No More Dado Rails

Although the fierce winds that we have experienced for the last few days continued to pound us for much of the day, it was warm, sunny, and bright, encouraging me to wander round the garden with my camera.

A few trugs were transported, and a few pots blown down;

some trees were being stripped of their foliage,

although others still sported autumn hues.

Flower beds remained reasonably colourful.

The good news of the day is that Nick Hayter was able to start our decorating project on time and that the impending lockdown allows him to work on. Living up to Barry’s recommendation he is a relentless, thorough, worker, and, given the atrocities we inherited he needs to be.

He began today with a zinsser primer on the false ceiling rafters, and progressed to

the momentous removal of the equally fake picture rails, which longer term readers will remember are in fact dado rails – still bearing the supplier’s bar codes – and as such flat topped and therefore useless for picture hooks.

It was later that Nick realised that the original wall paint had not been thinned and consequently simply peeled off like stiff paper.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy lamb jalfrezi and aromatic savoury rice with a plain paratha. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coudougno Faugeres 2019.

Inspiration From Durer

My post “Undine” (Illustrated by Arthur Rackham) contains the Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on the author Friedrich de La Motte Fouqué, whose

I finished reading last night. The author’s name appears on the spine, as does similar decoration, but as quite often in this golden age of book illustration the artist is given pride of place on this front board, still glowing after the 112 years since the publication of 1908.

The Durer engraving on the frontispiece is the work which inspired the author’s tale from the days of knightly gestes.

This somewhat Gothic romance can be read at the level of an adventure story of a young Knight’s search for himself or of the conflict between saintly Christianity and pagan passion personified by Sintram’s parted parents. The author’s descriptive poetic prose ensures an easy read. A. C. Farquharson’s fluid translation must have contributed to this. As usual I will not give details of the story.

Wikipedia describes “Edmund Joseph Sullivan (1869–1933), usually known as E. J. Sullivan, [w]as a British book illustrator who worked in a style which merged the British tradition of illustration from the 1860s with aspects of Art Nouveau.”

Here are scans of his exquisite traditional drawings for this book.

Nick Hayter, who is to start decorating for us next week, visited to check over details. This was necessary because he was due to begin in March before Covid-19 lockdown forced him to stop working for some time.

This afternoon, enticed by the clear blue light, Jackie photographed

the Weeping Birch;

and another cobaea scandens.

This evening Elizabeth joined us for dinner which consisted of Jackie’s perfect pork paprika; creamy potato and swede mash; roasted sweet potatoes; and crunchy carrots, followed by aromatic apple pie and cream. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Malbec.

Lin Brook In Spate

On a day of sunshine and showers we each took our cameras into the garden during brief sunny spells.

Madame Alfred Carriere seems to think it is spring, despite sharing the Rose Garden entrance with hips from Summer Wine. Everlasting sweet peas are equally confused. These wear raindrop pearls

which glisten over the Gazebo Path and bejewel leaves of iris and New Zealand flax; seeds of agapanthus; fuchsia Garden News; and pansies topping the iron urn.

Another fuchsia which continues to thrive is Hawkshead; skeletal honesty plants display their seeds; Penny Lane still soars over the Gothic arch; Puerto Rico dahlia proliferates; and Amistad salvia continues to delight.

The mauve dahlia alongside the Dead End Path is even more prolific but has collapsed beneath the storm although it should recover.

This lime green Japanese maple does not usually produce such a range of autumn hues.

Jackie’s contribution to the garden photographs was her cobaea scandens hanging beside the greenhouse.

This afternoon we set off for the north of the forest and remained beside the

swollen Lin Brook which had burst its banks across the ford at the bottom of Hightown Lane and its junction with Gorley Road.

Vehicles had no option but to traverse the flood. From the road I photographed both a white van and a blue car in the process, while Jackie pictured the car from the window of hers.

The Assistant Photographer added her perspective on the water lapping the road; a splendid oak; a woman striding along the field in which I had photographed the horses; and a bonfire in a garden on the dry side of the road.

We passed landscapes with varying overhead skies, then Jackie

parked the Modus on the verge of Hightown Lane while I wandered over banks

of golden brown bracken, mossy roots and colourful autumn leaves streaked by the late afternoon sun.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s potent pork paprika; creamy mashed potatoes; and carrots and green beans al dente, followed by her splendidly aromatic apple pie and cream, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019.

They Keep On Coming

The moon was out of bed this morning when Jackie took her camera into the garden, yet cloud cover soon rolled in. She crouched low to offer the Cobaea Scandens cup to the lingering orb. Fennel seeds, sweet pea pods, and mahonia completed the collection of silhouettes. The Assistant Photographer finished with pastel shades of verbena bonariensis against New Zealand flax.

This afternoon I cut the grass for which the expression ‘mowed the lawn’ would be a little pretentious. It seemed somewhat ambitious to hand-clip the edges so I will live to fight them another day.

The hanging basket in the top centre of the first picture contains a bright lime-green heuchera.

For a little light relief I transported Jackie’s clippings from her weeding and taking cuttings to the compost bin and bagged up some of the woody material.

Beside her the Dragon Bed’s Polish Spirit clematis and hanging baskets petunias display vibrant colour.

Bees, like this one in geranium Roxanne, went about their business undisturbed.

This variety of rudbeckia has prove quite prolific this year, whereas several others have failed.

Recents storms virtually stripped this pink climbing rose of its leaves, yet buds keep on coming,

as do those of Flower Power, Lady Emma Hamilton,

Absolutely Fabulous,

and Crown Princess Margareta, who encourages the coexistence of different generations.

The Weeping Birch Bed, like most of the others, still contains a variety of colourful blooms.

There aren’t many without a dahlia or two.

Preferring the ebb and flow and artistry of Test matches, I am not fan of T20 cricket, but, as I watched England’s innings against Australia on TV this afternoon I began to wonder whether my apathy might be a teeny bit prejudiced.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.