Breathing Space

On another rather sultry morning we made good progress in

weeding the Rose Garden, thus giving breathing space to blooms such as

roses peach/orange Mamma Mia; pure white Margaret Merrill; pinkish Alan Titchmarsh; the recently righted New Dawn; and plants such as penstemon put in for variety.

Later, I read four more chapters of David Copperfield and scanned a page containing a Charles Keeping illustration for each one.

‘It was Miss Murdstone who was arrived, and a gloomy-looking lady she was’

Readers who have been following this series of Keeping’s illustrations to Dickens’s novels will know that the artist uses larger figures in the foreground to indicate receding perspective. In ‘Still, nobody appeared to claim the dusty youngster from Blunderstone, Suffolk’ the diminutive such figure shows how small is the boy.

‘The wooden-legged man turned me about again, with my face to Mr Creakle, and posted himself at Mr Creakle’s side’

‘ ‘I take my leave of you’, said Mr Mell’

This afternoon I watched the Wimbledon Tennis match between Dan Evans and Sebastian Korda.

We dined this evening on the last portion of Jackie’s splendid beef pie, amplified by minced cooked with onions, mushrooms and peas; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender runner beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cotes du Rhone.

I then settled down to watch the tennis match between Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.


  1. Your pretty pink tinged Penstemon is so lovely – I’ve spent the afternoon planting out cuttings of the deep purple Raven variety and am intrigued by your much lighter flowers. It’s a flower that really earns its space!
    The detail on Keepings drawings, whether of people of buildings, is exquisite – a treat to be able to see them.

      1. That’s so funny! Having got them last year as my first Penstemons I am really taken by the plants… but seeing your much lighter variety yesterday, I did feel that my ravens are so dark that they recede and can be difficult to spot – either that, or perhaps Jackie’s owls have had a word with the Ravens, and they’ve flown away!!

  2. I imagine his street scenes will become more and more valuable as historic renderings of old London when all has been pulled down and ‘modernised’.

  3. Whoops .. your 3rd scan didn’t work for me Derrick … but you’ll know I loved the 2nd scan/illustration ..

  4. The third scan remains a mystery for me too, yet the other illustrations are interesting to see – as are the lovely flowers in your garden.

  5. I really don’t like Wimbledon fortnight and the disruption to the BBC both on TV and radio. I watched a DVD – ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’

  6. (The third scan is just blank and its dimensions are given as 0 x 0)

    Whoever constructed the path and the patio for the weeded rose garden has done a wonderful job.

  7. My husband and son are enjoying Wimbledon and foot ball. Though the matches come in the evening for us. My husband is a Federer fan ?. The roses are so beautiful.

  8. Harmony and peace reign in your beautiful garden, Derrick! A wonderful and atmospheric photo of the fallen rose leaves on the ground and the whole garden feels enchanted! As for David Copperfield, I haven’t read it but with such captivating illustrations I’d be tempted! Enjoy!

  9. The fragrance in your garden must be amazing.

    How come you do not have bugs or insects and you rplants look so clean? I would appreciate a tip or two from the head gardener ?

    1. Thanks very much, Rupali. All diseased rose petals are removed and not composted. Diluted Systemic Rose Clear around the base – not the spray variety which is harmful to bees. The birds help, of course. Hope this is helpful

  10. Sorry Derrick, this question is for Jackie……
    My orange rose is not blooming at the moment. Does this mean it’s time to trim it down; and if so; how far do I trim? I’ve never been the best when it comes o raising roses. ?

          1. Thank you very much. That does look very helpful. For some reason I never thought to look on youtube!!

  11. The garden photos are always delightful, Derrick and Jackie. It is nice to see the roses thriving. Our own roses have taken a beating between deer browsing and extreme heat.

    I love the illustrations, too πŸ™‚

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