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.

 

 

 

What’s This Beetle?

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Supplementing this morning’s work on ‘A Knight’s Tale’ were my posts ‘Auntie Gwen’ and ‘One For Rebeckah’,

from which this photograph was included.

This afternoon the weather was dry, overcast, and humid, with the sun sometimes sneaking a peek at what I was up to. This was watering, dead-heading, and a little weeding.

I then experienced considerable difficulty in loading new photographs into WordPress.

Bee on hebe

Pollen-dusted bees favoured the pink and purple hebes;

New Bed garden view

Deep red Bishop of Llandaff dahlias nod to the lilies in the New Bed. (See Head Gardener’s comment below – we don’t know the name of the dahlia, but it’s not the Bishop)

Gaura

We live in hope that this gaura, a plant with which we have so far been unsuccessful, will flourish in the Weeping Birch Bed.

'Pineapple' plant

On the other hand, Jackie has had great success with what we call ‘Pineapple’ plants, prised up from paving and placed in the Kitchen Bed.

Early this evening the sun reemerged and shed new light on the garden, bringing, incidentally, a cessation to loading problems. Maybe this was because the Head Gardener had returned and there was no further reason to sulk.

Echinaceas

A glow was lent to echinaceas

Phlox

and to phlox in the palm bed;

Crocosmia Lucifer

to the crocosmias, like this Lucifer;

Day lilies

to a much wider range of day lilies than we remember having;

Clematis 1Clematis 2

and to various clematises,

Clematis 3

including this one in which the Head Gardener can justifiably take great pride. As long-term readers will know, what is now the Rose Garden, was, three years ago, a concrete-bound, overgrown kitchen garden of sorts. This is where this raggedy specimen started life. Jackie lifted the wizened little plant, placed it in a pot adopted by the front garden trellis, and returned it to its roots in its birthplace.

Strawberries

Inherited wild strawberries are bearing fruit for the first time.

Beetle on liliesBeetle on lilies 2

As I passed the sweetly scented lilies in the New Bed, an iridescent green glint in the centre of one of the blooms flashed enticingly. Does anyone have any idea as to the beetle’s identity?

Miss Coleoptera on Twitter offers this suggestion: ‘Probably a Cetonia aurata or a Protaetia’. Uma offers this, in his comment below: ‘To me that looks like a Bombardier Beetle. Or perhaps the fellow is an oil beetle’. Google images confirms Cetonia aurata, which Oglach, below, has named as a chafer beetle..

If I had any sense I wouldn’t struggle when there’s a blip in the system. I’d just ignore it until it went away.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice topped with an omelette. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Georges DuBoeuf Fleurie 2016.

 

 

Is This The Beast?

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Microlite 1Microlite 3

Yesterday evening, whilst having drinks on the patio, a steady chugging overhead made me feel rather queasy. It took me back to Cumbria in the 1990s. 

As we were promised several hours of rain this afternoon, Jackie spent the morning watering the garden, and I took some photographs. The rain arrived just as Jackie had finished.

I’ll write that again. Because she is going away for three days with her sisters The Head Gardener spent the morning watering the garden. Although rain was expected it does not penetrate the soil in pots and hanging baskets.

My day was largely administrative, involving contacting Environmental Health about next door, visiting the Care Home on the other side of North Breeze to discuss this; arranging for delivery of the greenhouse; and having a meeting at the bank.

Petunias, geraniums, verbena bonarensis, erigerons

I rarely focus on the happy proximity of planting that we enjoy in the garden. Today I will begin with a view that meets us as we open the kitchen door. The erigeron in the foreground has, with Jackie’s midwifery, spawned offspring all over the garden. The petunias and geraniums in the various pots sit pleasingly together, and the tall verbena bonarensis, as it does everywhere, towers aloft.

Petunias, bidens, cosmoses, geranium palmatums

Across the other side of the patio, petunias, cosmoses, and geranium palmatums blend well with the distant spirea, The contrasting bidens, like every other one in the garden, is self seeded from last year.

