Rampant Alliums

For some days now a pair of robins have approached the stable door at the back of the house, settled in the wisteria, and drunk from Waterboy’s shell.

Another flits around the front garden, unwittingly taunting me through the window as I begin this draft.

The couple are becoming interested in Jackie’s continuing clearance of the Pond Bed and tolerate her talking to them but are not yet ready to pose for photographs. My sightings are far too fleeting for my trigger finger.

The Gazebo Path meets the Oval Path at the entrance to the Rose Garden. That is the point I had reached when a welcome shower drove us both in this afternoon.

When we first arrived in Downton we thought the little white onion flowers that came up after the snowdrops were quite charming. Little did we then know how invasive they are. One bulb can produce 300 babies. The first of the pictures shows a plastic bucket with part of Jackie’s collection; the second some with a cluster of pendant offspring all of which I attempted to prize out with a fork – I have no doubt I didn’t unearth them all.

Laid out on a shove halfpenny board with a 1p piece and a normal sized matchstick for scale Jackie has photographed in ascending sizes the allium vineal (wild garlic) and allium triquetrum bulbs with which we are dealing.

A brief period of sunshine followed the rain, giving me the opportunity to photograph raindrops, like these on tulips

or the feather lying among the weeds on the Oval Path, which will probably be my next targets.

Clematis Montana Mayleen is beginning its climb up the Cypress stump, beside which a freshly blooming rhododendron is poised to replace a fading camellia.

The Palm Bed photograph displays a spreading spirea, the rusting Ace Reclaim bench which has to be replaced, and the alliums triquetrum requiring eradication,

which also nestle annoyingly beneath another burgeoning rhododendron, a yellow Japanese maple, and the tulips Lilac Wonder.

Longer term readers will be familiar with Jackie’s pet robin who didn’t make it back this spring. He had, however, nurtured three broods before wintering in the forest. This was Nugget, at least three of whose progeny have returned in his stead. Let us call them collectively Nugget Junior.

While we prepared for dinner in the kitchen a sunshine-shower sparkled in the garden, refreshing Nugget Junior who is perched on the stone urn roughly in the centre of this image which can be enlarged with a couple of clicks.

Readers will also remember the game of Where’s Nugget? Much nearer to the house I am happy to present Where’s Nugget Junior? (1). If enlargement doesn’t reveal the robin, try looking through the second window pane in the second row.

Dinner consisted of spicy pizza with plenty of fresh salad. Jackie likes extra cheese on her pizza. I don’t, so she gave me a side dish of crispy bacon and mushrooms. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.


  1. Your garden is such a beautiful pandora’s box –
    a cornucopia of treasure and testament to Jackie and her Assistant Gardener πŸ™‚
    – So interesting to see the sizes of the Alium bulbs.
    I’m afraid I’m still at the innocent stage where I think Wild Garlic is wonderful, and carpets of it, with that familiar heady smell, a total delight!

  2. Oh dear, poor Nugget. Three babies. It’s like when Charlotte lived on in Joy, Aranea, and Nellie! (Charlotte’s Web)

    1. Chemicals on the paths after an initial spring clearance, but as this is a crowded garden, the beds have to be hand weeded as any chemicals would affect other plants, not much hope of clearing all the unwanted alliums, so and exercise in control.

  3. YAY for the Nugget Junior(S) returning to your beautiful safe garden! πŸ™‚ Their Daddy taught them well! Such a beautiful little robin and such a joy to find him in your photo(s)! Bring on the Where’s Nugget Junior in the weeks ahead! πŸ˜€
    I can smell the wild garlic! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  4. I have to hand it to you, the pair of you work so hard in your gorgeous garden and it was lovely to see Nugget Junior which ever one he or she is.

  5. Thanks for the morning stroll through the garden. It’s seems I’ve inadvertently keep your posts to enjoy after breakfast (except for Koala Hospital days) I can spend more time enjoying your posts after breakfast.

    Would Alium bulbs work better in a single pot for mass blooming without taking over the garden? Nugget Junior looks like his/her father. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for my daily fix.

    1. Thank you so much for all this, Chrissy. I think you are right about containing the bulbs – that works well with mint. You have hit on why we can’t yet tell the difference between the Nugget Juniors πŸ™‚

  6. Right, I am off to develop my coat of arms. The Field of Azure will display an Allium Rampant. The motto will be

    Puer aeternus nusquam iecur πŸ™‚

    1. Of course I had to look that one up. I was so hopeless at Latin at school that they transferred me to geography. I suppose I’d better thank you for reading, Yvonne

  7. I love the photo of the purple tulips, very striking. I’m so glad that we can look forward to appearances by Nugget, Junior! I’ve missed little Nugget.

  8. With your help, I found Nugget Junior. Sorry about Nugget Senior. A hard world for little birds. On a happier subject…that tulip picture is beautiful.

  9. There are so many things blooming in your garden. It’s hard to keep up with it all. Spring is such a beautiful time, but with all the blooming of flowers, the weeks aren’t far behind.

  10. Nugget Junior is perched on the head of an owl.
    Your purple tulips are stunning, Derrick, and I hope Jackie is planning to do something with this abundance of wild garlic, rather than throw it away.

          1. I gather you are not avid garlic eaters such as we are. I would pickle the whole lot and then use them for pickling other vegetables.

  11. trigger finger!!! that is the term I was looking for when trying to capture a frontal picture of the wood duck.. trigger finger.. thank YOU.. waves…

  12. I have missed Nugget Senior, and I suspected it may have been lights out for him when he didn’t winter over as he did the year if memory serves me correctly. So glad to see the line continues. Now, to train them as well as their Dad. Hopefully they like to eat allium bulbs

  13. delightful photos from your beautiful garden and Jackie toiling away. i love the stunning view from your kitchen and the golden japanese maple. both are glorious! thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  14. I found Nugget Junior with your assistance, Derrick! It is good to see robins in your beautiful gardens. I hope Jackie has an attending robin soon. πŸ™‚

  15. Welcome to the beautiful garden, Nugget, Jr. I needed directions to find you, but I’m glad to see you. How nice to get some rain, Derrick. I’m happy for you.

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