A Negative Tattoo

The day dawned dull yet dry; the air cool and cheerless. Nevertheless Compassion rose, its neighbouring geranium palmatum; rose Penny Lane and her accompanying clematis Dr Ruppel flourished well enough as I made my way into the garden to gather up clippings from the Head Gardener’s morning graft. After lunch I carried out an extensiveContinue reading “A Negative Tattoo”

Howling Wolf’s Drumbeats

As we sit beneath another day of incessant rain I cannot bring myself to wax lyrical about the Howling Wolf up above and his continuous drumbeats on the skylight. I therefore present an earlier relevant post most of my readers will not have seen: https://derrickjknight.com/2014/10/06/the-uses-of-enchantment/ From the days when my blog had yet to buildContinue reading “Howling Wolf’s Drumbeats”

For The Bees

Between stints in the garden today, which varied from overcast-gloom to sun-bright, I finished reading Chekhov’s engaging story entitled ‘Teacher of Literature” (1894). Essentially tracing the journey from childhood hardship to the consequences of unearned comfort the tale is told with human insight and with delightful bucolic descriptions. I will not reveal the changes inContinue reading “For The Bees”

Battering

An overall pale gunmetal grey cloud curtain remained closed throughout the day, although threatened drizzle desisted. For the last few stormbound days we have been thwarted in our bid for a joint tour of the garden in which Jackie could point out her recent plantings. We aimed to manage it this morning, but most ofContinue reading “Battering”

A Dreich Dundee Day

Cowering trees swayed before the breath of the Big Bad Wolf raging overhead huffing and puffing in his attempts to blow down little pigs’ houses; pattering trotters tripped across the roof; bejewelled yet disconsolate blooms bent their weeping heads; precipitate rivulets raced down the window panes, as we awoke to a pleasantly cooler bedroom breezeContinue reading “A Dreich Dundee Day”

“He’s After Us, Mum”

Today’s welkin canopy was a dismal, leaking, colander riddled with humid vapour. At mid-morning we drove to Hockey’s Farm Shop for brunch in their re-opened café. The recently completed thatched roof across the road in Gorley Lynch bears effigies of a fox stalking a row of ducklings following their mother along the crown of theContinue reading ““He’s After Us, Mum””

A Lesson In Economy

I find it easier to photograph white, pink, or red flowers in diffused light. That is why I paused before entering the car for our trip to visit Mum this morning to photograph the prolific white abundance of Félicité Perpétue and the pale and deeper pink roses over the porch. We visited my mother inContinue reading “A Lesson In Economy”

Antipodean Arboreal Delights

I began the day by reading three more of Anton Chekhov’s short stories and scanning one illustration. In her introduction to ‘Kashtanka’ (1887) Elisaveta Fen quotes a letter from Chekhov’s friend, the poet Polonsky, who wrote ‘the ending is not only unexpected but also significant, and this is most important. The colour of the languageContinue reading “Antipodean Arboreal Delights”

Chekhov Stories

On an even hotter day today we started gardening even earlier. While Jackie concentrated on tidying and watering, despite the efforts of another dislodged and overhanging climbing rose, I cleared another arm of the Rose Garden of weeds. Just before lunch, Mark and Rob, two of Aaron’s team, arrived to set about the Back Drive.Continue reading “Chekhov Stories”

Sweet Summer Wine

Today was even hotter than yesterday, so we began gardening early once more. The sweet smelling rose Summer Wine shares the entrance arch to the Rose Garden with the white Madame Alfred Carriere. One of the casualties of the recent gales was that a number of stems of the sturdy climber were ripped from theirContinue reading “Sweet Summer Wine”