She Powdered Her Face

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Today’s weather would have blessed any Summer’s day. It was warm and sunny, and Jackie and I raised a sweat as we continued weeding, planting, and lopping. I use ‘we’ loosely. I mainly tidied up after the real work. We transported the two full orange bags of cuttings to the dump, and later almost completely refilled one of them.

Clematis 2Clematis Passion FlowerClematis 3Clematis 1

Clematises are now bursting out all over. The first two depicted here are Niobe and Passion Flower. I can’t name the others.

Rose Summer Time

Roses like creamy golden Summer Time,

Roses Summer Wine and Madame Alfred CariereRoses Summer Wine and Madame Alfred Carriere 2

white Madame Alfred Carriere, and glowing pink Summer Wine clamber up structures in

Rose Garden

the Rose Garden, over one corner of which Altissimo dances the tightrope.

Compassion roses

while Compassion rewards us for clearing its space over

Garden view from patio along Dead End path.

the Dead End Path.

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks

Geranium Palmatum

and geranium palmatums are beginning to prepare us for their annual profusion.

Diascia

Diascas,

Bidens

bidens,

Marguerites

and marguerites are just three of the plants carefully positioned in a variety of containers.

Butterfly Painted Lady on erigeron

A Painted Lady who had definitely seen better days powdered her face in the erigeron pollen.

This evening we dined on spicy chicken kebabs, plain boiled rice, and plentiful salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cabillero de Diablo, reserva cabernet sauvignon  2015.

 

To The Next Level

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This morning, not only did Aaron prune a hawthorn and a maple; take out an old, not really productive, vine; and heap compost and bark mulch onto the rose garden, but he also cut the grass, thus relieving me of my first task this afternoon.

I did, however, participating with the customary division of labour, assist the Head Gardener in pruning and clearing the shady side of the Palm Bed, with the effect that

Garden view from Shady Path

the vista from the decking, across Aaron’s well mown grass, to the Compassion rose visible through the cleft in the eucalyptus is revealed.

Tree, yellow, unidentified

Long-term visitors may remember that the yellow-leaved tree, also seen from this point, looked rather dead when we first arrived here. Only the long diagonal limb on the right bore any leaves. It has, however, from a reduction of encumbrances and an increase in light, recovered well. We might even be able to improve the shape by removing the now stray branch.

Jackie watering hanging baskets

After this, Jackie continued filling and watering her hanging baskets which will soon lift the garden to the next level.

Later, I drafted the next section of A Knight’s Tale, making use of these two pictures from ‘Cricket In The Street’;

from this photograph and edited text in ‘Holly’

and from this studio portrait in ‘Wagon Wheels’.

This evening we dined on spicy pizza, pork bacon, and plentiful salad. We’d already each consumed a beer on the patio beforehand.

The Head Gardener’s Hod Carrier

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Brick PathJackie working on Dragon BedJackie continues weeding, clipping, planting, and replenishing soil. This involves a certain amount of popping out to a garden centre. Today, for example, she departed for some lime and returned with, in addition, a garden tray, a parasol, and the obligatory few plants. Here she was working away on the Dragon Bed near the house end of the Brick Path a couple of days ago.

Wisteria arbour

Here is a current view of the Wisteria Arbour where, accompanying the eponymous plant, can be seen a red rose and Carnaby and Star of India clematises; with bronze fennel, cerinthes and Sweet Williams in the foreground bed.

Garden view across Kitchen BedAlliumFrom the corner of the patio the view across the Kitchen Bed contains the white clematis Marie Boisselot reflected by libertia; alliums, pansies, and diascias bringing notes of purple and pink; and russet triangle points made up of the recently pruned maple, the distant copper beech, and the now fully blooming

Chilean Lantern Tree

Chilean Lantern tree.

Rose Peach Abundance 1

Rose Peach Abundance soars over the Oval Bed,

Rose Altissimo

as does Altissimo beside the potting shed.

Rose Mum in a Million

Mum in a million,

Rose Crown Princess Margarete

Crown Princess Margarete,

Rose Schoolgirl

and Schoolgirl are all flourishing in the Rose Garden

Rose Festive Jewel

where Festive Jewel

Rose Garden 1

leads the eye through For Your Eyes Only to Gloriana, with Love Knot to the left;

Hoverfly on rose Summer Wine

and a small hoverfly investigates Summer Wine peeping from its rack on the entrance arch.

Heucheras

The Head Gardener is wondering whether the splendid, flouncing, heucheras are now putting the roses in the shade.

