“That’s What Having A Horrible Daughter is Like”

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

We spent the morning on garden maintenance tasks.

Jackie tidying Wedding Day roseDerrick tidying Wedding Day rose

Jackie, with minimal assistance from me, retrained the Wedding Day rose

Wedding Day rose on Agriframes Arch

on the Agriframes arch.

Japanese maple 1Japanese maple 2

We then reversed the process in that The Head Gardener weeded a route through to the red Japanese maple that was looking very poorly, if not somewhat wizened. She then stood ready for me to pass bits lopped or sawn off.

Japanese maple 3Japanese maple 4Japanese maple 5Japanese maple 6

The final result didn’t look too bad.

Urn on brick pillar

We then finished rebuilding the pillar for the urn in the Rose Garden.

View across grass from red tulips

Here is a view across the grass patch between tulips and the eucalyptus.

This afternoon we went for a drive in the forest.

Ford

A stream kept one of the Brockenhurst fords under water. That is probably one SLOW notice that is unlikely to be ignored.

Father, daughter, dog at ford 1Father, daughter, dog at ford 2

As I stood on the footbridge to take this shot, a family descended into view. Mother and son joined me on the bridge while father and daughter, dog in tow, entered into a coercive conversation. The dog appeared to want to go in the opposite direction.

Father, daughter, dog running through ford

It was not long before the reason for this became clear. These three dashed across the water filled ford. When I quipped “I didn’t get that. Could you do it again?”, Dad declined. However he did add “That’s what having a horrible daughter is like”. In the ensuing conversation I was given permission to post both the photographs and this statement.

Car driven through ford

An obliging motorist, without being asked, then drove his car through the water.

Child's shoe and socks

Further on, at Boundway, we spotted evidence that a child had left the woods sans socks and at least one shoe.

Woodland Shadows 1Tree shadows 2Tree shadows 3

The high sun cast shadows of the trees onto the undulating leafy terrain.

Brimstone butterfly in flight

A brimstone butterfly fluttered about. Can you spot it here?

Logs, gorse, trees 1LogsGorse

Loggers had been at work above the gorse laden hills overlooking Wilverly.

Cattle among gorse

I think the white figure here was one of a couple of cattle. They were a bit far away for me to be certain.

Wasps' nest 1Wasps' nest 2

Soon after we left this area, Jackie alerted me to a wasps’ nest on an outbuilding.

This evening we dined on Mr Chatty Man’s Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the madiran.

The End Of The Roll

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We were promised sunshine and showers today. In the end the rain dominated. Consequently I was unable to cut the grass. There was nothing for it but, with the sun on my back when it did put in an appearance, while being dripped on by the trees, to take advantage of the light to photograph raindrops; then hit the massive ironing pile.

Gazebo path

The Chilean lantern bush is on the left of the Gazebo Path, and the yellow bottle brush one to the right. The eucalyptus is in flower.

Raindrops on Bottle Brush Plant

The bottle brushes were well washed;

Raindrops on rhododendron

Heligan Path BenchView from Brick Path across the lawn

as was the rhododendron that has bloomed in the Phantom Bed since these views from the Heligan Path and the Brick Path were last featured.

Raindrops on sweet peas

These sweet peas are now adorning the arch to our right.

Raindrops on peony

Peonies heads are too heavy to be raised

Cordyline Australis

in the Palm Bed, so named for the cordyline Australis.

Elizabeth's Bed

From the Oval Path to the right can be seen Elizabeth’s bed with its bright pink hydrangea;

Rose Garden

and straight ahead through to the Rose Garden, where

Riandrops on Mum in a Million

Mum in a Million

Raindrops on Margaret Merril

and Margaret Merrill have both washed their faces.

Raindrops on Day Lily

This day lily in Margery’s Bed has just had a shower.

Kitchen Bed View

Between shirts I nipped out to photograph this view across the Kitchen Bed from the Patio.

This afternoon I scanned the last few frames on the Devon September 1983 holiday roll of colour negative film featured yesterday, when Mary observed that an image of Jessica and Louisa warranted a close up. This is the next shot in which I have

Jessica and Louisa 9.83 1

first cropped the background,

Jessica and Louisa 9.83 1 Crop

then brought the subjects into close-up.

