Avian Courtship

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

and Gazebo.


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.








  1. Those Queen of the Night tulips are wonderful! And I loved your telling of the “avian courtship.” it’s amazing what we witness when we take the time to watch.

  2. A beautiful sunny day, colorful flowers and courting wood pigeons followed by a good dinner! We have yet to see any color on our rhododendrons. Your plantings are far ahead of ours.

    1. Nugget has been very skittish and has been seen with another robin lately so romance and nesting and hopefully eggs have been happening. He has recently spent time by me as I have turned the soil or moved a pot to reveal lots of lovely insects, but I have not ever had my camera to hand. I must be better prepared next time I go digging.

      1. Hi Jackie..Glad for the update and can’t believe I forgot Nugget’s name. I’m capable of momentary lapses where I forget my own friends’ names lately, so no reflection on Nugget.

  3. I’ve never seen an orange tipped butterfly until now! Your garden is so enchanting – no wonder the birds find romance there!

  4. Alliteration bloom like flowers and tingle all over the chronicle. The Queen of the Night stole my heart. The courting scene seems to have unfolded complete with an Iago.

  5. Lovely blog today, one that brings joy to the soul. Sending love to you both. Gay x

  6. Hello Derrick
    thank you for this beautiful walk in a very English garden and maintained wonderfully
    A particular attraction for tulips at home and the Queen of the night and its superb color so special. I appreciate that they live with white tulips (my favorites), the mixture is very subtle and beautiful.

  7. Your story of the pigeon love you witnessed, and photographed, makes me smile! πŸ™‚
    What a great job of gathering and sweeping, Derrick! It looks lovely! πŸ™‚
    Oh, seeing the butterflies and bees and other insects enjoying the flowers is a welcome sight! πŸ™‚ They are all a’buzz here on the flowers and plants!
    (((HUGS))) to both of you! πŸ™‚

  8. Lovely post, Derrick. The first photo is beautiful, and like a metaphor–the path to the story in the enchanted cottage or some such. ? I liked the late risers yawning and stretching, and of course the avian courtship. I saw what I thought might be an avian courtship or war of rivals the other day.

  9. All so gorgeous! I enjoy watching bird-love. This morning we watched a full-feathered male wild turkey pursue a female turkey. They stopped their flirting to peck atthe bird seed underneath our feeder. πŸ™‚

  10. Ah, such fun to see the birds at {{{play}}} – but even more fun to read your clever descriptions! Your photos are gorgeous, Derrick, and your garden gets prettier every day. I can almost smell the “strong sweet scent of the swinging wisteria.” Wonderful!! Thank you.

  11. Oh, how fun to follow the birds’ courtship! And, your garden looks beautiful! I love the shot of the brick walk toward the house. Although it’s a thug here (and I’m still trying to remove mine fully), I envy those with enough room for a wisteria. Maybe in my next garden…

  12. It is amusing watching the courting pigeons.

    Anyway, I am going to try to remember β€˜Queen if the Night’ – a beautiful tulip, which would suit the colour scheme in the front garden very well.

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