Absolutely Fabulous Cricket

The sun was permitted the occasional appearance from behind today’s cloud curtain.

At mid morning, thinking she was attending to the Weeping Birch Bed, I ventured out for a stint of clearing up after the Head Gardener’ general maintenance efforts, and received something of a shock.

Jackie had been diverted by the Rose Garden, upon the paths of which she had dropped considerable debris. That was clearly going to take precedence.

Nugget would keep getting under my feet as he foraged for his brood. In the first picture he has a beakful ready for transporting to yellow gapes at home. “Where’s Nugget?” (86) is the third image. Biggification may be required to spot him.

After I had bagged up and added to the compost bins all the weeding and clipping refuse, I had intended to sweep up the bits I couldn’t pick up, but our little robin familiar persuaded me to leave it for a while since he still found rich pickings.

I therefore concentrated on dead heading and photography.

Love Knot and the red carpet rose blend together with Alan Titchmarsh in the background; Just Joey is the large portrait; Rosa Gallica and Mamma Mia make good companions; the petunias and lobelia adorn a hanging basket over the Phantom Path.

After lunch I swept the Rose Garden paths and made more photographs, details of which can be gleaned from the gallery that can be accessed by clicking on any image.

I watched a minute cricket wandering between the petals of an Absolutely Fabulous rose.

Jackie had by then begun thinning out the wandering plants and their foliage that were choking the Weeping Birch Bed. I carried several trugfuls to the compost bins before collecting my camera from the house, because

Nugget wouldn’t go away and kept posing.

This picture shows how close he was to Jackie.

Half a dozen mice stand guard over the seedlings in the trough beside the frog pond. They are there to deter the lumbering wood pigeons from squashing the plants as they land lurching for a drink. In fact Jackie is beginning to wage war on pigeons. Those building the nest in the wisteria yesterday continue today. Every time the Head Gardener removes the sticks and shoos them off they return and start again. Given that they regularly drop both twigs and poo onto the bench below she does have a point.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots; and tender spring greens. The Culinary Queen drank Becks, and I drank more of the Douro opened a couple of days ago.


  1. I love this post. Pesky pigeons, creeping crickets, radiant roses, nosy but nifty Nugget and garden garbage all! Lovely pix, Derrick. Warm regards to you, the Head Gardener and Nugget.

    1. Thank you very much ourlittleredhouse. I liked your Part 2 of return and commented, but couldn’t follow because my e-mail was rejected – this has happened before

  2. A day well spent Derrick with loved ones and all things loved.
    I meant to repot a plumeria and the kumquat but a nasty bout of flu visited instead. Loved my mental gardening as i traipsed through yours.

          1. Forced him out of the England Team. I always put it down to jealousy. Gooch never had Gower’s flair or natural ability. A stoic rather than an entertainer.

  3. Wonderful images as usual. Where’s Nugget #86 shows his camouflage very well. Am I assuming correctly that Nugget has established an exclusive no other robins allowed territory in your garden?

    1. Yes. You are right, Maj. But because we have a big garden we have realised that the birds’ territories ignore our boundaries. There are two others similarly established. Thanks very much.

  4. Oh, I love how Nugget is so at home in your garden. I bet Jackie was thrilled to have the little imp hanging out so close to her. I found him in the center of the photo – can’t believe he’s been featured 86 times. You should make this known to the birding authorities. (Our popular one is the Cornell Center of Ornithology – but I bet you have something similar.) I think they would love to know how he has made himself a part of the family.

    LOL that pile of strewn refuse. I often encounter similar. Michael likes to pull and drop. And cut and drop. But that’s OK because he vaccuums every day because it’s too noisy for me. <3 <3 marriage <3 <3

  5. So colorful and peaceful there! The red rose is especially eye-catching.

    Pigeons are beautiful but messy birds, and also sound like they are very persistent, like nutria, which I think are called coypu in the U.K. Good luck to you and Jackie in dealing with them.

    Little Nugget is sweet and photogenic, as always. πŸ™‚

  6. Delightful post. It’s nice that you and Nugget can converse, so that you took your wonderful photos. Also, I read “biggification” as “birdification.” ? The flowers are glorious, and the shot of the cricket is wonderful.

