A Ship In A Bottle

Some 100 yards or so to the east along Christchurch From our house lies the entrance to a series of quarry pits. Our friend Giles has learned that three of the pits have been filled with water and converted to bird sanctuaries. In recent months a series of gates into the woodland have appeared. I imagined that these may provide access to the waters. This morning I walked along to investigate. Each one of the gates bears a digital padlock on the inside.

The last two of these images show the dried ditch. Remaining enticed by views beyond the gates, I returned home thinking that further research would be in order.

A bonus was that I met and enjoyed a lengthy conversation with our next door neighbours, Laraine and David, from whom we have been largely in Covid-induced isolation for too many months.

Jackie continued work in the garden and later photographed the Brick Path which has become quite slippery. The first of these shots shows a completed section; the second, work in progress; and the third what was still to be done.

From later afternoon until early this evening, The Head Gardener continued her task to completion among the essential shade.

These three scenes comprise the southern, central, and northern, sections of the thoroughfare, which I photographed.

After lunch I had previously toured with my camera.

Slightly left of centre in this picture we see a rather spindly Jacqueline du PrΓ© rose which was being choked by Japanese anemones. Jackie removed the invaders and bagged them up for the stack of garden refuse destined for the dump. I carried them across to join the others, and

photographed them while I was at it. These, containing material too woody for compost, have all been packed in the last fortnight.

Hydrangeas and hanging baskets need frequent watering during this hot weather which now warrants a government Amber heat warning.

Phlox of various hues are really flourishing; Rhapsody in Blue flowers again.

One day lily has penetrated the aluminium latticework of a bench on the lawn. Rather like a ship in a bottle it would have been neatly folded to facilitate entry before its sails were unfurled.

Before settling down to drinks in the Rose Garden, Jackie photographed a ladybird, perched higher than either of us, waiting for a sunflower to open.

We dined on flavoursome liver and bacon; boiled potatoes; cauliflower and carrots al dente; and tender cabbage, with which Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I finished the Shiraz.


  1. Beautiful flowers. Most cultures consider ladybirds good luck. We do here in the States and call them ladybugs–both names are similar and delightful.

  2. Wow – that pile of non-compostable garden refuse is astounding. Out here in the country, we just throw ours into the woods or burn it. That’s how we get the big fire started to burn the trees that have toppled into our yard. Not sure what the best (environmentally) method is. But we do enjoy our bonfires.

    1. When we first came we burned everything because we didn’t know about the dump. Now we can only go by appointment so Aaron takes a truckload to the commercial dump. We have no space for bonfires πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot, Jodie.

      1. Oh, perfect – that’s why you save it all up. I get it. We have never been to the dump, but we could do it it we had stuff the regular trash wouldn’t take.

        Our township has recently limited our trash amounts. We only get one container of recyclables and one container of regular trash. But it’s no problem for us because our kids are elsewhere now and we have very little trash.

  3. Good morning, and on browsing through your beautiful photos, my favourite ‘good morning flower’ was “Blue Moon”

  4. Beautiful photos, Derrick! And love the “ship in the bottle” day lily! Amazing where, how, when plants will find a way to grow/not let anything stop them! We should be as resilient! πŸ™‚ Maybe that day lily was hoping someone would sit down by them and chat a spell. πŸ™‚
    <3 the ? photos AND the orange shed door! πŸ™‚
    Stay safe and cool in the heat!
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  5. It sounds as though it could be lovely for many to enjoy the bird sanctuaries, if access is granted in the future – what a mystery!
    Your sunflowers are looking as though they’re bursting with promise πŸ™‚

  6. I, too, appreciate the ship in a bottle analogy for the lily in the lattice. I have to say that my favorite photo out of today’s grouping is the phlox. They are so pretty and appealing! In my floral news, my husband announced at supper tonight that one of the neighborhood DWA (Deer With Attitude) ate my flowering hydrangea. πŸ™

  7. I like the earthy brick pathways, the flower in 7/7 that looks like a giant gardenia, and the tenacious daylilies. My daylilies are not blooming this year. Maybe there’s too much shade.

    1. We can see why you thought of a gardenia, but these are leaves of a cineraria planted in the iron urn. Day lilies don’t like too much shade. Thanks very much, Joanna.

  8. Snap! You two must be the most fit gardeners in the country! I counted 19 bags of garden refuse, but I’m certain some are hidden behind the visible ones. Have you always cultivated a gorgeous garden like this or has it evolved in retirement? It’s like Butchart Gardens! A beautiful public garden on Vancouver Island. I’m totally smitten with the Phlox! It doesn’t do well here, but I so wish. That and Foxglove. I haven’t seen it in your garden, do you grow it? xK

      1. How awesome, bravo Jackie! No wonder you two are such botanical whizards. Thank you for the link! I would love to have those giant white spears of loveliness in my garden!! ?K

  9. Those gates must be irresistible to explorers like you. I will await the results of your deeper excursions. The analogy of ship with its sales unfurled in a bottle to the blossoming One Day Lily through the latticework in aluminium bench is apt.

  10. The brick paths take a lot of work to keep them beautiful and safe — but they are really looking nicely trimmed now!

  11. Your ship in a bottle is an excellent analogy, Derrick. As for that pile of bags awaiting removal to the dump … I have an enormous pile of similar material doing its ‘own thing’ out of sight in the back garden. Everything is so dry here that nothing seems to decompose at the moment.

  12. As I look around your garden from ground level – I so wish you had a drone – so we could get an overall picture of where/how/why the paths and beds are going πŸ™‚

      1. okay, finally remembered to look on the laptop – wow, now I understand why there are so many plantings – beds and paths…

  13. Hi Derrick,

    I’m astounded at the size of your garden. I was thinking that it must be huge. How long have you been keeping it?

      1. I love garden history stories. Thank you. I understand the situation well. My former garden was also a former jungle- with very bad soil and all sorts of molds and fungus. It was a wreck. I created a beautiful cottage garden but… unfortunately the people who moved into the house after we left don’t have even one drop of Gardner’s blood. Actually- the garden has reverted to a jungle once again. You would never know that it was once beautiful. My heart breaks for all the snowdrops and hellebores and everything I planted- now buried and choked.

  14. The paths to the old quarry pits near your house look interesting. Perhaps someday they will be open.

    Everything is beautiful in your gardens, and I hope it does not get any hotter there. Some of our own plants here were stunted and buds shriveled during the extreme heat. I did not plant sunflowers this year, so I will enjoy yours. πŸ™‚

  15. Like how the post title fits that day lily. The ladybugs waiting for the sunflower is also very unique. Thanks, Derrick for sharing another nice gallery of the Knight gardens.

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