Antipodean Visitors

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.


  1. Very nice narrative about the upcoming “Who’s Nugget and who’s not” conundrum. And the opening portrait of Jackie is a great capture of a great lady.

  2. Your observations on the little robin family causes me to muse on whether the new and future generations will also become familiars, following in dad’s footsteps – so to speak……. It’s a lovely thought! Does your cordyline have an extremely strong scent when the flowers open?

    1. The scent of the cordyline is wonderful – the strongest in the garden. Thanks for putting me right on the spelling Pauline. Going to correct it now.

      1. I wondered because we get two flowerings a year here that can be smelt on the air a hundred metres from the tree – it can be overwhelming when half a dozen trees open their flowers at once.

  3. Peonies are my second favorite after roses, and yours looks gorgeous.
    I was going to ask how you distinguish between Nugget and his Mrs, but you’ve explained that. Their brood, though, might present a challenge if they inherit their father’s habits and stay home, rather than going away to avian college.

  4. I love the thought that you have a robin family to follow you and Jackie around–all cocking their heads. I guess the babies will leave though once they’re grown? I just saw koolkosherkitchen’s comment about avian college. 🤣
    The flowers are beautiful.

  5. How wonderful! The Nugget family! What you said about an identification problem made me laugh! Oh, gosh! You sure will! But, only until the Little Nugget fly the coop. 😉

    Dr. Ruppel looks like he’s been eating well! 😉 😛

    Your Anonymous Character is so pretty! 🙂

    Beautiful photo of beautiful Jackie! Grooming and barbering, too…always something to do! 🙂

    Both of you stay safe and stay well!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂 <3

  6. What a beautiful photo of Jackie. Gosh, I’m going to have to start thinking up more names for all of these little Nuggets! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous flowers with us, Derrick.

  7. “My contribution to the general maintenance was a little watering, weeding, and transporting debris to the compost bin.” – That’s Norm’s job. He’s been well trained. 😉

    1. A direct parallel that always strikes me, Tootlepedal. Thanks a lot. I told Jackie that I was pleased somebody noticed “The novel…..” When I mentioned who it was, she said “Oh, it would be wouldn’t it!?” 🙂

  8. “Antipodean” – a new word for me, a spectacular bosomy Marie Boisselot, and how how exciting to meet one of Nugget’s offspring!

  9. I enjoy these garden tours, Derrick and Jackie, and the continuing heartwarming story of Nugget and his family! Sounds like he is teaching his children well. 🙂

  10. Oh, that peony!! I love peonies. Jackie must be so thrilled when it’s spring and she can tend to all the babies in the garden!!!!

  11. Would love some chicken and bacon soup right now – please tell Jackie to save me a small bowl (virtual of course)

    And bacon has doubled in price at some stores here in Virginia – crazy!

    Love how you said the white butterfly had the decency to hold still – hahaha
    Love when they cooperate

  12. Nature is flourishing in many forms in your garden. Those are priceless photographs of its many hues, many shaped manifestations.

  13. I think when Nugget’s children can support themselves, they will be asked politely to leave the area. This sounds cruel, perhaps, but it guarantees a continual turnover in the gene pool.

      1. I read once that both male and female have red breasts but the male has a darker band of grey/blue surrounding it but I might be dreaming and making that up!

  14. I’ve chosen a perfect day to drop into your glorious garden! How lovely to hear such news of this new generation of Nuggets!

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