Tattered Beyond Recognition

We enjoyed another day of pleasantly temperate weather.

Antirrhinums are blooming throughout the garden.

Clematis Marie Boisselot, now entering the third age has applied a blue rinse to her naturally white locks;

the stalwart Star of India shines less bright, yet it still graces the Gothic Arch opposite

the red and white of Super Elfin and Penny Lane living in harmony.

A white gladiolus and a red dahlia each radiate charm.

Fuchsia Night Nurse continues to soothe,

and sweet peas produce plentiful seed pods.

Bees home in on For Your Eyes Only,

and enjoy the sedum’s soft pile;

a ladybird scales the Westbrook Arbour;

Small White butterflies cling to verbena bonarensis;

and this solitary flier, tattered beyond recognition, flitted from bidens bloom to bloom

until seeking suitable camouflage, sinking onto stone below. Can anyone identify it?

While he was keeping an eye on the Head Gardener I asked Nugget if he was ready for his close up, and he cheerfully obliged.

I hope this “Where’s Nugget?” (12) will compensate for yesterday’s nigh impossible challenge.

A drowsy wood pigeon in the cypress tree,

attempting to keep an eye on us while we were enjoying our pre-dinner drinks on the patio, could barely keep it open.

We left him to it and partook of Jackie’s wholesome beef in red wine, creamy mashed potatoes, cauliflower and carrots al dente, and tender runner beans grown by the Head Gardener who had drunk her Hoegaarden outside. I drank more of the Malbec.

Not Quite Mid-May

Today’s tour of the garden began with

clematis Marie Boisselot in the Kitchen Bed which also contains an as yet small wisteria, clusters of ferns, Japanese maples, the now ubiquitous erigeron, and self seeded bronze fennel which will have to go when it outgrows it’s welcome.

Other clematises include Niobe, now rivalling the fading wisteria and the burgeoning rose Paul’s Scarlet for space above the Wisteria Arbour; and Doctor Ruppel, one of which is beginning its ascent up the arch facing the Westbrook Arbour.

At the Brick Path corner of the Dragon Bed a deep red peony prepares to top off the happy planting of phlox and geraniums.

At the far side of this bed the magnolia Vulcan is beginning to relish the light now permitted into its corner.

The pink rhododendron in the Palm Bed sits opposite the deeper variety in Margery’s Bed.

There are a number of vantage points along the Brick Path.

The yellow diurnal poppies alongside the Gazebo Path

can be seen slightly above the centre of this view through the Cryptomeria Bed.

Before Aaron left this morning he had mown the grass patch which is beginning to warrant the epithet lawn.

Rose Madame Alfred Carriere soars above the entrance to the Rose Garden; Jacqueline du Pré adds harmony; Laura Ford a splash of yellow beside Roserie de la Haie; and Gloriana a touch of majesty to the side fence.

Aquilegias dance with ferns in the South Bed;

weigela festoons the fence above them.

Three hawthorn trees, swathes of libertia, and carpets of erigeron give a distinctly white hue to the Back Drive borders.

These are glimpses of the garden in not quite mid-May.

While we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the patio a pair of pigeons settled down for the evening in the copper beech.

For our dinner we travelled around the world in 60 minutes. We enjoyed Jackie’s special fried rice with Japanese tempura prawns, Chinese pork spare ribs, Indian tandoori chicken, Belgian Hoegaarden beer and more of the Chilean Carmenere wine.

Pruning

Aaron’s main task this morning was taking shrubs in hand.

He began with the camellia beside the Dead End Path. He pruned lower branches to lift the plant which has continued to bloom for at least two months.

The prolific Compassion rose has persistently refused to drape the arch spanning this path. Our friend from A.P. Maintenance therefore staked it up enabling it to continue in the direction in which it is determined to lurch. Here he discusses the finished project with the Head Gardener.

Finally he tidied the viburnum Plicata.

Last autumn Aaron had heavily pruned the roses in the Rose Garden, except for Rosarie de la Haie which is the only one currently fully in bloom. The host of heucheras brighten the borders and buds adorn the other specimens.

Elsewhere rhododendrons, phlox, honesty and aquilegias thrive; white clematis Marie Boisselot is opening out and diurnal yellow poppies demanded dead-heading.

This evening we dined on tempura prawns followed by Jackie’s spicy pork paprika and savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot Bonarda.

A Glimpse Of What’s Been Happening

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A combination of my own slumbering stupor and a hot, humid, largely overcast, day presaging the predicted thunderstorm caused me to doze the day away.

