Around Our Patch


Yesterday, I took a tour around my  Social Work patch from the 1970s and ’80s. Today I took several around the domestic one I share with The Head Gardener.

Back door

I began by stepping through the kitchen door into the patio. The large window box filled with mimuluses and pansies stands in earth which was so poor that we believed it to have been used as a midden in more recent times than one would imagine. Jackie did a very thorough job of getting rid of the rubbish and replenishing the soil under and around the planters. The plentiful erigeron plants have populated the rest of the garden. Between one clump and the window box can be seen flowers of one of the two thriving thyme plants I transplanted from the blue painted Butler sinks in our first year. The wall by the path to the right is crammed with an assortment of planters.

Rose (patio)

This little patio rose has responded to feeding,

rose peach

as has this peach coloured beauty.

rose peach stems

There were just two blooms on straggly stems when we arrived. They will soon be cascading from stronger limbs.


We have a new rhododendron in the Palm Bed.

Passing this on the way to the Rose Garden,

rose Altissimo

where Altissimo stands sentinel,

I was reminded of a visit to  a perfumer in Bergerac. This was with Emily and Alice a few years ago. They spent ages choosing a present for their mother, Heidi. The scents were most enticing. But they couldn’t match those emanating from our living blooms.

Rose garden entrance

Petunias and geraniums in the foreground urn lead us to the entrance arch bearing Summer Wine, Madame Alfred Carière, and honeysuckle;

Chris Beardshaw, Festive Jewel

Chris Beardshaw introduces Festive Jewel;

Rose Magic Carpet

and Magic Carpet is beginning to fulfil its function.

Cordyline Australis cabbage tree

Even these wonderful aromas, however, are not as far-reaching as the sweet, heady, scent of the Cordyline Australis. Anything smelling less like a cabbage, (it is also called Cabbage Tree) I cannot imagine.

Jackie planting Elizabeth's Bed

One of Jackie’s major tasks today was further planting of Elizabeth’s Bed. She can be seen in the centre here working on this.

I have mentioned before that geranium palmatum has taken over from honesty in its ubiquity. It can be seen dancing in synchronicity with

geranium palmatum, clematis Rouge Cardinal, rhododendron

clematis Rouge Cardinal and rhododendron;

geranium palmatum, rose Compassion

with rose Compassion;

Clematis Natacha, geranium palmatum, aquilegias

with clematis Natacha;

Foxglove, geranium palmatum

and with foxgloves.

Bee in antirrhinum 1

Lazy bees were about this afternoon. This one dusted its rear in an antirrhinum.

Waterboy Bed

The pieris I brought in a pot from Sutherland Place is thriving in the centre distance of this bed, that also contains heuchera, marguerites, geraniums, bronze fennel, and, further right, out of shot,




We have a solanum under the dead snake bark maple,

rose Félicité Perpetué

and Félicité Perpetué is now opening in the front garden.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack and vegetable risotto followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.

Internet On The TV


This morning I made a large print for Pauline. I wasn’t entirely happy with it, and that was my last sheet of the particular paper, so I have ordered some more.

As Becky was on her way to use my equipment to make a print it seemed opportune to scan the last few colour negatives from the North Wales holiday of 1983. These feature:

Matthew 1983 2Matthew 1983 1

Matthew by the farmhouse

Matthew 1983 3

and in the disused slate mine;

Becky, Matthew and Louisa 1983

Becky, Matthew and Louisa by the farmhouse;

Becky and Sam 1983 2

and Becky and Sam in the mine.

Our daughter needed my printer to produce  a picture of a certain size and quality. We did this together, and I learned a few things along the way.

Later, the three of us enjoyed company, chat, and drinks in the Rose Garden where,

rose Magic Carpet

among other flourishing blooms, Magic Carpet is spreading out;

Urn planted up

the urn framed by the entrance arch has been planted up;


and honeysuckle begins to frame the arch itself.

Clematis Rouge Cardinal

During the day, clematis Rouge Cardinal, has opened out on the Brick Path Gothic arch.

Jackie added some paneer to the delicious chicken jalfrezi that she fed us on this evening. This was served with superb egg fried rice, onion bhajis, and vegetable samosas. My choice of dessert was honeycomb ice-cream. Jackie and I drank Hoegaarden, and Becky drank some of the madiran.

Before returning home to Emsworth, our daughter showed us how to access the internet on our smart TV which is cleverer than we are. This is so we can watch a particular film that I will feature when we have seen it.