Cuttings for compost 2Cuttings for compost 1My primary function has been to explore all paths and corners of the garden seeking out heaps of weeds and clippings and either chopping them up to fill the orange bags, or dumping them on the fast developing compost piles.

These contributions can crop up anywhere, especially, it seems, when I think I have finished.

Wheelbarrow loaded with weeds

This was just the first wheelbarrow load today.

Weeds for compost 1

Pushing it happily along the Brick Path, I discovered the next two loads. It is fun being the Head Gardener’s Hod Carrier.

Fortunately, Jackie had produced enough of her marvellous lamb jalfrezi meal yesterday for it to be reprised this evening. As usual, this offered some enhancement. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, leaving the Kingfisher to me.

Smiling For The Cameras

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Waterboy Pool 1

We have several sparrows’ nests in the garden. They, along with various other small birds, take their ablutions in the Waterboy’s pool, as they did this morning.

Sparrows - one on waterboy's head, another on pool edge

Sparrows - one on waterboy's head, one flying

Sometimes they await their turn for a dip on the little lad’s head, flying off after they are done.

Sparrow on hook 1Sparrow on hook 2

Other perches also come in useful.

I carried out an administrative task in relation to our friend Wolf’s executorship, after which Jackie drove me to the Hordle Post Office.

Crane transporter 1

We were narrowly beaten to Hordle Lane by a crane transporter. This held us up somewhat,

Crane transporter 2

since it took up most of the tarmac, and anyone coming from the other side of the road had to risk driving into the ditch.

Crane transporter 3

There were quite a few of these because it was school run time.

Mount Pleasant Lane

After I had eventually posted some missives, we travelled on to Brockenhurst via Mount Pleasant Lane which rather lived up to its name.

Heron

At Highland Water a heron strode purposefully along the shallow stream,

Ponies

on the other side of which a group of small ponies mowed the lawns.

Pony and family 1

One of their number had remained on our side and attached itself to a small family.

Pony and bare feet

The father collected up the picnic and took it to a safer place,

Mother and two boys

while the boys watched with some consternation the pony snuffling the bicycle.

Pony and shoe

With teeth

Pony scratching and family

and hoof, the animal sought to relieve its itching,

Pony and family 2

reporting progress to the mother and her younger son

Pony and photographer

as the father crouched down with his camera.

Pony and photographers

While other photographers thronged to the scene the model began smiling for the cameras.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb lamb jalfrezi, her rice with peas, and her sag ponir, with which we both drank Kingfisher.

Refreshment

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Jackie carried out much knowledgeable weeding and planting this morning, whilst I cleared up the discards and conveyed them to the compost pile.

Garden view along Heligan Path

The early sun lit libertias standing in the Weeping Birch Bed,

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 4Rose Garden 5Rose Garden 3Rose Garden 2Rose Garden 6

and enlivened the burgeoning Rose Garden.

Raindrops on clematis CarnabyRaindrops on clematisClematis Marie BoisselotClematis

Various clematises,

Clematis Montana

including this wonderfully scented Montana festooned over the front wall;

Weigela

the weigela winding down the south fence;

Aquilegias

ubiquitous aquilegias;

Rambling rose pink

the pink rambler on the front garden trellis;

Libertia, geraniums Ingwersen's Variety, campanulas

borders everywhere, like this corner sporting campanulas, libertia, and geraniums Ingwersen’s Variety,

Raindrops on irises

and the long Back Drive hosting splendid golden irises, relished their welcome refreshment.

Fly on primula

A fly alighted on one of the front tub’s primroses.

This afternoon I added a little more to my biography of an era including me. I now have a working title: ‘A Knight’s Tale’. I took more text, and

this photograph from ‘A Sneaky Weekend’

I then made some prints from recent posts for Louisa.

After this I joined Jackie in the weeding, concentrating my efforts on uprooting the more obvious infiltrators, namely the smelly white alliums, clinging ladies’ bedstraw, and golden buttercups occupying the wrong beds.

This evening, there being no table available at the Crown in Everton, we dined at the Smugglers’ Inn at Milford on Sea. Having starters was a mistake. The platefuls were excellent. Mine contained battered whitebait, plentiful fresh salad, and thick wedges of equally fresh bread. Jackie received a huge plateful of bread and olives. Each serving was a meal in itself. An even bigger mistake was, in my case,  ordering succulent sirloin steak, still more fresh salad, a mountain of perfect chips, onion rings, and fried onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Jackie was treated to a huge bowl of cannelloni. more salad, and an equal number of chips to mine. Neither of us could finish our food, and we did not require a look at the dessert menu. The food was, I hasten to add, all extremely good, and the service impeccable. We both reminisced that, in our prime, we would have managed all this. Jackie drank Amstel, and I drank Doom Bar..

