By Request

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Pauline, The Contented Crafter, recently expressed an interest in seeing a photograph showing the whole length of the garden and the house. Well, this may have been possible were it not for the foliage in between. Nevertheless, I did my best to comply.

Old Post House

I managed to cross the road at the front of the house without either dying in a road accident or falling in the ditch on the other side.

Front garden corner

There was no room for the corner facing the trellis in that view of the building.

Weeping Birch bed to house

I aimed in the direction of the house from as far south as was possible, beginning with the Weeping Birch Bed;

Brick Path to house

the Brick Path was next;

Back Drive barrier to house

then the Back Drive barrier;

Oval Path to house

the Oval Path;

Rose Garden to house

and the Rose Garden.

Well, at least they show glimpses of the back of the house.

House roof from Back Drive

Here are a couple of sightings of the roof, one from the Back Drive,

House roof from compost heaps

and another from the compost heaps.

Garden view from Garden Room windowGarden view from Bathroom windowGarden view from Dressing Room window 2Garden view from Dressing Room window 1

Here are some aerial views from the bedroom and bathroom windows.

Jackie watering

This one features Jackie watering, on which she spent much time. To the right of the fence is the North Breeze jungle.

dahlia

Here are today’s dahlia

Sweet peas

and some white sweet peas.

Clippings on Back Drive

Normally Aaron takes his clippings to the dump at no extra charge. Yesterday Jackie insisted that he left them for us to deal with. The orange bags in this picture were already destined for the Effort Recycling Centre. The heaps in the foreground filled them up again after we had completed our first trip. We needed to chop them up a bit more to fit them in. We then made a second journey.

Tables in car

I was only a couple of days ago that Jackie was announcing that she had come away empty handed from our last few trips to Efford. That run was to be interrupted today with these two tables. The metal, glass-topped, one was for the greenhouse to be delivered tomorrow, so she may be forgiven.

We had then earned a break, so we took a trip into the forest.

Horse and donkey in fly masks

Seeking shade under trees in Sandy Down a little donkey was given similar masked protection from the pesky flies to that afforded to its larger equine cousin.

Ponies and foals on road

Our chosen approach to Brockenhurst was somewhat congested with ponies and their foals. Can you count how many?

Eventually we found ourselves at Patrick’s Patch in Beaulieu.

Wildflower meadowWildflower meadow 2Wildflower meadow 3

This community garden has its own wildflower meadow;

Marigolds and nasturtiums

colour coordinated marigolds and nasturtiums;

Echinaceas

echinaceas in the form of shuttlecocks;

Swiss Chard

splendid Swiss chard;

Sweet peas 1Sweet peas 2Sweet peas 3

a variety of sweet peas;

Sunflower

russet sunflowers;

Rabbit carving

and a carved rabbit.

Scarecrow balloon

An admirably creative collection of scarecrows are distributed throughout. This one is a revolving balloon;

Scarecrow gourd

and this one, having a rest from watering, has a gourd for his head.

This evening we dined at The Monkey House just outside  Lymington. The service was excellent, friendly, and unobtrusive; the food excellent. We both enjoyed gammon steaks for main courses. My starter was whitebait, Jackie’s brie in breadcrumbs; my dessert Eton mess, Jackie’s crème brûlée. I drank a very good pinot noir and Jackie drank Amstel.

 

 

The Lady Of Shalott

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Cricket match 6 – Version 2

This morning I made this crop of a photograph taken at Burley in May, and Jackie turned it into a birthday card for Bill, whose party we were to attend later.

Aaron pruning Philadelphus 1Aaron pruning philadelphus 2

Among the various tasks carried out by Aaron was heavily pruning a spent philadelphus.

Aaron pruning philadelphus 4

Bending the branches took a bit of effort.

Fuchsia Delta Sarah

This fuchsia Delta’s Sarah is spreading along the west side of the patio.