Cosmoses

We are led back along the Kitchen Bed to this corner from verbenas, geraniums, cosmoses and bidens, through day lilies and more.

Petunias

Various day lilies lurk behind more suspended blue and white petunias in the Dragon Bed,

Petunias

pink and white varieties of which share their berth in the herbaceous border with blue and white lobelias,

Petunias, marigolds

and purple ones swing on the breeze in the company of bright marigolds and geraniums at the western end of the Phantom Path.

Petunias and marguerites

Others produce a white theme with marguerites, with dappled blue and white examples beneath.

Geraniums and petunias

A pink display is provided by more petunias, geraniums, and lobelia, more of the first two in the background with the red Japanese maple, rosa glauca against the fence and palmatums in the foreground.

Here, pink diascas are backed by the strident red bottle brush plant.

When the next two poppies open they will have something to say to these phlox.

Clematis Star of India

Verbena bonarensis sentinels surround this Star of India clematis,

Clematis

whereas Madame Julia Correvon cartwheels across the dead prunus pissardi towards phlox and penstemon.

Petunias and clematis

Petunias hanging near the Brick Path repeat the purple of another Star of India.

Hydrangea and day lily

This vibrant potted hydrangea reflects geranium palmatums in Elizabeth’s bed containing equally powerful day lilies.

Hydrangeas and fuchsia

A similar hydrangea takes the eye through red geraniums to a fuchsia Magellanica, with ferns, lobelias, and verbena bonarensis joining the party.

Hydrangea and geranium palmatums

Further along the bed a cooler note is stuck by a paler hydrangea and geranium palmatums.

Begonia 1

Two different begonia and lobelia combinations hang over the Brick

Begonia 2

and Heligan Paths.

California poppies 1

Jackie is particularly pleased with these California poppies grown from seed spilling over the rocks among the grasses on the Cryptomeria Bed.

Rose Super Elfin and snapdragons

The red and white of Super Elfin rambler and neighbouring snapdragons contrast like the emblems of Lancaster and York in England’s fifteenth century Wars of the Roses.

Petunias, poppies,

Further along the herbaceous border one can rest among poppies, petunias, lobelias, and verbenas.

Clematis and verbena bonarensis

Clematis Margaret Hunt frolics among verbena bonarensis in the Back Drive barrier.

Rabbit on patio 1Rabbit on patio 2

As I reached the conclusion of this tour I came upon a surprise scampering among the shrubs, pattering across the patio, and hopping under a hole scooped out of the soil under the North Breeze fence. Was this The Beast that burrows into our garded? If so it will not be alone. This prompted my call to Environmental Health. They have already been alerted to the vermin. They are interested in rats. They are only interested in mice if they are indoors. They do not do rabbits.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with our own pickled onions and gherkins Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

 

 

Pollie’s Day Lilies

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Grass edge 1Grass edge 2

This morning, while Jackie continued planting, I shaved a curved line on the edge of the grass patch,

Petunias

where Jackie had placed a group of petunias. Then, removing grass roots and us much moss as possible, I broke up the sods and mixed them with the Head Gardener’s fresh soil.

Clematis 2

Of all the clematises in the garden it is perhaps pertinent to mention two today. This one is making its way across the arch spanning the Phantom Path on the other side of Margery’s Bed against which the above petunias have been placed.

Clematis

The other, being the same white hue as the now faded Marie Boisselot now commands the attention that she had in her youth on the Kitchen Bed obelisk.

Kniphofias

The same bed contains miniature kniphofias;

Cosmoses and geraniums

the stone urn standing beside them contains cosmoses and geraniums;

Mesembryanthemums

and almost fluorescent mesembryanthemums overlook the Waterboy’s fountain.

Flies on scented lily

Gloriously scented lilies in the New Bed attract a myriad of flies.

Day lilies 1Day lilies 2Day lily 1Day lily 2

Day lilies abound throughout the beds, but they are of just three varieties.

