A Walk Round The Garden

After a lengthy session of dead-heading, incidental weeding, trips to the compost bins, and a sit down this morning

I wandered around the garden with my camera. As usual these images are all titled in the gallery.

This afternoon we attended a family gathering at Elizabeth’s with Jacqueline, Joseph, Angela, Danni, Andy, and Ella, with Jack asleep upstairs. Sandwiches from Jacqueline, savoury rice from Angela supplemented Elizabeth’s sandwiches and cake. I drank low alcohol Old Speckled Hen. We brought home various goodies for lunch tomorrow..

For The Bees

Between stints in the garden today, which varied from overcast-gloom to sun-bright, I finished reading Chekhov’s engaging story entitled ‘Teacher of Literature” (1894).

Essentially tracing the journey from childhood hardship to the consequences of unearned comfort the tale is told with human insight and with delightful bucolic descriptions. I will not reveal the changes in the main protagonist’s thoughts, but I accept the judgement of translator Elisaveta Fen that ‘The theme is among Chekhov’s favourite ones – the emptiness of mere material prosperity with no prospect of change, [and] the tedium of provincial life….’

There is no drawing to this story in my Folio Society edition.

My first spell in the garden, before lunch, involved clearing, bagging up, and transporting to the compost bin the refuse from the Head Gardener’s weeding and clippings.

The air was brighter after lunch when I weeded

another of the narrow brick footpaths between the Rose Garden beds. Silent woodlice slipped away from my scraping tools, and the water feature bubbled whenever the sun peeped out. Once again the path was too wet to sweep clean.

Even after another night of rain, many floppy blooms are beginning to raise their heads. Here we have the prolific peach-coloured Doris Tysterman; Festive Jewel, Aloha, and For Your Eyes Only in various shades of pink; the white Créme de la créme; the blushing Shropshire Lad; the prolific Gloriana; a rambling Ballerina; the aptly named Peach Abundance; a spreading Perennial Blush; and rich red Ernest Morse.

The elder shrub Sambucus nigra now rivals Altissimo in height.

While I wandered around with my camera Jackie, from her perch in the Weeping Birch Bed, pointed out the buds on the sculptural New Zealand flax.

Some three or four years ago our friend Giles, who has his own welcoming wildlife garden, gave us a twiggy stem of Vipers Bugloss with which to attract bees.

This boon for bees now dominates the far end of the Back Drive and lives up to its magnetic billing.

This evening we dined on tender baked gammon; new potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and piquant cauliflower cheese with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Making Do

On another hot summer’s day visiting traffic continued to pour into our area, so we stayed at home and I made do with garden flower photography.

During the morning and later in the afternoon Jackie concentrated hard on irrigation, including filling the Waterboy’s shell, the level of which suffers from dehydration and thirsty birds.

Butterflies and bees didn’t seem to mind the heat as they flitted from plant to plant. There is room for both Small White butterfly and a bee on the hibiscus in the first picture; bees had sole occupation of the bidens and the saxifrages; the Meadow Brown and the Small White butterflies were unwilling to share space on the sedum or the verbena bonariensis.

Today’s lilies are the heavily scented pale pink double and the freckled beauty seen in better light.

It is the season for dahlias including the two-toned Puerto Rico.

The season for this rhododendron is long over, but the plant doesn’t know that.

Pale pink phlox coexist with rich rust-coloured chrysanthemums.

Lady Emma Hamilton and Ballerina dance on in the Rose Garden, while soaring Altissimo and an unknown pink climber once more reach for the skies.

Hollyhocks, rudbeckia Goldsturm, California poppies, petunias, and hydrangea Tricolor all lend their colour.

Much as the Head Gardener tries to train her clematises, some, like this Niobe, insist on trailing where they will.

As always, the galleries can be accessed by clicking on any image, each of which may be viewed full size by clicking on the box beneath it and further with another click.

Later this afternoon Elizabeth visited for a cup of tea and didn’t stay for dinner which consisted of Jackie’s egg fried rice, mini spring rolls, and tempura and spicy prawns. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Carles.

Absolutely Fabulous Cricket

The sun was permitted the occasional appearance from behind today’s cloud curtain.

At mid morning, thinking she was attending to the Weeping Birch Bed, I ventured out for a stint of clearing up after the Head Gardener’ general maintenance efforts, and received something of a shock.

Jackie had been diverted by the Rose Garden, upon the paths of which she had dropped considerable debris. That was clearly going to take precedence.