Petunias

A stand of petunias,

Lilies

and these rather splendid potted lilies prepare for the arrival of the base for the greenhouse to be delivered during the week.

Dahlia

Dahlias continue to enliven the borders,

Japanese anemone

and the first Japanese anemones are springing up.

Agapanthus

The agapanthuses are coming along nicely,

Bee on New Zealand hebe

while the New Zealand hebe now attracts the bees, eager to fill their pollen sacs.

Gladiolus Priscilla

Priscilla, the frilly gladiolus is coming through in the New Bed;

Rose Peach Abundance

 roses like Peach Abundance are having another flush;

Echinaceas

and paler pink echinaceas have risen to join the darker red ones.

This afternoon we travelled by car to Poulner where we enjoyed Bill’s birthday party. We sat and conversed in the pleasant company of Helen and Bill’s children David, Rachel, and John; Rachel’s fiancé Gareth and John’s wife Stephanie and their children, Billy and Max; Gareth’s mother, Mo, and stepfather Fred; Shelly and Ron; and. of course the birthday boy and Jackie’s sister, Helen.

Gareth and Fred

Gareth got the barbecue going, taking us through the smoky stage.

John at barbecue

John took over to give him a chance to clear the vapours from his eyes.

Barbecue

Between them they produced a variety of roasted meats to go with the salads prepared by the ladies.

Guests reflected in window

Here is a group of the male guests reflected in a window.

Max and hands 1

Great aunts eagerly took it in turns to cuddle two and a half month old Max.

Shelly and Max

Jackie handed him to her younger sister

Max and hands 2Max and hands 3

Max and hands 4Max and hands 5Max and hands 5

who eventually handed him back to his mother whose hands he explored.

Bill 1Bill 2

Bill was his usual engaging self,

Billy in tub of balls 1Billy in tub of balls 2Billy in tub of balls 3

and, in a tub filled with plastic balls, his young namesake did a passable impression of Tennyson’s Lady of Shalott as painted by many Victorian artists.

I mostly drank a fine Argentine malbec, and sampled a splendid strawberry trifle and cream tea scone for dessert.

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.

 

 

After The Rain 1

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read to the end if you are watching the rugby recorded.

Chrysanthemums

This morning Jackie weeded and planted chrysanthemums in the front garden, whilst I dug out the remaining roots of the ficus in preparation for planting the pansies.

Roots of ficus

In the event, a heavy thunderstorm ruled out putting the pansies to bed. They were therefore plonked in their trays. Even though the rain ceased, enabling us to finalise the preparation and wander round the garden, the soil was far too muddy.

The sun emerged for a while. The rain ceased, but continued to drip from the trees and the shrubbery. Battered blooms bore watery blisters.

Raindrops on geraniums 1Raindrops on geraniums 2

These included geraniums;

Raindrops on Ginger lily

Ginger lilies;

Raindrops on rose peach

roses unknown,

Raindrops on rose Altissimo

 Altissimo,

Raindrops on leaves of rose Deep Secret

and the leaves of Deep Secret;

Raindrops on dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

dahlia Bishop of Llandaff;

Raindrops on sweet peas

sweet peas;

Raindrops on Verbena

and verbena to name a few.

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums, and others in Elizabeth’s Bed have been well watered.

View along dead end path

Here are views down the Dead End Path;

View along Brick Path

across the New Bed to the Brick Path;

View across Heligan path

and across the Heligan Path.

Our dinner this evening, consisting of Jackie’s superb chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice, was taken on trays on our knees, as we watched the opening match in the rugby World Cup, in which England beat Fiji by 35 points to 11. I drank more of the malbec while Jackie drank Hoegaarden. I didn’t spill too much curry down my sweatshirt.

‘I Was Afraid You Were Going To Say That’

Early this morning I continued working my way through the backlog of e-mails.

