Completing West Bed Planting

On a very dull, overcast, afternoon we shopped at Otter Nurseries for tree bark with which to mulch Jackie’s further planting in the recently opened up West Bed, then continued for a brief drive into the forest where we found nothing to photograph in such poor light.

While Jackie completed the dressing of the soil,

I posted

Later, I scanned the next six of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to Charles Dickens’s ‘Our Mutual Friend’.

‘Tradesmen’s books hunger, and tradesmen’s mouths water’

‘There was a deadly kind of repose on the place’

‘ ‘Oh-h-h!’ cried the person of the house’

The artist has used a double page spread to show ‘Boots and Brewer bolting off in cabs’ in opposite directions.

‘At times Mrs Lammle would lean forward to address Mr Lammle’ demonstrates Keeping’s mastery of expression.

‘An old Jewish man in an ancient coat’

This evening we dined on perfectly roasted pork with crisp crackling; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender runner beans, and tasty gravy, in the non-availabilty of pork stock cubes, made by adding those of chicken and ham to the juices from the meat. Neither of us imbibed..


  1. I really think your drawing of Gwen is on a par with the details and character portrayed in these sketches. The West Bed is looking good too.

  2. It sounds like a dreary day, but the owl looks rather cheerful.
    As usual, the drawings are very expressive.
    I hope all is well that neither of you imbibed.

  3. I love seeing the Owl on duty! Those big eyes take everything in! 🙂
    Your drawing of your Aunt Gwen reminded me of Mr. Keeping’s art! 🙂
    You know I love his street scenes/buildings and his faces/expressions! 🙂 You’ve shared some wonderful ones today!
    We had a dreary weather day, too…but we can always find sunshine within! ? ? ?

  4. Good morning Derrick, the owl inspired some words from me … and it’ll the finale to a piece I am submitting somewhere??

    “Has mankind misplaced utopia?
    And forgotten to ask the owls and crows
    How to fly against?
    Bad weather and strong undertows”

  5. The dull day seems to have lulled your photographic zeal in the forest for the day. An old Jewish man in an ancient coat has been given life by Keeping’s art.

  6. It was indeed a dull day weather wise – but your garden continues to be so bright and cheery. The wise Owl looks very chirpy too; I’m not surprised; such a pretty resting place, next to the wonderfully flowering hydrangea. Let’s hope we have a bit of ‘Indian Summer’ on the way!

  7. The west bed is looking splendid, oh, and I love the little owl!
    Supper sounds delicious, and now you’ve set me off with an urge for pork and apple sauce.

    By coincidence, I am visiting a nearby farm today with a farm shop that specialises in homegrown pork. Guess what will be in my shopping basket?

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