Early Morning Lovemaking


Now, please don’t get too excited. It’s birds I’m referring to. Pigeons, to be precise.

Pigeons 1

Pigeons 2

I am no good at sexing birds, so I’m not sure which was which in this couple, although I suspect that it was the female who remained aloof whilst her suitor performed on the trapeze.

Pigeons 3

Not greatly impressed, she turned and flew away.  He swivelled on the high wire and set off in pursuit.

Jackie continued her mammoth weeding and planting in the garden.

Bamboo roots

My contribution was digging out bamboo roots that had strayed into the gravel of the Oval Path. This also involved lifting border rocks and replacing them after removing the interlopers. Afterwards I ambled around with watering cans, and, of course, a camera.

Tulips, daffodils a,d pansiesTulips and daffodilsTulip mix

We are daily enjoying new tulips,

Parrot tulips

including these parrots.

Wallflowers 1

We inherited some prolific yellow wallflowers along the back drive.

Wallflowers 2

Encouraged by them Jackie added these beautifully red-veined ones last year,

Erysimum Redjap

and these varicoloured erysimum Red Jeps quite recently.


Another recent planting is mesembryanthemums,

Red maple bed

seen here in situ beyond the russet heuchera.

It was so hot this afternoon that we took cold drinks on the Castle Bench because it was in the shade. There is a little table each side of the seat for drinks. Jackie sat on the right. I sat on the left. She is left-handed. I am right-handed. Work it out. Until she twigged what was going on, we both rested our glasses in the middle of the bench. Then we swapped positions, and there was nothing between us.

This evening we dine on Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole, carrots, cauliflower, and new potatoes. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the fleurie.

Before And After: The Oval Path And Elizabeth’s Bed

It was June 2014 by the time we began to tackle the southern end of the garden between what is now the rose garden and the back drive. We began with the Oval Path and made a start on Elizabeth’s bed.

Path before clearancePath before clearance 2

This is what confronted us on 5th June. We thought there must be a path in there somewhere. We did not know then that these were two parts of an oval around a bed, beyond which the strip along the fence was a jungle, overlooked by the rose Altissimo which managed to soar above it.

Bamboo coming through pathOval path intermediate stage

Later in the day, all was becoming clearer.

Kitchen garden

This broad view from the next day shows how this corner of the garden fitted together. The rose garden hadn’t even been thought of then. The Oval Path is to the right.

Bamboo roots

The bamboo seen in the third picture above sent roots right under the gravelled path. I had fun digging them out.

Jackie digging out bricksJackie sieving beyond gravelled path

By 10th Jackie was sieving soil from the gravel that we had weeded.

oval-bed 11.6.15

The Oval Bed was better established by 11th June 2015, and Elizabeth’s bed, named because she cleared much of it, was far more inviting.

Altissimo 24.6.15

Altissimo could now be reached.

Elizabeth's bed 25.9.15

By 25th September 2015, Elizabeth’s bed had been fully planted up ready for next year. It is now difficult to imagine how obscured that fence was.

Garden Album

Today was another wet, but very warm day. Between steady bouts of rain, Jackie continue to cram as many plants into the front garden as she could. I’m pretty sure I give the entries into the garden album, on which I continued to work today, more breathing space.

We dined this evening on juicy belly of pork. mashed potato and swede, crisp cabbage and tricolour carrots (orange, red, and white); followed by apple crumble and custard. I finished the beaujolais. Jackie had drunk her Hoegaarden whilst cooking, but she didn’t mind.

As I write this post I flip flies from my face and hands. Surely they should all be dead by now.