Fruits Of Labour

I am close to deciding on my final cut for the Everton Festival Photographic Competition. Many painful decisions are being made now, concerning which shots to leave out.

In order seriously to consider the deer having her nose scratched I have converted this image to Black and White, thus giving a sharper silhouette. This is, incidentally, quite a small crop from the original picture. Does anyone have an opinion?

Jackie has been working very hard all this week on planting and replenishment of soil.

Here she tidies what she has achieved against the kitchen wall;

this side of the patio, all of which has been repotted, leads through the Dead End Path,

Earlier plantings include this allium in the Palm Bed and clematis climbing the Wedding Day (formerly Agriframes) arch.

While I think of it, I have been calling the clematis wandering up the wisteria arbour Niobe; we now think it should be named Star of India.

It faces the bright red Chiliean Lantern tree.

Rose Altissimo stands sentinel between Elizabeth’s Bed and the

Rose Garden where Laura Ford’s yellow pigment splashes onto the heuchera border, and

Special Anniversary

nods to the numerous gloves the foxes have scattered therein.

Creamy yellow Summer Time makes its bid to support the peeling old shed;

Jacqueline du Pré plays on;

and the deep pink climber Elizabeth rediscovered races Roserie de la Haie to the skies.

The Weeping Birch Bed bursts with burgeoning blooms.

This evening we dined on chicken breasts roasted in sweet chilli sauce; creamy mashed potatoes; and ratatouille with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.

Not Cold Enough

Perhaps it was the very light overnight frost that led the blackbirds to investigate the neglected crab apples in the front garden.

This one turned its back on them and considerately stayed just long enough for me to photograph it.

We still have plenty of colour in our plot.

There are winter flowering plants such as this viburnum bodnantensis Dawn in Margery’s Bed,

and the tiny clematis cirrhosa Freckles dotted over the gazebo.

Hardy autumnal chrysanthemums we do expect;

maybe some of these fuchsias are tough enough to make it through the winter;

but self seeded bidens?;

still perky nasturtiums?;

sturdy penstemons?;

varieties of geranium not sheltered in the greenhouse?;

roses such as ascending Altissimo,

blushing Schoolgirl,

marvellous Mamma Mia,

and blooming Absolutely Fabulous?

To send these beauties packing it is not yet cold enough.

This evening Jackie produced a fillet of pork laced with powdered mustard, flaked almonds, and brown sugar, served with roast potatoes and parsnips; colourful rainbow carrots, firm Brussels sprouts, and tender runner beans. Having enjoyed a beer beforehand, neither of us imbibed.

 

 

 

Can It Be Mid-October?

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

The lingering virus from which we have now recovered has really rather reduced gardening for a month. Today, I wandered around on a survey mission, and was pleasantly impressed.

View across grass

The grass could do with cutting, but there is also colour in abundance.

Dahlias we would expect;

chrysanthemums

and chrysanthemums;

but clematises?;

roses Just Joey, Margaret Merrill,

Penny Lane, or Altissimo?,

Begonia

begonias?,

Geranium

geraniums,

Fuchsia

and fuchsias in abundance?

Honeysuckle

Not to mention honeysuckle,

Bee and asters

or bees frequenting asters.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious pasta beef arrabiata. Her beverage was Hoegaarden, and mine Santa Julia malbec 2015.

Around Our Patch

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Yesterday, I took a tour around my  Social Work patch from the 1970s and ’80s. Today I took several around the domestic one I share with The Head Gardener.

Back door

I began by stepping through the kitchen door into the patio. The large window box filled with mimuluses and pansies stands in earth which was so poor that we believed it to have been used as a midden in more recent times than one would imagine. Jackie did a very thorough job of getting rid of the rubbish and replenishing the soil under and around the planters. The plentiful erigeron plants have populated the rest of the garden. Between one clump and the window box can be seen flowers of one of the two thriving thyme plants I transplanted from the blue painted Butler sinks in our first year. The wall by the path to the right is crammed with an assortment of planters.

Rose (patio)

This little patio rose has responded to feeding,

rose peach

as has this peach coloured beauty.

rose peach stems

There were just two blooms on straggly stems when we arrived. They will soon be cascading from stronger limbs.

Rhododendron

We have a new rhododendron in the Palm Bed.

Passing this on the way to the Rose Garden,

rose Altissimo

where Altissimo stands sentinel,

I was reminded of a visit to  a perfumer in Bergerac. This was with Emily and Alice a few years ago. They spent ages choosing a present for their mother, Heidi. The scents were most enticing. But they couldn’t match those emanating from our living blooms.

Rose garden entrance

Petunias and geraniums in the foreground urn lead us to the entrance arch bearing Summer Wine, Madame Alfred Carière, and honeysuckle;

Chris Beardshaw, Festive Jewel

Chris Beardshaw introduces Festive Jewel;

Rose Magic Carpet

and Magic Carpet is beginning to fulfil its function.

