Jackie spent this, the hottest afternoon of the week, continuing her work of tidying and planting the garden,
I spent some time collecting up debris for the compost bin and sweeping paths like those named Brick
The strong sweet scent of the swinging wisteria penetrates
the closed stable door during the evenings.
A pair of Orange Tip butterflies seeming to savour honesty flittered about.
The clematis Montana Mayteen planted to mount the
now limbless cypress overlooking the Dragon Bed.
The light magenta blooms of Magnolia Vulcan beside the tree have benefited from the light revealed by the amputations;
while this red climbing rose we inherited, no longer having the arboreal arms to reach for, may follow the Head Gardener’s directions.
The velvet petals of these deep mauve tulips Queen of the Night
were intended by Mrs Knight to blend with the potted varieties planted in the Rose Garden at the same time.
Unfortunately the recent winds stripped the earlier blooms until, almost overnight the late risers yawned, stretched, and opened their eyes a couple of days ago.
These red wallflowers complement various locations;
similarly hued rhododendrons,
like these in the Palm Bed, are beginning to burgeon –
bench, box, and bluebells indulge me by continuing the alliteration.
This evening, as we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the patio, we witnessed an avian courtship.
On the far side of the garden a wood pigeon who didn’t fancy his chances, turned his back on the proceedings on the eaves where
another, attempting to look suave, winked
at his prospective mate – for life – prostrated himself
and gradually nudged towards her. She feigned enough interest for him to repeat the movement until he became close enough for her to fly off teasingly. Naturally he played his part and followed in pursuit.
We dined on tender roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and Yorkshire; crunchy carrots; tangy red cabbage; and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Mezquiriz.