New Arrivals

IMAGES MAY BE ENLARGED BY CLICKING ON THEM, TWICE IF NECESSARY

Poppy and customers

This morning we all joined the other customers in the cafe. Poppy did actually eat most of what was on her plate.

An hour or so later, Jackie and I set off back home, reaching there early in the afternoon.

Aaron had moved a clump of ornamental grass further back in the Palm Bed,

Chair and candlestick

and removed rust from most of the furniture in the rose garden and painted it with Hammerite. Here we have a reclaimed armchair seated under the arch with a church candlestick behind it.

Pansy 1Pansies

Pansies are flourishing;

Snake's Head fritillaries

the Snake’s Head fritillaries proliferate;

Heuchera

our numerous heucheras now have flowers;

Cowslip, hellebore, violas

and cowslips,

Geraneum Phaeum

geranium Phaeums,Grape hyacinth

and grape hyacinths are new arrivals.

This evening we dined on a Chinese takeaway from Happy Days in Pennington, and, between us, finished the Broadwood’s Folly English white wine.

Drinking Water

Chair, table, camellia, euphorbia

Today I completed the last of the exhibition prints, whilst Jackie continued a commendable amount of garden maintenance, including cleaning up the decking and placing the newly refurbished table between the cane chair and one of the camellias. The prolific euphorbia in the background has been heavily pruned, and one of the recently planted clematises trained along the trellis installed in the autumn is just visible when the image is enlarged.

Pansy We now have a considerable range of blooming pansies that Jackie planted earlier.

This afternoon, we collected the A2 image from Lymington Print and went driveabout.

Leaving the town via Undershore Road we explored the forest and its villages in a fairly small circular route.

Running alongside Lymington River, Undershore is narrow enough to require double yellow lines on both sides. Normally parking close enough to the water is impossible, but we benefited from the gradual decline of the British Pub industry.

The Waggon & Horses

The Waggon & Horses, like so many, is up for sale. This meant we could happily block the entrance to their closed up car park,

Lymington River

and I could photograph the river at low tide

Boats, Lymington River

with its grounded rowing boats.

This, probably the warmest day of the year, clearly encouraged ponies to paddle in potable pools in which they left both reflections and shadows.

Pony in waterPony drinking 1

A grey did so at Boldre

Pony drinking 3Pony drinking 4Pony drinking 2

and a russet-coloured one at East Boldre,

Ponies outside Masseys

where ponies lined the street,

Pheasant

and a cock pheasant, oblivious of the surrounding big beasts, strutted about the turf.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice. We both drank Kingfisher.

Three For Them, And Three For Us

Having made more progress on printing the flyers last night, I have run out of several inks and therefore ordered more on line today, in addition to paper for the photographic prints. That is not a major problem.

Daffodils, primulas and owl

The daffodils and primulas in Jackie’s tiered front garden pots are now in full bloom,

Daffodils and owl

offering an interesting conundrum to those driving by. To the right is the autumn flowering cherry that has bloomed throughout the winter.

Daffodils

Different varieties of daffodil bloom in the main garden,

Daffodil

and on the back drive,

Primroses

where we also have primroses.

From that drive we transported three more canvas bags of cuttings to Efford Recycling Centre; one Aaron had filled on Sunday, and two more we filled today. That meant three trips. On the first we returned with a mirror and a quartz clock which did not work when we inserted a battery; on the second

Cane chair

a rather splendid cane chair in need of a cozy corner.

Jackie in cane chair

This, of course had to go straight onto the decking.

On the third trip the Head Gardener garnered a well weathered, and therefore probably frost proof, terra cotta pot. If we discount the clock that didn’t work, that makes three for them and three for us.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent chilli con carne, vegetable rice, and green beans. I drank more of the El Sotillo and Jacki abstained.

Pictures For An Exhibition

Today we toted five more canvas bags of tree cuttings to Efford Recycling Centre.

Jackie tipping cuttings

The Head Gardener was prevailed upon to bear the strain of this one as we tipped the contents into the vast container, thus allowing The Photographer to carry out his primary role.

This time we returned with a stout wooden table suitable for the garden. I understand it was there yesterday, but it was asking too much for Jackie to pass it up two days running.

Samsung phoneAfter our last trip this afternoon, I attempted to make a phone call. My mobile seemed to be dead. Eventually I managed to get something onto the screen, but it was scribble. An urgent trip to Lymington’s Carphone Warehouse was in order. Two very helpful young men were staffing the shop. The immediate diagnosis was that the screen was cracked. This meant the phone could not relay information from the works. We decided upon a new instrument which would require a new contract. All went swimmingly until I was asked for my bank account number. I didn’t have it. Jackie, who had taken refuge in Costa’s for coffee and cake, had to down both in a hurry and get me home and back in the 25 minutes available before the shop closed. She made the twelve mile round trip in 20 minutes. I took out my new contract and received  replacement phone.

All my contacts are lost, and I must ring O2 tomorrow to have my number transferred to the new SIM card. As its seems likely that I cracked the phone in my pocket whilst humping the bags of cuttings, Jackie brightly asked me exactly how much her dump table had cost. I’m a little calmer now than I was then.

I received a rather good surprise from The First Gallery this morning. The April exhibition, for which I had submitted the albums on the making of the garden, thinking that they would be supplementary to the main performance, is now to be focussed on our garden with painters and sculptors providing additional material. Between trips to the dump and the later thrills, I trawled my collection to gather together more photographs for prints of varying sizes. Here are a few:

View from kitchen garden

View from the kitchen garden as it was on 26th July 2014;

virginia creeper, calibrachoa, and fuchsia 2 30.9.15

Virginia creeper, calibrachoa and fuchsia 30th September 2015;

Allium

allium;

Mum (Jackie and Elizabeth hidden) - Version 2

Mum negotiating Phantom Path 6th July 2014;

Butterfly Small White on verbena bonarensis 29.9.15

Small White butterfly on verbena bonarensis 29th September 2015;

Chair and bed head

and chair and bedhead on Weeping Birch Bed 12th March 2015.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage casserole, mashed potato, and crisp cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. Se drank sparkling water and I drank Via di Cavallo chianti 2014.

