What To Do With Flies

For much of the morning and the first half hour of a sweltering afternoon Jackie continued weeding the Brick Path, taking her own

before

and after photographs;

meanwhile I filled several trug-loads of dead-headed roses and weeds pulled up from the beds along the way.

Afterwards I printed another batch of A4 prints of him at work for Nick, who finished his work today.

Early this evening Jackie and I took a drive into the forest.

There seemed to be three options for photography when we arrived at Hatchet Pond: a man throwing sticks into the lake for his dogs to splash after, crows pecking in the grass, and, as a last resort my lens might reach a few groups on the far bank. As I disembarked from the Modus the man and his dogs walked away, and the rooks flew off.

Fortunately, a young lady aimed a judicious kick on the far side.

On Furzey Lane, a young foal, looking enviously at his mother’s tail, the switching of which he tried to emulate with no effect, did his best to dislodge the flies which pestered him, with ineffective kicks and waggling of his abbreviated little brush.

Along Lodge Lane a colourful pheasant strutted in the verge grasses, and inquisitive field horses displayed their fly protection gear.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s pasta bolognese with fresh salad. The Culinary Queen and Ian drank Hoegaarden, Becky drank Zesty, and I finished the Côtes du Rhône.

We Haven’t Done Too Badly

On another blustery morning we carried out domestic indoor tasks and I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/09/28/a-knights-tale-42-i-find-my-direction/

Later Jackie righted most of the fallen pots; I set up a few more, gathered up more tree twigs, and picked up the mirror which was fortunately undamaged.

The Head Gardener cleared some broken plants and tied up others. I took those that had been ripped off to the compost bins. As can be seen the cosmos still attracts bees. Jackie had laid down the chairs in these pictures before the heavier storm. They will remain like this until the gusts are gone.

If you don’t look too closely we haven’t done too badly. So far.

As the afternoon wore on the skies darkened and the gale built up its momentum. By the time we sat down to enjoy our evening meal, heavy rain beat a tattoo on the kitchen roof, and I would not have been surprised to see one or two of the three little pigs flying overhead propelled by the huffing and puffing of the big bad wolf.

Dinner consisted of Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata and tender runner beans, with which she finished the Rosé and I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone.

The Wind And The Rain

After overnight rain on a morning of winds still over 50 m.p.h. I was blown around the garden while investigating the damage. The sunlight was very strong, but birds remained silent.

The pictures display a range of the comparatively minor disturbance requiring attention when the wind subsides. As usual, individual images are titled in the gallery.

All is not hopeless as shown by these further photographs.

The wind subsided somewhat but the rain returned this afternoon; petrol needs preserving, so I read some more of ‘Our Mutual Friend’ and scanned the next four of Charles Keeping’s skilful illustrations.

‘Mr Dolls collapsed in his chair’

‘Bradley went with him into an early public house’

‘She gave him her hand’

‘The old man looked distressfully at Fledgeby’

This evening we dined on hot and spicy, and tempura, prawns; served with Angela’s authentic sticky rice (supplemented with egg by Jackie) and spring rolls. Mrs Knight drank more of the Rosé and I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone.

A Ship In A Bottle

Some 100 yards or so to the east along Christchurch From our house lies the entrance to a series of quarry pits. Our friend Giles has learned that three of the pits have been filled with water and converted to bird sanctuaries. In recent months a series of gates into the woodland have appeared. I imagined that these may provide access to the waters. This morning I walked along to investigate. Each one of the gates bears a digital padlock on the inside.

The last two of these images show the dried ditch. Remaining enticed by views beyond the gates, I returned home thinking that further research would be in order.

A bonus was that I met and enjoyed a lengthy conversation with our next door neighbours, Laraine and David, from whom we have been largely in Covid-induced isolation for too many months.

Jackie continued work in the garden and later photographed the Brick Path which has become quite slippery. The first of these shots shows a completed section; the second, work in progress; and the third what was still to be done.

From later afternoon until early this evening, The Head Gardener continued her task to completion among the essential shade.

These three scenes comprise the southern, central, and northern, sections of the thoroughfare, which I photographed.

After lunch I had previously toured with my camera.

Slightly left of centre in this picture we see a rather spindly Jacqueline du Pré rose which was being choked by Japanese anemones. Jackie removed the invaders and bagged them up for the stack of garden refuse destined for the dump. I carried them across to join the others, and

photographed them while I was at it. These, containing material too woody for compost, have all been packed in the last fortnight.

Hydrangeas and hanging baskets need frequent watering during this hot weather which now warrants a government Amber heat warning.

Phlox of various hues are really flourishing; Rhapsody in Blue flowers again.

One day lily has penetrated the aluminium latticework of a bench on the lawn. Rather like a ship in a bottle it would have been neatly folded to facilitate entry before its sails were unfurled.

Before settling down to drinks in the Rose Garden, Jackie photographed a ladybird, perched higher than either of us, waiting for a sunflower to open.