  7. That reminds me of a story on YouTube, a dove built a nest on the hood of a car, right by the windshield. The owner removed it and the next day, it was rebuilding, and again, every day

      1. They are! It really is something to watch, though I am sure annoying to some trying to keep them out of their business.
        I watched doves out my window fighting squirrels for their nest and it was amazing to behold

  8. That was kind of you to leave some debris for Nugget to pick through. He apparently appreciated the gesture and was waiting around for more. Lovely garden photos!

  9. I love how familiar Nugget is and he’ll always come and inspect the Head Gardeners’s work ?
    With such a gorgeous garden of course everyone wants to come and do their nest there ?

  10. After trying every trick in the book to deter the pigeons at my previous place, I finally discovered what would work — moving to a new location, and leaving the pigeons the old property. Honestly, I feared they would follow, since I’m not so far away, but it seems they like their rooftops better than the trees around me now. You did fool me with your title. That’s a fine little cricket, to be sure, but I don’t know that it’s an absolutely fabulous cricket!

    1. Thanks very much, Linda. Jackie laughed and said “That’s a bit drastic. I just poke them up the bum with a broomstick.” I’m pleased I got you with the title πŸ™‚

  11. Behind the fascinating garden with fabulous flowers and plants, there is the inevitable stream of backbreaking work. Kudos to your passion!
    Nugget is camouflaged among the bricks and dried refuge but it’s easy enough to spot him in the middle of it all.

  12. Always so much going on in the garden!
    Hope Nugget is healthy. I feel sad for his loss. And poor Mrs. Nugget, too. They are fortunate to have you and Jackie in their lives. πŸ™‚
    The flowers and plants are a joy to behold!
    (((HUGS)))) πŸ™‚

  13. I had a look in Google Images and maybe that is a Speckled Green Bush Cricket, but I’m not really very sure about insects. There are just too many varieties of them for me!

  14. Looking after your beautiful garden certainly is never ending. You both work so hard in keeping it in tip top shape.

  15. I also was taken in by the title – cricket is back alongside the football, I asked myself! Delightful post, Derrick. And whilst I agree that moving house is perhaps a little drastic, I was wondering whether maybe moving the bench might be the simplest solution to those persistent pigeons? Anything for an easy life!

    1. A good idea, Sandra. But the Head Gardener is determined πŸ™‚ I’m pleased the title worked – the rose selected by the cricket was fortunate. Thanks very much.

      1. I had a feeling that would be your answer. Jackie seems to me to be a lady who will not be dictated to by a pigeon. A robin, of course, would be quite another matter! ?

  16. Your garden is looking so lovely. Nugget poses like a professional. πŸ™‚ When I saw “Absolutely fabulous Cricket”, I wondered who was playing and where. πŸ˜€

  17. You are so lucky to have such tame robins, they must truly trust you. I love the pictures of Nugget and I particularly like the petunias in your glorious garden. I did think you were going to be talking about actual cricket HaHa!

  18. I do remember well the times when my wife went out into the garden with a pair of secateurs in her hand. Paths were certain to become impassable until I decided reluctantly to pump up the tire on the wheel barrow and start earning a cup of coffee.

  19. Wow! I am your hundredth response today. This post has resonated with a ton of your followers. Beautiful photos, engaging text, enchanting garden, yes – absolutely fabulous cricket – and that typically inquisitive Nugget more curious than ever. I love it!

  20. Hallo! Daar is ik, nummer 102 … U had voor mij nog een gaatje? Ja, in de allermooiste tuin van heel Engeland, met een … , hoe heet die rozenboog … Nee, géén prieeltje, dat is weer wat anders … Nou, ja … Ik googel wel, ben niet zo tuinderig, heb zelf een balkon en ik zit er nooit, anders hebben de buren last van me …
    Vandaar …, die tuin is een verademing …, met honderd-duizend ditjes & dingentjes … Er vaart weer een giga, grote boot voorbij … Hij staat nu stil … s-Nachts kunnen ze in een ruk doorvaren, tijdens de spitz blijft de brug dicht, anders zit het hier potdicht … Ja, overal files … Voor mij is het al geen doen, voor toeristen helemaal niet … Nee, die komen nooit meer terug naar Amsterdam … Gezellig, met een boot over de grachten, Ja, als al die auto’s zijn opgerot! Ja … , pleur er nog een lockdown bovenop … Gezellig … * Amsterdam, 24 juni 2020, 18.40 uur … * Amsterdamse tijd … * http://www.friedabblog.wordpress.com * Nelly kan ook géén kant meer op: File op de Kostverlorenvaart! Ik moet even kijken, doei!

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