The Rush Hour

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We had a very enjoyable time yesterday evening at Vicki and Barrie’s Golden Wedding Celebrations, organised by their children and grandchildren.

Pop records and TV adverts from 1967 were played on a monitor. Son, Steve, conducted a spoof ‘Mr and Mrs’ programme that his parents entered into with gusto.Oral tributes were made. The septuagenarians nimbly led the dancing.

A plentiful, varied, and fresh, cold buffet was supplied and we were invited to bring anything stronger than the soft cold drinks, or tea and coffee. We shared the bottle of Prosecco we had won at Ron’s party quiz.

The couple’s daughter, Angie took photographs on her mobile phone, and will e-mail me the results so I can add them to this post.

Late this morning, I watched yesterday’s recorded rugby matches between Scotland and New Zealand, and between England and Australia.

Jackie in greenhouse

While I watched telly, Jackie tended plants in the greenhouse.

Pelargonium 3

She is nurturing pelargoniums

Pelargonium 2

of the more tender variety,

Begonia

and begonias.

 

Hardy pelargoniums

Pelargonium1

survive outside,

Antirrhinum

as still do antirrhinums,

Nasturtium

nasturtiums,

Honeysuckle

honeysuckle,

Red Admiral

and somewhat battered Red Admirals.

Jackie has given the Kitchen Bed’s urn its winter planting.

Clematis Duchess of Albany

In addition to roses we have, in the Rose Garden, clematis Duchess of Albany, her skin taking on the quality of parchment,

Fuchsia 1

various fuchsias,

Salvia

and penstemons.

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas take on autumnal hues.

When I sat down to upload the above pictures, my Apple invited me to upload the latest operating system. I attempted to do this. An error occurred in this. The system is locked and I can’t do anything more with the computer. I had to give up, and eventually used the Microsoft laptop. Windows 10 has changed everything about importing pictures since I last used it, and it wasn’t easy to get my head round.

Off we then drove to Hatchet Pond in an effort to calm me down.

Silhouettes by pond

Not long before sunset

Silhouetted photographer

photographers

Tree and man reflected

gathered;

Hatchet Pond and waterfowl 1

waterfowl

Sunset and waterfowl

paddled along;

Swans with wake

swans trailed their wake.

Sunset 4

The pond reflected

Sunset 2

gold

Sunset 3

 tinged clouds,

Sunset 5

rapidly turning red.

Sunset and jettrail

A jet plane streaked into the foaming flames.

Sunset with silhouettes

So many photographers were now lined up that this seemed like rush hour on the railways.

The treatment worked. I retained my equanimity.

This evening Jackie produced succulent roast pork served on a bed of peppers and onions, accompnied by roast potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts. I drank Concha y Toro cabernet sauvignon 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mad Max

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It was finger-tingling cold when Jackie continued her winter planting on this sun-bright  morning and I photographed some still lingering blooms.

Pelargoniums, petunias, erigeron

Outside the kitchen door pelargoniums, petunias, and erigeron vie for space.

Pelargoniums

More pelargoniums,

Pelargoniums and verbena

some with autumnal plumage, as in this urn shared with verbenas, continue to spread their colour around.

Geranium Rozanne

Rozanne geraniums add splashes of blue

Clematis Comptesse de Bouchard

palely reflected by clematis Comtesse de Bouchard

Gazebo path

just about thriving on the gazebo

Clematis Cirrhosa

along with the winter flowering Cirrhosa.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsia 2

There are still hardy fuchsias

Fuchsia 3

I may not yet have featured.

Maple

This maple on the grass had been cut down when we arrived three years ago. We are encouraging it to come back to life.

Honesty

Honesty seeds are masquerading as Pauline’s light catchers.

Cryptomeria and bed

They are seen here in the Cryptomeria Bed.

Rose pink climber

The roses to the right of the tree rise over the Oval Bed. As can be seen, there are more to come.

Salvia Hot Lips

Hot Lips salvia,

Nasturtiums

varieties of nasturtium,

Antirrhinum

and even of antirrhinum, still bloom.

On such a day a late afternoon forest drive was essential.

Sway Tower and pony

A pony in a field off South Sway Lane was more interested in the grass than in Sway Tower.

Landscape with gorse

Opposite Longsdale View, where gorse blooms among the bracken,

Isle of Wight, Solent, moors

the Isle of Wight is visible across the moors.

Reflected trees

Along the stretch of Highland Water just outside Brockenhurst,

Stumps by water

where stumps stand like ancient tombstones on one bank,

Trees and Highland Water 1

the deciduous trees

Trees and Highland Water 2

now wear their temporary autumn plumage;

Shadow and reflections

the banks are becoming waterlogged

Trees and reflections 3

enough for arboreal reflections.

Dog in water

It was here that I was introduced to Mad Max, who had no fear of freezing his nether regions.

Forest scene 1

The forest road between Brockenhurst and Beaulieu displayed trees resplendent

Forest scene 2

 

with the last of their glowing golds

Autumn leaves 1

and burnished browns;

Autumn leaves 2

falling fast

Forest scene 3

to carpet the floor.

