During the morning of this decidedly dank day Jackie worked on tidying the lawn and its surrounding borders, while I did something similar in the front garden, cleared up debris and fed the compost bins front and back.

Just in time for lunch a downpour sent us indoors. The Head Gardener left her tools outside, so, when I took advantage of a drier period to wander around with my camera, I gathered them up and deposited them in the greenhouse.

A hoverfly wasn’t too bothered about the raindrops on clematis Mrs N. Thompson; other clematises, nasturtiums, Black-eyed Susan, angels wings and day lilies were similarly bejewelled.

Various hanging baskets and other containers are flourishing, well stocked with petunias, lobelias, begonias, and more. Beside the vertical picture of Alan Titchmarsh, deep red Love Knot and lighter hued red carpet rose, are portraits of Ernest Morse and the climber Super Elfin. We have encouraged the honeysuckle to infiltrate the Back Drive from the garden of the adjacent care home. The purple and white Delta’s Sarah is in the patio bed.

Five more chapters read of Charles Dickens’s novel, David Copperfield, carry five more of Charles Keeping’s superb illustrations to my Folio Society edition.

‘She was sitting by the fire, suckling an infant, whose tiny hand she held against her neck’

In ‘We stand around the grave’ the artist chooses to place the burial party in the distance.

‘Away we went on our holiday excursion’

The figures in the foreground, bursting out of the frame of ‘I lounged about the streets, insufficiently and unsatisfactorily fed’ give a typical perspective to Keeping’s street scenes.

Note the artist’s trademark dog in ‘There was a very long-legged young man, with a very little empty donkey-cart, standing near the Obelisk’

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s hot and spicy pasta arrabbiata with full, firm, and tender green beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the especially smooth Rioja.

The wind is whipping up, reminding us that tomorrow afternoon we will need to batten down the hatches in the usual manner in preparation for the gale expected to strike early the next morning.


  1. There is something almost magical about droplets on petal and leaf. Those you captured even more so. Hope the forecasted gale does no damage.

  2. A dank, yet decidedly beautiful collection of garden photographs. How sad that, after all the hard work you and Jackie have put into clearing and tidying it all up, you are expecting a gale!

  3. Such beautiful flowers and photos–the colors stand out against the darkness.
    That dog in the illustration!🤣

    I hope the weather is not too bad.

  4. The garden looks beautiful even on a dank day, Derrick and Jackie. Summer gales aren’t something we generally see here in summer, though some years we have a bad hail storm in June. Now that I’ve said that, I hope we don’t get one of those in July. I hope your coming storm passes you by with damage.

  5. “Beside the vertical picture of Alan Titchmarsh, deep red Love Knot and lighter hued red carpet rose, are portraits of Ernest Morse and the climber Super Elfin.” I liked this, especially, your calling the named rose’s pictures “portraits.”

    Your gardens are in their full glory. It’s a wonder to behold.

  6. I am always so impressed with the beauty of your garden, Derrick! You two do a fantastic job. I may be wrong, but is this summer unusually wet and windy there? 🇬🇧❤️

  7. Your garden is indeed beautiful – a welcome and bright reminder that we are in full summer now; despite the dank and wet…
    Keepings illustrations tonight seem even more beautiful than usual – such detail; in every single element of each composition.
    Like your garden, his images are a Pandora’s box – so much to see, no matter where one looks. Interesting to learn about his ‘trademark’, too 🙂

    1. Thanks very much, Emma. I call the dog a trademark because it pops up in all the street scenes – not always cocking its leg 🙂 I like the idea of the Pandora’s boxes.

  8. So colourful and even more so after the rain.

    We’ve had two and a half days of rain but I’m not going to complain. No gales, thankfully.

  9. Even before I had quite figured out the illustration for “We stand around the grave,” it had put me in mind of an Edward Gorey drawing. It’s been said that “In [his] little books of sinister whimsy, Gorey was true to his belief in leaving things out, so that the reader’s thoughts could flower.” Seems to me that’s what this illustrator does, too.

  10. The illustrations really are superb and make me appreciate Charles Keeping’s creative genius. I love the mother and baby and the quote that goes with it, “She was sitting by the fire, suckling an infant, whose tiny hand she held against her neck.” Such sensitivity. The graveyard image with it’s wavy lines and creeping vines is unique and intriguing. Then there’s the dog. 🙂

  11. Right, oh master of alliteration, you missed a golden opportunity:

    In this sentence, you could have substituted ‘dawning’ for morning! 🙂

    During the morning of this decidedly dank day

  12. marvelous illustrations, from a tender depiction of young motherhood and somewhat gloomy cemetery scene to a graceful, light-footed horse conveying holiday mood, to oppressively crowded city, to a ‘long-legged young man’ positioned to the right of the tall street light which, at the center of our attention, emphasizes the long legs of the man.

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