For the last few days we had experienced a cold North East wind. Today was much warmer, and sunnier than we had expected. Jackie photographed the weather vane showing the shift to South West.

She spent much of the day working in the garden where she gathered images of

perky pansies in different containers;

close relatives sprawling comfrey

and bristly borage;

kindred primroses

and primulas;

potted pelargoniums in the greenhouse;

cyclamen clusters;

spirea sprays in white

and, in amber, Japonica leaves.

She focussed on a single creamy daffodil

a pair with peachy trumpets

and a lemon yellow clump leading into the Rose Garden with its tulips in the distance.

More potted tulips cluster on the patio.

Aubretia amble over the Kitchen Bed tiles.

The more tender aeoinium Zwartkof still needs the protection of the greenhouse where

bulbs of Tiger Moon

and Rose Isabella lilies are sending up shoots;

similarly aquilegia

and cobaea Scandens have germinated.

A vigilant jackdaw keeps watch on the roof.

We have now named one of our long tailed tits Burt. This is because, when joining his friends in plundering Nugget’s food supply, he enjoys diving from a

firm wisteria branch to a flexible honeysuckle tendril

from which he can tap on our kitchen window inviting us to catch him.

Try as she might, the Assistant Photographer has never quite managed to grab a clear image of the swinging action. You will have to take our word for it that in this picture he really is

earning his name.

It was a fortunate coincidence that two messages from Gwen Wilson today enabled me to add postscripts to

‘Catching up with your blog posts drew me again to your trapeze performing ancestors.

The Australian newspapers are littered with references to the Dental Riskits. Pages and pages of them. I can easily outline how to look them up if you are interested. This death notice contains some of the most intriguing family history information I have come across.”dental%20riskit”&searchLimits=

and her mother and other relatives  / / /”dental%20riskit”&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

There are so many memorial notices it is clear that Holly’s family were very close and in great distress at losing family members in quick succession. She had many siblings. Her twin sister was particularly bereft.


Gwen Wilson’


and here is an extract from a comment of Gwen’s on another post: ‘On a whim, I typed a search on Riskit into our digitised newspapers and immediately returned this article from1926. Not Holly – his second wife. . .“riskit”&searchLimits=’

This describes an accident involving a 20′ fall while performing.

Mike Ribble, Burt Lancaster’s character in Trapeze, was so injured in the fall shown above that he could no longer perform. My great Uncle Jack Riskit (John Evans) turned to theatre management after his fall in 1926.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable soup with crusty bread followed by her delicious dried fruit lattice pie and custard.




  1. Jackie’s opening photo of the weather wane is starkly beautiful. It literally takes one’s breath away.
    Fascinating information about your family; it appears that they were quite famous in their days.
    I have meant to tell you for a while: in Russian, pansies are called “Annie’s Eyes.” I don’t know the reason as I’ve only heard of one lady who had purple eyes, and her name was Elisabeth Taylor, rather than Annie.

  2. I love all these beautiful garden photos from Jackie, and Burt the Long Tailed Tit is a handsome fellow. Those are some furry-looking facial feathers on that photo of him looking in your window!

  3. That was an enticing intro to the movie. I never saw it. Burt the bird is aptly named it seems. Gymnastics aside, he has the photographic allure of his namesake – look at that lovely fluffed up ‘I’m ready for my closeup’ gaze, straight into the camera ….. Your forebears were equally as gymnastic – I’m so impressed!

  4. I always thought Burt Lancaster a bit of a tit so apt all round. Love the pictures as per and the Zwartkopf thingy gives a name to our by our back door that stays outside in all weathers – a, balmy London huh? Could be its near to the gas boiler outlet, of course..!

