things first…Jackie’s chicken soup looks soooooooooooooooooooooo delicious! I’m with Liz, chicken and bacon…YUM! Okay, the flowers were stunning, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. If I gardened in a white shirt the result would be truly horrifying. I canโ€™t believe how quickly the ground has dried out. There are even cracks appearing here. Clay. Hate it. Last week it was still a quagmire. Now itโ€™s like concrete.
    Keep safe, both of you.

  9. Looks like a great day. I still love the tulip pots–and of course anything primrose as well. Between that garden and the meals you eat, you’re in paradise, Derrick.

  10. The tulips are wonderful. They were a standard spring flower when I was growing up, and I still enjoy seeing them. It’s a little too warm for them here, although some do try to grow them. It’s a chore, though, and not one I’d be willing to undertake.

  11. There is an eternal Cherry Blossom festival in your garden, thanks to the Head Gardner and her Lieutenant. Nugget seems to have entered his youth…

  12. I loved the garden tour, so many beautiful flowers makes me want to come down and sit in your garden!
    I made my veg and ham soup for lunch yesterday thanks to your inspirational Compost Soup!

  13. You always seem to spur me on to find out things, Derrick. I wondered about bees and soon found out that they have FIVE eyes and can see ultra-violet (I had dim memories of that) .The ultra violet makes patterns on flowers and can help them find pollen.
    All about what bees can see, what colour they can’t see and wasps too at


    It’s not life changing but shows what clever little bees they are !

  14. We are in need of some rain, too. However, our tulips have not opened their buds yet and the Honesty doesnโ€™t have have any flowers. The chicken soup looks good ?

  15. When I was a kid, the doctor told me I was allergic to bees. He warned that they are attracted to perfume (of course), body odor and the color yellow. So there you are, your yellow follows proved it.

  16. Great pick-me-up to see your beautiful, colorful garden. That soup looks delicious! Stay safe and well.

  17. Oh what utter gorgeousness! Your garden is such a prize and such a reminder of what love and hard work can achieve. A special shout out for the soup …. I can smell is comforting aroma from here. ?

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