Presentable For The Camera

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This morning I wandered round the garden with camera and crutch, but no perch. I began with the patio, and its hanging baskets and planters. The bed and breakfast sign was a Christmas present from Becky and Ian; the basket at its base, Jacqueline’s birthday present to Jackie.

From there I walked along the Kitchen Path,

 

taking the Brick Path to the far end of the garden,

 

and round to the Rose Garden,

where Jackie, who spent the whole day on general maintenance, including much weeding, sweeping, and raking, went to great pains to make this area, on which she had been working, presentable for the camera.

The football World Cup has nudged Bargain Hunt off the TV schedules. This meant that I could not take my usual fix for a post-prandial snooze. So I opted for the match between Egypt and Uruguay. This fitted the bill perfectly.

This evening we dined on succulent pork chops, tasty gravy, new potatoes, runner beans, and crunchy carrots.

Jackie’s Post

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“The only time I can hear birdsong is when I’m sitting on the loo”.

When Jackie, delivering this sentence yesterday to her sisters in Milford’s Polly’s Pantry, became aware that she had raised her voice – as she told me this morning – she had hoped other customers had not heard this taken out of context. Having been beset by building works on one side of our garden and hedge-cutting on the other, that,  opening statement was indeed true. This is because baby sparrows in the nest in our extractor fan are currently clamouring for the food parents are bringing home. Even while the fan is operating, a clunk, as the meals on wings arrive, is followed by intense tweets that would put Mr Trump to shame. Two adults proceed in non-stop convoy throughout the day.

When we first arrived here four years ago the front garden trellis bore quite weedy specimens of pink and red rambling roses, clematises and honeysuckle. Heavy pruning and nurturing has resulted in a splendid floral wall. The roses, in particular, shelter the entrance to the nest from view.

As always, the birds do not fly straight to the nest, but perch somewhere nearby to recce the surroundings before diving in. Our foraging parents choose first to alight on the trellis foliage. This morning, Jackie watched the proceedings through the hall window and photographed the birds transporting wriggling beakfuls of juicy breakfast.

Now, I may have put all this together and added my twopenn’orth, but this is quite clearly Jackie’s post.

This evening we dined on beef burgers, onions, carrots, cabbage, and mashed potato with tasty gravy.

 

My Second Nonagenarian Visitor

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On a lightly overcast afternoon Jackie, plonking Mum’s stool to order, followed me on a short perch-hopping spree in the garden. I enjoyed two vantage points in the patio, one at the head of the Brick Path, and one beside the Westbrook Arbour.

In the meantime Jackie enjoyed herself planting.

Here are some of the corners on which I focussed. The two new wooden chairs on the decking were intended to replaced a collapsed wickerwork model which was destined for the dump. In the event, Jackie was unable to part with it and planted it up as seen in the third picture in the gallery.

Mum

Soon afterwards, Mum,

Jacqueline

driven by Jacqueline,

was the second nonagenarian to visit in two days. We spent several hours reminiscing and swapping medical notes and experiences.

This evening, for the two of us, Jackie fetched a takeaway meal from Forest Tandoori in Pennington. We started with excellent prawn puris. My enjoyable main course was prawn jalfrezi; Jackie’s was chicken sag.

Survivors

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My very good blogging friend G.P. Cox had a good laugh yesterday at my statement that ‘surely nothing could go wrong’, concerning my dental teeth cleaning appointment today. Well, GP, I do hope you are ready for another. I received a telephone call at lunchtime today cancelling the visit because the hygienist is ill. I guess I’ll just have to carry on doing it myself.

In complete contrast to yesterday, we enjoyed fine weather today.

Jackie in greenhouse

Jackie continued taking tender plants and cuttings into protective custody in the greenhouse.

I tidied up a bit and photographed more survivors of the recent light frost.

Pansy

Some, like this pansy, bore blisters of precipitation.

Fuchsia 1

I am not sure which

Fuchsia 2

of our many

Fuchsia 3

fuchsias

Fuchsia 4

is hardy

Fuchsia Lady in Black

but at the moment they all seem to be.

