Down The Garden

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Patio

As it began to rain whilst they were finishing the painting yesterday, Clare and Andrew had placed the garden chairs under the wisteria arbour. This morning, Aaron carried them to the patio.

The day was overcast. Jackie and Aaron spent the morning on garden maintenance, now at its most pressing. Aaron also filled his truck with our pruning and clippings. From the patio I continued on a perambulation with the camera.

I took my usual route along the Kitchen Path, passing the rose campion planted in front of the lysimachia firecracker with feverfew to the left.

At the corner by the iron urn, in view of the geraniums and verbena in a planter above the Dragon Bed with its pink snapdragons and prolific marigolds,

I made my way along the Brick Path, past the grass patch with its bed of bright pink begonias,

taking a rest on the Westbrook Arbour bench, and looking down the Phantom Path to sculpture Florence. Penny Lane is making her way up the Gothic Arch, opposite clematis Star of India.

Campanula persiciflora

The campanula Persiciflora stands at the south end of the Brick Path, beneath the dead snake bark maple.

It normally takes me quite a while to make inroads into a new book. “Pilling Always Pays’, by Thomas Armstrong, which I finished today, was no exception. My post-operative lethargy probably contributed to this, but I did also think that the author’s painstakingly thorough method of introducing his cast of characters may have played a part. Nevertheless, I will not hold this against him, for he proceeded to tell a carefully crafted story with numerous apparently disparate strands skilfully knitted together in the final pages. The setting was a provincial town in 1936, with its closely interwoven upwardly mobile community.  In ‘Auntie Ivy And Sir Edmund Hillary’ I featured what I had found inside my copy.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken, new potatoes, crunchy carrots and cabbage, and moist ratatouille, with flavoursome gravy.

 

Parts I Haven’t Been Able To Reach

On a hot, sunny, afternoon, aided by a crutch, I walked down the Brick Path to the top of the Back Drive, where Jackie provided me with three more perching spots.

I couldn’t resist periodically stopping en route for a few shots from a standing position, sans crutch.

Once settled at the top of the drive I photographed two types of Erigeron in the New Bed; planting of solanum, begonias, and petunias in baskets hanging from the dead Snake Bark Maple; Félicité Perpétue and poppies beside the compost bins; and clematis in one of the barrier tubs.

Moving to the other side of the barrier gave me views across the Weeping Birch Bed; the urns at the head of the Brick Path; and the Oval Bed with its two varieties of rose.

With the perch a bit further along the concrete patio I could view more day lilies; the Oval Bed with its Peach Abundance roses; and pale pink New Dawn clambering over the arbour in the Rose Garden.

A yard or two further forward I was able to picture Jackie’s newly planted alliums, repeated in the Palm Bed, opposite the poppies in Margery’s Bed.

Once I had had enough and returned indoors to rest my leg, Jackie took over the photographer’s mantle, producing her versions of the poppies; the Phantom Path with its flanking beds; and the view beside the Gazebo Path looking back to the house.

Today, I explored parts of the garden I haven’t been able to reach for a while.

This evening we dined on another excellent Forest Tandoori takeaway. Once again my main course was prawn jalfrezi; Jackie’s was chicken bhuna.

 

 

 

Aaron Knows The Score

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We have experienced an intermittently leaky kitchen extension roof since we arrived here. The amount of infiltration has depended upon the wind direction rather than the quantity of precipitation. One person has already allegedly repaired it – not very effectively.

Sid mending roof 1Sid mending roof 2

Sid, a very personable extra pair of hands, has joined Aaron in AP Maintenance. Today he mixed up cement and mended the roof properly.

Aaron removing stump 1Aaron with chainsaw

Aaron pruned a straggly climbing rose, and cleared more of the West Bed including stripping dead and intrusive growth from another palm, and sawing off an exposed tree stump we hadn’t known was there. When I told him that Sid had spotted a cracked tile and asked if we had any more, and I had replied that we had, but I would need to ask Jackie where they were, Aaron gave her yet another title. “The Maintenance Department”, said our friend, who knows the score.

Just to show willing, I assisted The Head Gardener in her general maintenance tasks this afternoon by occupying myself dead-heading.

Dahlias 1Dahlias 2

This is, of course, the season for showy dahlias

Chrysanthemums

bright, bushy, chrysanthemums,

Nasturtiums

and snaking nasturtiums;

Honeysuckle

but I am surprised to see honeysuckle rising again in both back and front gardens.

Geraniums

Geraniums

Begonia 1Begonia 2

and begonias cling on to life;

Fuchsia Mrs Popple

and fuchsias like Mrs Popple dangle away.

