Warm sunshine was the order of the day.
Jackie spent much time in shade tending to potted plants, many of which have survived the winter but needed shaves and haircuts.
She has suspended some of these from the lopped cypress.
My contribution to the general maintenance was a little watering, weeding, and transporting debris to the compost bin.
Our first peony blooms are appearing
as are those of roses Emily Gray
and Félicité Perpétue, both along the back drive
which also sports splendid hawthorns.
Our Antipodean visitors include the bark-shedding eucalyptus,
several sculptural New Zealand flaxes,
and the Cordyline Australis now sending forth its bud stems.
Small white butterflies flutter everywhere at the moment. This one had the decency to keep still for a moment.
Currently flourishing clematises include the bosomy Marie Boisselot;
the robust Dr Ruppel;
the novel Daniel Deronda:
and this anonymous character.
This radiant rhododendron refreshes the Palm Bed.
Nugget and Lady continue jointly to feed their brood. It is now really only behaviour that enables us to distinguish between them. For example when one drops down onto the wheelbarrow with which Jackie is working, something with wings in his beak, cocks his head on one side; inspects the offerings she has on display, and flies off in disinterest, that is undoubtedly our friend.
I am fairly sure this in Nugget perched on his favourite patio chair.
The pair of them were collecting suet pellets at this point. Unfortunately I only photographed one of them. Nugget, we think.
Later this afternoon a fledgling robin swooped after Jackie as she entered the rose garden and began tipping spent compost onto the beds for mulch. In a flash this baby cocked his head and began the investigations exactly as his father had done a year ago. Soon we really will have an identification problem.
This evening we dined on more of yesterday’s crusty bread with her wholesome soup of chicken and bacon added to the Culinary Queen’s vegetable base.