Now And Then

Because of my severely restricted mobility my rambling currently is confined literally to ‘[My] Own Back Yard’, and metaphorically through my photographic archives.

This morning I ambled along the back drive taking a few more shots of the North Breeze jungle next door.Chair through hedge

This chair rests behind the hedge we have pruned,Dilapidated fence

revealing the dilapidated fence,North Breeze jungle

and the abandoned garden itself.Magnolia

A magnificent magnolia, now ensnared by brambles, is a further example of how splendid the neighbouring plot once was.South corner of garden

Jackie’s new bed has brightened the South West corner of ours.

This morning Jackie drove us on a round trip, first to Lidl to buy a pair of garden chairs and trailing geraniums; then to Stewarts in Christchurch for some edging sheers and digitalis plants; and finally to Molly’s Den for four more Stella glasses, two of which she had bought some days ago. The walking stick was required to take me round the stores.

This afternoon I rambled in the slide collection to the first garden we shared together, and to a photoshoot from August 1972 in the small London plot of 76 Amity Grove.Jackie 8.72 (blue shirt)003Jackie 8.72 (blue shirt)007Jackie 8.72 (blue shirt)008 - Version 2Jackie 8.72 (blue shirt)012 - Version 2Jackie 8.72 (blue shirt)013

Jackie 8.72 (blue shirt)011

I scanned eighteen photographs. These are a selection from them.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s liver, bacon, and sausage casserole; mashed potato, cauliflower, carrots, and cabbage; followed by apricot and prune crumble and custard. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Lussac Saint-Emilion.

An Opened Garden

Cuttings on path

Front path lined

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, and I did have the dubious bonus of returning each trip with a quantity of stone for the edging recycled from the soon-to-be rose garden.

After this, admittedly rather painfully, given that the knee didn’t really appreciate what it had been expected to do, I wandered around the garden listening to the music of the birds. The tits enjoyed the feeder, and the pheasant, until sent off squawking by my presence, strutted around, returning to be photographed later through the kitchen window. You may need to zoom on the second image here in order to spot this visitor..Blue titPheasantComfrey

IMG_2271Elephants' ears

Comfrey, leucojum, and elephants’ ears are now vying for space with all the other spring flowers.

I felt very satisfied that the garden we had spent all last summer opening up is really coming into its own.Bench on shady path

The bench on the shady path, so called because at first it admitted no sunlight, was suitably inviting.Pansies and daffodils in chimney pot

Plants, like these pansies and daffodils, in the chimney pots are blooming.Five ways

This particular pot is situated at five ways, which takes its name from the number of paths that radiate from it. The prunus in the foreground has recovered from severe pruning. We don’t know what the magnificent evergreen is.Heligan path

The Heligan path, named after The Lost Gardens of Heligan, because we didn’t know it was there, runs alongside the weeping beech. The log pile continues to grow, and the IKEA wardrobe sections keep triffids from next door at bay.Bed alongside weeping birch

The bed we cleared on the other side of the tree is burgeoning.chair and bed head

The bed head behind the chair in this picture was screwed to the tree, and can be seen from the side in the Heligan path shot.Camellia through euphorbia

We have cut down much of the euphorbia which covered the garden but left some, such as that which shrouds this camellia, to bloom later..CamelliasDaffodils, hellebore and fallen camellia

The camellia flowers themselves, as they fall, adorn the paths and the soil where they lie.Daffodil and cyclamen

Almost all the cyclamens have survived the gentle winter.

Later this afternoon I had a bonfire.

I am happy to report that we still had plenty of Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi and fresh savoury rice for our dinner this evening. They were accompanied by paratas and Hoegaarden for Jackie, and the last of the claret for me.

Decorating Day 2

For some reason best known to themselves Flo and her family take a perverse delight in occupying my chair on their visits. This reached its pinnacle on March 31st 2013. On that occasion Matthew’s Oddie joined in on the act. He was often the sole occupant but the post ‘Whose Chair Is It Anyway’ describes how this did give him logistical problems. When I Chair decoratedcame downstairs this morning I found that the chair had been festooned with decorations. Since our granddaughter goes to bed much later than we do, there can only have been one culprit.

I reversed my Hordle Cliff top walk this morning. In Shorefield Country Park, where the tilt Trees and caravansBlackbirdof trees adjacent to the footpath to the sea demonstrated their vulnerability to the ocean breezes, blackbirds scurried in the hedges and foraged on the lawns.

Kite surferA lone kite surfer sped skimming over the surface of The Solent, the horizon of which bore a silver lining.

Balloon on streamBlackberriesOn Downton Lane the MacDonald’s balloon had floated under the bridge and become snagged further along the stream. A few feeble blackberries in the hedgerows were continuing their attempt to ripen.

Christmas lights in study 3Christmas lights in study warming panChristmas lights in study desk areaChristmas lights in study 2Decorating the house continued throughout the day. By the evening my study area, through the arch in which could be seen the Christmas tree in the sitting room, was looking quite festive. The colour combination of Flo’s leaves and the warming pan was particularly inspired.

Christmas lights through kitchen window.The kitchen carried its own bunting, and also benefited from the lighting on the wisteria arbour outside.

Further projects will not be fully ready for publication until tomorrow.

This evening we dined on the rest of the plentiful Happy Wok meal. Jackie drank Stella, Flo chose water, and I began a splendid bottle of Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2010.