I Really Must Get Dead-Heading

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On a warm and sunny afternoon, whilst Jackie planted in the shade, with a pit stop at Five Ways, I made my way to the Rose Garden. The Head Gardener followed me with Mum’s perching stool, placed it beside the Florence sculpture, propped up the single crutch I am now using, and left me for a while. After two further shifts of the stool I was among the roses.

From Five Ways I could look down the Phantom Path between the Cryptomeria and Margery’s Beds;

I could see more poppies on the Weeping Birch Bed; geranium palmatums attracting small white butterflies flitting to and fro; a tall red climbing rose; the Cordyline Australis preparing to pervade its bed with its powerfully sweet scent; and a laurel leaf that doesn’t look too well.

Honeysuckle cavorts with Madame Alfred Carriere atop the entrance arch to the Rose Garden,

where there are so many roses in all stages of development that I could see that I really must get dead-heading as soon as I can.

In particular the peach Crown Princess Margareta and the red Zephirini Druin now flank the Ace Reclaim Arch in the far corner.

Later this afternoon I walked from my desk in the hall through the kitchen to the sink. Not really a big deal. Until I realised I had forgotten my crutch.

Tesco ready prepared meals for dinner this evening consisted of fish pie for me and pasta carbonara for Jackie, who added runner beans to each.

Preparing For Ophelia

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(Gwen and Yvonne, divert your eyes when it comes to the culinary coda)

Compared with what has been inflicted on Wales and Ireland by the albeit waning hurricane Ophelia, we have got off lightly.

Chairs lain down

This morning we made our usual preparations for protection from strong winds, notably laying down chairs, pedestals,

Pelargoniums and marigolds

and hanging baskets.

Towards midday a fleeting glimpse of a bright red version of yesterday’s solar discs was seen peering from behind the billowing smoke

Clouds 1Clouds 2Clouds 3Clouds 4Clouds 5Clouds 6Clouds 7Clouds 8Clouds 9

 that was dark slate-coloured clouds. By the time I had gathered up the camera the sun had disappeared. The temperature was so unseasonably warm as to give the impression that there was, indeed, a fire somewhere.

Birds flying against clouds

I suspect that the birds thought they must be having a sleepless night;

Clouds and weeping birch

but the weeping birch still hung unmolested.

By early afternoon the sky had lightened and the sun played upon the garden.

Pansies

These pansies still brightened

Patio planting

the pots outside the kitchen door.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsias etc

Fuchsias are among the flowers still blooming beside the greenhouse.

Pelargoniums 1Pelargoniums 2Pelargoniums 4

Various pelargoniums,

Pelargoniums 3

including this sweetly scented one;

Begonias

and begonias still defy the coming of the first frost.

Petunias

Delicate striped petunias thrive in the Cryptomeria Bed;

Dahlias

and white dahlias in Elizabeth’s Bed.

Rose Just Joey 2

Among the rejuvenated roses are Just Joey,

Rose Aloha

Aloha,

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Lady Emma Hamilton,

Rose Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia,

Rose Peach Abundance

and, photographed later, when the wind was getting up and making this spray elusive to the lens, Pink Abundance.

Weeping birch in wind 1

The weeping birch was now waving about,

Cordyline Australis

as was the Cordyline Australis.

Weeping birch 2

I wondered how many of these leaves would be in place in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s divine liver and bacon, new potatoes, cabbage and mange touts, with which I drank Chateau Bonhomme minervois 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should I Be Concerned?

The garden was refreshed by early morning rain.

Passion flowers and honeysuckle

This failed to dampen the ardour of the passion flowers eyeing the red hot honeysuckle,

Sweet peas

and gave sweet peas a welcome drink.

Rose Aloha

The climbing rose Aloha,

Rose Margaret Merrill

and the bush Margaret Merrill are both in full bloom.

A comment on Houzz GardenWeb forum, posted in July 2007 states that  ‘the Margaret Merrill rose was named [in 1977] after a fictitious character in British advertising, but Harkness had to track down various Margaret Merrills for permission to complete naming the rose’. Margaret Merrill was the nom de plume of a beauty advisor who helped Oil of Ulay (now Olay) sell its beauty products. If you wanted cosmetic advice you wrote to this woman.

This afternoon Jackie drove us to Chandlers Ford for her physiotherapy. I settled down to an hour with Primo Levi’s ‘The Periodic Table’, but I didn’t get very far in my hoped-for completion of this, my current book. Jackie soon emerged with a happy face. She had been told she was doing brilliantly and didn’t need to go again.

Patrick's Patch

On our return we stopped for a visit to Patrick’s Patch in Beaulieu.

Marigold pathFlower beds

LavenderScarecrows and bedsThis is the community garden’s peak time. Marigolds, dahlias, gladioli, sunflowers and lavender are just a few of the flowers we observed as we wandered along the paths, where various imaginative scarecrows were drafted into service.

Annual borderJackie smelling annual border

The Annual Border, with its Painted Lady runner beans, was particularly stunning and, as Jackie discovered, sweet pea scented. We didn’t see a weed anywhere.

Courgettes

Produce like apples and courgettes looked ripe and plump.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chilli con carne, egg fried rice, and green beans, followed by chocolate eclairs. I finished the bordeaux, whilst Jackie drank Hoegaarden, this last of which, whilst I completed my post, she took up to the rose garden for what has become a nightly drink with Alan Titchmarsh. Like many women of a certain age she is in love with the man. Should I be concerned?

It’s only a rose.