Unlikely Bedfellows

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between France and Italy, and before my afternoon’s viewing of the games between Wales and Georgia and England v. Samoa, walked around our warm, sun-filled, plot to photograph

another selection of unlikely garden bedfellows, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

This evening we all enjoyed Jackie’s meal of her well filled mound of beef and onions stacked beneath short crust decorated pastry; crisp roast red potatoes; Brussels sprouts, carrots, and broccoli al dente; and thick, meaty gravy, with which she finished the Blush and I finished the Bordeaux.

Where Can She Put Them?

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia.

When I walked round the garden afterwards the temperature was hot; the air humid; the skies overcast.

This, and the amount of colourful blooms (all identified in the gallery) demonstrate that summer has no intention of being pushed aside by autumn.

Jackie has been quietly collecting bulbs to bury for next spring. As I noticed her most recent purchases I could not help wondering

where on earth was she going to put them? As usual these locations are identified in their gallery.

This afternoon I watched the live matches between Samoa and Chile, and between Wales and Portugal.

For dinner this evening we all enjoyed a third sitting of Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi meal, without the samosas. She drank Hoegaarden and I Drank François Dubessy GSM 2021.

War Cry Or Serenade?

Accompanied by a shrill avian chorus that, apart from the occasional baleful wood pigeon, could have done with a bass tenor from Langholm, our division of labour in the garden this morning continued apace. It hadn’t been good idea for me to wear a sun-absorbing black T-shirt.

Perched in the Weeping Birch high above the eponymous flower bed

a pair of chaffinches kept up an incessant two note whistle lending a discordant jarring to the harmony. Was this a war cry or a serenade, I wondered?

To the left of Jackie, who was continuing her work on the Brick Path,

an owl roosted on a branched stand sporting a clematis fascinator in readiness for

Wedding Day festooning the Agriframes Arch with a certain amount of Compassion shown.

Another clematis adorns the Palm Bed, while two more owls are draped in ferns in the Pond Bed,

which also contains blue lobelia, pastel petunias, and rose campion.

Golden Day lilies star in the Dragon Bed.

Roses are represented by the red climber ascending the opposite side of the lopped cypress to The Generous Gardener; lofty Altissimo; and Rosa Gallica, being entered by a working bee.

This evening we dined on spicy lemon piri-piri chicken and various rices with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Selone Puglia Rosso Appassimento 2021.

General Gardening

After lunch I converted the following posts from Classic to Block edits, using the normal, untiled Gallery:

Jackie spent the early part of the day completing her weeding of the Brick Circle and continuing along the Brick Path. I began my later stint of dead heading and pulling up weeds by gathering up her refuse and adding it to the compost bins.

Before eventually settling down at my computer I staggered around with my camera.

I photographed a variety of our clematises – on the patio, in the Rose Garden, and on the kitchen wall.

Wallflowers and miniature kniphofias blend well in the Pond Bed.

Roses include New Dawn on the Palm Bed;

in the Rose Garden Madame Alfred Carrière, Lady Emma Hamilton; the third picture containing the red Love Knot, pansies, Alan Titchmarsh, and Just Joey;

and finally the red climber along the Shady Path.

Day lilies appear on the corner of Margery’s Bed and in the Dragon Bed.

This evening we all dined on oven fish, chips, and onion rings; garden peas, pickled onions and gherkins, with with Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Waters Edge Moldovan Pinot Grigio, part of Becky and Ian’s Father’s Day selection.

Flo’s Fairy Garden

As the temperature continued to rise and no rain fell on yet another very hot day, Jackie and I were relieved that we managed our gardening tasks in the earlier part of the day. While she occupied herself watering and planting, I, inhaling the glorious scents of the roses, weeded and dead-headed.

This peony, clearly self-seeded and flowering for the first time, without the strength to lift its head from the Brick Path, stretched out from the weeded area of the Dead End Path Bed. Gave it a lift with a green tie.

On the opposite side of the lawn, suspended from the peeling eucalyptus, Jackie has planted a cluster of mesembryanthemums in a basket.

Clematises and a day lily claimed their own gallery,

while roses, Paul’s Scarlet, Ballerina, The Generous Gardener, Mum in a Million, Summer Wine, Rosa Glauca, Special Anniversary, Winchester Cathedral, Félicité Perpétue, and Compassion (all entitled in the gallery) warranted their own;

it was appropriate for Hot Chocolate to reach her peak on such a day.

Later, Flo put some finishing touches to her delightful Fairy Garden, which will reward enlargement by clicking on one of the pictures.

This evening we dined on roast chicken thighs seasoned with garlic; sautéed new potatoes with onions; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and flavoursome gravy, with which I drank Collin-Bourisset Fleurie 2021 and no-one else did.

A New Visitor

Having already drafted yesterday’s post I joined the family on the patio chairs being entertained by Ellie in her bath, during which time I wandered off to have a look at Jackie’s planting from earlier in the day.

A creature that none of us recognised flew silently past my left ear and came to rest on a dry stem not yet removed from, appropriately enough, the Dragon Bed. Unusually, it remained long enough for me to return inside to collect my camera and to photograph it. In fact it remained in situ for much of the rest of the afternoon, circling those who disturbed it and returning to its chosen perch. Later research revealed our visitor to be a broad bodied female chaser – a dragonfly native to our New Forest.

Now I was grasping the camera I photographed a few flowers, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

This morning Jackie unclogged the Waterboy Fountain, and this

afternoon transferred the astrantia photographed yesterday in its pot to the soil in the Pond Bed.

