This is the footpath to the centre of the Palm Bed that we cleared yesterday.

On another scorching hot day we began the gardening early. My contribution was a dead heading tour, a certain amount of weeding, and a little clearing up.

After lunch I scanned the next five of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to David Copperfield.

‘She drew the harp to her, and played and sang’

‘Mr Peggotty smoothed her rich hair with his great hard hand’ displays such tender emotion’

‘Mr, Peggotty, with his vest torn open, his hair wild, and blood trickling down his bosom, looked fixedly at me’ depicts horror and despair.

‘Miss Dartle gently touched her, and bent down her head to whisper’

‘I drank in every note of her dear voice, and she sang to me who loved her’

After this, I wandered around with my camera, picturing

various scenes, each of which is titled in the gallery;

a. bee clambering onto an eryngium;

planters that currently need watering twice daily;

the water fountain that Jackie cleaned;

and the brick pillar in Elizabeth’s Bed that the Head Gardener removed from further back in this plot and rebuilt with a refurbished sign. Other refreshed signage includes the Old Post House and Aaron’s Garden labels placed on the arch taking us into the garden from the Back Drive. The kitchen table is a makeshift studio.

This evening we dined on Thai prawn and pollock fish cakes; smoked haddock; oven chips; and toothsome cauliflower, runner beans, and peas, with which Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank more of the Shiraz.


  1. What lovely signs – so beautifully artistic; they compliment your magical garden perfectly!
    Many roses seem to be suffering this year, having had such an abundant year last –
    but yours are looking wonderful πŸ™‚

  2. What wonderful roses… your garden must be a delightful place with so much of colour and the fragrance of the roses in the air.

  3. Thank you for using one of my favourite words “clambering”. It is just perfect to describe certain movements, such as those of a bee.

    What has been you maximum temperature so far?

      1. That, to a Canadian transplanted to Australia is a blissful temperature. Any higher is not comfortable. And, it probably is not comfortable for you, at 28C.

        I am very suspicious of people who say “I love hot weather.”

        I have put in a call to a bloke I know, Noah by name, to see if he has any spare Gopher timber to build me a little boat. We are having non-stop rain, and I don’t swim.

  4. Your beautiful garden certainly takes a lot of work, but seems to be a labor of love. The pond bed photo is especially lovely with the purple and white flowers. I enjoyed the illustrations of tenderness and singing.

  5. It seems Keeping’s sketches have rubbed off a certain influence on Jackie. The signages give a touch of fairy tale to the garden.

    1. The Keeping sketches did indeed influence me Uma, I was thinking of him when I took the stems of the ‘Phantom’ flowers off the edge of the borders of the signs.

  6. While your beautiful, though labour-intensive, garden is a dream to see, it makes me appreciate this very dormant time of the year in my own.

  7. You’re certainly doing a great job for bee conservation, Derrick! Every post seems to have some, happily feeding on your flowers.

  8. Wonderful water fountain! I can hear it’s bubbling soothing sounds! πŸ™‚
    Love the flowery hat and baskets! Made me smile, as did the owl! πŸ™‚
    The signage is grand! Perfect additions to the garden! πŸ™‚
    Mr. Keeping’s hug drawing and harpist drawing are heavenly! πŸ™‚
    Please stay safe on the hot days.
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  9. Love the signs and the fountain. I also love that I can enjoy your garden pictures without having to share the labor that makes your garden so lovely. πŸ˜‰

  10. I’m charmed by those signs! These special touches make a garden personal, whimsical, and inviting.

    I’ve meant to ask about your regular scanning of illustrations. Are they part of a larger project?

  11. The gardens are beautiful, Derrick and Jackie. You have both left such a loving imprint on the Earth with your work, always a pleasure to see in any weather. <3

  12. The two singing ladies are portrayed by Mr Keeping with faithful adherence to the text, demonstrating marked personality differences. The other illustrations are quite emotional, especially the one where ‘horror and despair’ are expressed through the two figures framing Mr Peggotty.
    Your roses are fabulous, as well as the rest of your splendid garden.

      1. You are very welcome, Derrick, and I thank you for the opportunity to enjoy Mr Keeping’s impeccable art.
        The children’s books will be presented one at a time, for special occasions, such as the beginning of the school year coming soon.

  13. I enjoy dead heading my flowers! I get frustrated doing the heavier garden chores but that I can always handle, it makes the plants so nice, and it encourages them to make so many new blossoms.

  14. Love the water fountain. I have a water feature that is need of a clean up too. And it needs the leak fixing.

  15. The Keeping illustrations are a wonderful complement to Dickens. I don’t know how you can work in the garden in this. I am melting sitting by a window at work!

  16. I love that bumblebee clambering onto an eryngium!! Good for you for being worker bees in the cool of morning and early evening – – – just like the bees!

Leave a Reply