Warm Spring Sunshine

I enjoyed a pleasant conversation with David of Mistletoe Cottage in the garden this morning where we discussed his plans for Aaron to replace our shared fence. It was good to extend our talk as we remained among our plants for a while.

Crab apple and Amanogawa cherry blossoms have survived the recent gales.

David will continue to enjoy these camellias and the Vulcan magnolia from his side of the fence.

Yellow-flowered euphorbia and more delicate comfrey are now prolific.

Ferget-me-nots and bluebells are now casting carpets and

attracting bees,

as are the lamiums.

Ferns unfold fiddles.


also attracts flying insects such as the constantly flittering yellow brimstone butterflies.

Muscari and pieris are blooming well.

Is the autumn sculpture’s heart bleeding for the dicentra?

The orange marigolds in a hanging basket can be seen from the Gazebo Path.

Later I received a telephone call from SpaMedica contracted to NHS offering me an assessment interview for an anticipated cataract operation. This is at Poole tomorrow morning. I received a 12 page e-mail I was required to print out, complete various forms, and take with me tomorrow.

I then read more of Kristin Lavransdatter.

This appears to have been published prematurely. I have updated it and now add that this evening we will dine on second helpings of yesterday’s Chinese meal.

Shirt Sleeves Sunshine

This morning, accompanied by returning birdsong, I took a trip round the garden, occupied by numerous flying insects like these

bees drawn to euphorbia.

Martin’s tireless efforts of cutting back shrubbery, trimming and training roses throughout the winter have opened up

views throughout the garden.

Quite apart from their having no right to be in bloom this early these on the patio have survived all that the elements have thrown at them during the last few days;

these Lilac Wonders in the Palm Bed are better protected.

Numerous daffodils flourish,

as do forget-me-nots, wallflowers, and our first bluebells.

A range of camellias continue to carpet the ground beneath them.

It was definitely warm enough for shirt sleeves – and for me.

This afternoon, while Dillon was passing his driving test, I watched the Women’s Six Nations rugby matches between Scotland and France and between England and Wales.

Becky came home with Dillon and we all dined on another of Jackie’s cottage pies, carrots, runner beans, and broccoli stems, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Sangiovese & Syrah Toscana.

This evening we all dined on (another of Jackie’s cottage pies, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli stems, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Sangovese/Syrah red wine) Merril’s comment exposes why the section in brackets was added.

Rose Garden Entrance Arbour All But Completed

Flo produced some delightful photographs of Ellie this morning. These included reading “Big Panda and Tiny Dragon” with Dillon, and pointing out a frog on Jackie’s sock.

Martin has now almost finished building what is in reality an arbour to replace the Rose Garden Entrance arch. This has involved retraining a couple of rose plants.

Despite the sunshine the temperature was quite chilly, although not enough to deter the most intrepid bees. This one clung to a chionodoxa.

Ellie likes to stand at the window to watch the birds. As I returned to the house soon after I photographed the live bee above she called out “bee”. She was referring to the one on the wall behind me.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s penne Bolognese sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the shiraz.

Becky’s Biology Lesson

Despite the dreary drizzle-day and thanks to Martin’s weeks of clearance work in the beds there is now no corner of the garden not

brightened by snowdrops and more.

As usual clicking on any image will access the gallery, each item of which can be enlarged and bears a title; some also bearing bumble bees which yesterday had sped freely around the garden. Today, motionless, they cling to a number of plants from which they had sought sustenance then. When I mentioned this to Becky she explained that these insects, not having skeletons, contain fluid beneath their flesh which in cold weather coagulates causing a state of somnolence until liquifying once more on warming up.

Ian returned from Southbourne last night, in time to shop with Becky today for our dinner this this evening. They returned with 6 rib eye steaks; chips, and peas, which Becky cooked to perfection, according to individual choices; with M & S rice and bread and butter puddings to follow. I drank more of the Côtes du Rhône Villages

A Little Optimistic

Early this morning I watched the recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between France and Namibia.

Later I took advantage of a sunny morning to take a brief walk round the garden before the rain set in for a few hours, and another when the sunlight returned this afternoon.

The air, when dry, was warm and fresh, and attracted bustling bees, as well as my camera lens.