After lunch I converted this post from Classic to Blocks edit and changed the category to Garden. I needed the assistance of Wayback Machine to identify missing photographs which I then traced in my iMac Photos, omitting rugby photos taken from the TV screen because they were not crucial to the post and I had had enough,

My gardening tasks today, partly this morning, partly this afternoon, involved dead heading and weeding.

I then photographed a batch of scenes which should put yesterday’s images into context. Again titles are with the galleries.

This set pictures the Rose Garden.

This evening we all dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare, with which Jackie, Dillon, and I shared Asahi beer.

New Heights

Before lunch Jackie and I swung gently into our matutinal garden

tasks – planting in her case; weeding and dead-heading in mine.

The yellow Welsh poppies are in regular need of decapitation.

When I ventured out with my camera this afternoon I made sure to neglect neither the

clematis Montana cascading over the front wall nor the established pink climbing rose festooning the trellis.

One of the owls I righted a couple of days ago was returned to its perch alongside the Shady Path while another peeps round a clump of campanula alongside the daisy-like Erigeron.

Some peonies remain at their best while others bear sculptural seed heads.

Other clematises include the close-up Doctor Ruppel and the one I cannot name sharing its arch with a blue solanum. Magenta valerian is a focus of the Cryptomeria Bed; Leather leaf viburnum stands in shade beneath the copper beech; irises thrive in the West Bed; and these aquilegias are found in the Rose Garden, of which

these are further views, the last of which contains

both Gloriana and For Your Eyes Only.

Meanwhile Arthur Bell has reached new heights this year.

This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled new potatoes; carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli al dente, and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Moerbei.

Watching Sport And Dead-Heading

Very early this morning I watched recorded highlights of the first two days of the current Test cricket match between England and India.

One rose I tend to delay dead-heading is Félicite Perpetue, of which we have two abundant examples. Today I could find not even the slightest reason for procrastination.

Here is the splendid spreading plant in the front garden, before I set about it.

I didn’t manage to complete the task today. The corner in the second picture in this gallery was not visible behind the Modus in my before picture, but I did clear it all.

The lace cap hydrangea now has a little more room to breathe.

I have previously dead headed the pink roses sharing the opposite trellis with Clematis Mrs N. Thompson – those that I can reach.

Jackie spent much of the day on similar work, for example

pruning the Red Bottle Brush tree;

tidying the Brick Path;

cleaning and tidying the decking, including repairing the parasol.

She is particularly pleased with the half dead clematis Venosa Violacea, which she brought back to life having rescued it from Otter’s pity bench.

This afternoon I watched Wimbledon tennis fourth round matches between Jule Niemeier and Heather Watson; and between Cameron Norrie and Tommy Paul.

Then came the highlights of this, the third day’s play in the Test match; before dinner, which consisted of cheese-centred fish cakes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and new boiled potatoes; with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank water, and I drank The Guv’nor, a very smooth and tasty Spanish red wine given to me by Shelly and Ron.

Inside And Out

This morning and the early part of the afternoon

Jackie continued her work on the Brick Path.

My morning task was returning our bedroom to normal now that Nick has finished his clean decorating. This involved shoving the bed back into position; removing many items from the en suite bathroom, having the advantage of allowing me a shower;

returning some to the bedroom and others to become temporary lumber, in the redecorated sitting room. Some of these items will furnish the room while we will have many pictures to cull.

Nick’s work leads these the eye smoothly through these two rooms.

This afternoon, accompanied by my trusty camera, I carried out more dead-heading and pulled up a few weeds. As usual this gallery provides a title to each photograph.

It was only yesterday that I was conversing with Anne of Something Over Tea about our mutual dearth of butterflies, and today we were visited by a solitary Red Admiral.

This evening we all dined on the patio on Papa John’s pizzas with which Jackie and Becky drank Zesty, Ian drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2020.


During the morning of this decidedly dank day Jackie worked on tidying the lawn and its surrounding borders, while I did something similar in the front garden, cleared up debris and fed the compost bins front and back.

Just in time for lunch a downpour sent us indoors. The Head Gardener left her tools outside, so, when I took advantage of a drier period to wander around with my camera, I gathered them up and deposited them in the greenhouse.

A hoverfly wasn’t too bothered about the raindrops on clematis Mrs N. Thompson; other clematises, nasturtiums, Black-eyed Susan, angels wings and day lilies were similarly bejewelled.

Various hanging baskets and other containers are flourishing, well stocked with petunias, lobelias, begonias, and more. Beside the vertical picture of Alan Titchmarsh, deep red Love Knot and lighter hued red carpet rose, are portraits of Ernest Morse and the climber Super Elfin. We have encouraged the honeysuckle to infiltrate the Back Drive from the garden of the adjacent care home. The purple and white Delta’s Sarah is in the patio bed.

Five more chapters read of Charles Dickens’s novel, David Copperfield, carry five more of Charles Keeping’s superb illustrations to my Folio Society edition.

‘She was sitting by the fire, suckling an infant, whose tiny hand she held against her neck’

In ‘We stand around the grave’ the artist chooses to place the burial party in the distance.

‘Away we went on our holiday excursion’

The figures in the foreground, bursting out of the frame of ‘I lounged about the streets, insufficiently and unsatisfactorily fed’ give a typical perspective to Keeping’s street scenes.

Note the artist’s trademark dog in ‘There was a very long-legged young man, with a very little empty donkey-cart, standing near the Obelisk’

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s hot and spicy pasta arrabbiata with full, firm, and tender green beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the especially smooth Rioja.

The wind is whipping up, reminding us that tomorrow afternoon we will need to batten down the hatches in the usual manner in preparation for the gale expected to strike early the next morning.