Jessica and Louisa 9.83 2

Once released, Louisa was quite clear where she wanted to go,

Louisa 9.83 1

but not quite so confident when negotiating the terrain,

Sam 9.83

which hadn’t fazed Sam at all.

Jessica 9.83

Here is Jessica shortly before we left.

Louisa 9.83 2Louisa 9.83 3

Back home, our daughter adopted the usual exhausted mode.

Jackie having returned from her three days away, we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled onions and gherkins, followed by Dorset Apple Cake brought back from Tolpuddle. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2012.

A New Fashion Print

Jackie working on bed from above 2

Jackie spent most of another fine spring day working on her soil replenishment project. Can you spot her?

Jackie through eucalyptus

You certainly can now

Jackie working on bed

that the sunlight has provided her with a new fashion print.

Mimulus

To the left of the eucalyptus can be seen one of the freshly planted mimuluses. Here is another.

View from frog pond

The red Japanese maple stands at the bottom right of the opening picture. It is also evident in this view from the frog pond. Actually the pond is a filled cistern containing water lilies and no frogs. It acquired its name when Jackie unearthed the stone amphibians in the undergrowth.

Clematis lost label

I provided a modicum of assistance in the soil replenishment process; carted compost about; did some watering; and dug a big hole, filling it with more nutritious matter, for a lost label clematis. The benefit of such a buy is that you get much more for your money, and the fun of waiting to find the answer to more of what. Behind the plant is our insect hotel.

Crane's bill geraniums

Different crane’s bill geraniums are coming into bloom,

Convolvulus

as is the small convolvulus cneorum on the back drive.

Bee on ajuga

The bees are still preferring the pulmonaria to anything else on offer.

Grass bed completed 1

Just as the morning light illuminated the start of Jackie’s final day on this particular soil transplant, the evening sun cast shadows across the finished job.

Greenfich

It was greenfinches, resting from feverish flitting from tree to tree, that overlooked our evening rose garden drinks; this one from the relative safety of a neighbour’s garden.

Heucheras

Jackie is beginning to worry that the splendid heucheras she planted as a border to the roses might overawe the main attraction.

Our dinner this evening consisted of Mr Pink’s fish and chips, and  pickled gherkins and onions from jars in the cupboard, followed by Jackie’s apple and sultana crumble with cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the cabernet sauvignon.

The Flyer

Table under renovation

On another springlike, sunny, morning, beside a pot of primulas, Jackie began work on renovating her recent dump table purchase. This involved glue and screws.

Hoverfly on daffodil

Hoverflies are back in town. Can you spot this one? (Yellow attracts)

View across Heligan Path to Rose Garden

This is a view across the eastern end of the Heligan Path towards the Rose Garden.

Hellebores and another bulb

These hellebores are different from those in the above scene, and blend well with some little star-shaped bulbed plants, that we haven’t identified. (I am grateful for suggestions on this question. See the definitive comment from the biking gardener below)

Kiwi and pheasant

The kiwi communes with the pheasant by the eucalyptus shadows.

Later in the morning, Paul came over, bringing printing paper, final drafts of the exhibition flyer, support, encouragement, guidance, and assistance with the printing process. Jackie produced an excellent ham and vegetable soup for lunch.

After the break, Paul and I worked well into the afternoon, and he went home with the first sixty copies. I continued after he had left.

Our friend’s superb design has created a two-sided document that can be folded to provide an informative little brochure.

Exhibition flyer 1

The picture of Jackie picking daffodils finishes up on the front, with the map on the back.

Exhibition flyer 2

Further information on us and the other exhibitors appears within the folds.

I just do the printing. Margery and Paul do the origami.

This evening we relished dining on Jackie’s choice chilli con carne and mushroom rice, followed by Tesco’s yellow ticket chocolate eclairs. I drank El Sottino, a Spanish red wine Ian brought at Christmas, and Jackie drank sparkling water.

Before And After: The Gazebo Path

Grass needing cuttingJackie & grass cut

One of the more urgent tasks when we first arrived at Old Post House was cutting the grass. This was carried out on 16th May 2014.

