Knickerbocker Glory

I did a little bit of dead-heading in the Rose Garden this morning, and watched the Wimbledon men’s semi-finals this afternoon.

Agapanthuses 1Agapanthuses 2Agapanthuses 3

Between matches, I took a break and wandered around the garden, particularly to see how the agapanthuses are coming along. The first image shows them against the backcloth of the Palm Bed, on the edge of which they are situated; the second looks out from that bed; and the third down the Gazebo Path.

Palm bed

Here is another view of the Palm Bed,

Garden view from corner of Margery's Bed

opposite which we have this scene from the corner of Margery’s Bed.

St John's Wort

Saint John’s wort glows at the entrance to the Rose Garden.

Fly on sweet peas

A fly also took a break on a white sweet pea.

Continuing with ‘A Knight’s Tale’ I added some new material and edited extracts from ‘Mugging’

and from ‘Tom’

The picture of Tom has been extracted from this school photograph featured in ‘Did You Mean The Off Break?’ 

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb steak and onion pie in proper short crust pastry, with new potatoes, crisp carrots and spring greens. I drank more of the Fronton, then  became  rather excited when I thought dessert was to be knickerbocker glory, but it turned out to be

Hydgrangea in vase

hydrangea in a vase, so we settled for a Magnum each.

 

I Must Not Assume There Will Be No More Surprises

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

It was very rash of me to assume that I would know the entirety of the group at our meal at Lal Quilla last night, and to predict what I would eat and drink.

On our entrance the staff, with their usual warm and friendly greeting, said that someone had telephoned the night before to add two people. We didn’t know anything about that, and in any case, Ian had made the booking. He had a quiet word with Raj and we were whisked to a larger pair of tables, according to the manager so we could spread ourselves out a bit. He presented us with a bottle of Beaujolais, so I did not drink Kingfisher. After a while I received a kiss on the cheek. Elizabeth had joined us. Soon afterwards, Danni and Andy came through the door. We were nine plus Poppy after all.

Finally, as we gathered ourselves to depart, a small cake with two lighted candles advanced towards our table followed by the entire staff group who led the family in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.

I’ve no idea why I felt rather muzzy all day. I dozed through a bit of Wimbledon tennis on TV, and managed a little weeding, watering, eradicating a few brambles, and tidying up after Jackie’s work on the rose garden. We took a rest with water on the patio from which I enjoyed

Garden view across Kitchen Bed

This view across the Kitchen Bed with its day lilies in the foreground and verbenas in a hanging basket beyond;

Petunias, geraniums, erigeron

pot planted petunias and geraniums over an erigeron carpet;

Mimulus and feverfew

and self seeded mimuluses and feverfew.

Dahlia and clematis

A dahlia nods to the clematis on the wisteria arbour;

Diascia, geraniums, bidens

 pink discias, red geraniums, and yellow bidens flow over the iron urn at the entrance to the Gazebo Path;

Crocosmia Lucifer etc

while blazing crocosmia Lucifer leads us into the Palm Bed.

rose Special Anniversary

As can be seen from this Special Anniversary rose, I haven’t dead-headed the Rose Garden today.

Clematis and solanum

White solanum and a bright blue clematis stream down from the dead tree at the end of the Brick Path.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank tap water.

The moral of this post is that when I say I will report on an outing the next day, I must not assume there will be no more surprises.

 

 

 

What’s This Beetle?

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Supplementing this morning’s work on ‘A Knight’s Tale’ were my posts ‘Auntie Gwen’ and ‘One For Rebeckah’,

from which this photograph was included.

This afternoon the weather was dry, overcast, and humid, with the sun sometimes sneaking a peek at what I was up to. This was watering, dead-heading, and a little weeding.

I then experienced considerable difficulty in loading new photographs into WordPress.

Bee on hebe

Pollen-dusted bees favoured the pink and purple hebes;

New Bed garden view

Deep red Bishop of Llandaff dahlias nod to the lilies in the New Bed. (See Head Gardener’s comment below – we don’t know the name of the dahlia, but it’s not the Bishop)

Gaura

We live in hope that this gaura, a plant with which we have so far been unsuccessful, will flourish in the Weeping Birch Bed.

'Pineapple' plant

On the other hand, Jackie has had great success with what we call ‘Pineapple’ plants, prised up from paving and placed in the Kitchen Bed.