Ponies 1

As we approached Beaulieu, a pair of backlit ponies prompted Jackie to park the car on the verge and me to wander back to photograph them. Maybe it was something I said,

Pony 1

for, in turn,

Pony 2

they turned tail,

Pony 3

and crossed the road,

Ponies 2

to join companions enjoying greener grass.

The portions of our meal at The Raj two nights ago were so generous that we couldn’t eat it all and brought some home.. Jackie added samosas and onion bahjis  for this evening’s repast, with which I finished the malbec.

 

 

 

 

The Best Part Of The Day

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Friends Rob and Helen visited for lunch today. They arrived late in the morning and remained until early evening. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon catching up with each other.

For lunch Jackie had made a superb leek and potato soup followed by plentiful cold meats and salads. Rob and I shared a bottle of Languedoc red wine of 2016 vintage.

Helen and I began early on a photographic tour of the garden.

Helen K photographing 5

She used a very impressive Fuji bridge camera,

Helen K photographing 2Helen K photographing 3

and actually focussed on some of my own favourite subjects, such as begonias

Helen K photographing 4

and the rose For Your Eyes Only.

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Alongside the latter, Lady Emma Hamilton is rejuvenated,

Rose Garden 2

Rose Garden 1

continuing to bloom in The Rose Garden where red antirrhinums still thrive.

Leaves on table

Autumn leaves are beginning to fall. Some, suspended in spiders’ webs, wait to reach this glass table on the decking.

Back drive barrier plants

Among the clematises enjoying another flowering are these in the Back Drive Barrier boxes, leading the eye from the purple petunias to the now reddening leaves of Virginia creeper on the back fence;

Clematis and Japanese anemones

and this one sharing Margery’s Bed with Japanese anemones.

Iron urn planting

Petunias continue to cascade from the iron urn,

Petunias, begonias, New Guinea impatiens

and from the hanging basket over the Shady Path. Begonias are planted in the bed below and New Guinea impatiens shares the basket.

Fuchsia 1

Here is today’s example of a fuchsia. Helen created many good images of these and others.

Gazebo Path

We walked up and down paths like the one termed Gazebo

Margery's Bed at corner of Gazebo Path

sharing the corner of Margery’s Bed with the Phantom Path.

Rob

Just before lunch Jackie and Rob joined us.

Trunk of regenerated tree

Rob was intrigued by the regeneration of the apparently dead yellow leaved tree that has live stems on either side of the wasted trunk.

Given that rain set in early this afternoon, we had chosen the best part of the day to concentrate on the garden.

Jackie and I just grazed on small plates of salad this evening.

A Topsy-Turvy Season

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A wander round the garden in this balmy morning’s light diffused by wandering clouds above raised questions about what season we are enjoying.

Spider

An industrious web constructing spider, seeking camouflage in the spent marigold seedpods

Marigolds

must have been confused by the plants’ fresh blooms.

Spider 2

By early evening the predator had moved house and wrapped its dinner.

Bidens

Like many of our bidens, these have self seeded from hanging baskets and tubs.

Small white butterfly on bidens

The Small White butterflies still light on them and many other plants.

Lace Cap Hydrangea

Some of the clusters on this lace cap hydrangea have turned blue.

Hibiscus

Several hibiscuses are filled with flowers.

Petunias

Petunias,
Phlox

phlox,

Fuchsia

fuchsias,

Begonia

and begonias go on forever.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

Others, like these antirrhinums in the Weeping Birch Bed

Antirrhinum

and alongside the Brick Path, are having a new growth surge.

Autumn crocuses and geraniums

Pansies and geraniums refuse to cede ground to the autumn crocuses,

Poppy

and the little orange poppies and persistent lobelias really do think it is spring.

Digitalis

Digitalis cavorts with gaura,

RobinRosa Glauca hips and robin

and robins and other little birds swing along with rosa glauca’s hips.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

It is difficult at this time to find a view that does not include Japanese anemones. Even here, one glows like a coal in the background shadows beyond the Weeping Birch.

Most of the roses are budding again.

Ballerina rose

Ballerinas are back on stage,

Rose Mum in a Million

as are Mum in a Million,

Rose Gloriana

Gloriana,

Rose Flower Power Flower Power, and many more.

Urn at southern end of Brick Path

When admiring the view through the urn at the southern end of the Brick Path

Grizelinia branches

I did my best to ignore the fresh pile of cut branches produced yesterday by Aaron, Sean, and Rory while cutting down the grizelinias.

Later this afternoon, Jackie drove us to Steamer Point, between Highcliffe and Mudeford. I will publish photographs tomorrow, because I think I have enough on this post today, and because, for reasons that will become apparent, we plan to return in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi, and omelette-topped onion rice, with samosas and onion bhajis. I drank more of the Fleurie and Jackie drank Le Héron Gros Manseng 2015.

Getting Started

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During a brief spell of sunshine this morning, I focussed on the front garden and the back drive.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson, pink rose, honeysuckleHoneysuckle

Clematis Mrs N. Thomson, pink roses and honeysuckle still festoon the front trellis;

Poppy

and in the beds thrive pink poppies,

Rose Hot Chocolate and fuchsia Chequerboard

the rose, a deep red Hot Chocolate, and red and white fuchsia Chequerboard.

