Le Déjeuner Sur L’herbe

I spent the whole morning foiling a suspected banking scam. This involved several phone calls, listening to long stretches of Muzak, and struggling with a Scots accent on a bad line.

Don’t ask. I couldn’t bear to go through it again.

This afternoon I reeled up the Gazebo Path to join Jackie who had spent the day so far eliminating fungus from the heuchera border in the Rose Garden.

The first picture shows the infested stems which I helped to bag up – the trug beside these contains the tiny rescued root stumps; the second shows Jackie applying liquid fungicide to the soil from which the plants have been removed; the third shows the rest of the border which will need to be similarly treated; and the last the planted stubs which should regenerate quite quickly.

It was truly the best part of a day for repelling pests.

While I sat by my desk with my mobile phone attached to my ear I had plenty of time to gaze at clematis Mrs N. Thompson through the window. The first of these pictures focusses on her. The other two are of what she looks like outside.

Later in the afternoon, when I was feeling less shell-shocked, we visited Otter Nurseries for some more fungicide and continued on a drive into the forest.

Just outside Brockenhurst a pair of foals trotted across the road and, ignoring another youngster, scampered across the heath. Where there are ponies you will usually find attendant crows.

We stopped at Puttles Bridge where Jackie parked the car and I wandered about around Ober Water with the camera.

As will be seen by the peaty water and the shallow bed this stream, albeit a bit fuller now, must have been quite dry during our absence. Reflections of trees and skies merged with the colours of the pebbles beneath. Dog roses abounded. The conversation with the very friendly young couple really cheered me up.

The last three pictures feature a group who put us in mind of Edouard Manet’s “Déjeurner sur l’herbe, except that all the women were appropriately clad and there were no fully dressed gentlemen in the scene.

While waiting in the car park Jackie watched the light moving to where she wanted it for this picture.

This evening we dined on meaty, spicy, pizza with Jackie’s mixed pasta cheese, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.


  1. I particularly like the reflective photos and with the eatlier photos I’m reminded of how much work goes into a garden such as yours.

  2. Was that honey fungus that Jackie was removing? If so she has our deepest sympathy. I liked the dejeuner picture very much and Jackie’s well timed fern was a delight.

    1. Luckily not Honey fungus, just heuchera rust that has devastated the heuchera border in the rose garden, easily got rid of but time consuming to remove and replant all the plants.

  3. You certainly have an eye for living art.
    “…Scots accent on a bad line” sounds like an alternative ending to Sartre’s “No Exit.”

    1. Smart thought Oglach. It certainly was like that. The person in the other end offered to call me back to improve the connection. No way was I going to risk another half hour on hold.

  4. So very sorry to hear about the bank scam and all of the troubles, and time, trying to set things straight. 🙁 UGHS 🙁

    I love that the photos of the picnic-ing group reminded you of the Manet’s The Luncheon on the Grass painting. Love your water and reflection photos! So many of your photos are majestic “paintings” themselves! 🙂

    I just had to find out..Mrs N Thompson clematis was raised in the 1950’s by Walter Pennell, of Pennells Garden Centre. They were one of the leading names in clematis breeding at the time. Mrs N. Thompson was named after the wife of Pennell’s nursery office manager. 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  5. I prefer your version to Manet’s. Apart from the obvious hazard of sunburn, I also worry about crawling insects. This unsettles me.There is a reason we invented trousers.

  6. I laughed at this: “It was truly the best part of a day for repelling pests.” Not all pests have multiple legs and crawl on the ground. Twice in the past months my credit card has been hacked; the consensus is that someone got into the processing servers. Who knows. I hope you managed to resolve the issue, so you could enjoy your Malbec.

  7. Your title photograph, is a wondrous interpretation Claude Monet’s glorious creation, “Le Déjeuner Sur L’herbe”…Well done Derrick…

  8. It sounds like you had a trying day between the potential bank scam and fungal foes in the garden.

    The forest drives are always restful and delightful to the eye. That photo of the streambed gravel under water with the play of shadows and light was particularly artistic.

  9. That is terrible about the bank and fugus.
    I haven’t been very active on wp lately, I’m still trying to get better but your post are good to read and entertain me. Hope you have a great week.

  10. I liked the picnic picture and its relationship to Manet. And I liked Jackie’s fern picture. Nice to get the right light! Hey, I scored a copy of The Stray tonight. There are lots of them out there. I wanted a hardback in good condition. There may be new ones, but I didn’t look there.

  11. The cybercriminals are modern day pests that have the ability to get under your skin, and inflict untold damage it you aren’t quick enough. Battling with call centres comes rather close to adding insult to injury. Hope you fought off the menace successfully. That’s a very lively pair. Influenced by Hemingway, I dreamt of going to Paris in my younger days. To that end, I had taught myself French too, which is now in tatters (and so is my dream). I was delighted though to read the title.

  12. Apparently “Clematis Mrs N.Thompson”, is named after the lady who found it called Nelly Thompson (from Taylors Clematis). It is apparently “tough and hardy” like the lady herself, presumably!

  13. After a frustrating morning of weeds and straightening out scams, that pasture with free-scampering ponies seems the perfect relaxation for both mind and body.
    Tell Jackie to keep up the good work with her own camera as well.

  14. So sorry about the bank scam. I hope you got it all sorted out. So many horrid people around.

    I’m glad you got outside to let nature and nicer people cheer you up. I chuckled at your reference to the Manet. At Grounds for Sculpture in NJ, it’s one of the works recreated in sculpture–you have to walk off the path to find it.
    I love the photos of the foals, and the photos of light, shadows, and reflections.

  15. Sounds like you were dealing with a different type of fungus to Jackie. I am glad you managed to spot the problem and deal with it but sorry you had any occasion to.

    I liked your comparison of the picture and the painting.

  16. I sorry you had to deal with foiling a scammer. Ugh.

    My favorite out of this group is the second Reflections on Ober Water. It looks just like an Impressionist painting.

  17. Nice to see people out and about again. The light and shadows look good – must have been very restful after a bothersome time with online customer services!

  18. Lovely photos, Derrick. And Jackie’s fern shot is gorgeous, too. I love seeing your unusual scenery with the horses and the forest and the reflective ponds. So beautiful! And like you, I find that meeting new people along the path, and taking time to chat, brightens my day as well. People are so interesting, aren’t they?

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