Nugget would keep getting under my feet as he foraged for his brood. In the first picture he has a beakful ready for transporting to yellow gapes at home. “Where’s Nugget?” (86) is the third image. Biggification may be required to spot him.

After I had bagged up and added to the compost bins all the weeding and clipping refuse, I had intended to sweep up the bits I couldn’t pick up, but our little robin familiar persuaded me to leave it for a while since he still found rich pickings.

I therefore concentrated on dead heading and photography.

Love Knot and the red carpet rose blend together with Alan Titchmarsh in the background; Just Joey is the large portrait; Rosa Gallica and Mamma Mia make good companions; the petunias and lobelia adorn a hanging basket over the Phantom Path.

After lunch I swept the Rose Garden paths and made more photographs, details of which can be gleaned from the gallery that can be accessed by clicking on any image.

I watched a minute cricket wandering between the petals of an Absolutely Fabulous rose.

Jackie had by then begun thinning out the wandering plants and their foliage that were choking the Weeping Birch Bed. I carried several trugfuls to the compost bins before collecting my camera from the house, because

Nugget wouldn’t go away and kept posing.

This picture shows how close he was to Jackie.

Half a dozen mice stand guard over the seedlings in the trough beside the frog pond. They are there to deter the lumbering wood pigeons from squashing the plants as they land lurching for a drink. In fact Jackie is beginning to wage war on pigeons. Those building the nest in the wisteria yesterday continue today. Every time the Head Gardener removes the sticks and shoos them off they return and start again. Given that they regularly drop both twigs and poo onto the bench below she does have a point.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots; and tender spring greens. The Culinary Queen drank Becks, and I drank more of the Douro opened a couple of days ago.

Fresh Food

Today was cool and overcast. This afternoon I dead-headed the Rose Garden,

then photographed some blooms that escaped the chop. These include Absolutely Fabulous, Ballerina, Gloriana, Deep Secret, Mamma Mia, Aloha, Lady Emma Hamilton, Special Anniversary, Crown Princess Margareta, and Shropshire Lad. Each is labelled in the gallery which may be accessed by clicking on any image. For enlargement scroll down to just beneath the gallery pictures where, to the right, is a box indicating ‘view full size’. The full size may be further enlarged with one or two clicks.

A certain little robin followed me around, sending me in for the camera before I was ready. We were both rewarded by a big fat juicy worm

Nugget tossed the writhing creature, twisting his head faster than the speed of my shutter, enabling him to peck off beak sized bits. For him, fresh food is now available.

We prefer our fodder cooked, so this evening we dined on roast gammon with Jackie’s moist ratatouille and firm penne cheese, with which she drank Becks and I drank Flores de Soligamar Tempranillo & Garnacha 2018.

Working On The Rose Garden

Today, the hottest day of the year, was fine and sunny.

While Jackie swept, weeded, pruned, and watered the Rose Garden. (This picture is not an official “Where’s Nugget?”, but on reading the blog and doubly enlarging it The Head Gardener identified our familiar robin clearly silhouetted above the central bloom of clematis Warsaw Nike in the right foreground.)

I pruned roses and photographed various scenes there and elsewhere.

The Mum in a Million rose chaperoned by gladioli and foxgloves to the left of the third picture above is now in her prime.

In the first scene Jackie attends the gazebo which hosts Crown Princess Margareta and Zephirine Drouhin each exuding strong sweet scents.

This pink climber scales an obelisk

beside Margaret Merrill.

Ballerina dances elegantly

and another nameless climber, a deeper pink, soars above the arbour.

The views from the Cryptomeria Bed and the Concrete Patio lead on to the Rose Garden. The above picture contains one of the

plethora of poppies we now enjoy.

These stand against a red rhododendron.

 

As these bushes are nearing the end of their flowering, a different colour combination comes into its own.

This can be seen above the bench beside the Heligan Path

Back in the Rose Garden our little goldcrest continued its reflected courtship. He wasn’t fazed by us, but Jackie has now covered the mirror to reduce tantalisation.

Nugget kept us intermittent company. “Where’s Nugget?” (79).

Another view from the Cryptomeria Bed takes us towards the house, passing an unseen

arch sporting this purple clematis.

This stunning non-hardy pelargonium has survived the entire winter in a pot beside the kitchen window.

More small alliums live in the Pond Bed opposite.

The Chilean lantern tree is now quite loaded.

From the patio we have a view along the Dead End Path.

This view looks south from the Gazebo Path.

Looking in the same direction along the Brick Path we see that Wedding Day is burgeoning on the Agriframes Arch.