Jackie, however, prepared Mum’s perching stool, and bolstered one of the wooden chairs, so that, first from the perch, and then from the chair, I would have an opportunity of focussing, to some extent, on that little corner.

My choice of the selection of supermarket ready meals Jackie has kept in stock for these crucial days, was tasty cannelloni. This was followed by vanilla ice cream.

A Dismantled Burglar Alarm

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Garden view from patio 1Garden view from patio 3Garden view from patio 4Garden view from patio 2Garden view from patio 5

These are some of the views from the patio that we enjoyed this morning whilst drinking our morning coffee.

I was in and out of New Milton today. This morning Jackie drove me to Barclays bank to attend to some executor business, and this afternoon to Birchfield Dental Practice for an appointment with the hygienist. After the second trip we travelled on to East End to see how the thatching was coming along.

Thatching 1

It is now a beautiful job nearing completion, demonstrating painstaking skill and artistry.

Thatching 2

Dave had finished for the day when we arrived,

Thatching tools

and had left his tools firmly in place for continuing tomorrow.

Clematis and Old Post House name

Back home one of the clematises in the front garden now curls over the ceramic house sign;

Roses pink rambler

the paler pink ramblers romp over the trellis;

Roses deep pink rambler

and the darker ones beribbon the porch roof.

Sparrows' nest in burglar alarm

One of our sparrow families, carefully disconnecting it first, has made use of a rather obsolete rusted burglar alarm. They had more success than I did dismantling one back in Soho. That adventure is recounted in my post ‘A Little White Lie’.

Clematis Marie Boisselot

The evening light on the patio gave us different views including Marie Boisselot,

Japanese maple

and the red Japanese maple.

Pigeon orgy 4Pigeon orgy 2Pigeon orgy 1Pigeon orgy 3Pigeon orgy 6Pigeon orgy 7Pigeon orgy 6

We were also treated to an avian orgy involving four wood pigeons. One by one these birds alighted on the cypress branch, formed a disorderly melee, and engaged in frantic flapping. There was no billing and cooing and It was all over rather too quickly for comfort.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s piquant cauliflower cheese, fish pie, runner beans, carrots, and asparagus. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I consumed more of the cabernet sauvignon.

The Stable Door

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The much needed rain fell overnight and persisted as drizzle this morning. This afternoon we could continue in the garden. My contribution was weeding and making photographs. Jackie did the more creative tidying and planting.

Raindrops were left on poppies, heucheras, foxgloves, blue clematis, spider’s web complete with trapped insect, geraniums, rose For Your Eyes Only, rhododendrons, and libertia.

Clematis Marie Boisselot, and lilies benefited from their wash.

Jackie

Jackie, leaning on the stable door, was amused at my wandering around with the camera. I have often mentioned the stable door, so , just in case anyone is wondering, I feel bound to mention that we do not keep horses. There is no point when we can trot off in search of some any time we like. What we call the stable door is

Stable door

this. And yes, we do know that, like much of the house, it needs some attention.

This evening we dined on fish, chips, pickled onions, and gherkins. Jackie drank Peroni and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

A Little Short Of Perfection

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After three days of cloud and rain, this one was hot and humid. Too much so for making a start on restoring our plants to their best condition.

Heuchera and crocosmia leaves

The sun did, however, cast friendly light upon such as these heucheras and leaves of barren crocosmias.

Crocosmia

Those crocosmias my not have bloomed this year, but many have.

Tomatoes

During last week’s storms the container of our aptly named Tumbler tomatoes was blown down, smashing another underneath. It has recovered reasonably well.

Hydrangea 1Hydrangea 2

The hydrangeas have probably fared best in the wet weather.

Mamma Mia rose

Roses such as Mamma Mia

Special Anniversary rose

and Special Anniversary have become rather spotty.

New Guinea impatiens

The New Guinea impatiens plants have thrived,

Florence sculpture and cosmoses

as have various cosmoses, like those adorning Florence.

Canna lily

Canna lilies stand proud in the Palm Bed.

Penstemon

Various delicate penstemons, like this one with a lodger, also remain upright,

Foxglove

while the stems of this unusual antique pink foxglove has stooped a little.

Clematis Marie Boisselot

The clematis Marie Boisselot still climbs her obelisk.

The begonias and geraniums are doing well, but we have a lot of dead heading to catch up on.

BegoniaAs will be seen the garden is currently a little short of perfection.

This evening we dined on pork and apple sausages with strips of pork belly, fried mushrooms and onions, crisp cabbage and carrots, and mashed potatoes. I drank Meszaros Pal Kekfrankos 2013, while Jackie chose fruit jiuce.