More Unlikely Bedfellows

Shirtsleeves were just about adequate for my post-gale walk around the garden this cooler and brighter morning.

Once again plants, albeit somewhat weatherbeaten, most unlikely to be found together in the flower beds at this time of year are featured. The yellow climbing rose Summer Time, and the ginger lilies should, for example be over by now.

Today’s gallery harbours more plants not recently photographed which bear titles once accessed by a click on any image. I think the butterfly is a Speckled Wood, which we have not seen before in 2023.

Afterwards I made good headway on Nevil Shute’s “On the Beach” which I had begun reading a couple of days ago.

Elizabeth and Jacqueline visited this afternoon and were very impressed with and bought some of Flo’s all natural materials hand made jewellery. They also chatted with Ellie.

I then watched a recording of the rugby World Cup quarter final match between Wales and Argentina.

We then dined on oven fish and chips, onion rings, mushy peas and pickled onions, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Doom Bar.

Martin’s Autumn Preparation

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Uruguay.

Later, sporting short sleeved shirt on a walk round the balmy garden of sunshine and shadows, I wondered what season we were experiencing.

Martin has spent the last several weeks preparing the garden for autumn which is holding back summer.

In particular he has cut back all extraneous flora on the borders, revealing the brick edging.

Most of what we now see clearly in the beds has also been freed for viewing by him.

We don’t necessarily expect all these blooms to appear together.

As usual each image bears a title in its gallery.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s colourful savoury rice; spring rolls; tempura and hot and spicy prawn preparations followed by berry strudel and custard, with which she drank more of the blush and I drank more of the Bordeaux.

Where Can She Put Them?

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia.

When I walked round the garden afterwards the temperature was hot; the air humid; the skies overcast.

This, and the amount of colourful blooms (all identified in the gallery) demonstrate that summer has no intention of being pushed aside by autumn.

Jackie has been quietly collecting bulbs to bury for next spring. As I noticed her most recent purchases I could not help wondering

where on earth was she going to put them? As usual these locations are identified in their gallery.

This afternoon I watched the live matches between Samoa and Chile, and between Wales and Portugal.

For dinner this evening we all enjoyed a third sitting of Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi meal, without the samosas. She drank Hoegaarden and I Drank François Dubessy GSM 2021.

Beautifully Balmy Day

This morning I published

for Denzil’s Nature challenge.

Jackie took advantage of the bountiful shade on this beautifully balmy day to plant up her salvia Hot Lips cuttings, while I

wandered around with my camera producing a random range of pictures, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi, boiled rice, parathas, and vegetable samosas, with which she and I each drank more of yesterday’s beverages.

More Changeable Weather

Much more rain, with the occasional spell of sunshine, fell today.

We spent the morning talking with Flo and Dillon about their trip to Scotland and their hopes of buying a wonderful chunk of the Highlands.

In the afternoon en route to Shelly’s birthday party at Walkford we added our own spray showers to the verges, their drains regurgitating the water which was beyond their capacity to absorb, distributed by vehicles we were following.

There was a good family gathering at Jackie’s sister’s celebration at which a bunch of us watched the Rugby World Cup warm up match between Fiji and England.

On our return home I photographed a couple of views from my sitting room window then, before dinner

wandered around a damp garden with my camera. Each image bears a title in the gallery

We dined on racks of pork spare ribs and Jackie’s special fried rice, with which she drank McGuigan’s Black Label Chardonnay 2022, and I drank François Dubessy GSM 2021.

Before The Gloom Descended

Neither seduced by the sultry heat that had by early afternoon almost dried the patio after much overnight and morning rain, nor the sunshine that for a short period bathed the garden, we spent some time laying down the usual plants and artefacts likely to suffer from the further storm forecast to rage from this evening onwards.

Jackie has this time pinned down the feet of her most vulnerable owl.

I also photographed flowers before the gloom descended.

Thereafter I took a large bite out of “Doctor Zhivago”.