The roses along the Back Drive borders will also soon cover the stumps.

Irises Reticulata are cropping up everywhere.

A few days ago we visited South Sway Lane

to check on Gimlet, our carrot-loving equine friend. His field was empty, as it remained today when we came back to collect more horse manure from the house opposite. It was all gone, although it had been there on our previous trip.

Undaunted, Jackie continued to Ferndene Farm shop where there was no queue and she was able to buy several items. Still on Sway Lane,

I disembarked to photograph some backlit grey horses. The immediately trotted over to their gate so I had to be satisfied with this shot, which biggifies quite well.

This evening we repeated yesterday’s meal, except that the potatoes were old and sprouting a few roots. Our alcoholic accompaniments were the same.

Before The Storm

Threatened with a thunderstorm, after two lengthy dead-heading sessions, I wandered around the garden while Jackie continued with her general tidying and maintenance work.

The blooms in these images of the Rose Garden and the bed at its entrance are identified in the titles of the galleries, each of which can be accessed by a click.

The Shady Path runs between the Dragon the the Palm Beds. The kniphofia and fuchsia occupy the Dragon Bed. The poppies are volunteers having forced their way through the gravel.

Day lilies, sweet Williams, lobelia, more poppies, and geranium palmatums are found in the section of the Dragon Bed alongside the greenhouse.

Day lilies, fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, geraniums, and clematis Marie Boisselot all make their contributions to the Kitchen Bed.

Supported by the Gothic Arch, Wedding Day now flowers above the Brick Path.

More day lilies and a fuchsia thrive in what we now call the Grass Bed.

Here are the current views down the Phantom Path;

from the Concrete Patio to the Oval Bed;

and over the stepping stones in the Cryptomeria Bed through to Margery’s Bed.

By early evening the skies were oppressively leaden, but the storm had held off when we drove into the forest.

On Undershore,

Gilpins is blessed with a quite magnificent cornus, which arlingwoman, below, has identified as Kausa.

On a particularly dark section of Church Lane a trainee rider loomed up out of the murk ahead of us.

Further on a deer dashed out of the light into the dark.

As we arrived at Tanners Lane a pair of kayakers were coming in to land.

There was a distinct dearth of donkeys, ponies and other wildlife in all the spots where we would expect to see them. We came to the conclusion that they had tuned in to the weather forecast and were lying low.

This evening we dined on perfect pork chops; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender green beans; and tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Squinzano Reserva 2014.

My Minimal Contribution

CLICK ON ANY MEMBER OF A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

A second brood of sparrows has hatched in our downstairs loo extractor fan.

 

In this corner of the patio this morning I made my minimal contribution to the massive daily watering operation;

Jackie, of course, did so much more, particularly ensuring that all the containers were filled, and that the more thirsty bedded plants did not dry out.

This afternoon Elizabeth, who is staying with us for as long as it takes for her to find a new house, moved in. We enjoyed a relaxing time together before decanting to the Rose Garden for pre-dinner drinks.

We dined on Jackie’s excellent lamb jalfrezi with pilau rice. The Culinary Queen consumed Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank more of the Fleurie.

Wagons Ho!

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Roseraie de l'Hay staked

Beginning with roseraie de l’Hay, Jackie and I continued our work in the Rose Garden by bashing stakes into the ground and tying the stems to them. Brambles are very sneaky when they send their deep roots down beside roses. The worst of these, masquerading as  the rose, had to be dug out with a trowel and great care.

Rosa gallica and Laura Ford

Rosa gallica, here fronted by Laura Ford, also needed a lengthy stake;

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

 shorter ones sufficed for Lady Emma Hamilton,

Festive Jewel staked

and Festive Jewel.

rose Laura Ford

Laura Ford,

Laura Ford, roseraie de l'Hay, and rosa gallica

standing between roseraie de l’Hay and rosa gallica,

Dog rose sport

had produced a rambling sport which we needed to remove from its cultivated host. New varieties are produced by grafting onto the wild rose stock. A tendency to revert to the original produces what is called a sport. This dog rose looks wonderful when flung over a hedgerow, but rather detracted from our plantings.

It probably envied Ballerina her gleeful dance celebrating her freedom to roam.

This afternoon we transported two large orange bags of garden clippings to the Efford Recycling Centre, then went for a drive in the forest.

Cyclist 1Cyclist 2

Sometimes we do find ourselves admiring cyclists who tackle the slopes with such splendid effort.

Cyclist, walkers, and cars

Here was another at Burley, climbing

Hill outside Burley

the hill above The Queen’s Head.

