Today’s Hobbyhorses

Our extended Indian summer continues.

Early this morning the three of us spent some time in the garden where I photographed

a number of blooms, the names of which are all included in the galleries. The blue Morning Glories only flowered for the first time last week. Bees are still plundering the cosmoses.

After this we shopped at Ferndene Farm Shop, and continued on a forest drive.

Pigs and their piglets scurried across the road at Pilley. Louise, who lives in the house on the corner seen beyond the scene including porkers, a Shetland pony and a walker, stood for while at the gate flagging down motorists to point out the piglets they could not see as they approached the cattle grid. Jessie joined me in photographing the animals. Its bright berries enliven a cotoneaster tree on the green.

The beach at the end of Tanners Lane was gathering visitors like the two above; teasels grew in the field at the top of the slope.

This evening Jackie drove us to Mudeford to catch the

sunset.

Swans were unperturbed by gulls taking flight.

I watched approaching its runway.

Two children sped along the shore on bikes with no pedals (Dandy horse bikes)- today’s hobbyhorses.

This evening we dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender runner beans, and meaty gravy, followed by coffee cake and New Forest ice cream, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, I drank more of the Fleurie, and Jessie drank water.

Garden News

Although the sun shone most of this dry day, the overnight winds remained decidedly brisk.

This afternoon I was swept round the garden in search of plants still enough for me to photograph them without panning.

These cosmoses now greet us across the kitchen door.

The patio planters and pots, as usual have caught the worst of the gusts that burst round the side of the house.

Our most rickety shed has happily survived.

Many blooms, like the nicotianas, now lean over paths, and we are still finding broken stems, such as this cosmos in the rose garden. Nevertheless this more sheltered spot still bears

intact examples alongside For Your Eyes Only.

Fuchias, such as the white and purple Delta’s Sarah; the blend of pinks Garden News; and the red and purple Army Nurse, are pretty hardy here.

Begonias, impatiens, and mina lobatas are not yet frostbitten.

Dahlias and Japanese anemones are enjoying their season, and still attracting bees.

Quite what this hollyhock rising from its bed is still doing up I do not know.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken jalfrezi and flavoursome mushroom rice, with which she drank more of the Pino Grigio and I drank more of the Comté Tolosan Rouge.

We Haven’t Done Too Badly

On another blustery morning we carried out domestic indoor tasks and I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/09/28/a-knights-tale-42-i-find-my-direction/

Later Jackie righted most of the fallen pots; I set up a few more, gathered up more tree twigs, and picked up the mirror which was fortunately undamaged.

The Head Gardener cleared some broken plants and tied up others. I took those that had been ripped off to the compost bins. As can be seen the cosmos still attracts bees. Jackie had laid down the chairs in these pictures before the heavier storm. They will remain like this until the gusts are gone.

If you don’t look too closely we haven’t done too badly. So far.

As the afternoon wore on the skies darkened and the gale built up its momentum. By the time we sat down to enjoy our evening meal, heavy rain beat a tattoo on the kitchen roof, and I would not have been surprised to see one or two of the three little pigs flying overhead propelled by the huffing and puffing of the big bad wolf.

Dinner consisted of Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata and tender runner beans, with which she finished the Rosé and I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone.

“Hello Barbara”

Mum perked up yesterday afternoon. When Elizabeth and Jacqueline arrived she was sitting up in bed, drinking from her own cup. She stayed awake for two hours; conversed lucidly; and consumed a little liquid nourishment, antibiotics, and water. Staff were concerned about her breathing overnight and she is to be given morphine to make her more comfortable.

Early in the evening Jackie photographed her favourite view from the stable door, and two along the Gazebo Path.

For Mothers Day earlier in the year Becky sent her a bouquet from which she has rooted a chrysanthemum in water.

She also pictured this which has been nurtured to produce a flourishing plant and will find its way into a bed next year.

A significant amount of rain fell overnight, refreshing the garden.

I produced a range of random images each of which has its own title in the gallery.

While I was wandering about, Jackie was talking on the phone to our friend Barbara who had telephoned in response to my post of yesterday.

“Hello Barbara”.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s flavoursome sausages in red wine; crisp Yorkshire pudding; creamy mashed potatoes; firm carrots, cauliflower and peas, with which I finished the Rioja whilst the Culinary Queen abstained because she had enjoyed her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.

Despite The Winds Of August

Yesterday’s winds were not quite as bad as expected, but they persisted today, amid sunny spells. The Head Gardener carried out more pruning, clipping, and tidying, with minimal assistance from me.

After lunch I wandered around with my camera.

