Attached To A Petal

Today dawned bright and sunny with a welcome breeze to lessen the gathering heat and humidity which made gardening too unpleasant after we returned home from an outing.

By courtesy of Danni’s voucher birthday present to Jackie we enjoyed a most enjoyable brunch at Rosie Lea Tea Room (ex The Hobler Inn) on Southampton Road. My already plentiful and well cooked Full English breakfast was supplemented by my wife’s donation of her hash browns and toast.

These were the garden views from the marquee which we occupied.

From there we drove to Pilley for an up to date record of the scene. The lake is fuller after the recent rains;

more of Quarry Cottage is mirrored in the additional little pool;

it is still possible to walk across to take in

the view from the opposite side, in the foreground of which foxgloves linger and blackberries develop.

Today the lake invited further reflective photographs.

When approaching East Boldre from opposite Hatchet Pond I glimpsed waterlilies through trees. Jackie parked beside the verge along which I walked until I came to the open view I knew would emerge.

On the way I took in the delights of grasses, heather, blackberry blossom, and bees, one of which had become attached to a petal from a previously plundered plant.

Many of the ponies we passed were sheltering from what developed into a much hotter period. An exception was this group including a growing colt grazing along the roadside.

White butterflies flitted over a field of flax further along the road.

Having seen what we had for brunch, readers will not be surprised to learn that no later sustenance was required.

Traffic Calming

Today’s weather was hot and humid with intermittent sunshine.

We gardened in the morning.

I am delighted to report that Nugget is alive and well and was in his customary attendance. Those readers who suggested that he might be moulting were clearly correct.

Jackie concentrated largely on the Rose Garden where, among other tasks, she planted some tall lavenders. Among my usual tasks I had not included digging since the first knee surgery. Our soil remains bone hard and I decided to attempt to relieve her of some of it.

I found this surprisingly easy. It may look as if this is my left foot; in fact it is the right one reflected in the mirror against the east fence. This was particularly pleasing since that leg was the subject of the most recent replacement.

Hydrangea Lanarth White sets off fuchsia Mrs Popple in the Orange Shed corner of the Rose Garden; yellow black eyed Susan and orange marigolds are planted in a chimney pot beside the West Bed; a red pelargonium fronted by an ornamental grass stands at the base of the gazebo which bears a blue clematis.

This afternoon, after shopping at Milford Supplies for a pair of hinges, we took a drive into the forest where graced with the presence of a plethora of ponies.

A family of three cropped the verge at the entrance to Bisterne Close, while, further along

a mare did her best ignore her colt persistently attempting to suckle.

As often on such a sultry day somnolent ponies clustered together beneath the shade of their favourite trees, spilling across Forest Road carrying out their own traffic calming project. Cyclists managed to weave in and out, while car drivers were required to demonstrate good natured patience.

Other equines rolled among dried droppings on the cropped grass, or undertook assiduous mutual grooming.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s aromatic variation on shepherd’s pie topped, instead of mashed potato, with sliced, sautéed ones flavoured with rosemary; toothsome carrots, cauliflower, and green beans; and meaty gravy, with which the Culinary Queen drank Becks and I drank Flores de Soligamar Rioja 2018.