Ninon Michaelis

The sun kept away today, and the cloud-wrapped air was mild.

To increase seasonal confusion the winter flowering cherry has bloomed early and nudges crab apples normally stripped by blackbirds by now.

This camellia is a very early spring bloomer, but never a November one.

Fuchsias like Delta’s Sarah and Mrs Popple just go on and on;

what is Margaret Merril doing distributing her summer scents over the latter?

This pink climber; the deep magenta Gloriana; gently blushing Crown Princess Margareta; never-ending For Your Eyes Only; dewy Mamma Mia; and ever-prolific Absolutely Fabulous still, beyond their normal spans, cling to life.

Even Winchester Cathedral has turned its back on Autumn.

Fatsia knows when to flower;

as for bidens, pelargoniums, and penstemon, they have no idea when to stop.

This afternoon the skies gently leaked and I scanned the last few black and white negatives produced from Kensal Green Cemetery in May 2008.

One of the most skilfully carved monuments in this, the earliest of “The Magnificent Seven” landscaped London cemeteries, stands in honour of Ninon Michaelis (c1864-1895) who ‘was the first wife of Maximilian (Max) Michaelis (1852-1932), a German-South African financier and diamond magnate. Max Michaelis was a partner in the mining company of Wernher, Beit & Co., and came to England in 1891 as the firm’s London director. An avid collector of paintings, he donated a magnificent collection of Dutch masters to the South African government, and endowed the Michaelis School of Fine Arts in the University of Cape Town. He was knighted in 1924. Ninon Michaelis was named as a popular figure in reviews of troops in South Africa. In May 1895, at the age of 31, she died of syncope (fainting), pneumonia and alcoholism. Also deposited in the vault beneath the monument are the remains of Max’s brother Gustav Michaelis (c1858-1901). Ownership of the vault passed to Maximilian’s second wife, Lillian Elizabeth Burton, whom he married in 1908, and who is recorded as the owner of the plot in 1932……..’

‘The monument is attributed to Henry Alfred Pegram (1862-1937). Pegram entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1881 and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1884.’ (

A side view of this sculpture of artist Wiliam Mulready appears in the book so I will not reproduce it here.

Sorrowful angels populate these Victorian burial grounds.

Another sealed up mausoleum is this one erected for Sir Patrick O’Brien.

His obituary in the International Catholic News weekly reported ‘The death ofΒ SIR PATRICK O’BRIEN, BART., on April 25, is announced. The deceased Baronet was the eldest son of the late Sir Timothy O’Brien, Bart. When the Corporation of Dublin was reformed in 1840, Daniel O’Connell was elected the first Catholic Chief Magistrate of the City since the penal times. Sir Timothy O’Brien was the second, and he was again subsequently elected when it became known that the Queen was to pay her first visit to Ireland. It was on this occasion, 1849, that the honour of a Baronetcy was conferred. He had then been member for Cashel since 1845 and continued such till 1857.’ (

This evening we dined on Jackie’s well-matured spicy pasta arrabbiata and tender green beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Valle Central Reserva Privado Merlot 2019.


  1. Flowers tend to take their blooming cues from day length as well as temperature and water. With the current changes in the climate, it seems they are quite confused as to the seasons! Your garden still has some beauty — the roses are lovely, as are the fuchsias!

  2. Your flowers are confused about the seasons, Derrick, which affords me the pleasure of viewing your fabulous roses. I also appreciate this istallment of the cemetery black and whites, together with your annotations.

  3. I am amazed at how the flowering continues in your garden.
    Two Robins appeared in ours today, first time I’ve seen them since late spring. Any sign of Nugget yet?

  4. I love their perseverance Derrick.. “Fuchsias like Delta’s Sarah and Mrs Popple just go on and on;….
    On and On We Go
    every second, a commitment
    every breath, a moment
    every moment, a feeling
    every feeling has a heartbeat
    and the beat goes on and on
    a soft beat to every step, to and fro
    and step by step the moments go
    a quest for answers never stops
    until our eternal sun drops

  5. So strange about the flowers in your garden, but how beautiful. “Even Winchester Cathedral has turned its back on Autumn.” πŸ˜€.
    The cemetery photos and history are fascinating.

  6. Your roses are doing quite well for the time of year, and are still so beautiful. The camellia blooming out of season is interesting, too. I sometimes see things like that here.
    The cemetery photos and stories of their residents in eternal sleep are always of interest.

      1. After you recently commented that your gladiolus would be the next flower to bloom, the one I have in the big garden decided to give me a second showing. The seasons certainly are a changing.

  7. What intriguing statues! Poor Ninon Michaelis, her tortured soul is depicted clearly. The sorrowful angel looks realistic. I see an expression of seeking help, imploring perhaps. Meanwhile diversity thrives in your garden with beautiful roses, fascinating fatsia and the magic of Delta’s Sarah.

  8. I love your cemetery photos…I’ve always loved the angel art and statues found in cemeteries….and thank you for honoring these people and their lives. I enjoy learning about them.
    Your garden flowers bring joy and reassurance of hope and encouragement to continue to find ways to grow and thrive no matter what the “weather” and the “seasons” in our current days/life. πŸ™‚
    All of your flower portraits are beautiful…but for some reason the roses really touched my heart today. πŸ™‚
    Good to have well-matured and tender in the same meal. πŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  9. I think I’ve told you in the past about a gardenia bush I have that gets very confused, but nothing at the extent you have.
    The tomb stones and crypts are incredible, aren’t they?

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