Rudbeckia

We have some multicoloured Rudbeckia;

Salvia Hot Lips

the aptly named salvia Hot Lips;

Cosmos

and long-lived cosmoses.

Rose For Your Eyes Only

The apparently everlasting For Your Eyes Only keeps company in the Rose Garden with

Rose Just Joey

fresh flushes of Love Knot,

Rose Laura Ford

Laura Ford,

Rose Mamma Mia

and Mamma Mia.

Butterfly Small White on verbena bonarensis

The Small White butterflies are still enjoying the verbena bonarensis,

Bee on clematis

and bees still gather pollen provided by such as this clematis.

Turfcutter's Arms (Jackie)

This evening we returned to the Turfcutter’s Arms

Roast belly of pork meals

for a roast pork dinner. Jackie drank Peroni and enjoyed a chocolate sponge dessert with ice cream; my choices were Ringwood’s Best and fruit crumble with custard.

 

 

‘Road Kill’

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Struggles with erratic internet connection means that this post has taken some considerable time today. But let’s not go into that. Suffice it to say that I didn’t lose my cool and kept going off to do something else, sometimes involving a little garden clearance.

No way, however, can I match Aaron who today dug out and removed a mature ficus, pruned and reshaped the winter flowering cherry, cut the grass, laid some stepping stone paths, and

Aaron nailing beams to tree stumps 3

nailed beams across old tree stumps to support rambling roses. He had already built the fence behind him some time ago.

Garden view from patio along Dead End Path

Here is this morning’s view from the patio along the Dead End Path; the fresh bud low down to the left of the picture

Rose peach

is on the same bush as this rich peach one.

Garden view from frog pond

A large poppy will soon bloom behind the stone frog in this scene.

Triangular Bed

Purple campanulas in the triangular bed outside the wisteria arbour link the startling red Sweet Williams and the two clematises above.

Clematis 3

Here is one of those.

Clematis 2

Others can be found on one of the arches spanning the Brick Path,

Clematis 1

in the New Bed, and in many other locations.

Palm bed

Penstemons and foxgloves also compare hues in the Palm Bed.

Rose Gertrude Jekyll

Flamboyant Gertrude Jekyll parades in the Rose Garden,

Roses patio

and this pale pink patio rose thrives in the Kitchen Bed alongside the Brick Path.

Jackie continues to make excellent progress with planting up tubs, urns, and hanging baskets such as

Urn planted with cosmos, geraniums, petunias, and allysum

this stone urn filled with cosmos, geraniums and petunias flanked by filigreed ferns in the bed beneath;

Cosmos and calibrachoas

cosmos and calibrachoas in a terra cotta pot;

Calibrachoa and diascias in pot

calibrachoas and diascias in a hanging basket;

Petunias and geraniums

petunias and geraniums in a faux terra cotta container;

Petunias and marigolds in hat

petunias and marigolds in the leaden hat;

Diascias and petunias in iron urn

diascias and petunias in the iron urn;

Black-eyed Susan and marigolds

and marigolds and black eyed Susans perched on a Victorian chimney pot. The black eyed Susans should, in time, climb to the top of their obelisk.

Aaron's truck

Aaron’s truck contains the tools of his trade and garden refuse he takes away when he has created it. This shot was taken before he loaded up the ficus root and branches.

Aaron's 'Road Kill'

Country roads often contain road kill, or small animals and birds that have been struck by motor vehicles. Our friend is building up his own collection of little creatures.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent lamb korai, peas and rice, and sag ponir. We both drank Kingfisher.

Lurking In The Shade

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Today Aaron and Robin levelled out the soil flanking the new fence and cleared away our last items of debris in preparation for building a log store.

Bath and other debris

The rubbish included the buried bath, now in its last resting place on the Back Drive, before removal to the dump.

Walking in The Sea Back 002

I finished reading Barrie Haynes novelette ‘Walking in the Sea’ this morning. The illustrator is Barrie’s young granddaughter whose cover appeared on https://derrickjknight.com/2016/08/05/deadheading/

The blurb accurately describes the essence of this scurrilous romp which would probably, perhaps slightly Bowdlerised, provide the basis of a good TV detective series plot. Written almost entirely in the present tense, with direct, uncomplicated, and amusing prose, the book carries the reader along, keeping its essential secrets to the end. It was certainly easier reading than Jane Austen, its humour requiring rather less work.

Brambles 1

I have occasionally mentioned our ongoing battle against invading brambles. This is what happens if we relax for  week.