Liquid light played across my garden views

and enhanced individual blooms. As usual the selections in each gallery bear their own titles.

Later I watched the live broadcast of the rugby match between Argentina and Samoa while tucking into the plate of cold meats and salad Jackie had left for me while this branch of the family joined Becky and Ian for the latter’s Birthday celebration at Milford on Sea’s Britannia Thai restaurant. My intention to lead the party had been proved a little optimistic after yesterday’s outing demonstrated that I was not yet fit for another.

A Fly In His Eye

With the day growing steadily warmer and sunnier, Jackie began seeking stems for plant cuttings, continuing this afternoon, when I raked clippings, leaves, and twigs from gravel paths and added two more empty compost bagfuls to the heap for the next dump trip.

I made a start on reading John Prebble’s history of Culloden, then wandered around the garden with my camera.

Each of these random photographs, some featuring the various flying insects flitting about, bears a title in the gallery.

This evening we dined on a variety of Subway’s excellent fresh and tasty sandwiches, followed by berry strudel and vanilla Cornish ice cream, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bordeaux. Afterwards we sampled Lyme Bay Winery Traditional Mead.

Picture Resizing Problem Possibly Partially Resolved

Jackie set today’s theme by producing a quartet of bees on a sunflower.

Encouraged by these and, although I have not yet received confirmation of the completion of my WordPress images rescue from Peacock’s who are still working on the task,

I wandered round the garden to add a few – on sedums, zinnias, cosmos, and Japanese anemones. Many other flowers were graced with the presence of pollen gatherers on this warm, overcast, afternoon, but I thought it best not to push my luck without confirmation.

It looks as if new pictures are automatically resized, although older ones are not.

Shelly popped in with an Ellie present later, and was happy to hold her great-great-niece.

This evening we dined on wholesome Shepherd’s Pie; crunchy carrots; firm Brussel’s sprouts; piquant cauliflower cheese; tender cabbage; and tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; I drank more of the Shiraz; Flo and Dillon drank fruit cordial.

Wash Day

This morning, in order to show a positive aspect of the hot weather, Jackie photographed Wash Day at Downton.

She then cut my hair.

After lunch I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/08/07/a-knights-tale-147-ten-hours-at-the-wheel/

Later, I carried out a dead-heading session and

photographed a few flowers which bear their titles in the gallery. Bees were quite busy, although the first one was clearly sheltering beneath the zinnia petals. A number of seeds, such as those alongside the deep red backlit petunia, were blown in the air.

While I was uploading these pictures Flo and Dillon set out on a watering and planting session.

This evening we dined on chicken breasts marinaded in Nando’s lemon and lime sauce; Jackie’s savoury rice cooked in my chicken sauce; and tender green beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden, Flo and Dillon drank water, and I drank Signargues Côtes-du-Rhône Villages 2020.

Busy Bees, Hummingbird Moths, Decorator, And Gardeners

Today Nick continued with his painting of our bedroom and upstairs sitting room walls;

Jackie continued weeding, alongside Martin

who heavily pruned a couple of New Zealand flax plants and an ornamental poplar before mowing the lawn carpeted with daisies which will return in a few days.

In the meantime I photographed two other breeds of hard workers also struggling with the heat – namely

hummingbird moths on pelargoniums,

and bees on yellow bottle brush and mauve verbena bonariensis.

While I was at it I photographed a few more flowers which bear titles in the gallery.

This evening we dined on slow roasted pork with crunchy crackling; crisp roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; al dente cauliflower, carrots and broccoli, with meaty gravy. Jackie and Ian drank Hoegaarden, Becky finished the Portuguese Rosé, Flo drank elderflower cordial, and I drank more of the Côtes du Rhône.

21 Chestnut Road

This afternoon we visited another NGS garden – 21 Chestnut Road, Brockenhurst.

This is my selection of photographs;

here are Flo’s. As usual each of these images bears a title in the galleries.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where the food and service was as good as ever. Jackie’s main course was Lal Quilla Special, Flo’s was Lamb Biriani, and mine was Chicken Jaljala. We shared pilau rice, sag paneer, egg paratha, and peshwari Nan. Jackie and I drank Kingfisher, while Flo drank J2O.