Here is a selection of our white flowers, comprising Marguerites, cosmos, dahlias. Japanese anemones, and petunias.

Begonias come in varying colours, shapes and sizes.

as, of course, do the dahlias.

The pale peach and the yellow Summer Time climbers flower throughout the season.

Hues of hydrangeas and lilies, including hemerocallis are also numerous.

Crocosmia, including Lucifer, towering in the Palm Bed, and the more orange one against the red Japanese maple in the Pond Bed send up flickering flames signifying different heats.

Despite the winds of this unusual August, we still enjoy the exuberance of Nature’s painter’s palette.

I then scanned the next four of Charles Keeping’s skilfully sensitive illustrations to Dickens’s ‘David Copperfield’

‘I lay my face upon the pillow by her, and she looks into my eyes, and speaks very softly’

‘Standing by the building was a plain hearse’

‘The ship rolled and beat with a violence quite inconceivable’

‘ ‘I will speak!’ she said, turning on me with her lightning eyes’

Shortly before dinner, I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/08/09/a-second-revolution/

The delicious meal consisted of roast chicken thighs; crisp Yorkshire pudding and fried potatoes; herby sage and onion stuffing; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; with thick, meaty, gravy. We each drank more of our rosé and red wines respectively.

Unquenchable Polish Spirit

This morning Nick from Peacock Computers visited to instal a new router and to repair the interface between our TV and the You View box.

After lunch Barry from New Forest Chimney Sweeping And Repairs came to inspect our leaking Velux window. He asked me to send him two photographs, which I did.

Nugget overtook me on the Brick Path while I photographed white Japanese anemones and red pelargoniums.

Here are more of these anemones, between fading lilies and honesty seed pods.

These fuchsias, lobelia, and petunias suspended from the eucalyptus have recovered by virtue of the Head Gardener’s nurturing;

as has this unquenchable, aptly named, Polish Spirit which has twice survived the still visible windburn of the summer’s storms.

To the delight of foraging bees, new buds continue to burgeon on cosmoses.

A favourite perch for little robin Nugget stands in the Weeping Birch Bed. “Where’s Nugget?” (8)

This afternoon Jackie collected Elizabeth from her home in Pilley and drove her to collect her repaired car from a garage near us. My sister came back with the Culinary Queen and stayed for dinner, which consisted of luscious lamb’s liver (sorry, Yvonne), bacon and onions; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender green beans with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Tesco’s Chilean Malbec 2018. Elizabeth had consumed her quota of Hophead Pale Ale on the patio beforehand. One of the advantages of a flavoursome casserole is that you can have bread and gravy if there is enough liquid left over. I did this tonight.

Happier Behind The Camera

I was grateful today for the overnight thunderstorm and for Jackie’s watering the parts it couldn’t reach early this morning before she and Shelly drove to Helen’s to offer sisterly assistance.

This meant I could concentrate on the dead-heading necessitated by the storm’s stripping of many petals. After more than an hour I retreated indoors with wobbly legs and wringing wet shirt to sit at the computer and apply myself to retouching two more of the images from my mother’s old album.

First I tackled my grandfather from c1926 at Conwy. Judging by the position of his hand I suspect he was holding a cigarette.

This photograph was probably taken in about 1919, before the marriage of my maternal grandparents, Annie and George Henry Hunter, who are the couple on the right.

These two images suggest that my grandfather was, like me, happier behind the camera.

After completing this work I returned to the garden,

where bees were very busy, being particularly partial to swarming over purple alliums and pink hebes.

Red geraniums, white marguerites, and pink hydrangeas produce an attractive bank on the front drive. Jackie is constantly thinning out the daisies so she has sufficient vision to her right when driving out.

A variety of day lilies continue to proliferate.

The last three day lily images are from the Kitchen Bed, also home to lysimachia Firecracker.

Pale pastel blue and white campanula spills over the Shady Path

from where we have views towards the house, and across the Palm Bed, among others.

This clematis Polish Spirit is nearby in the Dragon Bed.

From the stable door we look down the Gazebo path, and back from the agapanthuses coming into bloom in the Palm Bed.

Further garden views are afforded by the Rose Garden and the Phantom Path,

leading to the West Bed with its honesty and lilies.

Some time after Jackie returned home she drove out again for a Hordle Chinese Take Away meal which we enjoyed with Hoegaarden in her case, and more of the Fleurie in mine.

The Stumpery

Jill Weatherholt, in her comment on “The Path To Deadman Hill”, described Jackie’s young robin as a little nugget. His name is now Nugget.

She spent the morning conversing with him whilst tidying the Oval Bed.

