The Coven

This morning Jackie attended a periodic meeting with her two sisters, Helen and Shelly, affectionately known as the coven, where they no doubt discuss “toil and trouble” and all things nice.

As usual Jackie packed some sandwiches for my lunch into the fridge and left me to my reading, which today was

which I posted later.

We have for a while been to no avail searching out a clump of fly agaric toadstools which we expected to see at Moyles Court.

On her way home she spotted them hiding down a different slope. Some relatively new; others flattened, aged, and somewhat nibbled.

The very mild autumn has given New Milton’s abundant displays of Canna lilies and begonias an extended lease of life.

Elizabeth visited us this afternoon for tea, cake, and conversation.

This evening we all dined on Red Chilli’s excellent takeaway fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Graves

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.

What Season?

This afternoon I accompanied my camera on a walk around the garden.

We have a number of brightly blooming begonias;

of different dahlias;

cow parsley, under the impression that the season is spring;

Summer Wine believing its period prevails;

chrysanthemums confident that it is now their time;

roses like this small pink patio example,

white Winchester Cathedral,

shy Shropshire Lad,

and hollyhocks, all uncertain;

ubiquitous fuchsias, erigerons,

and bidens;

clinging clusters of clematis;

golden Weeping Birch leaves poised to fall – all enjoying this warm shirtsleeves afternoon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon and herb chicken, wholesome savoury rice, and tender green beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021.

Elizabeth Meets Ellie

This afternoon, while Jackie drove Flo, Dillon. and Ellie out shopping, I watched a BBC recording of yesterday’s delayed start of the final cricket Test Match between England and South Africa.

I then took a walk round the garden with my camera.

We had given up these gladioli in the heatwave. They have revived nicely as have the nasturtiums in the background.

Begonias are all doing well;

as are Japanese anemones.

A fly had visited Winchester Cathedral,

and a bee, verbena bonariensis.

Roses Crown Princess Margareta,

Doris Tysterman,

and Super Elfin, continue to thrive.

Elizabeth visited this afternoon to meet Ellie.

My sister stayed for dinner which consisted of oven fish and chips (haddock and cod); mushy peas, pickled onions and gherkins, with which Elizabeth and I drank more of the Côtes du Rhône; Jackie drank Hoegaarden; and Flo and Dillon drank fruit cordial.

Afterwards I watched the recorded highlights from today at the test match.

Hopping From Seat To Seat

Yesterday I somehow managed to strain my left inner thigh which means walking is out of the question.

Perhaps thirty years ago, as featured in I spent a good hour hopping from seat to seat on an Intercity train when I was commuting from Newark to Kings Cross.

The method proved useful once again today. I couldn’t walk, but I could hop from seat to seat around the garden for a photoshoot. So this is what I did.

These images were produced from a seat in the patio;

these from the Wisteria Arbour;

the Gardener’s Rest yielded just two;

then came the decking;

one from the bench at Fiveways;

a good range from the four various viewpoints in the Rose Garden;

two from the concrete patio;

four from the Heligan Path bench;

two from the Westbrook Arbour;

three from the Nottingham Castle bench;

and finally, petunias in a chimney pot on the lawn seen from its own bench. All the other titles will be available from accessing the galleries.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and onion pie; boiled new potatoes; firm carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli, with meaty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, Flo and Dillon drank Ribena, and I finished the Côtes-du-Rhône.

“Hello Barbara”

Mum perked up yesterday afternoon. When Elizabeth and Jacqueline arrived she was sitting up in bed, drinking from her own cup. She stayed awake for two hours; conversed lucidly; and consumed a little liquid nourishment, antibiotics, and water. Staff were concerned about her breathing overnight and she is to be given morphine to make her more comfortable.

Early in the evening Jackie photographed her favourite view from the stable door, and two along the Gazebo Path.

For Mothers Day earlier in the year Becky sent her a bouquet from which she has rooted a chrysanthemum in water.