  5. Oh I love pansies! If only the bunnies didn’t like them too. Also, I’ve never seen a daffodil with a peach trumpet before – that’s really nice 🙂

  6. Your garden is certainly thriving Derrick.. and yes those winds have been bitter cold.. Take care and wrap up warm.. Much love your way to you and Jackie.. 🙂

  7. Great Long-Tailed Tit photos. Like Wrens (see previous comments) they are tricky birds to take. Flowers look good too, though not quite as difficult to capture in flight…


  8. What a fun and wonderful post, Derrick! So much to make us smile! 🙂
    The perky pansy faces and the primulas make me say “OOH!” and grin! 🙂
    Jackie’s photo are so wonderful! The one of the weather vane is so artistic and eye-catching! Great job, Jackie! 🙂
    Burt Bird is a talented fellow! Tell him I am applauding him!
    Your greenhouse plants are thriving and they are giving me hope and joy! They, also, remind me to “bloom where you are planted”…even from indoors I can bloom and help other people. 🙂 I am feeling so grateful for everyone and everything I am blessed with!

  9. I think I’ve said hundred times but your garden is a wonder! The hard working is paying back ?? I guess is such a satisfaction to see them grow and bloom so lovely! Plants know they’re loved ??
    Mr Burt is steeling Nugget’s food? Hmmm….what Nugget has to say about that? ?

    1. Nugget and I had a wonderful hour together as I did the weeding in the rose garden, I have not seen him for a while, he’s busy and I have not been gardening much as it has been too cold. He found copious creepy crawlies as I turned the soil, maybe he will have no need of the feeder soon, and will let Burt have the lot!

      1. So beautiful! He always must inspect and make sure the job is done properly ? That I guess is premium quality food for Nugget, so he’ll not be bothered if Burt will steel some of his food ??

  10. I’m curious whether Jackie makes use of the borage in cooking. I didn’t realize until a gardener friend held a little show and tell for me that the leaves taste like cucumber, and do nicely in a salad, or that the flowers are somewhat sweet. It’s a tea party in a plant!

  11. Beautiful and exquisite flowers! Are pelargoniums related to geraniums? One on the right looks like what my daughter pointed out in my back yard as Carolina or Wild geraniums with medicinal properties.

    1. Yes they are related, pelargoniums (not frost hardy) always used to be called geraniums here, but now are called Pelargonium, and the hardy ‘Cranesbil’ geraniums in the garden are the true Geranium. Loads of people still call Pelargoniums Geraniums all a bit confusing!

      1. Thank you! My daughter has been studying plants and herbs. She also called it “Crainesbil.” They seemed to die down in the winter and have come in very strong this spring.

  12. So many beautiful photos. I love the weathervane, and Burt-I couldn’t figure out the name until you explained it, of course. ? I’d forgotten your trapeze artist ancestors.

  13. Long-tailed tits are the most wonderful birds. We have blue tits or the robin who tap on the window. The blue tits seem interested in what goes on behind the glass force-field but equally often they seem to be asking me to come and fill up the birdfeeders.

  14. You’re lucky to have protection for your germinating plants. I had a bird eat up all the small plants I had germinating in pots.

      1. Well your garden is a consolation as I can keep seeing the photos again and again when I am frustrated about my plants. Thank you for sharing the bliss.

  15. With all of this extra attention your garden is going to look even better this year.
    Being a pessimist I am concentrating on vegetables.
    I suggested digging up the front lawn to grow potatoes but Kim wasn’t keen. She might regret it later when she is hungry!

  16. Your garden is gorgeous, Derrick. Well done. We’re still trying to get out of winter, so a stray daffodil or two. Enjoy the lovely space you and Jackie have created. 🙂

  17. Lovely flower photography by Jackie. I wonder if light is a problem while choosing a high shutter speed. Trapeze artists have always stopped my breath. Those notices in Australia are mesmerising.

  18. Oh dear, that Burt video was a rabbit hole to all sorts of other circus-y acts. 🙂 … good to hear that Nugget has decided to visit too. 🙂

  19. The aeoinium Zwartkof is really eye-catching! It was good to meet the aptly-named Burt. I watched the “Trapeze” clip, but I can’t remember if I’ve seen the movie. I think I should seek it on on one of our streaming services. It looks very good from the clip.

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