Shrubbery clearance

I then finished clearing the section of overgrown shrubbery. This involved extracting more stubborn roots; dismantling the rock wall in the middle of it; using some of these to build up the border with the pergola path, and laying others as access stepping stones; finally digging over all the old soil and adding Jackie’s sifted compost.

When we settled down to our now customary lunchtime fix of the antiques programme, ‘Bargain Hunt’, we could receive no sound on the TV. We watched that with sub-titles, but the situation prompted me into action.

It is fairly obvious that maintenance of the garden takes priority over the house in our summers. But the telly was just one issue demanding of attention that has been put on the back burner.

Speaking of burners, we have not used our log burning stove, because we don’t trust it without having had it overhauled. So, a voicemail message was left for a chimney sweep.

We have Everest windows that don’t fit properly, and a Velux window that leaks. A message was left for a double-glazing expert.

The sound had disappeared from the television some months ago, and Ben from Milford Sound & Vision had come to fix it. He had at first thought the set was kaput, but managed to sort it out. This time it may not be so easy. We drove to Milford and after some discussion Ben sold us a new TV. This will be delivered and installed next Wednesday. I think we can live without sound for eight days, although it does mean I will be unable to enjoy ‘The Big Bang Theory’ just by listening to the dialogue which I enjoy from my corner chair whilst I am working on the pc.

We need a shower shield in the guest bathroom, and have a leak in the outside tap which services the garden. Having been unable to receive a reply on either of The Lady Plumber’s numbers, we drove on to her home the other side of Highcliffe. The said Sam was about to go on holiday and will contact us when she returns home. I had also left a message for another plumber, Mike, who texted me this evening saying he would call next week.

Although there wasn’t.as yet, anything to show for it, I felt I had at least achieved something, entitling me to a wander round the garden. While I was doing this, the windows man called and arranged to visit us on Thursday.

Rose Winchester Cathedral

Rose Winchester Cathedral now displays its first object of veneration.

Roses - scarlet

The blooms on this unidentified scarlet rose stand a good eight feet over the Oval Bed.

View down Pergola Path

The rose garden is now visible down the Pergola Path.

Hibiscus

We have a number of hibiscuses, one of which is in the front garden,

Myrtle

where a myrtle is beginning to ignite its star-bursts.

The Head Gardener went off to buy plants for the exposed bed, and we later planted

Echinaceas, salvias, rudbeckia perovskia

echinaceas, salvias, rudbeckias, and perovskia Blue Spires in the vacant space.

Soon after this the chimney sweep responded to my message. When I confirmed our address, Barrie, the tradesman, said ‘Crikey. I was afraid you were going to say that’. He had examined the stove for our predecessors, had told ‘the gentleman’ what a state it was in, and what needed to be done. He had heard no more. Nothing daunted, he will come again next week.

We dined this evening on Jackie’s delicious liver casserole, mashed potato and swede, and crisp carrots, followed by custard tarts. I finished the Italian red wine and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

The Name Of The Rose

Substituting scissors for secateurs, the Head Gardener began the day by cutting my hair. We settled the dispute about how long ago she last performed this pruning, by referring to our customary aide-memoire – this blog. It was 14th March. There were no pestiferous flies to eradicate.

It seemed only fair for me to cut the grass.

Before that, in the dim light penetrating the complete cloud cover, I photographed three of yesterday’s rose purchases.

Roses Mum in a Million and Love Knot

Mum in a Million, yet to be planted, is positioned in front of Love Knot, already ascends its obelisk,

Rose Laura Ford

as does Laura Ford,

800px-LauraFord.ChinaCats.2

named after the contemporary sculptor,

seen here on Wikipedia which tells us that the artist ‘[grew] up in a travelling fairground family to the age of sixteen and attended Stonar School in Wiltshire. [She studied] at Bath Academy of Art (1978–82), whilst spending a term at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. She was invited to take part in the annual New Contemporaries at Institute of Contemporary Arts(1982). Ford has lived and worked in London since 1982 since studying at Chelsea School of Art (1982–83).’ She is photographed working on China Cats, commissioned by Shanghai Sculpture Park in 2012.

