Multiple Occupation

Although a little drier than expected, today remained largely overcast. Just before lunch Jackie took me on a tour of what she has achieved during the last few days in the garden. It struck me that I have never really shown the packed multiple occupation of our beds.

While listening to the men’s Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and South Africa, I rectified that this afternoon.

The Kitchen Bed is faced by sweet peas, foxgloves and others beside the wall. Fuchsias, day lilies, antirrhinums, erigerons, ferns are all at home in the bed.

The Butler’s Sink beside the Patio contains petunias, foxgloves, geraniums, heuchera, and bidens;

one view of the bed includes a pink diagonal of fuchsia, geranium palmatum, and clematis.

Bees were investigating the orange poppy sharing the small triangular Wisteria Bed with day, lilies, fennel, and roses.

Geranium palmatums and fuchsias are among the occupants of the Dragon Bed.

Ferns, day lilies, and geranium palmatums, fuchsias, alliums, and more pack the Palm Bed.

Spirea goldflame, penstemon, bottle brush plants, day lilies, ferns, etc all wake in Margery’s Bed.

Youthful hot lips and an ageing rhododendron occupy the Cryptomeria Bed on the opposite side of the Phantom Path.

A pot containing fuchsia, geraniums, and others stands beneath the Westbrook Arbour

and above the West Bed where we find astilbe, pulmonaria, and lamium among others.

Erigerons, aruncus, lamiums, geraniums, fennel are among the residents of the Weeping Birch Bed.

Fuchsias and feverfew are found in Elizabeth’s Bed.

The Oval Bed has its share of Day Lilies.

The Rose Garden contains more than roses. Heucheras, lavender, and fennel are examples.

It is a year or two since we created the New Bed, but, like the thousand plus year old New Forest, it retains its name. Erigerons, solanum, clematis, and ferns are there maturing nicely.

It is hard to remember how overgrown with brambles and crowded with rocks and detritus was the back drive when we arrived. These previously non-existent borders now contain roses, poppies, hostas, geraniums, foxgloves, and viper’s bugloss among the many plants at home there.

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s superb sausages braised in red wine; served with creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cono Sur Bicicleta Reserva Pino Noir 2017.

Hot Chocolate And Hot Lips

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It was another mark of progress this morning when I wandered around the overcast garden while Jackie was out shopping. I didn’t imagine I might have to be rescued in some way.

Wedding Day rose has begun to bloom on the Agriframes Arch spanning the Brick Path.

The diagonal view from the Heligan Path towards the greenhouse features Hot Lips and the clematis now blooming over the Phantom Path.

The arch over the Dead End Path, from which can be seen the Rosa Glauca in the patio, supports Compassion rose and scarlet runner beans.

Astilbe and campanula Samantha flourish in the West Bed.

Poppies, heucheras, and clematises vie with roses in the Rose Garden.

Bee flying to yellow bottle brush

Here, a bee sets its sights on one of the yellow Bottle Brush plants’ blooms.

Hostas and erigeron

The sun having put in an appearance this afternoon, and a hosta in the front garden having caught my eye, I ventured out again.

Geraniums

Jackie has replaced the pansies in the stone tubs on the wall with bright geraniums.

Fuschia Delta's Sarah

Fuchsia Delta’s Sarah thrives in the triangular bed beside the wisteria arbour;

Petunias and diascias

almost black petunias are set off nicely by pink diascias in a pot beside the Kitchen Bed;

and these hanging baskets on the kitchen wall contain diascias, lobelia, and bidens.

This evening we dined on our second helpings of yesterday’s Forest Tandoori takeaway meals.

Focus On The Back Drive

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While Jackie continued her creative magic in the garden, and between televised tennis sessions, I wandered around admiring the fruits of her labours, and, of course photographing them.

Day lilyDay liliesLilies

We have a number of different day lilies;

Water Lily

and the first water lily has now bloomed on the tiny cistern pond.

Ast

An astilbe thrives in the shady western bed.

Rose Penny Lane

In the Rose Garden Penny Lane adorns the potting shed,

Beetles on Margaret Merrill

And Margaret Merrill hosts a miniature beetle drive.

Back Drive barrier with robin

Looking through the Back Drive barrier towards the Rose Garden, I noticed a robin perched on the mid-way arch.

Robin

It flitted off, so I stalked it for a while.

Back drive 7

The barrier provides a floral frame for the drive,

Back drive 1

Back drive 2

Back drive 4Back drive 3

Back drive 6

which is now bordered by full length planting.

Poppy 1Poppy 2

Poppies,

Snapdragons

snapdragons,

Achillea and snapdragons

and achillea, are just a few examples.

Back drive 8

Naturally there are also hanging baskets, better lit in the afternoon.

This evening we dined on fried eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and mushrooms; baked beans and toast. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Gilbert & Gaillard Châteauneuf du Pape 2014. Well, why not?

Yarnton’s Cardoon

Derrick's linen jacket

After an application of Vanish, two cold washes in the machine, and a dedicated press, Jackie has achieved a renovation of the linen jacket, which was beyond the dry cleaners. And it still fits.

I began the day with a walk through Roger’s footpath, where I again met Pete, who, on this far more overcast day, I did not recognise without his sunglasses and hat.

Hoverfly on bramble leaf

Bluebottle on bramble leaf

Hoverflies and bluebottles needed their head- and tail-lights among the gloomy brambles of the hedgerows.

Slurry

Can you smell the leaking slurry. I certainly could.

Astilbe

Encouraged by the success of the arancus, Jackie planted an astilbe in similar conditions.

Rose garden paving stage 5

While Aaron completed stage five of the rose garden paving,

Area cleared for shed

Jackie and I completed the clearance of her work area in readiness for the garden shed.

The structure in the background is the central heating fuel tank, necessary because we don’t have mains gas. Until we have had a visit to the communal dump, it is probably not politic to display the various places where we have decanted the items the new structure will replace.

Thistle

Common thistles grow along the footpath visited earlier,

Thistle and geranium palmatums

and we now know that our giant is not a cardoon, but a cotton thistle.

This is a shame, because we had the former in Newark. Never mind, I can still talk about Yarnton’s cardoon.

Yarnton Mills was an elderly family friend of Jessica’s late parents. His wife kept sheep. She farmed her flock somewhere in Europe, where, in order to improve the quality of their milk, she fed them on cardoon. The location may have been in Spain or Portugal where ewe’s milk is used in the production of cheese. I always wondered how the animals, not being donkeys, managed to eat these thistle-like plants. I therefore amused myself with a little internet research. FIBRA explains that the crop is reduced to silage for feed. The benefits are described by Fernández-Salguero, J., Tejada, L. & Gómez, R. (2002), who tell us: CYN01_03‘The use of plant proteinases from flowers of cardoon Cynara cardunculus as milk coagulants is of particular interest because they are natural enzymes whose strong proteolytic action eventually leads to the extensive breakdown of caseins, thereby giving rise to cheeses with a soft buttery texture, a genuine aroma and a slightly piquant and creamy flavour. These cheeses are highly valued for their taste and quality and can be targeted at the lacto-vegetarian and organic markets. This type of plant coagulant can also be certified Kosher and Halal.’

Yarnton presented Jessica with a seed which we planted in the kitchen garden, and enjoyed for the story and for the towering plant’s sculptural qualities

This evening Jackie and I dined on gammon steaks topped with fried eggs; fresh crisp chips; and an interesting melange of recycled pasta and meatballs, green and baked beans, and the odd limp chip. Very tasty it all was, too.  This was followed by mixed fruit crumble and custard. Jackie  drank Hoegaarden, and I finished the bordeaux.