We dined on flavoursome liver and bacon; boiled potatoes; cauliflower and carrots al dente; and tender cabbage, with which Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I finished the Shiraz.

Water Feature In Situ

This morning I scanned the next half dozen of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to Charles Dickens’s ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’.

In ‘Even her weeping and her sobs were stifled by her clinging round him’ her dress flows like her tears.

Dickens’s description of the attendant, complete with whiskers, is faithfully depicted by Keeping in ‘Mrs Prig began to rasp his unhappy head with a hair-brush’

‘ ‘Pray, pray, release me, Mr Pecksniff’ ‘

The identifiable Mr Pecksniff, ‘Looking like the small end of a guillotined man, he listened’, as the artist runs with the writer’s image of the eavesdropper’s head above a pew.

In ‘ ‘He comes and sits alone with me’ ‘ Keeping demonstrates the unfortunate desperation of the couple skirting around engagement.

As hollow-cheeked as the writer describes the man, the artist captures him as ‘He sat down on the chest with his hat on’

This morning I transported the larger water feature from the patio to its permanent place in the Rose Garden, then photographed a few of our current blooms.

We still have a range of daffodils; numerous tulips; various wallflowers; forget-me-nots, primroses, lamium, wood anemones, honesty, and euphorbia.

This afternoon I watched the funeral service for the Duke of Edinburgh.

(Yvonne, you may skip the next paragraph.)

This evening we dined on Jackie’s most flavoursome liver, bacon, and onion casserole; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots and tender cabbage, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the red blend.

“Where’s Jackie?”

Jackie spent much of the day tending to her hanging baskets and other containers, while I wandered about dead-heading and picking up debris for the compost bin.

I did, of course, have my camera handy. We have two new poppy varieties on display.

One is Californian;

the other I cannot name because it is a self-seeded volunteer which didn’t introduce itself.

For the first time this year geum Mrs Bradshaw has found a happy place in Margery’s Bed.

Another new bloom is clematis Warsaw Nike.

The Dr Ruppel I have been picturing recently scales the right hand side of the nearest arch spanning the brick path;

another is announcing its presence against the weeping birch trunk.

Jackie worked in the shade beyond these rhododendrons.

Here are some views of the Rose Garden.

In this one, “Where’s Jackie?”

After lunch Jackie worked

beneath a copper beech canopy

casting cool shadows.

Russel Crow, patrolling the roof of the house, panted like a dog to combat the heat.

Nugget did periodically investigate pickings from the pots, eventually taking off in search of fresh meat.

From this perch on the west side of the garden his food came in the form of flying insects at which he darted far too fast for my trigger finger – and for the wings of his prey.

The last two of these images show, on our right of Nugget’s plumage a little black mark which definitely identifies him.

This evening, on the patio before dinner, we noticed a nest of baby spiders, mostly clustered together.

Later, we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots; tender runner and green beans with cabbage; and firm Brussels sprouts. with which I drank The Second Fleet Limestone Coast Shiraz 2018.

Catch Me If You Can

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Aaron of AP Maintenance’s main task today was weeding the Back Drive.

Taking it in turns to stand aloof, a pair of wood pigeons, wobbling along our eastern fence, engaged in their annual mating ritual. Each time the chaser reached his target she turned her back; he feigned departure; she took up the chase. A provocative game of ‘Catch Me If You Can’. It works for any species.

Butterfly Green-veined white

Today’s butterflies were mainly white, flitting about elusively. This Green-veined variety was considerate enough to take a moment’s rest.

Brick Path

Hopefully, Jackie’s new roses planted in the West Bed will soon climb the Gothic arch across the Brick Path.

Copper beach leaves

Always the last to sprout, the copper beach leaves are putting in an appearance.

Jackie planting gladioli

Among Jackie’s plantings were Nori gladioli in the New Bed.

Sparrow on roof

From his vantage point on the roof a tiny sparrow stands guard on his family in the eaves.

This evening we are on our way to Cadnam to dine at The White Hart with Jacqueline and Elizabeth. Should there be anything of note to report, I will feature it tomorrow.

 

 

New Roses

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This has been a day of varied activities. This morning involved various administrative phone calls; a trip to Lymington to confirm the order and pay for Jackie’s new laptop; and a drive among the lanes around Sway.

Horse and rider

Other road users somewhat impeding our leisurely progress included a horse and rider;

cyclists

a group of cyclists consisting of a gentleman and young girl lagging behind two boys pausing on the brow of a hill;

Hay truck

and a truck bearing a precarious looking wide load of hay.

Sunflowers and acorns

Coombe Lane, in particular, is home to Long Cottage, the garden of which contains a row of sunflowers fronting a rather wizened little oak tree bearing large clusters of cupped acorns.

Friesians

Further along this road a group of inquisitive young Friesians thronged to their gateway in order to enquire what we were doing there.

ScarecrowScarecrows 1Scarecrows 2

Hordle has its own Scarecrow Trail, but since we followed the Bisterne one thoroughly, and parking is quite dangerous alongside the exhibits in the more populous village, I will simply photograph those we come across in our wanderings. The first of these are outside Hordle Parish Church of All Saints. They have been created by the children of the nearby Nursery School.