Back Drive bed

Lavender, poppies, antirrhinums, and pansies are among the many plants along the drive.

Just before 2.00 p.m. my memory card was delivered. First I had to extract it from its packaging. This was no mean feat. With the aid of the indispensable downloaded manual I managed to insert the device into the camera, and, following directions, format it and bring up information on the display. I was even able to attach a zoom lens and take a couple of test shots.

Bee tester 1Bee tester 2

Regular readers will recognise my old friend the bee who allows me to catch him on the wing.

Having taken these testers from a reasonable distance, I called it a day. There’s only so much new information that can be absorbed and retained by an elderly gent who began school life with a steel-nibbed pen you dipped into an inkwell set in the top of your desk.

Did I say ‘retained’? Forget that one.

One slight problem remained before I could publish these last two pictures. The memory card was too big to insert into the slot in the computer.

‘Now what?’ ‘Maybe that is what the USB lead is for?’ I fiddled around with the camera body and found a hidden compartment that would take one end of it. ‘That must be the link with the iMac’.  ‘But I’d best seek confirmation on the manual’. That was on page 185.

Have I mentioned that the new kit weighs a ton?

This evening we dined at Royal China in Lymington. The food was as good as ever, and the service as efficient and friendly. We both drank Tsingtao beer.

Confusion For Flora And Fauna

Jackie continued with general garden maintenance today.

New bed

Here she applies anti-vine weevil solution to all her many heucheras.

As became clear last year, there is no defined boundary between us and the empty North Breeze next door. In particular, that at the front is concocted from self seeded trees, rotting planks of wood, and what I take to be one of the pre-Everest window frames from our house. The glass panes have long since become estranged from their lead. Some have remained intact, but others have broken and found their way into the thin layer of soil in which a few weeds have managed to survive. This earth has been laid on top of gravel, thus narrowing the path that led round the house.

Front boundary

My task was to remove this soil in order to expose the shingle, thus widening the path. This was easier said than done. That is because the strip was full of tree roots, rubble, concrete, bramble, and ivy. I just dug it over. Moving it can wait.

View from patio

A view from the south west corner of the patio shows the condition of our neighbour’s back garden, and some of the panels we have set in place to keep the triffids at bay.

We continue to enjoy such warm, sunny, weather as to become somewhat confusing to flora and fauna alike.

Clematis Montana

The clematis Montana clothing the large dead tree alongside the new bed is blooming again.

Brick path, dead snake bark maple, owl

The owl in the dead snake bark maple, especially having experienced the bright super moon throughout the night, just cannot get to sleep.

Antirrhinum and sedum

Antirrhinums are growing alongside sedums.

Butterflies and bees like these in

Bee on cosmos

cosmos and

Bee on kniphofia

kniphofia must be convinced we are still enjoying summer.

Asters

The asters, however, know what the season is.

This evening we dined on fillet steak; a moist melange of mushrooms, leaks, onions, and peppers; and crisp carrots, green beans, and new potatoes. I drank Via di Cavallo Chianti 2014. Jackie had already enjoyed her Hoegaarden in the rose garden.

The Gauntlet

Scarlet PimpernelWhen I read Baroness Orczy’s timeless novel, ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’, I had a vague idea that this was a flower, but didn’t know what it looked like. We have a lovely little orange weed, rather like a forget-me-not in size, that crops up all over the garden. I haven’t been digging it up, because I find it so attractive. I was rather pleased, then, when, this morning, the head gardener informed me that this was scarlet pimpernel.

PoppyNasturtiumDifferent coloured poppies continue to bloom, if only for a day.

Antirrhinums and pelargoniumWe also have nasturtiums, to which snails seem rather partial.

Different hued antirrhinums manage to hold their own with strident pelargoniums.

In the last of today’s plant photographs we have pilosella aurantiaca, otherwise known as orange hawkweed, a plant that in some parts of America and Australia is considered as an invasive species.

IMG_9090

Today I completed the clearance of the right hand side of the front driveway that Jackie had begun yesterday. I uprooted the last of the brambles and pruned most of the shrubs very severely, revealing more flowers, such as the day lilies. Jackie, who embellished the wall with a window box, assures me the heavily pruned growth will burgeon again next year. I certainly didn’t rival her treatment of the mahonia.

Painstakingly, I conveyed to a convolvulus that was making its way up an ornamental cherry tree that its presence was no longer required. Maybe I should have waited for a flower. It may have been a morning glory. I tied up the white rose that had Front driveGardening gloveClematistaken to the ground in its bid to escape the other thorny rambler, which has torn holes in the fingers of my gardening gloves and left its mark on those inside.

A new pair, or at least the right hand gauntlet may be in order.

An attractive clematis now quivers in the breeze above the roses on the archway through to the front garden.

Fortunately, our guests of yesterday evening left enough of Jackie’s delicious beef casserole for us to finish it today. Strawberries and ice cream were to follow. I drank some Yellow Tail shiraz 2013, also courtesy of last night.