She also pictured this which has been nurtured to produce a flourishing plant and will find its way into a bed next year.

A significant amount of rain fell overnight, refreshing the garden.

I produced a range of random images each of which has its own title in the gallery.

While I was wandering about, Jackie was talking on the phone to our friend Barbara who had telephoned in response to my post of yesterday.

“Hello Barbara”.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s flavoursome sausages in red wine; crisp Yorkshire pudding; creamy mashed potatoes; firm carrots, cauliflower and peas, with which I finished the Rioja whilst the Culinary Queen abstained because she had enjoyed her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.

We Still Have Some Colour

This morning I posted

When shopping at Lidl yesterday Jackie discovered quite a number of empty shelves. In the central aisles she did find some flat-pack ones that she would like for the garden. She found them so easy to assemble and returned for more today.

She bought another four packs. There are now three alongside and one behind the Head Gardener’s shed. One is inside the building, but in too narrow a space for me to photograph.

I carried out so much dead heading that I needed to tour the garden to assure myself that we still have some colour.

These are a few views that are identified in the gallery, which can be accessed with a click on any one.

This evening we dined on succulent steaks on a bed of peppers and leeks; fried potatoes; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender spinach and runner beans, and meaty gravy, with which Jackie finished the Pinot Grigio and I dram more of the Dao.

Frenetically Flittering

With overnight winds having ripped a stem from the Wedding Day rose, yet spared the clematis on the Agriframes arch,

Jackie was out early this morning laying down garden furniture once more, and picking up smashed pots and broken stems. Gale force winds continued throughout the day.

Undeterred, she set about refurbishing the Head Gardener’s Rest, and photographing the process.

First going;

then gone;

then rebuilding;

and finally, completed;

after which, basking in the sunshine, she toasted it.

My still photographs show neither the waving branches in

the front garden,

higher roses such as Compassion and Penny Lane,

nor the Weeping Birch swaying above its eponymous Bed including the proliferating Crinum Powellii.

Some begonias are sheltered enough to remain unscathed.

Even the frenetically flittering Small White butterflies were forced to take rests

on swaying Verbenas bonariensis

and the last remaining bloom on this geranium.

The Veronicastrum Virginicum Album was displaying signs of osteoporosis, but For Your Eyes Only seemed to find enough shelter in the Rose Garden.

Later this afternoon I posted

This evening we dined on cod, chips, and peas with which Jackie drank more of the Cotes de Provence rosé and I drank more of the Fleurie.

Keeping Up With David Copperfield

On a sultry, largely overcast day, with dribbles of rain and brief snatches of sunlight, Jackie carried out weeding and pruning while I helped with the clearing up, dead headed, and produced pictures.

Each of these images bears a title in the gallery.

Later, I scanned three more of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘David Copperfield’.

The double page spread ‘The horses stopped at the stable gate’ contains the tell-tale sign of broken reins.

‘I had my arms round Mr Wickfield, imploring him by everything that I could think of to calm himself a little’

‘I encountered, at the corner, a woman’s face’

This evening we dined on tasty baked gammon; boiled potatoes; juicy ratatouille; and firm carrots and broccoli with which Jackie drank Cotes du Provence rosé 2019 while I chose Paarl Shiraz 2020.

Raindrops Inside And Out

Recent heavy rains have opened another leak in the roof of our kitchen extension.

Jackie made these photographs of the kitchen floor, then

of what we think is the faulty lead flashing.

While she was at the upstairs windows

she then produced aerial shots of the soggy garden, after which

during a lull in the rain I toured the paths in search of raindrops on fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, begonias, pelargoniums, rose campion, various roses, chrysanthemums, Edinburgh dahlia, Rosa Glauca hips, and fallen beech leaves.

For dinner this evening we finished Jackie’s choice chicken and leek pie with crisp roast potatoes; al dente carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage, and most flavoursome gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Montpeyroux.