After taking the above photographs I wandered round the garden.

Hydrangeas need a lot of water, but the Head Gardener is keeping them going.

Day lilies continue to thrive,

as do many lilies proper,

and, of course, roses like Gertrude Jekyll and Special Anniversary.

This sidalcea leads nicely to the red hydrangea beyond.

Now that the Wedding Day is over, gladiolus and clematis veil its arch.

Dahlia’s time is now.

This everlasting sweet pea has a scent which justifies its name.

Plants accommodated in containers during the last few weeks have proliferated. The iron urn’s examples happily spill and spread, while

the wicker chair by the Westbrook Arbour is occupied to overflowing.

A clematis shawl has been cast over the arch spanning the Phantom Path between the Cryptomeria and Margery’s Beds.

In the latter, yellow Lisymachia Alexander stretches across the gravel;

and at its western end clematis and day lilies cavort with the red bottle brush plant.

Phlox blend nicely with other plants in the Palm Bed,

alongside the Gazebo Path leading to the stable door.

From Charlie Dimmock, Jackie has been inspired to create a “stumpery”. She will clean up the face of this heap of griselinia stumps and give it a fern makeover.

Just as the one o’clock news was about to expand upon Mr Trump’s latest exploits, Malachi phoned me from Fremantle seeking my help with a word search. We were unable to obtain full reciprocal vision on FaceTime, so we began a game of Lexulous instead. Because they are seven hours ahead of us, my grandson had to go to bed before we finished.

Later this afternoon we drove to New Milton to buy some shoes for Jackie, then back to Milford on Sea for a repeat prescription.

This evening we dined at Totton’s excellent The Family House Chinese restaurant, where we enjoyed our favourite set meal and Tsing Tao beer.

Compatriots

I wasn’t able to dead head all the roses today, although I carried out quite a long session with secateurs before my knees suggested that a rest might be in order. After taking one, it seemed likely that spent buds would not spoil any photographs, so I wandered around with the camera.

Here are four Rose Garden views with individual shots of Aloha, Absolutely Fabulous framed by a foxglove crescent, Gloriana, For Your Eyes Only, Rosa Gallica; and Ballerina dancing attendance.

Roses elsewhere include Wedding Day just coming into bloom on the Gothic arch; the peach rose in the Oval Bed; and Compassion beside the Dead End Path.

Bees continue to swarm around the yellow bottle brush plant and the valerian.

Purple lamium and blue petunias share one of Jackie’s pots; cosmoses feature in others. Our day lilies are proliferating; fuchsias Delta’s Sarah has proved to be hardy enough to survive our winter.

The kitchen wall display has benefited from all the recent rain.

The Palm Bed is named for the cordeline Australis which can be seen beyond its compatriot eucalyptus.

These three views are of the Phantom Path; the Shady Path; and the junction between the Brick and Gazebo Paths, the latter of which is shown from both directions.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie, firm carrots, and tender runner beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Navarra Garnacha Roble 2017.

A Bigger Splash

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

The garden was looking very refreshed as I wandered around this morning. Most blooms bore baubles of raindrops.

Bees were making up for being confined in hives by the recent precipitation.

By lunchtime, I had finished reading 

Hibbert’s well researched history is founded on the subject’s personal correspondence and contemporary observations. Like many great men, our national hero comes across has a man of two halves. Undoubtedly kind and generous to his men and to many others Nelson’s relationship with Lady Emma Hamilton was seen as folly by many, and, even as demonstrated by his own letters he must have treated his wife very badly. This Viking paperback of 1994 contains no identification of the painter of the cover portrait.

After lunch, Jackie and I visited the sites of the two scarecrows missing from our last visit. Prince Eric, now wearing a rain hood, perched on a hedge at Ramblers in Woodcock Lane. I am very pleased to be able to report that a rebuilt Frog Prince again sits outside 49 Ashley Lane. His creator informed me that his battered body had lain on the ground and his decapitated head had hung from a branch.

We continued on a drive through the forest. Near Ogdens, a herd of deer got wind of my approach, and, turning tail, slowly picking up speed, elegantly trotted across the undulating terrain to safety over the brow of a hill.

Ponies and fliesPoniesPonies and fliesPonies

Clusters of pesky flies surrounded somnolent ponies gathered together at North Gorley.

Other ponies mingled with visitors to Ibsley ford, some of whom competed to establish who could create a bigger splash.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid spicy pork paprika with savoury rice. The Culinary Queen drank Coonwarra Chardonay 2016; Elizabeth and I chose Villanyi Merlot 2015 and drank some of it.