Early Morning Light

We began work in the garden early, because we knew it would be a hot day. In addition to all her general labours, Jackie spent much time scrubbing surfaces, such as the slippery decking, and pigeon poo on chairs and benches. My task was a certain amount of dead heading and feeding of the compost bin, but mostly, taking advantage of the diffused light before the sun had risen too high.

This deep red climbing rose was inherited from our predecessors in a sorry, straggly, state, yet now thrives under the Head Gardener’s loving care.

This New Dawn, a present from Poppy and Tess, is now beginning to scale the gazebo.

This recent purchase is a climber called Brownie, which was bred by Nola M. Simpson in New Zealand before 2009.

The first of these clematises is accompanied by a bottle brush plant and a Chilean lantern tree; the second by a Rosa Glauca.

The bottle brush plant glimpsed above is the red one now coming into bloom; the climber Wedding Day spans the Brick Path.

Most hanging baskets have now been planted up.

Several hebes are flourishing. Jackie is very pleased with this sculptural eryngium.

A variety of day lilies abound.

Readers will be aware that we have one honey-scented cordyline Australis. We didn’t know ourselves that we have three more on the west side of the garden which we have not noticed flowering before.

Pale pink Penny Lane and bright red Super Elfin have happily settled on the Gothic Arch.

Peach Abundance flowers in the Oval Bed just outside the Rose Garden, among whose residents are

an unknown deep pink climber; red Roserie de l’Hay; red and white striped Rosa Gallica and yellow Laura Ford; poppies and foxgloves; pink and yellow Summer Wine; bright red Gloriana; and golden Crown Princess Margareta.

This afternoon we spent an hour with Mum, who was in good spirits, in the garden of Woodpeckers.

Afterwards I watched a memorable Wimbledon tennis match between Angelique Kerber and Sara Sorribes Tomo.

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s delicious beef and onion pie with flavoursome Jersey Royal potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender runner beans, and meaty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone.

“Look. That Man’s Taking Photographs”

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Barry & Owen Van

Leaving their van in our front drive

Shoes

and their slip-on shoes outside the door,

Barry and Owen, who are New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs, having first serviced Mistletoe Cottage next door, provided us with their trademark clean and efficient job.

Barry 1

A dust sheet is laid down;

Barry and Owen 1

face-masks making father, Barry, and son, Owen, sound like Star Wars stormtroopers are applied;

Barry and Owen 2Barry and Owen 3Barry 2Barry 3

a shield is fitted into place, and the soot vacuumed out, leaving the room spotless. As you can see, there was no need to cover furniture. The job was completed and the equipment cleared away in about an hour. If you need a chimney sweep look no further than http://www.findachimneysweep.co.uk/sweeps/new-forest-1-cg-7641-qualified/?area=&service=

This afternoon we met Elizabeth at Lavender Farm at Landford, where we wandered around, enjoyed refreshments, and purchased a few plants.

Trails on glass 3Trails on glass 1Trails on glass 2

Beside the car park lies a very long greenhouse on the inside of the glass windows of which tiny trail-blazing cartographers have etched uncharted territory.

Lavender Farm 1

Apart from the many plants laid out for sale, there are a number of more formal herbaceous borders;

Climbing rose

various climbing roses;

SalviasSalvias and Elizabeth 1

splendid displays such as these salvias placed in a bed in the midst of a brick path. Jackie, in red, investigates plants for sale in the background of the first view, while Elizabeth approaches in the second.

Gladiolus and metal sculpture

Glorious gladioli abound. This example is embraced by one of the many metal sculptures.

Banana leaf

Potted banana trees have been reduced in price.

Gaura

Unusually this elderly gaura stands guardsman erect.

Lavender Farm 4Lavender Farm 3Lavender Farm 5

There is a large freely planted area through which it is possible to wander,

Lavender Farm 6

take photographs,

Children at Lavender Farm 1Children at Lavender Farm 2

or run around among the lavender.

Lavender Farm 2

Many visitors come to spend a pleasant time seated at table with friends, tea, coffee, and cakes.

Coleus

A spectacularly colourful coleus

Coleus and sparrow

sat in a shiny bright blue pot close to our table. A sparrow walked around it. The background blackboard already advertised Christmas lunch.

Sparrow

Elizabeth couldn’t eat all her scone, which was broken up and tossed on the decking for the little bird and its companions.

Mother and child

Some of the dining areas were under cover, such as one sheltered by a thick transparent plastic material. As I passed this, a mother, exclaiming “Look. That man’s taking photographs”, brought her daughter to peer through it. She was amused at the result.

Before Elizabeth returned home, the three of us dined on Jackie’s superb spicy lamb jalfrezi with fried onion rice, followed by chocolate eclairs and vanilla ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; Elizabeth, alcohol free Becks; and I finished the Fleurie.

A Tale Of Two Climbers

Today was another wet one. That put paid to any continuation of the pathfinding project, but we worked on others in brief spells between the rains.Gladiolus
An interesting variety of gladiolus has emerged outside the back door to the kitchen.
Jackie drove off to Everton Garden Centre to buy some annuals. She returned with quite a few. There were enough to plant up the urn and the chimney pots, and to provide marginals for the pond.
Butchers blocks potting shedFirst, she needed a potting shed. Our predecessor used a sand tray in the garage for this, but that was one of the many items removed to make way for the utility room. Among the pieces left for us by the previous owners, thinking they might be useful, were two butchers’ blocks. They were relegated to the skip pile from which they were retrieved this morning to make an improvised potting shed.
Three extremely heavy stoneware chimney pots had been brought from Amity Grove via 4 Castle Malwood Lodge. They had stood in our front garden since 31st March. They needed two of us to lift each one into a wheelbarrow, and to manoeuvre them into place. Chimney triangleThe awareness that they now formed three corners of a triangle caused Jackie once more to reflect on the lack of one in the kitchen.
While Jackie planted her purchases, I wandered around randomly weeding, then brightened up yesterday’s path with a partial application of gravel.
I have mentioned before the nature of the boundary between our home and the unoccupied bungalow to our right. This is sometimes rather problematic, as in the case of the Lonicera which has been so invasive as to push our neighbouring shrubs right out of position and across the patio. BoundaryOne particular climbing rose has been forced to extend leggy limbs above and beyond what is sensible. It is tied to a tall wooden stake that, in turn, is tied to a metal one. It looks to me as if the thick honeysuckle-like stems and branches are all that is keeping anything in place at all. Bird's nestI found an empty birds’ nest in the tangled mess. Seeing this object, as if floating on the reflecting metal garden table, alerted me to the fact that I was becoming a little damp.
Pondering how to dispose of the mounting pile of pruned plant pieces, I thought of my good Newark friend and neighbour, Malcolm Anderton, and another climbing rose which was itself perpetrating the invasion.
A long, high, stone wall separated our two properties. Covering this, on our side, were three large red climbing roses which tended to peep over to Malcolm’s. When, around the turn of the millennium, some of the boughs were found cut, and on the ground in our driveway, Jessica approached our neighbour to see if he knew anything about it. Indeed, he did. He had been pruning the invader whose stems he was chucking back over the wall. He informed us that that was the legal thing to do.
Our next door garden here is completely overgrown, so no-one would probably notice if I tossed the limbs of Lonicera back where they came from. I am grateful to Malcolm for the idea.
Having given up on the garden after lunch, I just nipped out to get wet photographing Jackie’s planting:Pond plantingUrn plantingChimney pot plantingDinner at The Jarna was as good as ever this evening. We know, because we enjoyed some, both drinking Cobra.