Brambles 2

This time I reached over the fence with the long loppers in order to stem the flow at the lowest possible level.

Dragon's Bed 1Dragon's Bed 2

On my way back down the garden I spied The Head Gardener lurking in the shade beside the Dragon’s Bed.

Crocosmias

There are two types of crocosmia in this bed. The yellow one did not flower at all last year.

Cosmoses with bees

Drowsy bees clambered in and out of the cosmoses.

Florences's view

Here is Florence’s view past the hanging geraniums to Compassion rose climbing across the Dead End Path;

Hollyhocks

whilst beside the Phantom Path to the left, Margery’s hollyhocks soar aloft.

Rudbeckia

There are several clumps of Rudbeckia. This one is in the Palm Bed.

Ornamental grass, petunias, lobelias, nicotiana sylvestris

At the corner of the Cryptomeria Bed, ornamental grass; petunias, lobelia, and geraniums in hanging baskets; nicotiana; and buddleia stand in line.

Sprinkler

We enjoyed a drink in the Rose Garden where Jackie operated the sprinkler, and

Fuchsia and beyond

a fuchsia leads us past phlox and through the arch beside the hollyhocks featured above.

Jackie’s dinner this evening consisted of pork medallions baked in mustard and brown sugar topped with almond flakes; courgette, tomato and onion gratin; crisp carrots and green beans; boiled new potatoes; and tasty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Becks and I drank sparkling water.

The Watcher Watched

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After a leisurely breakfast we left Aaron, his nephew Rory, and Robin working on the fencing while Jackie drove the two of us, Jessie, and Guru to Ferndene Farm Shop for our friends to shop for their return.

Pigs

This was such a hot, heavy, and overcast day that the Ferndene pigs had even less energy than we did.

Pig 1

One managed to snuffle around in a hole;

Pig 2

another was spark out.

The Homestead

Across the road, the thatching of The Homestead is complete.

Yachts on The Solent 1

After this we drove on to the cliff top overlooking The Solent, where a number of yachts sailed in the hazy sunlight. We were able to point out The Needles and their lighthouse.

Group on beach 1

The beach was quite populated.

Groups on beach

One group walked past beach huts, one of which was clearly in use,

Group on beach 2

and settled down near the water’s edge.

Watcher among beach huts

Meanwhile, a gentleman emerged from the hut and raised his binoculars. The watcher was watched.

The above photographs were all taken with the Canon SX700 HS, because I hadn’t anticipated needing the zoom lens, and hadn’t tried out the fixed one.

Back home we continued a very enjoyable weekend over lunch, before Jessie and Guru returned to North London.

Later, I tried out the 55mm lens on the EOS D5 Mk ii.

Chimney pot planter

Every time I pass this chimney pot planted with lobelia shoulders and cosmos crown, I have a sense of being stalked.

Clematis Ville de Lyon

After vigorous bondage from The Head Gardener, the clematis Ville de Lyon now stretches across the side wall of No. 5 Downton Lane along our Back Drive,

Clematis Marie Boisselot

and outside the kitchen window, Marie Boisselot is having a second flush.

This evening, Jackie and I dined on her superlative chicken jalfrezi, boiled rice, and parathas. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Fleurie.

Baskets And Pots

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On an overcast day I alternated between watering hanging baskets and pots, dead heading, and watching the television coverage of the men’s semi-finals at Wimbledon. I would pop outside at what seemed reasonable intervals in the matches, fill a few cans, water a few containers, and return to the TV hoping I hadn’t missed anything too crucial. This proved rather more risky in the first event.

Here I present a small token selection of the recipients of the water:

Petunias 1Petunias, sweet peas, lobelia, bidens, geraniumsLobelia, bidens, mimuluses, geraniumsPansies and geraniumsPetunias and lobelia 1Petunias, mimumuluses and lobeliaPetunias and lobelia 2Cosmos and petuniasClematis, sweet peas and geraniumsLobelias, petunias, bidensPetunias, mimuluses, lobelias, geraniumsPetunias, bidens, lobelias, geraniumsPetunias, lobelias, bidens, sweet peasDiascia

Readers will find examples of petunia, lobelia, pansy, bidens, clematis, sweet pea, geranium, mimulus, diascia, and no doubt many more.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi and boiled rice, followed by Helen’ rich chocolate roulade. The Culinary Queen drank diet Pepsi and I began an intriguing wine curiosity. This was present from Helen and Bill; a label called Rare Vineyards; a red wine, Carignan vieilles vignes (old vines), 2015. It is enjoyable.