Versatility

During the power cut yesterday evening I finished reading being the fourth of Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire novels. I have to say I found this one rather ponderous in its political and philosophical passages, giving the impression that the periodical pattern of its publication promoted such prolixity. Trollope’s familiar themes of love, marriage, and matriarchal machinations;Continue reading “Versatility”

The Horse Whisperer

Today, after our visitor had made some photographs in the garden, one of which, when published, will be a delightful surprise for many followers, Jackie drove John and me on a tour of the forest before lunching at the Fleur de Lys in Pilley and delivering him to New Milton trains station for his trip to Peterborough.Continue reading “The Horse Whisperer”

One For GP

As was the case this morning, the seed feeder in the front garden is usually overcrowded by sparrows, with the inevitable pecking consequence. Great and blue tits share more harmonious meals. This afternoon we drove into the forest and got no further than Holmsley Passage before we witnessed a string of ponies crossing the moorlandContinue reading “One For GP”

It Has To Go

As she toured the garden this morning Jackie was struck by the contrast between the number of survivors from spring and summer still blooming – including clematis Niobe; fuchsias Delta’s Sarah and Mrs. Popple; hebes; hot lips; bidens; pelargoniums; pansies; campanulas; and roses in the Rose Garden – and the harbingers of spring to come,Continue reading “It Has To Go”

Wrestling With Catalina

The weather this morning was dull but warmer than yesterday – even enough to keep the bees, like this one weighing down the little salvia, at work. Jackie continued with her autumnal preparations. Nugget and his rival continued their armistice. Our little robin even tolerates other small birds like blue tits and coal tits raidingContinue reading “Wrestling With Catalina”

Assiduous And Carnivorous Trees

It was the turn of a blue tit to investigate the crab apples on this very overcast morning. This one found the fruit a little large for its beak, and didn’t stay long. This afternoon, Elizabeth collected the keys for her new home. Naturally we were there to see her over the threshold, clutching thoughtfulContinue reading “Assiduous And Carnivorous Trees”

Strange Courtship

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROPUS ACCESS GALLERIES THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE. This morning we drove out to Eyeworth Pond and back. Yesterday evening I described the heavy rain that pummelled the pavement. It continued throughout the night. This is what it did to Brockenhurst’s landscaped lawns, and to its ford.Continue reading “Strange Courtship”

A Time Check

We all like a camomile lawn. In the right place. What is not so attractive is an onion lawn in the wrong place. Jackie has been working her way along our paths eradicating smelly alliums self-seeded and creating such a carpet. With their heady aroma permeating my nostrils, I took a hoe to a sectionContinue reading “A Time Check”

An Opened Garden

Yesterday Jackie carried out some further heavy pruning and clearance in the shrubbery at the front of the house. This meant that before I could continue with the path, I needed to cart several barrow loads of branches and dead plants to the far end of the garden. Well, she is the head gardener, andContinue reading “An Opened Garden”

Sharing A Meal

When we arrived in Downton on 31st March last year, clumps of large leaves were present in the front garden. Following our policy of giving unrecognised plants time to make themselves known, we refrained from disturbing them. These produced nothing more until now. We don’t know what they are. Does anyone? The holly leaf in theContinue reading “Sharing A Meal”