This evening we all enjoyed succulent pork chops; crisp roast potatoes, the softer centred being sweet; crunchy carrots, and firm broccoli, with which Jackie drank more Sauvignon Blanc and I drank more of the Graves.

The Phantom

Today was largely overcast yet remained dry.

This morning I carried out a dead-heading session and filled another old compost bag of cuttings and weeds for the next dump trip. I was watched by a robin on the Rose Garden fence, but didn’t have my camera with me.

Later I returned with the camera and photographed

a bee and a hoverfly (lower down to the right) on For Your Eyes Only;

and other insects on or approaching other plants titled in the gallery;

we have more Japanese anemones, and fuchsias;

various hydrangeas, including the phantom which is having its best year yet;

numerous dahlias;

a white New Zealand hebe, a few lingering clematises, some recently flowering blue agapanthuses, the peach climbing rose, and a hollyhock refusing to stay tied to protect it from the wind.

Jackie’s recent plantings include these baskets suspended from the eucalyptus, and the begonia and lobelia perched on a brick stand.

This afternoon I helped Flo to manage my camera and the iMac editing facility for a photographic project she is embarking upon. She is a quick learner. The pictures are hers, so I won’t show any of them here.

This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and softer sweet ones; crunchy carrots; and firm Brussels sprouts and broccoli, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank François du Bessis GSM 2021.

What Season?

This afternoon I accompanied my camera on a walk around the garden.

We have a number of brightly blooming begonias;

of different dahlias;

cow parsley, under the impression that the season is spring;

Summer Wine believing its period prevails;

chrysanthemums confident that it is now their time;

roses like this small pink patio example,

white Winchester Cathedral,

shy Shropshire Lad,

and hollyhocks, all uncertain;

ubiquitous fuchsias, erigerons,

and bidens;

clinging clusters of clematis;

golden Weeping Birch leaves poised to fall – all enjoying this warm shirtsleeves afternoon.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon and herb chicken, wholesome savoury rice, and tender green beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021.

Prey To Spiders

My Chauffeuse was out today with her sisters.

I spent much of the morning reading more of “Clarissa” and took a walk round the garden this afternoon. 

My intention was to focus on fuchsias, such as

Delta’s Sarah;

Army Nurse;


and Hawkshead,

but I was distracted by various dahlias;

roses, for example Ernest Morse;

and sinuous Virginia Creeper’s varicoloured clothing.

As usual at this time of year I became prey to spiders hoping for something tasty to fill their winter larders. This one didn’t finish up about my person.

WordPress comments and likes seemed to run quite smoothly today, but when I came to write the post I realised that this had been a con by the gremlins.

This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s Chinese takeaway with similar beverages.

Garden And Album Arrangements

While Jackie continued working in the Rose Garden, I trimmed half of Karen and Barry’s wedding photographs and laid them loosely in the first of the albums.

I keep imagining that the Head Gardener will have completed the clearing and tidying of the Rose Garden, but there is always something more to admire.

Today she unclogged the water fountain and set it going again, and refreshed and planted up one of the stone urns;

cleaned Scooby’s stone and refreshed the lettering;

and cut back the roses in the bed beside the orange shed, leaving sweet pea bunting in place.

Dillon has now joined Flo in watering containers like the hanging basket above – a task of life-giving irrigation. What is very surprising is that this lace-cap hydrangea has survived on no water for a month.

We have numerous varieties of lily, still including hemerocallis.

Blue agapanthus blooms in the Pond Bed, have popped out of their casings, while others in the Palm Bed are still to emerge.

The Puerto Rico Dahlias share a bed with clematis and phlox; the deep red ones are in the West Bed.

Jackie has successfully grown a number of zinnias from seed.

This the most plentiful hibiscus.

This peach climber is producing its third flush of the year.

There are more benefits of watering seen in these views looking west.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish, chips, and mushy peas, with Garner’s pickled onions, with which Jackie drank Trentin Pino Grigio 2021, Dillon drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank elderflower cordial, and I finished the Rasteau.