She Powdered Her Face

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Today’s weather would have blessed any Summer’s day. It was warm and sunny, and Jackie and I raised a sweat as we continued weeding, planting, and lopping. I use ‘we’ loosely. I mainly tidied up after the real work. We transported the two full orange bags of cuttings to the dump, and later almost completely refilled one of them.

Clematis 2Clematis Passion FlowerClematis 3Clematis 1

Clematises are now bursting out all over. The first two depicted here are Niobe and Passion Flower. I can’t name the others.

Rose Summer Time

Roses like creamy golden Summer Time,

Roses Summer Wine and Madame Alfred CariereRoses Summer Wine and Madame Alfred Carriere 2

white Madame Alfred Carriere, and glowing pink Summer Wine clamber up structures in

Rose Garden

the Rose Garden, over one corner of which Altissimo dances the tightrope.

Compassion roses

while Compassion rewards us for clearing its space over

Garden view from patio along Dead End path.

the Dead End Path.

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks

Geranium Palmatum

and geranium palmatums are beginning to prepare us for their annual profusion.

Diascia

Diascas,

Bidens

bidens,

Marguerites

and marguerites are just three of the plants carefully positioned in a variety of containers.

Butterfly Painted Lady on erigeron

A Painted Lady who had definitely seen better days powdered her face in the erigeron pollen.

This evening we dined on spicy chicken kebabs, plain boiled rice, and plentiful salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cabillero de Diablo, reserva cabernet sauvignon  2015.

 

Refreshment

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Jackie carried out much knowledgeable weeding and planting this morning, whilst I cleared up the discards and conveyed them to the compost pile.

Garden view along Heligan Path

The early sun lit libertias standing in the Weeping Birch Bed,

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 4Rose Garden 5Rose Garden 3Rose Garden 2Rose Garden 6

and enlivened the burgeoning Rose Garden.

Raindrops on clematis CarnabyRaindrops on clematisClematis Marie BoisselotClematis

Various clematises,

Clematis Montana

including this wonderfully scented Montana festooned over the front wall;

Weigela

the weigela winding down the south fence;

Aquilegias

ubiquitous aquilegias;

Rambling rose pink

the pink rambler on the front garden trellis;

Libertia, geraniums Ingwersen's Variety, campanulas

borders everywhere, like this corner sporting campanulas, libertia, and geraniums Ingwersen’s Variety,

Raindrops on irises

and the long Back Drive hosting splendid golden irises, relished their welcome refreshment.

Fly on primula

A fly alighted on one of the front tub’s primroses.

This afternoon I added a little more to my biography of an era including me. I now have a working title: ‘A Knight’s Tale’. I took more text, and

this photograph from ‘A Sneaky Weekend’

I then made some prints from recent posts for Louisa.

After this I joined Jackie in the weeding, concentrating my efforts on uprooting the more obvious infiltrators, namely the smelly white alliums, clinging ladies’ bedstraw, and golden buttercups occupying the wrong beds.

This evening, there being no table available at the Crown in Everton, we dined at the Smugglers’ Inn at Milford on Sea. Having starters was a mistake. The platefuls were excellent. Mine contained battered whitebait, plentiful fresh salad, and thick wedges of equally fresh bread. Jackie received a huge plateful of bread and olives. Each serving was a meal in itself. An even bigger mistake was, in my case,  ordering succulent sirloin steak, still more fresh salad, a mountain of perfect chips, onion rings, and fried onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Jackie was treated to a huge bowl of cannelloni. more salad, and an equal number of chips to mine. Neither of us could finish our food, and we did not require a look at the dessert menu. The food was, I hasten to add, all extremely good, and the service impeccable. We both reminisced that, in our prime, we would have managed all this. Jackie drank Amstel, and I drank Doom Bar..

In The Garden Today

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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.

The Never Ending Summer

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This morning, Aaron and Sean finished their tree work. Our friend, of AP Maintenance, demonstrated that he has entered into the spirit of photography when he suggested I might make an action image of him felling a branch. I took two pictures which I cannot yet produce here. The reason for this inability is that six of the exposures I made today have been uploaded in CR2 format, which is not one of those accepted by WordPress. This is a mystery, because they were taken with the same camera in the same session as all the rest I here publish.

I had imagined that I would simply focus on clematises,

but there were so many other blooms, like roses pink Compassion, white Winchester Cathedral, golden Crown Princess Margareta, and another pink unidentified one.

Views like these across the Phantom Path and of the Dragon Bed still contain blooms. High up, left off centre in the first can be seen the Compassion rose; petunias and geraniums are included in both images.

Other flowers, such as white solanums, red snapdragons, yellow and red nasturtiums, pink geraniums, purple fuchsias, and pink phlox, are surprisingly long-lived occupants.

Dahlia

Some of the earlier dahlias have bloomed for months.

It really seems a never ending summer.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious pork paprika and wild rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.

 

 

Can It Be Mid-October?

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The lingering virus from which we have now recovered has really rather reduced gardening for a month. Today, I wandered around on a survey mission, and was pleasantly impressed.

View across grass

The grass could do with cutting, but there is also colour in abundance.

Dahlias we would expect;

chrysanthemums

and chrysanthemums;

but clematises?;

roses Just Joey, Margaret Merrill,

Penny Lane, or Altissimo?,

Begonia

begonias?,

Geranium

geraniums,

Fuchsia

and fuchsias in abundance?