A Coot And A Folly

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Another day of incessant rain led me to drafting the next section of my biography. I took some of the text from my posts ‘Holly’ and ‘Dunkirk’.

Since I am writing about the several eras of one man’s life, I have begun with what life was like in 1942. Since my blog has been about my own memories, and I don’t have any for the year of my birth, I have applied my knowledge of history and a little research. The draft itself will not appear in my posts. After all, the idea is that people don’t read it before it is finished.

Later, I scanned another batch of colour negatives, from June and July 1990.

Jessica 6.90 2Jessica and coot 6.90 3Coot 6.90

That June, our aptly named young neighbour, James Bird, came across a family of coots that had suffered a road accident. Just one scrawny little chick survived. James knew we had a small pond, so he brought the baby bird to Jessica to care for. She did  a good enough job for the creature to disappear after a few weeks. This made her rather sad.  The Newark Advertiser printed an article, vainly seeking the return of the pet.

Staunton Temple opening 7.90 4Staunton temple opening 7.90 1Staunton temple opening 7.90 4Staunton Temple Opening 7.90 2Staunton temple opening 7. 90 3

The following month we attended the grand opening of Edmund Staunton’s temple. This structure built by the gentleman farmer on his land at Staunton Manor maintains a long tradition of architectural structures, known as follies. Another I have featured on occasion is ‘Peterson’s Folly’, known as Sway Tower. Wikipedia has this to say about the genre:

‘In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs.

18th century English gardens and French landscape gardening often featured mock Roman temples, symbolising classical virtues. Other 18th century garden follies represented Chinese temples, Egyptian pyramids, ruined abbeys, or Tatar tents, to represent different continents or historical eras. Sometimes they represented rustic villages, mills, and cottages to symbolise rural virtues.[1]Many follies, particularly during times of famine, such as the Irish potato famine, were built as a form of poor relief, to provide employment for peasants and unemployed artisans.

In English, the term began as “a popular name for any costly structure considered to have shown folly in the builder”, the OED‘s definition,[2] and were often named after the individual who commissioned or designed the project. The connotations of silliness or madness in this definition is in accord with the general meaning of the French word “folie”; however, another older meaning of this word is “delight” or “favourite abode”[3] This sense included conventional, practical, buildings that were thought unduly large or expensive, such as Beckford’s Folly, an extremely expensive early Gothic Revival country house that collapsed under the weight of its tower in 1825, 12 years after completion. As a general term, “folly” is usually applied to a small building that appears to have no practical purpose, or the purpose of which appears less important than its striking and unusual design, but the term is ultimately subjective, so a precise definition is not possible.’

Helen and Bill visited for a pleasant couple of hours conversation, and departed with two trays of potted cuttings Jackie has prepared for their church sale.

We dined this evening on fish pie, cauliflower, and green beans, with which we both drank Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2016.

Sorting The Wheat From The Reed

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This very dull morning Jackie and I took turns on weeding the garden.

This afternoon we visited New Milton for banking, paying car tax, and taking a jacket and waistcoat to the cleaners.

Thatching 3Thatching 2Thatching 4Thatching 1

We then drove on to East End for a progress report on the thatching project. There the ridging is being cut into shape.

Dave with wheatstraw

Dave, the very skilled and friendly craftsman with whom I have conversed on several occasions has 27 years experience in his trade. Today he explained why the recent rain has in fact aided the work at this stage. This is because the straw needs to be malleable when creating the ridging. A different straw is also used for this creativity. Wheat straw is more flexible than the reed straw with which the rest of the work is undertaken. We also spoke about the fact that layers of thatch on the same roof can span 500 years or more. Dave was fascinating when speaking with such enthusiasm of the different straw and flowers that can be discovered through the time bands in a roof. It struck me rather like the pleasure of a geologist excavating layers of rock.

My experience doesn’t quite cover 500 years, but it will soon have reached 75. Three of my favourite bloggers have suggested that it would be a good idea to convert my experience of an era into a book. Once I got over my panic, I thought that perhaps I could do this by extracting from and expanding upon my five years of daily posts.

This evening I made a start. I edited some of the text from my post ‘A Sneaky Weekend’,

and included these two parental portraits from ‘My Branch Of The Family Tree’.

Whether or not this is ever completed remains to be seen.

This evening we dined on roast lamb, boiled and roast potatoes, and broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and runner beans, in glorious gravy.