Dad Minding The Babies

Yesterday I had featured the bigger picture of the garden. Today, with the diffused light that comes from overcast skies and is consequently much kinder to photographers

I focussed largely on the individual blooms. As usual, the gallery contains individual titles.

Yesterday a frantic flapping and sounds of a rapid departure from behind the Shady Path trellis alerted me to a nest containing three blackbird’s eggs.

Today a male had returned to mind the unhatched triplets. I didn’t get too close.

Flo weeded paths and Jackie continued planting this afternoon.

This evening we all dined on oven fish and chips, green peas, pickled onions and cucumbers with which Jackie and I both drank Phantom River Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and Becky and Flo didn’t.

More Garden Assistance

Early this morning we shopped at Ferndene Farm Shop for three more 60 litre bags of compost and another tray of bedding plants.

This afternoon we were treated to a most welcome visit from Danni and Ella.

Our great niece made straight for her box of mice that hide under the TV, after which she dragged Jackie into the library where

the toy box lives.

She found a paper bag with which to go shopping. Her Mum was the willing shopkeeper.

The story that came next required an equal amount of rapt attention from mother and daughter.

There was time for a few bubbles to be blown before the contents of the tube found their way to the floor.

Because of lockdown at Easter we were overstocked with eggs which could not be distributed. Ella was the happy recipient of a chocolate Bunny which she was generous in sharing.

After a while, our great niece was happy to wander in the garden.

She offered assistance in sweeping paths and watering plants.

Danni joined her at times.

Individual members of the above gallery bear their own titles – Compassion rose; day lily; pink rose; Welsh poppies beside an owl log; a red climbing rose with a blue clematis; yellow rose, Summer Time; pink Festive Jewel; Gloriana, For Your Eyes Only and Summer season sculpture; and Florence’s basket of bacopa.

When it was time to return home, Ella refused to say goodbye because she didn’t want to leave.

Later, Danni e-mailed me her photograph of me watching Pets2 with Ella on Netflix. I don’t appear terribly impressed, and Ella’s interest soon waned.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cotes de Gascogne Merlot Tannat 2019.

Should I Revert To The Classic Editor?

The light this morning was dull when I took a walk around the garden.

It looks to me as if WordPress have changed my gallery image sizes as they did yesterday. This will mean that nothing can be enlarged. I am also uncertain whether the galleries can be accessed at all. Should either of these situations arise, I will return to the Classic editor. I would appreciate feedback on this.

This afternoon the light was slightly better when I photographed a hosta blooming on the stumpery; the Virginia creeper brightening the back drive,

which also bears hot lips in its border;

bees plundering salvia and cosmos;

and a Red Admiral basking on warm paving bricks.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic lamb jalfrezi with mushroom rice and onion samosas. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Casillero del Diablo reserva Shiraz 2017.

War Of The Voles


This afternoon I made a rather pathetic effort at clearing up some of the Head Gardener’s laborious pruning cuttings, then allowed myself to be diverted with a camera.

Leaving the house by the stable door gives a forked view down the Gazebo and Brick Paths.

We are led under the wisteria arbour which also supports a couple of clematises,

and beneath which lie other plants such as fuchsias and dahlias.

Other clematises scale the gazebo.

White sweet peas thrive on the arch linking the Weeping Birch Bed with the raised bed opposite.

Elizabeth's Bed

Elizabeth’s Bed is nicely fluffed up;

Bacopa in Florence's basket

Florence sculpture’s basket of bacopa is responding well to careful nurturing;

Phlox, petunias, lobelias, begonia

happy planting is displayed along the Shady Path where phlox in the bed; and petunias and begonias in the basket above  blend in a diagonal punctuated by lobelias.

Bees on alliums

Bees are particularly attracted to these purple alliums.

Clematis in Rose Garden

A true blue clematis climbs the potting shed in the Rose Garden;


and a bright red snapdragon hangs by the kitchen window.

One evening recently Jackie spotted a little furry creature that we thought to be a vole. She has been nurturing an ailing Bishop of Llandaff  in the New Bed for a while now. This morning the whole plant had disappeared. Just behind the vacant space was a tiny tunnel. A vole had struck. They are apparently partial to dahlia corms. So far, others in the bed have survived. Apparently there is little defence possible against their tiny teeth.

This evening we dined at The Royal Oak on Mexican burgers, fresh salad, coleslaw, and French fries. the meals were very good, as was the service. Jackie drank Amstel and I drank Ringwood’s best.