Catch Me If You Can

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN GROUPS ACCESSES ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

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

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

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 Garden Today

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

Brick Path

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

Iris 1Irises 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 1rose Madame Alfred Carriere 2rose 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

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS ACCESS GALLERIES THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN THE PAGE AND CLICKING THE RELEVANT BOX.

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.

Far Too Busy To Chat

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN THE PAIR ACCESS A GALLERY THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE AFTER SCROLLING DOWN THE PAGE AND CLICKING THE RELEVANT BOX..

Aaron, Jackie, and I continued tidying up the garden this morning.

Daffodils still glow all over;

Honesty

the new generation of honesty crops up everywhere;

Anemone albas

and the Anemone albas are spreading nicely in the Weeping Birch Bed.

Frogs and Jattie's sculpture

Jackie has weeded around and cleaned the little cistern pond, thus revealing the frogs and Jattie’s sculpture.

Snake's head fritillary

The lamp glowing in the sunlight is one of the snake’s head fritillaries Jackie has added to those already shining in the Cryptomeria Bed.

Peacock butterfly on gravel

A peacock butterfly tried in vain to look invisible on the gravel of the Heligan Path which joins

Brick Path

the south end of the Brick Path.

Bee on pulmonaria 1

Bees continue to plunder the pulmonaria.

Collared dove

I had a fairly lengthy conversation with a young collared dove taking advantage of Aaron’s fencing.

Wood pigeon with nesting material

Wood pigeons

Sparrow with nesting material

and sparrows were far too busy gathering nesting material to chat.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious lamb jalfrezi and special fried rice; followed by apple pie and custard.. She drank sparkling water and I drank Cimarosa limited edition Shiraz 2014.

The Magic Carpet

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Having spent much of the night watching the BBC’s presentation of the unfolding of the EU referendum, I wasn’t up to much this morning.

I did, however, post my day 5 offering on the Facebook nature series.

Butterfly Small White on verbena bonarensis

This was it. It appeared on my WordPress post Earthworks, of 29th September 2015.

I then occupied myself with dead-heading, and, after lunch, cut off more of the hedge along the back drive. Although there was very little rain, the sun made only fleeting visits, enough to encourage this

Hoverfly on single poppy petal

determined hoverfly to hitch a ride on the tempest-tossed magic carpet that was a single, clinging, poppy petal. As the insect rode the turbulent waves, not a slither did it make.

As so often, the evening was bright and sunny. We took an amble around the garden.

Brick Path

The rose Wedding Day, a prolific climber, is just coming into bloom on the Agriframes arch.

Rodgersia

Also flowering is the rodgersia

View from Phantom end of Cryptomeria Bed

that dominates the foreground of this view along the Cryptomeria Bed.

Head Gardener's Walk

The Dragon Bed and the Head Gardener’s Walk are now both well established.

This evening we dined at Lymington’s Royal China where we received the usual efficient, friendly, service and excellent food, accompanied by Tsingtao beer.

Sunset 1Sunset 2Sunset 3

We enjoyed some splendid sunsets overlooking Christchurch Bay on our return via Milford on Sea.

A Dust Bath

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Gull at sunset

This is the second of my 7 day nature series on Facebook.

It appeared originally in https://derrickjknight.com/2014/04/29/a-fascinating-collage/

When we paid for Country Girl last week, Jackie also bought one of her favoured wrought iron candle holders for use as a planter. It has a screw fitted to adjust the height.

Candle stick planter

Today, I moved it to the gravelled concrete at the southern end of the garden. This involved moving a pile of bricks from where it now stands, and raking gravel to cover that corner. I had to evict a large number of woodlice, slugs, and, one snail.

Country Girl's headpiece

Jackie had moved a few of the bricks earlier. Feeling the heat she must have removed her jumper, and slung it over the nearest available hanger, thus providing the Country Girl, now dubbed Florence, with a purple hair extension

Brick path

The white climber is now making its way up the Agriframes Arch straddling the Brick Path.

Bee on geranium palmatums

The clump of geranium palmatums halfway down that shot draws bees so large that they weigh down the petals to which they cling whilst plundering the nectar.

Philadelphus

Those plants are at the corner of the Dead End Path, alongside which a large philadelphus is in bloom.

Bee and beetle on poppy

Other plants attracting bees include poppies (this one also has a beetle)

Bee on linaria

and linaria.

Insects in poppy

Bees have shaken off so much pollen in the poppy that much smaller insects avail themselves of the bowl for a dust bath.

Mosquito in foxglove

What, now, is this nosey creature entering the foxglove?

Mosquito on foxglove

It’s a mosquito making a bee seem comparatively harmless.

My afternoon tasks including gathering up The Head Gardener’s weeding and clippings, and dead-heading roses, mostly in the Rose Garden where a few clematises like this

clematis Hagley's Hybrid

Hagley’s Hybrid have been incorporated for variety.

For our dinner this evening Jackie produced a stupendous beef stew with new potatoes. So tasty was this that when offered a choice of more stew, sticky toffee pudding, or more stew and sticky toffee pudding, I opted for more stew. That way, I reasoned, I could eat more.  Jackie drank Peroni, and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014, except for the glassful I knocked over the table, which was a shame.