Hole for new rosesBrick path 1Sweet peas

Early this afternoon Jackie dug  the first hole for  the roses that will ascend the now unclad Gothic Arch seen at the far end of this section of the Brick Path, alongside which stands the Nottingham Castle bench with its attendant sweet peas.

Clematis Star of India

The rear of the bench can be seen in this shot of the Star of India clematis in Margery’s Bed.

Dragon Bed 1

The elegant forms of white gladioli take centre stage on this view of the Dragon Bed,

Dragon Bed 2

while, to the right of them, the colours of Japanese anemones, fuchsia, and lobelia form a similar sinuous shape.

Rose Penny Lane

Later, we visited Otter Nurseries where we bought two roses for the bare arch. We have examples of these elsewhere in the garden. Penny Lane wanders over the potting shed in the Rose Garden, and the bright red Super Elfin has taken off like a rocket in the herbaceous border.

Jackie digging hole for Super Elfin

Here Jackie, having planted Penny Lane, starts on a hole for the heavily pruned Super Elfin. I helped out a bit with that one, but the Head Gardener refused to photograph me on the grounds that my minor effort didn’t warrant a presence on the blog. Frankly that seemed a little harsh to me.

Penny Lane and Super Elfin

In a short while we can expect to see a difference.

Beef pie

This evening we dined on Jackie’s brilliant beef pie, with meaty gravy, boiled potatoes, spring greens, and bright carrots. The Culinary Queen finished the sauvignon blanc, and I finished the Fleurie.

 

 

 

In The May Garden (2)

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Brick Path

Among his other tasks this morning, Aaron finished weeding the original section of the Brick Path,

Iris 1
Irises 1

and sprayed herbicide along the gravel of the Back Drive where an old gold iris has bloomed.

Mimulus

Many plants, like this pansy-like mimulus, have happily self-seeded from last year,

Mullein

others like two mulleins threatening to dwarf the roses among which they have taken root, may themselves be quite content, but their neighbours are not so.

Mulleins

We may have left it too late to move these two giants to the rear of the Back Drive border.

Rose Gloriana

Rose Gloriana is far more prolific in this, its third year in the Rose Garden,

rose Madame Alfred Carriere 1
rose Madame Alfred Carriere 2
rose Madame Alfred Carriere 3

the faded blue entrance arch to which bears creamy Madame Alfred Carriere.

rose Altissimo

Altissimo stands sentinel at the corner of The Rose Garden and Elizabeth’s Bed,

Fuchsia

where this sturdy fuchsia suspends its delicate pink flowers.

Erigeron

Cheerful erigeron cascades from the wall of the New Bed that contains

Clematis

this pink-striped clematis,

Clematis 2

as healthy as this, one of Jackie’s rescued spindly little twigs, mounting the front fence.

This evening we dined on pork medallions in barbecue sauce, with crunchy carrots, broccoli, and new potatoes. I drank Parra Alta Malbec 2016. Jackie had already imbibed her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.

Oh Yes – We Did Have An Easter Egg Hunt

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This morning Aaron began weeding the Brick Path.

Bee on tellima

Bees were feasting on the tiny blooms of tellimas which grow quite profusely.

Noticing Becky wandering around the garden gathering up Scooby’s poo bag contributions, Aaron quipped that she had missed Easter, so there was no Egg Hunt today.

This afternoon Jackie drove Becky and me to Elizabeth’s home at West End, where we enjoyed a roast lamb meal cooked by Adam, in honour of Danni, Thea, and Andy’s 10k run in aid of Cancer Research.

These are before and after photographs e-mailed to me by Danni.

Running medal and trainers

As soon as I opened the front door it was apparent that such an event had taken place. a medal on the stairs and discarded trainers provided the evidence.

My great nephew Jasper earnestly concentrated on his father’s train set

details of which he explained to Becky and to Danni.

Roast lamb meal

The constituents of Adam’s excellent meal, namely roast lamb, potatoes, parsnips and carrots; cauliflower cheese and red cabbage were laid out on the kitchen table from which we helped ourselves and repaired to the dining room. Of the drinks on offer, I chose red wine.

Mum

During the meal, Mum was prompted to relate a story of a particular Easter when I had gone to bed after eating too much chocolate and emerged later with the liquidised version all over me.

Jasper 4

Afterwards, an Easter Egg Hunt was laid on for Elizabeth’s grandson. He was a little frustrated at first when he could not find any of the treasure,

but soon got into the swing of things.

The highlight of his afternoon was the final large package containing a train that had to be embarked upon immediately.

Donkey on road

At this time of the year, it is best to avoid Lyndhurst on this journey, because you are likely to be held up by traffic jams. That is what we did. The donkeys at Beaulieu were determined to demonstrate that they were perfectly capable of providing a similar delay.

While the others grazed a bit, I needed no further sustenance this evening.