On the former compost bed

Gladioli etc

The gladioli have opened out;

Echinacea

the echinaceas have taken on their natural pink hue;

Bess on poppy

and pollinating bees vie for position, plundering the remaining poppies.

By this afternoon blooms had appeared on the roses

Hoverfly on rose Summer Wine

Summer Wine, already slaking the thirst of a hoverfly,

Rose Jacqueline du Pre

and Jacqueline du Pre, named after the great cellist.

220px-JacquelinedupredavidoffWikipedia, featuring this photograph of du Pre with her Davidov Stradivarius of 1712, and her husband Daniel Barenboim, has this to say about her:

‘Jacqueline Mary du PréOBE (26 January 1945 – 19 October 1987) was an English cellist. At a young age, she achieved enduring mainstream popularity unusual for a classical performer. Despite her short career, she is regarded as one of the more uniquely talented cellists of the second half of the twentieth century.

Du Pré is most famous for her iconic recording of Elgar‘s Cello Concerto in E Minor, her interpretation of which has been described as “definitive” and “legendary”.[1]

Her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis, which forced her to stop performing at the age of 28. She battled the illness for many years, which ultimately resulted in an untimely death.’

Everyone of my generation will remember her well.

Veronicas and rose Mum in a Million

We completed more planting. Jackie moved the Mum in a Million, and, in honour of her late, beloved mother, flanked it by two Veronicas.

Then came the turn of

Rose Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate,

and Rose Gaujard, known until yesterday as lost label. This bears the name of its mid-twentieth century breeder, Jean Gaujard. It was slightly disappointing to learn that there was no-one called Rose for whom the plant was named.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sublime cottage pie, enhanced by the inclusion of ground cumin and coriander leaves; peas, cabbage, and carrots; followed by profiteroles. My accompaniment was more of the merlot. Jackie had already finished her Hoegaarden.

Afterwards, I made the mistake of watching the highlights of the first day of the Lords Ashes Test Match in which Australia scored 337 runs for 1 wicket. That’s good news if you are an Aussie.

Reversion

This afternoon I tackled sports. Now, please don’t imagine that that means my knee is miraculously fully recovered. I speak of reversion; not of myself, but of the horticultural variety. Variegated plants are generally selected from a sport, or mutation, of a pure green plant. The sport is then propagated by cuttings, grafting or division to retain its features. However, the mutations within these plants are not always stable and can be prone to reverting back to pure green shoots. Reversion is the name given when a cultivar known for a particular leaf shape, colour, or other striking characteristic returns to a different form found in the plant’s parentage. The term is often used to describe a variegated shrub or tree that produces non-variegated shoots.

Euonymus

This euonymus is a case in point. Jackie cut it right back last year, but it continues to revert. I took out the new, much stronger, green stems. This exercise left a few gaps.

It was a much hotter, equally humid, afternoon when I wandered around the garden and down to Roger’s fields and back.

Bug on snapdragon

Perhaps it was natural for a minute, black spotted, yellow bug to seek refuge on this snapdragon.

Echinacea

A verbascum towers at the eastern end of the Phantom Path;

Gladiolus etc

in the former compost bed a gladiolus tangoes with a viburnum bonarensis, beyond which

Echinaceas

lurk echinaceas.

Rose - lost label

Our lost label rose proves not to be an Aloha. We still don’t know what it is. Any ideas?

Hay bales

Roger’s hay bales were better lit.

Butterfly Small Skipper

I am not an expert on butterflies, but my research suggests that this very small one that, with its companions, flitted about the footpath hedgerow, tantalising me for some time before it settled, is a Small Skipper.

This evening we dined on rack of pork rib coated with barbecue sauce, and Jackie’s egg fried rice. I started on a fine bottle of Catena malbec 2013 given to me by Shelly and Ron for my birthday.