Walkers 1Walkers and dog

Walkers were also doing well with this.

Katherine Parr

We, on the other hand, were enjoying a drink in the front garden of the pub. Katherine Parr was the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, and the only one to survive him. It is, we think, her portrait that adorns the inn sign. (See Lord Beeri’s comments below. He is right to put the finger on Lady Jane Gray)

Strike out the first two guesses. Becky, in her comment below, has come up with the definitive answer, from https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/404444/elizabeth-i-when-a-princess.

Dragon on roof of A Coven of Witches

From this point we noticed the dragon on the roof of A Coven of Witches, thus combining the two myths upon which the prosperity of this village is built.

Mask

Even the Art Shop has a scary window.

Burley Wagon Rides 1Burley Wagon Rides 2Burley Wagon Rides 3
Burley Wagon Rides 4

We had stopped here because we could see that a Burley Wagon Ride was about to get under way.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCxk4YNVQS4&w=560&h=315]

Burley stump

On the approach to the car park, a tree was cut down some years ago. Someone obviously carved the name of the village into the stump. Only three and a half letters remain.

Ponies 1

No forest drive would be complete without at least one pony mooning in the middle of the road.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s deliscious chiken tikka, mushroom and onion rice topped with an omelette, and onion bahjis  She drank Peroni and I drank Isla Negra merlot 2016.

Defying Gravity

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Today I divided my time between wandering idly around the garden hunting down piles of weeds and clippings deposited by the Head Gardener; transferring four barrowloads of compost from the south end of the garden to the ficus hole in the Dragon Bed; and, of course, making photographs. Jackie continued with her weeding, clearing, and planting.

Garden view from iron urn

This view from the iron urn features two paths and the yellow bottle brush plant now coming into bloom. The chimney pot on the grass patch is still to receive its portion of the contents of the plant trays to be found in abundance.

Begonias

These begonias are among those still to be given a tenancy.

Phantom Path 1

This splendid rhododendron flanks the Phantom Path,

Rhododendron and geranium palmatum

and has a happy relationship with a geranium palmatum,

Geranium palmatum

one of many to be found all over the garden.

Brick Path

Rodgersias lurch across the older section of the Brick Path,

South end of garden

at the south end of which can be seen the clematises and gladioli in the window boxes and the weigela on the fence beyond.

New Bed

The join with the newer section of that path can be seen in the opening between two foxgloves in the New Bed.

View from Rose Garden

This garden view extends from a corner of the Rose Garden featuring pink aquilegias; the rose Summer Time at the corner of the painted shed; and, halfway up on the left-hand edge,

Rose Ballerina

Ballerina, who trips merrily across her stage.

Orange theme on chimney pot

The orange theme of black-eyed Susan and marigolds atop this chimney pot was determined by the finial of this obelisk. Susan should soon wrap herself around it.

Raindrops on geranium

This geranium sheds a tear or two.

Rose on wisteria arbour

Now that the wisteria has finished flowering, its companion red rose has taken over floral duties;

Clematis and white climber

and the white rambler has now joined clematis Star of India on the arch spanning the Brick Path at the corner of the Phantom Path.

Roses Festive Jewel

Even before we reach the Rose Garden the scent of the prolific Festive Jewel drifts into our nostrils.

Rose Peach Abundance

Peach Abundance,

Roses Peach Abundance and red, and valerian

sharing this shot of the Oval Bed with a large red sky-climber and vibrant valerian, does have a delicate scent completely snuffed out by the more powerful fragrance.

Day Lilies

Day lilies, on the other side of the bed, are now enjoying their twenty four hours of glory.

Clematis Hagley Hybrid

Two clematises offering their first bloom are Hagley’s Hybrid in the Rose Garden,

Clematis Piilu

and Piilu against the redundant garage door.

Félicité Perpétue 1

Félicité Perpétue along the back drive has also produced its first flower;

Rose Félicité Perpétue 2

rather further on is the one in the front garden,

Foxgloves

which also has an abundance of foxgloves.

Bee on erigeron

Bees are now somewhat busy. Here is one exploring the larger erigerons;

Bee on bottle brush plant

another sampling the aforementioned bottle brush plant;

Bee on heuchera

and finally one defying gravity while sipping from a swaying heuchera.

For our dinner this evening we supplemented Mr Pink’s exceedingly good Fish and Chips with Tesco’s gherkins and Garner’s pickled onions. We both drank Cimarosa Special Edition sauvignon blanc 2015.