Heuchera

Heucheras continue to flower,

Clematis Polish Spirit

as do clematises such as Polish Spirit.

Clematis Duchess of Albany

Even The Duchess of Albany, long past her best, is capable of creating excitement.

Rose Compassion

Roses like Compassion,

Rose Penny Lane

Penny Lane,

Rose Little Rambler

Little Rambler,

Rose Alan Titchmarsh

and the ever ebullient Alan Titchmarsh remain in full bloom;

Carpet rose red

we have thick piles of carpet roses.

Pelargonium

Pelargoniums glow with colour.

Solanum on dead tree

Some may be seen in the stone urns at the end of the brick path where solanum swathes the dead tree;

Pelargoniums in stone urn

and more in the stone urns in the Rose Garden.

Red maple windburnt

The red maple at one end of

Shady path 1

the Shady Path will recover from its wind burns.

Shady Path 2

Here is a view from the end nearest the house.

Verbena bonarensis and red climber

Outside the utility room are just a few of the ubiquitous verbena bonarensis paying homage to the regal red climber on the wisteria arbour.

Kitchen Bed

reds, pinks, and greens predominate in the Kitchen Bed.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled onions, and gherkins. I finished the toro, which was a bit  strong for fish and chips, but never mind.

 

The Best Part Of The Day

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Friends Rob and Helen visited for lunch today. They arrived late in the morning and remained until early evening. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon catching up with each other.

For lunch Jackie had made a superb leek and potato soup followed by plentiful cold meats and salads. Rob and I shared a bottle of Languedoc red wine of 2016 vintage.

Helen and I began early on a photographic tour of the garden.

Helen K photographing 5

She used a very impressive Fuji bridge camera,

Helen K photographing 2Helen K photographing 3

and actually focussed on some of my own favourite subjects, such as begonias

Helen K photographing 4

and the rose For Your Eyes Only.

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Alongside the latter, Lady Emma Hamilton is rejuvenated,

Rose Garden 2

Rose Garden 1

continuing to bloom in The Rose Garden where red antirrhinums still thrive.

Leaves on table

Autumn leaves are beginning to fall. Some, suspended in spiders’ webs, wait to reach this glass table on the decking.

Back drive barrier plants

Among the clematises enjoying another flowering are these in the Back Drive Barrier boxes, leading the eye from the purple petunias to the now reddening leaves of Virginia creeper on the back fence;

Clematis and Japanese anemones

and this one sharing Margery’s Bed with Japanese anemones.

Iron urn planting

Petunias continue to cascade from the iron urn,

Petunias, begonias, New Guinea impatiens

and from the hanging basket over the Shady Path. Begonias are planted in the bed below and New Guinea impatiens shares the basket.

Fuchsia 1

Here is today’s example of a fuchsia. Helen created many good images of these and others.

Gazebo Path

We walked up and down paths like the one termed Gazebo

Margery's Bed at corner of Gazebo Path

sharing the corner of Margery’s Bed with the Phantom Path.

Rob

Just before lunch Jackie and Rob joined us.

Trunk of regenerated tree

Rob was intrigued by the regeneration of the apparently dead yellow leaved tree that has live stems on either side of the wasted trunk.

Given that rain set in early this afternoon, we had chosen the best part of the day to concentrate on the garden.

Jackie and I just grazed on small plates of salad this evening.

Compassion Recovered

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Arch blown down

Apart from the collapse of the Compassion rose arch, the recent storms have treated us with respect.

Clematis and Solanum on dead tree

The clematis and solanum have remained attached to the dead tree.

Crocosmia 1Crocosmia 2

Orange crocosmia still stands at the potting shed entrance to the Rose Garden,

Crocosmias orange and yellow

while yellow and orange thrive harmoniously in the Dragon Bed.

Clematis Duchess of Albany

Clematis Duchess of Albany drapes herself over the arbour in the Rose Garden

Rose Penny Lane

Where Penny Lane parades her maturity;

For Your Eyes Only

and others such as For Your Eyes Only

Festive Jewel

and Festive Jewel are reliving their youth.

