The Green Man

It was just about warm enough on a not very bright morning for us to visit Mum in the

beautifully designed, planted, and well maintained, garden at Woodpeckers this morning.

While waiting for my mother to be wheeled out I enjoyed a conversation with the gardener who works on this plot with the help of a group of volunteers.

Our visit lasted an hour with much more to talk about than is possible inside and through a screen. There was no difficulty with hearing each other and we could listen to and discuss chirping smaller birds and chattering jackdaws while watching a pair of robins darting backwards and forwards with beaks full of wriggling things.

This was Mum responding to the story about my fall in the flower bed. She was delighted to know that her photograph would be going round the world..

Afterwards we drove to Helen and Bill’s at Fordingbridge, briefly to deliver Jackie’s sister’s sunglasses and sunflowers she had left at our house a couple of days ago.

At Hale, while its mother picked daisies, a foal stirred itself to roll over and attempt to rise at the sight of my camera, then, deciding it couldn’t be bothered and flopped back into its ditch-bed.

The spreading limbs of an ancient oak framed the cropped landscapes of the green.

Along with a couple of other groups we picnicked overlooking the moorland below Abbotswell.

Beside the well-stocked woodland verge of a North Gorley lane

sprawled the gnarled arms of a broadly smiling Green Man.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s flavoursome savoury rice as a base for succulent roast chicken thighs, and prawns, both hot a spicy and salt and pepper preparations, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz..


  1. Is the Green Man not the Green Knight appearing in disguise? The photograph of the spreading limbs of the oak is beautiful.

      1. I don’t know why. I tried to comment on someone’s website blog and could not but found I could comment when I went back to their blog on the WordPress Reader.

  2. Woodpeckers looks like a lovely facility, and it seems your mum is thriving there! How nice that you could have a truly in-person visit with her. I love the green man — and the other oak tree limbs as well! Would love to sit on the one limb and have a long chat sometime!

  3. Great post, Derrick, and nice photo of your Mum.
    This brought back wonderful memories for me , as I also remember visiting my Mum in a beautiful garden. ⚘

  4. I’m pleased you were able to socialise with your mother in the garden. It does look very pleasant surroundings.

  5. Sounds like such a nice visit with your Mum! I hope you tell her that all of us around the world are always interested in her well-being!
    Of course the Green Man was smiling! He knows you sent the pony and her foal out to the world too!!

  6. Your mother looks very well – as does her beautiful garden. Lovely that volunteers help to maintain it.
    It must seem amazing that the episode of you tumbling amongst the weeds has gone around the world –
    but let’s hope that there is not a follow up of that particular episode!

  7. So much beautiful countryside there, Derrick! The grounds where your mother is are beautifully maintained, very nice. I wonder how old the Oaktree is? ???❀️

  8. I am very glad to see your mother looking well and in good spirits, enjoying your visit in the garden, Derrick. The Greed Man also seems to be in a benevolent mood.

    1. Thank you very much, Dolly. We stopped so I could photograph the tree – it was only when walking back in the opposite direction that I saw the broad smile

  9. The Green Man has certainly been busy–what a lovely day. Your mother looks great, and how wonderful you got to spend time with her. And does she know she has so many admirers all over the world (as does her son and his wife)??
    That little foal is so sweet.

  10. YAY for your first (in a l-o-n-g time) garden visit with your Mum! She looks wonderful! πŸ™‚
    I wish she could know how often I think of her, pray for her, wish her well…how she makes me smile. What a beautiful garden she has to enjoy! What great volunteers who keep it looking so beautiful! πŸ™‚

    Love seeing the cute little woodpecker busy at work on his tree! πŸ™‚ What a great carving!

    OH! The little foal is a joy to see! What a cutie! “while it’s mother picked daisies…” I love this! πŸ˜€

    The Green Man is so handsome! You find the most interesting trees to photograph! Trees that if they could talk would tell amazing tales!
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

      1. Seriously, speaking as a woman whose mother spent the last THIRTY-TWO years of her life in care, whatever it costs – provided it does not leave you so destitute you cannot eat for a week – then please continue to support your mother to live in this home-like and caring situation for the years that remain. You may think I don’t know the comparisons in England, but when I was there in 2005 when my “kind of adopted” mother (well, she tried to adopt me, but I was already 21, so the lawyers said “no can do”) needed to move into care, and I was there with her and the family, I saw some “nice” places, but nothing to compare to this. It is something out of a movie script.

  11. I love the beautiful and well maintained garden at Woodpeckers. So great to see your Mum out in the open air. It’s good to see that families are finding ways to get out in open spaces far away from the crowd.

  12. How wonderful that you could have a visit with your mum outside in the fresh air! She looks like she’s doing very well. (I’m sure that seeing her son had much to do with it.)

  13. My apologies for being a little behind with reading posts this week.

    I am so pleased that you enjoyed the visit with your mum. She looks so happy sitting in those gardens that are so very well tended.

  14. The Green Man was fun, but I really liked the woodpecker roaming over that tree. Best of all was seeing your Mum outside and enjoying a chance for a different kind of visit — wonderful!

  15. The Woodpeckers is a gorgeous place. I envy the gardener who is pursuing an undoubtedly coveted vocation. Your Mom is a cute model for her age! I am sure she can give the very best in the game a run for heir money in her group.

    I don’t blame the lazing pony for deciding to forgo a modelling opportunity in favour of a languorous sprawl. The olden oak must be a treat for kids visiting the forest β€”its limbs are so inviting.

  16. The garden at Woodpeckers is certainly, as you said, well designed, planted, and maintained. It’s a lovely spot for you and your mom to chat in. I’m glad she liked the idea of her picture going around the world.

  17. Hello, Derrick’s Mum!! I’m looking at your photograph this morning in Nottingham. All the trees are green here and it’s a beautiful day!

  18. I’ve had an extra busy day Derrick, and I am way behind on my blog site today … however your photos of the foal resting in the cosy ditch made me smile tonight !! ..

  19. Give β€˜mum’ my best. What a great smile. Beautiful gardens at her facility. Old oaks are beautiful. I pass one almost daily that must be 5 feet across and older than our young country. Green man looks like a hiding crocodile. Take care, Derrick.

  20. Tell your mother that I’m reading about her in Maine. Wonderful for you to be able to visit with her close-up and personal. Adorable picture of the foal. And then, the Green Man. This post contains multitudes.

  21. Your mother lives in a beautiful facility! I am glad you and Jackie were able to visit outside and spend some time with her.

    The foal is adorable! They are sweet little ones! I enjoy seeing these photos of the general area, moorland and hills. That oak has a lot of personality.

  22. I enjoyed everything about this post, Derrick. I was envious of that old tree, being able to put a branch down like that, against the Earth, to provide some additional support. I’ve been working hard in the back yard for three days and my back is so sore. I wish I had an arm I could brace against the ground with. The garden at Woodpeckers is so lovely, and it’s wonderful that volunteers work on it. The foal has the right idea to just stay in that comfy ditch and roll around. My cat Racecar would have the same idea. And please tell your mother that she is looking good! I am so glad to hear that you had a nice long visit in person.

  23. I’m glad you’ve manage to see each other without the screen ? Your Mum looks really good! Of course she’ll be pleased to know that her photograph will travel all around the world ?
    That foal is really enjoying it ?
    I’m wondering what stories could tell the Green Man ??

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