Honeysuckle

Not to mention honeysuckle,

Bee and asters

or bees frequenting asters.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious pasta beef arrabiata. Her beverage was Hoegaarden, and mine Santa Julia malbec 2015.

Out Of The Corner Of My Eye

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Apart from June, August is possibly the best time to appreciate Jackie’s planting design. I wandered around this morning with that specifically in mind.

View from Brick Path 1

This view from the Brick Path takes in the planting of the small triangular bed at the intersection of this path with the Gazebo one. Phlox, pansies, bidens, and violas are in evidence. The cosmoses occupy the iron urn, and the geraniums a stone one. The chimney pot on the grass patch fills in the middle distance en rout to the South end.

View from Brick Path 2

Looking along from the other side, we pass through the Agriframes Arch which bears a new clematis. This latter plant has taken over from the rambling rose, Wedding Day, now spent for this year, and consequently cut back by The Head Gardener.

View along Gazebo Path 1

The cosmoses in the aforementioned  iron urn form the foreground of this view through the gazebo to the Rose Garden. The gazebo bears its own well-stocked hanging baskets. Nicotiana sylvestris and agapanthus can be seen on the left.

View across grass

The contents of the chimney pot on the grass fill the foreground of this view past Florence, also culminating in the Rose Garden. Several hanging baskets supplement the range of blending colours.

View across Margery's Bed

Stepping across to the other side of the grass, we can look across Margery’s Bed with its newly planted lobelias, leading us to the Rose Garden entrance. Lilies can be seen in shade on the right, and clematis Star of India is trained around its obelisk. Hanging baskets are also in view.

View across Weeping Birch Bed

Hanging branches of the Weeping Birch drape its eponymous bed beyond which we reach the Southern fence. The white gladioli glow in the distance. I’ll stop mentioning hanging baskets. You get the picture.

View towards Back Drive entry arch

Again looking to the Southern boundary, beyond a stone urn supplied with begonias and geraniums, on the left of the entry arch to the Back Drive, stand a few potted tomatoes. A white solanum and purple clematis entwine the dead tree by the New Bed.

Rose Garden

Some corners of the Rose Garden need the assistance of plants inserted for the purpose of variety, in order to give them time to begin their next flush.

Rose Garden bench corner

This view takes advantage of the hydrangea in Elizabeth’s Bed. The erigeron at the foot of the bench is another cluster of offspring from those outside the French doors.

Bee on St John's Wort

Before leaving the Rose Garden, I treated myself to one close-up of a bee blending into St Johns Wort.

Kitchen Wall

As I’m not going to mention hanging baskets, I can’t say much about the kitchen wall, except that some of the containers are on the ground or tables that can’t be seen.

Patio Corner

At the far end of the above view lies the patio. Here is a corner of it.

Butterfly Small White in flight

Now, why did I include this out of focus repeat of the second Brick Path view? Well, out of the corner of my right eye I saw something about to happen, panned rapidly across the scene, and made a fortuitous capture which should be visible, in focus, without enlargement. Can you spot it? There’s no shame in enlargement.

Viper's Bugloss

When Giles visited with Jean a couple of days ago, he brought Jackie a couple of viper’s bugloss plants. These grow tall with blue flowers which hold a great attraction for bees. Jackie planted them on the Back Drive this afternoon.

This evening we enjoyed our second sitting of Mr Chatty Man Chan’s Chinese cuisine. Jackie drank Becks and I drank Doom Bar.

The Death Of The Heart

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Today, I have been mostly watering plants.

Nicotiana

Nicotiana now soars aloft.

Clematis Diversifolia Hendersonii

Several of our clematises, such as Diversifolia Hendersonii

Clematis Queen Mother

and Queen Mother in the front garden,

Clematis

and Duchess of Albany on the Rose Garden pergola bear hats of invisible pixies frolicking and turning somersaults in the sunshine.

Lily 1

This lily has taken two years to bloom.

Lily 2

Many, like this one, live just one day.

Bee on nasturtium

Bees are drawn to our nasturtiums.

Kniphofia

The kniphofias have poked their way up through the soil,

DDahlias

as have the red hot dahlias in the New Bed. The first is Bishop of Llandaff. I’m not sure about the others.

View from Shady Path

This view from the Shady Path encompasses

Hollyhocks

Margery’s hollyhocks.

While I was watering, Ronan was fixing our boiler, not that we will need heating any time soon.

The Death Of The Heart001

This is the blurb on the back cover of

The Death Of The Heart002

which I finished reading this evening.

When my blogging friend, Lisa learned that I was embarking on this novel she remembered that when she had read it, a long time ago, she had found it sad. I would trust Lisa’s judgement ahead of the book’s publicists.

If this is a story of adolescent love in the thirties, I am glad my teenage years were in the fifties. In my view it was more a tale of isolation and loneliness. I agree with the ‘Passion, misunderstanding…..’ paragraph above, but if this an example of ‘sublime sense of comedy’ it is so black as to be invisible to me. Remind me not to try The Orchid Trilogy.

Having said all this, I must concede that Bowen ‘is a major writer’. The book is well constructed; the prose is elegant; she has a keen eye for detail; and she develops character well. But does she like any of her creations?

Finally, Augustus John’s model has far more spirit about her than the unfortunate Portia.

This evening Jackie enjoyed a meal out with her friend, Pauline (not our NZ one); and I dined sumptuously on scrambled egg on toast and Doom Bar.