Fuchsia Delta's Sarah

Fuchsia Delta’s Sarah spreads along the side of the triangular bed now beside the greenhouse.

Japanese anemones and maple

Light pink Japanese anemones reach the lower branches of the red maple;

Japanese anemones pink

darker pink ones are quite prolific,

Japanese anemones

while white ones enliven the

West Bed

West Bed with its New Zealand hebe, its leicesteria,

Dahlia

and its dahlias.

Fuchsia Mrs Popple

Close by we have fuchsia Mrs Popple.

Clematis and geranium

One clematis climbing the gazebo blends well with geraniums in a hanging basket;

Lobelias and begonia in hanging basket

another basket contains deep blue lobelia and an orange begonia.

Petunias and lobelia

Purple petunias and more lobelias populate the Back Drive barrier tubs.

Gaura

The gaura in the Weeping Birch Bed is thriving.

View across Kitchen Bed 2

The views across the Kitchen Bed;

Garden view from beside Weeping birch

from beside the weeping birch,

Dragon Bed and Shady Path

and along the Shady Bed from the Dragon Bed corner remain colourful.

Bee on geranium palmatum

Bees, like this one in a geranium palmatum continue working hard;

Fly on gladiolus Priscilla

flies, such as this one crawling over Priscilla, are in abundance.

Rudbeckia in Margery's Bed

Yellow rudbeckia are at their best. Here are some in Margery’s Bed.

Aaron fixing arch 1Aaron fixing arch 2Aaron fixing arch 3

This morning was spent generally tidying up, one of Aaron’s tasks being to refurbish the fallen arch.

Aaron replacing Compassion rose

He then,

Jackie and Aaron replacing Compassion rose 1Jackie and Aaron replacing Compassion rose 2

assisted by Jackie,

Arch repaired

recovered the Compassion rose and tied it back in place.

This afternoon we visited Willows garden at Pilley. On the grounds that we couldn’t stand the competition, I will report on that tomorrow.

This evening we dined on fish pie, ratatouille, carrots and broccoli, with which we both drank Bergerac blanc sec 2016.

 

I Must Not Assume There Will Be No More Surprises

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It was very rash of me to assume that I would know the entirety of the group at our meal at Lal Quilla last night, and to predict what I would eat and drink.

On our entrance the staff, with their usual warm and friendly greeting, said that someone had telephoned the night before to add two people. We didn’t know anything about that, and in any case, Ian had made the booking. He had a quiet word with Raj and we were whisked to a larger pair of tables, according to the manager so we could spread ourselves out a bit. He presented us with a bottle of Beaujolais, so I did not drink Kingfisher. After a while I received a kiss on the cheek. Elizabeth had joined us. Soon afterwards, Danni and Andy came through the door. We were nine plus Poppy after all.

Finally, as we gathered ourselves to depart, a small cake with two lighted candles advanced towards our table followed by the entire staff group who led the family in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.

I’ve no idea why I felt rather muzzy all day. I dozed through a bit of Wimbledon tennis on TV, and managed a little weeding, watering, eradicating a few brambles, and tidying up after Jackie’s work on the rose garden. We took a rest with water on the patio from which I enjoyed

Garden view across Kitchen Bed

This view across the Kitchen Bed with its day lilies in the foreground and verbenas in a hanging basket beyond;

Petunias, geraniums, erigeron

pot planted petunias and geraniums over an erigeron carpet;

Mimulus and feverfew

and self seeded mimuluses and feverfew.

Dahlia and clematis

A dahlia nods to the clematis on the wisteria arbour;

Diascia, geraniums, bidens

 pink discias, red geraniums, and yellow bidens flow over the iron urn at the entrance to the Gazebo Path;

Crocosmia Lucifer etc

while blazing crocosmia Lucifer leads us into the Palm Bed.

rose Special Anniversary

As can be seen from this Special Anniversary rose, I haven’t dead-headed the Rose Garden today.

Clematis and solanum

White solanum and a bright blue clematis stream down from the dead tree at the end of the Brick Path.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank tap water.

The moral of this post is that when I say I will report on an outing the next day, I must not assume there will be no more surprises.