The Oval Bed Today

The earlier third of the day was overcast but warm.

On my way through the garden to set out on a walk down

Downton Lane

I photographed several newly opened tulips,

one of which bore a sleepy bee.

Even 30 m.p.h. on our eponymous winding lane is probably too fast at any time, yet it seems necessary to reinforce the limit with plenty of notices along the way.

Prolific primroses,

golden dandelions,

dancing daffodils,

and buttery celandines bear out Susan Hill’s view of spring as ‘the yellow season’ expressed in ‘The Magic Apple Tree’.

Along with hardy white daisies

and rambling purple vinca, they decorate the burgeoning verges,

while bristling blackthorn

adorns the hedgerows.

A felled tree hosts ageing tree fungus.

The downward stretch of Downton Lane is a mostly manageable gently sloping descent.

I turned back at the steepest bend

and made my way home.

A pair of friendly cyclists, two abreast, had at least crossed to the other side as they passed me but I did wonder whether I should carry an estate agent’s snazzy measuring device to ensure a safe distance in these self-isolating times.

On 27th March Jackie had begun revamping the Oval Bed which she photographed.

Later this afternoon she produced images of her finished work.

She also photographed these leaves of crocosmia and day lilies,

and aroused bronze fennel setting off to soar above prize primroses and primulas.

This evening we dined on roasted sausages and new potatoes served on a bed of fried onions; a soft melange of cabbage and leeks; tender runner beans; and crunchy carrots with tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Benguela Bay Shiraz 2018.

Jackie’s having to add a little oil to the sausages because they held no fat reminded us of the gristly and cereal-filled apologies that had put us off bangers for life when we were young. Walls offerings were the anathema of our childhood. It was in France that I first experienced sausages with sufficient meat content.



  1. Thirty mph seems a bit fast for that small lane, sausage/bangers have got to be meaty! Lovely flower photos. ???

    1. Oh, Lordy – My mother starts each day’s conversation with “It’s been ___ days since I have been home.” I keep telling her that it is unproductive to keep track unless there’s an end date, which there is not.

  2. In communist Russia sausages were filled with paper, and since toilet paper was even more unobtainable than nowadays, we used to say that all toilet paper has gone into sausages.
    Your tulips are spectacular, Derrick.

      1. I actually think it’s easier here Jodie. We’ve had some lovely fine days this month and suddenly everyone heads outside. The numpties are out in full force, partying at the beaches, surfing and boating – all things that we have been asked not to do as it endangers the lives of others who are needed elsewhere etc. Before this little patch of belated summer hit we were all hunkered down happily inside keeping warm πŸ™‚ It’s human nature to take time out in the cold dark days of winter isn’t it – and to want to be out in nature, socialising as the light and warmth return. So in theory we have it easier – as long as the season remembers which one it’s supposed to be.

    1. It is Pauline, I count myself as very fortunate to have a garden to play in as summer approaches. Love to you.

  3. Thanks for the spring-like bulb thrill – lovely tulips. Walls bangers are up there with tinned spaghetti, and Angel Delight – quelles horreurs!

  4. Very neat work by Jackie and excellent photographs from your walk.
    Unlike you, I enjoyed the post war sausage and have never really got to grips with sausages that have taste and texture.

  5. I have enjoyed the spring flowers and your gardens once again. I like the celandines – there are some areas here on the farm where they might be good for naturalizing.

    Spring – yellow, white and pink in my area. A beautiful season! πŸ™‚

  6. Those are pleasing portraits of flowers, fungi and empty roads. The two cyclists make for a pretty picture, an assortment of signals of sort. Stop, start, danger, all clear! Soon enough, our mobile phones are going to have radars that warn the users of any breach in prescribed social distancing. Google Pixels already have the β€˜Soli’ that keeps watching for limbs and faces nearby. Please take good care of yourselves, both of you.

    1. I think You’re right Uma – Big Brother is watching!
      The government’s daily updates here in the UK show graphs of our movement that was gathered by the mobile phone companies!

  7. Side by side cyclists are a nuisance at the best of times. Given that they weren’t practicing social distancing makes me wonder if the pair were family members from the same household.

    The garden is looking beautiful, such a credit to Jackie.

  8. The Oval Bed is beautiful, Jackie!

    Vinca and Daisy make me smile!

    Ooh! The Stump and The Fungis are being very social! πŸ˜‰
    (((HUGS))) and stay safe and well! <3

  9. I’m always impressed by your ability to identify flowers and plants. I would have got daffodil and daisy, but purple vinca is a new one to me.

    1. You have a similar facility with birds, John: we all have our specialisms. I’m not good on flowers either, although I did know that one, but as “periwinkle”. I wondered if it WAS the same species, but I’m guessing that Linnaean Latin, having no ‘w’, would have adapted the common name to give it its scientific name (vinca = winka-lΒ / winkle).

  10. My goodness, those tulips are divine! Jackie’s revision work in the Oval Garden looks wonderful. I love editing a garden. And as always, your photos are stunning, Derrick. Thanks for adding a touch of beauty to my morning.

  11. Such beautiful flowers. I couldn’t pick a favorite.
    I think many people here and now forget about food shortages that others have experienced.

  12. The flowers are beautiful, both in the garden and outside it. I have found myself gazing at a single daisy flower in astonishment – it seems slightly weird that flowers carry on as if nothing has changed, although it would be a terrible shock if they did not!

    I’m glad your winding roads have speed limits on them. It always seems very ironic to see national speed limit applies signs approaching the narrowest, most winding country lanes, which I often do. It’s often made worse because local drivers know where the corners are so feel less need to slow down for them.

      1. You’re welcome, Derrick. The fungus reminded me of a type of decorated cake I’ve seen on baking shows, with flowers cascading at an angle like that.

  13. The oval bed work is impressive. Waiting to see the flowery result as I assume flowers are going to pop up there? The flower photography was lovely to see.

  14. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, which can be seen in sausages that don’t have enough fat in them. I have been disappointed several times by high quality sausages. However, this is probably a comment on my lack of sophistication rather than the quality of modern sausages.

    Cooking was also more exciting in the old days – I don’t even have to pierce modern sausages. πŸ™‚

  15. It’s all so lovely. And so many more primroses! And blackthorn – the other one I remember from April in Ireland: blackthorn and primroses in bloom. The tulips you captured are lovely. I am so pleased with tulips and daffodils and narcissus, every year.

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