When Jackie discovered that a splendid collection of the plants is nurtured in Sway, just two or three miles up the road, it became imperative that we should pay a visit. Accordingly we took a trip to Pollies Daylilies signin Mount Pleasant Lane,

Along a winding gravelled drive we entered a lovely garden with a huge array of plants of all kinds. I rang a doorbell and Pollie Maasz, the friendly and pleasant proprietor, emerged to show us around her amazing collection, about more of which can be read on Day lilies .

Day lilies 5Day lilies 6Day lilies 3Daylilies 4Day lilies 8Day lilies 9Day lily 4Day lilies 7Day lily 7Day lily 6Day lily 5Day lily 8Day lilies 13Day lilies 12Day lily 9Day lilies 11Day lily 3Day lilies 10Day lilies 14Day lilies 5

A gate in the domestic garden led us to a splendid display of unusual hemerocallis flowers.

Horse and flies 1Horse and flies 2

As Pollie searched among rows of potted samples for sale, through a wire fence, she chatted to her neighbour’s horse, tormented by marauding flies. The good-natured mare tossed her head in vain attempts to rid herself of the plague.

Day lilies 15

We bought two plants. All we have to do is create spaces for them.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. I enjoyed chicken jaljala; Jackie chose chicken shashlik; and we shared mushroom rice and a plain paratha. We both drank Kingfisher.

 

Fishy Business

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This morning, Jackie went hunting for pond liner to mend a leak in the Waterboy fountain

Brick Path through Agriframes Arch

whilst Aaron cleared wind-battered plants and cut back others encroaching on the paths,

Love Knot and Alan Titchmarsh

Little Rambler

and I dead-headed in the rose garden and beyond. In the first of the above two pictures, the paler Alan Titchmarsh stands beside Love Knot; in the second, Little Rambler’s label stands out.

Rosa Gallica

The bright pink Rosa Gallica is beautifully striated;

rose Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral bears new buds ready to take over from the mature bloom;

Bee on Absolutely Fabulous 1Bee on Absolutely Fabulous 2

and a bee lingered on Absolutely Fabulous long enough for me to get two shots in.

Bee entering foxglove

In fact bees busy themselves everywhere. This one takes itself into a pink foxglove;

Bee on aquilegia

another boards an aquilegia;

Bee on heuchera

another a heuchera;

Bee and shield bug in Bottle Brush plant

and, is that a shield bug sharing a berth with one in a Bottle Brush plant?

Petunias

Elsewhere we have suspended petunias;

Clematis Star of India

ascending clematises like this Star of India;

rosa Glauca

soaring Rosa Glauca;

Campanulas

white campanulas;

Rose Campion

delicate rose campion;

Sisyrinchium striatum

tiny sisyrinchium striatum;

Lilies 1Day lily 1

luscious lilies;

Fuchsia

hardy fuchsias;

Philadelphus 1Philadelphus 2

two different philadelphuses;

rose Dearest

another pink rose Dearest;

rose Wedding Day 1

and Wedding Day

Clematis and Wedding Day

joining the clematis on the Agriframes Arch.

After lunch we motored to Stewart’s Garden Centre just outside Christchurch where, at Maidenhead Aquatics, we found the liner.

Koi Carp 10Koi Carp 11Koi Carp 12Koi Carp 4Koi Carp 6Koi Carp 7Koi Carp 8Koi Carp 9

Koi Carp 5Koi Carp 1Koi Carp 2Koi Carp 3

Outside this outlet there is a large pool around which koi carp, some looking prehistoric, glide, fins flapping, or swoop, tails flipping, fins tucked into their sides, whirling interminably.

We also noticed that Broomhill Garden Buildings had a Spring Sale, where a rather good greenhouse was available at half price. Back home we sped to take measurements of the place where it would go. It fitted. Back we sped and ordered it.

This evening we dined on haddock fishcakes topped with Cheddar cheese; spinach (for the forearms); boiled potatoes, carrots, and green beans.with which I drank Louis Chamandiet Cairanne 2015.