Early this evening the sun reemerged and shed new light on the garden, bringing, incidentally, a cessation to loading problems. Maybe this was because the Head Gardener had returned and there was no further reason to sulk.

Echinaceas

A glow was lent to echinaceas

Phlox

and to phlox in the palm bed;

Crocosmia Lucifer

to the crocosmias, like this Lucifer;

Day lilies

to a much wider range of day lilies than we remember having;

Clematis 1Clematis 2

and to various clematises,

Clematis 3

including this one in which the Head Gardener can justifiably take great pride. As long-term readers will know, what is now the Rose Garden, was, three years ago, a concrete-bound, overgrown kitchen garden of sorts. This is where this raggedy specimen started life. Jackie lifted the wizened little plant, placed it in a pot adopted by the front garden trellis, and returned it to its roots in its birthplace.

Strawberries

Inherited wild strawberries are bearing fruit for the first time.

Beetle on liliesBeetle on lilies 2

As I passed the sweetly scented lilies in the New Bed, an iridescent green glint in the centre of one of the blooms flashed enticingly. Does anyone have any idea as to the beetle’s identity?

Miss Coleoptera on Twitter offers this suggestion: ‘Probably a Cetonia aurata or a Protaetia’. Uma offers this, in his comment below: ‘To me that looks like a Bombardier Beetle. Or perhaps the fellow is an oil beetle’. Google images confirms Cetonia aurata, which Oglach, below, has named as a chafer beetle..

If I had any sense I wouldn’t struggle when there’s a blip in the system. I’d just ignore it until it went away.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious lamb jalfrezi and savoury rice topped with an omelette. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Georges DuBoeuf Fleurie 2016.

 

 

Escape From Alcatraz

LilyPlate on bed headToday’s Lily, yet another different variety, has two layers of petals.

After Jackie, making use of a couple of plates from the rail of the too large IKEA wardrobes, had repaired the bed head screwed to the weeping birch, we spent a long day completing the work on the clematis montana fence in the kitchen garden.

Fortunately, when clearing the bed head bed of brambles, crocosmia luciferI had managed to preserve what turned out to be crocosmia lucifer, now blooming above the erstwhile wooden ornamental feature.

Had I not been familiar with what the DIY efforts of our predecessor had perpetrated inside the house, I may have had trouble believing what, once we had cleared away enough foliage, he had attached to our neighbour’s fence. Nail through bar on fenceBar and netting on fenceBut there was no mistaking his technique for putting in awkward nails. A stout post had been driven into the ground from our side, and a beam attached to it at one end of the fence. He must have possessed only one sustaining post because the other end of the long strut was nailed directly into the top of the fence. The diagonally driven nail wasn’t really doing much by now, and was fixed in exactly the same manner as a rough-hewn piece of deal placed across the jamb of one of the kitchen doors which had been blocked up by our vendors’ fridge.

Derrick hacking wire on fenceWhat I described yesterday as wire netting was more like the grille at a prison window. Framework off fenceEven Clint Eastwood, as Frank Morris, in the 1979 film ‘Escape from Alcatraz’, would have had trouble getting through that. Heavy duty staples had bound it both to the upright wooden post and to the horizontal beam. A smaller variety, driven into the planks of the fence, Jackie had been able to tap out with a hammer and screwdriver. The large, thick, ones would not budge. The grille itself was going to have to be cut.

Some kind of black plastic material had been wound around the clematis and bramble jumble at the top of this structure. I can only imagine its purpose was to prevent the brambles that had rooted on the other side of the fence from returning home.

Milford Supplies once more had the benefit of our custom, as Jackie drove off to buy a suitable implement, whilst I continued to move brushwood to the site of the bonfire and chop it up. She returned with mini bolt cutters which looked just the job. No such luck. They barely dented the metal. I had to hack off with a saw each piece held by a staple. Eventually we pulled the whole frame towards us, left it standing, and had some lunch. Afterwards I broke up the frame and hacked off all the bits of grille.

kitchen garden entrancePatch in kitchen gardenLong after I was done for the day, Superwoman continued to open up the entrance to this part of the garden even more. In doing so she discovered that underneath the earth and rubble are signs of a brick pavement.

After that, she fed us on chicken jalfrezi (recipe) and onion, peas and sweetcorn rice, with which we drank Cobra beer. This was followed by Post House Pud, with summer fruits as the base.