Cordyline Australis cabbage tree

Even these wonderful aromas, however, are not as far-reaching as the sweet, heady, scent of the Cordyline Australis. Anything smelling less like a cabbage, (it is also called Cabbage Tree) I cannot imagine.

Jackie planting Elizabeth's Bed

One of Jackie’s major tasks today was further planting of Elizabeth’s Bed. She can be seen in the centre here working on this.

I have mentioned before that geranium palmatum has taken over from honesty in its ubiquity. It can be seen dancing in synchronicity with

geranium palmatum, clematis Rouge Cardinal, rhododendron

clematis Rouge Cardinal and rhododendron;

geranium palmatum, rose Compassion

with rose Compassion;

Clematis Natacha, geranium palmatum, aquilegias

with clematis Natacha;

Foxglove, geranium palmatum

and with foxgloves.

Bee in antirrhinum 1

Lazy bees were about this afternoon. This one dusted its rear in an antirrhinum.

Waterboy Bed

The pieris I brought in a pot from Sutherland Place is thriving in the centre distance of this bed, that also contains heuchera, marguerites, geraniums, bronze fennel, and, further right, out of shot,

Iberis

iberis.

Solanum

We have a solanum under the dead snake bark maple,

rose Félicité Perpetué

and Félicité Perpetué is now opening in the front garden.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack and vegetable risotto followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.

The Darling Buds Of May

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM. REPEAT IF NECESSARY. THIS IS PARTICULARLY USEFUL IN AN OWL HUNT

Today being drier and a little brighter than yesterday, there were enough glimpses of sunlight to be more conducive to garden photography.

New clematises are emerging daily.

clematis Piilu

Mostly, as with this Piilu, I am grateful for the identity labels, because they all look so much alike.

clematis Star of India

Star of India, blends well with geranium palmatum.

Petunia

Petunias abound;

Pansies, petunias, and honesty

some share their pots with pansies. The new urns, like this one, are all planted up now. Everywhere, honesty is turning to seed medallions.

Lilac

Lilacs are in full bloom;

Tree recovering

and this tree, that had only one leafing branch when we first arrived, is making a remarkable recovery. New trunks have begun to swallow the original pock-marked member.

Bee on poppy

A few bees, such as this one plundering an orange poppy

Bee in pansy 1

and another burrowing into a somewhat perforated pansy risked getting wet for the good of the hive.

Rose Altissimo

On the edge of the rose garden, a single Altissimo bloom lives up to its name,

Rose For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only burgeons within,

Roses Absolutely Fabulous and Special Anniversary

and most other bushes, like Absolutely Fabulous and Special Anniversary, are on the verge of bursting forth the darling buds of May.

Rhododendron

This rhododendron

Grass bed

enhances the Grass Patch Bed, at the end of which stands the recovering tree mentioned above.

View from behind viburnum plicatum

This pivotal patch can be viewed from the tree peony hiding behind the viburnum plicatum;

View from Dead End Path

from the Dead End Path;

View across grass

and from the Brick Path.

Palm Bed

Elsewhere, sculptural alliums, like these in the Palm Bed, are opening out all over.

For our dinner this evening the Culinary Queen produced pork chops coated in mustard and demerara sugar and topped with almonds; boiled, sautéd, and sweet potatoes; cauliflower and carrots; and  peppers, tomato, leek, and onion sauce; followed by bread and butter pudding and custard. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.

After The Rain 1

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read to the end if you are watching the rugby recorded.

Chrysanthemums

This morning Jackie weeded and planted chrysanthemums in the front garden, whilst I dug out the remaining roots of the ficus in preparation for planting the pansies.

Roots of ficus

In the event, a heavy thunderstorm ruled out putting the pansies to bed. They were therefore plonked in their trays. Even though the rain ceased, enabling us to finalise the preparation and wander round the garden, the soil was far too muddy.

The sun emerged for a while. The rain ceased, but continued to drip from the trees and the shrubbery. Battered blooms bore watery blisters.

Raindrops on geraniums 1Raindrops on geraniums 2

These included geraniums;

Raindrops on Ginger lily

Ginger lilies;

Raindrops on rose peach

roses unknown,

Raindrops on rose Altissimo

 Altissimo,

Raindrops on leaves of rose Deep Secret

and the leaves of Deep Secret;

Raindrops on dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

dahlia Bishop of Llandaff;

Raindrops on sweet peas

sweet peas;

Raindrops on Verbena

and verbena to name a few.

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums, and others in Elizabeth’s Bed have been well watered.

View along dead end path

Here are views down the Dead End Path;

View along Brick Path

across the New Bed to the Brick Path;

View across Heligan path

and across the Heligan Path.

Our dinner this evening, consisting of Jackie’s superb chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice, was taken on trays on our knees, as we watched the opening match in the rugby World Cup, in which England beat Fiji by 35 points to 11. I drank more of the malbec while Jackie drank Hoegaarden. I didn’t spill too much curry down my sweatshirt.