Beyond the eucalyptus runs the main central gravel path from the urn circle to five ways. We have created some confusion in the title applied to this thoroughfare. In my posts and on Jackie’s label we call it the Pergola Path. On the Head Gardener’s map it is termed the Gazebo Path. This is the more accurate name, since it is spanned by a gazebo, not a pergola.

In today’s section of the before and after story, we will revert to Gazebo.

Path long central

We needed to weed and rake the gravel and reset some of the edging. This is how far we had come by 2nd June. The Chilean Lantern Plant to the left needed considerable pruning to enable safe passage along the path.

Wheels edging path

On 3rd June Jackie reset the iron wheels bordering the grass patch.

Gazebo path

By 22nd June the task was complete.

Jessica and Imogen

Jessica and Imogen explored the path on 1st November.

JessicaImogen

Later, they set off down it in search of pumpkins which they carried back to the house.

View along Gazebo Path 7.9.15

Here is the view on 7th September 2015.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s glorious lamb jalfrezi and perfect pilau rice, followed by lemon mousse. We both drank Kingfisher.

Cream Tea Crawl

On 15th September, Ron’s parents will have been married for 70 years. This morning, he brought me their wedding album, from which he has given me the honour of making some prints for a commemorative book he is compiling. So keen was I to show him how I would go about it that I scanned one to begin with.

In the process I managed to delete iPhoto and everything in it, including all the photographs I have worked on over the years. This threw me into something of a panic.

Fortunately Elizabeth managed to help me to open up a new iPhoto file, and learned from Google that it would be possible to recover what I have lost. This would require a phone call to Apple tomorrow, but it gave me peace of mind to enjoy the rest of the day and the facility to post today’s photographs.

Gravelled concrete

In the meantime, Aaron finished his work on paving and gravelling the garden, when he covered the concrete surface at the southern end with shingle.

Rose Flower Power

The exquisite, tiny, little rose, Flower Power, is living up to its name.

This was a perfectly splendid, sunny, day, so when the ladies fancied a cream tea we began with a trip to Gordleton Mill Hotel, where the catering is superb, and where we knew Elizabeth would enjoy the sculpture garden which has already featured in a few of my posts.

Unfortunately they no longer serve cream teas, but were happy to give us coffee on the lawn, within nostrils’ reach of the kitchen extractor emitting appetisingly tempting aromas of Sunday roast dinners, reminiscent of supermarkets wafting the smell of baking bread throughout the stores.

Gordleton Mill Hotel entranceRiver Avon

Sun played on the River Avon rippling beneath the white bridge over which it is necessary to walk to reach the hotel.

Ducks

Ducks were in their element.

I have photographed most of the sculptures on previous occasions, but

Horse sculpture

this horse made from bicycle parts is new.

Elizabeth photographing horse

Elizabeth was intrigued by it too, especially as she thought nephew Adam would like it.

Dancing hares 1Dancing hares 2

I have not noticed the dancing hares before (I am indebted to our friend, Barrie Haynes, for pointing out that the hares are boxing, as is, of course, their wont.)

Elizabeth and Jackie in garden

The garden offers many different outlooks. Elizabeth and Jackie adorn this one.

Eucalyptus trunk

The eucalyptus is beginning to shed its leaves.

Elizabeth and Jackie on giant chairJackie and Elizabeth on giant chair

Taking a break on a chair, roomy enough for them to share, Jackie and Elizabeth found their feet could not reach the ground.

Scones

For those who may not be familiar with the term, a pub crawl is a trip from hostelry to hostelry in search of the perfect pint, or whatever else takes your fancy.

Wasp on plateWasp entering jampotWasp in jampot 1Wasp in jampot 2

The craving for cream teas remaining unsatisfied, we visited Braxton Gardens tea rooms where Elizabeth and Jackie enjoyed their searched-for treat, consisting of scones, clotted cream, jam, tea, and the attention of wasps who indulged in their own crawl into the unfinished jampots.

After this, we drove via Keyhaven and past the salt marsh and around Hurst Spit to Sturt Pond before returning home.

Turnstones

On the marsh at low tide, turnstones were demonstrating why they are so named.

Silhouettes on Hurst Spit 1

Silhouetted against the lowering sun, a photographer positioned his subjects

Silhouettes on Hurst Spit 2

then took the shot.

Before Elizabeth returned home to West End, we enjoyed a Hordle Chinese Take Away meal with which she and I drank Caviller del Diable reserva shiraz 2013. Unfortunately Jackie was out of Hoegaarden.

Reflections

Jackie drove me to and from New Milton station today, for me to lunch with Norman at The Archduke. He and I both enjoyed the sweet potato soup starter and the chicken escalope with chips. Norman went on to pecan pie. We shared a bottle of Sicilian shiraz.

Masonic Hall reflection

Sparaxis tricolour cormsThe quill-like image on the windscreen of a parked car at New Milton was formed from reflections of the Masonic Hall, and its fence, situated opposite. Nearby, I picked up a bag of 70 Sparaxis tricolour corms. We had to look them up, and learned that they are gaudy, and should be planted in the autumn for spring flowering. I doubt that that will save a trip to any of the garden centres that Jackie frequents.

On the taxi Approach Road to Waterloo Station, a multi-storey cycle rack bears witness to the number of people who must bring their bikes up on the train. Or perhaps they cycle into the capital for work.

Cycle rack

River Thames under railway bridgeFigures on wall

Before meeting Norman, I climbed the South Bank steps and peered at the River Thames from beneath the railway arches, a wall alongside which was decorated by a line of figures in a naive art style. The artist may be disappointed to learn that iPhoto only asked me to name the brunette with the red mouth, clearly not recognising the others as people.

Scott McMahon

It was a dull day, enlivened by the music of busker Scott McMahon, who gave me his e-mail address so that I could send him a copy of this photograph. He has a vibrant voice and a pleasant personality.

Strada and Red barriersYellow barriers and passers-by

Multicoloured hangings proclaiming LOVE, like the one behind Scott, were affixed all around, their hues reflected in strident barriers protecting work in progress. These screens blended well with the parasols of the as yet unpatronised Strada restaurant, and gave a certain jaundiced tinge to passers-by.

Reflecting sculptureReflecting sculpture 2Reflections in sculpture

Other pedestrians were, as usual, reflected in the three-dimensional rectangular structure I take to be sculptural, that stands at the corner of Sutton Walk. The fact that even the material from which this is constructed is not graffiti-proof confirms that the woman in the red jacket is part of the reflection.

Fellow blogger, arlingwoman, on learning that I was reading Robert Frost’s poems, assured me that I would enjoy them. How right she was. With uncomplicated, descriptive, language, particularly in the longer, narrative, poems, Frost moves seamlessly through straightforward observation to basic truths. These anecdotes, sometimes in the form of a dialogue, are written in the racy, sometimes vernacular, style of the countryman that the poet undoubtedly was. He writes of the weather, farm work and its implements, flowers, trees, animals, birds, and insects in a detailed, spare, manner, with an ease that belies his skilful craftsmanship; and clearly relishes the shelter and security that a home provides from the elements. As he ages, he reflects more on the human condition and its lifespan.

I have read widely all my life. As I closed my book, finished on the train, I reflected on the fact that I had left meeting such a man until now. My edition is of The Folio Society’s selection enhanced by Jonathan Gibbs’s illustrations, small examples of which grace the boards of the book.Robert Frost cover

I was back home early enough to photograph our eucalyptus flowers.

Eucalyptus flowers 1

 

Eucalyptus flowers 2

Can any of my antipodean friends specify the variety?

Our fearless little starling chicks, their pink pelican-like throats expanding and contracting beneath their buff baby fluff, poke their heads out of their cave, shouting for their food. Their more wary parents, when we are about, fly off again, their children’s dinner in their beaks.

Starling chick 1

Starling chick 2Starling chick 3Starling chicks

The babies are already looking remarkably intelligent, even quizzical; and jostling for position on their balcony.

Our evening meal consisted of cheese, onion, and mushroom omelette and baked beans.