The Boundary Fence

I have never installed a new Apple Operating System without experiencing a consequent problem. Overnight I let Catalina in. It is not compatible with my scanner. I followed the directions to resolve the issue, but hit a brick wall. This will mean another call to Peacock Computers.

This morning Elizabeth came for coffee and stayed for lunch.

Jackie planted more bulbs in the New Bed

while Aaron reinforced the back of this with breeze blocks. At one corner Jackie had planted pansies and a fern in a pot with no back wedged against a larger one with no front.

Aaron reported that while he had been working on the wall Nugget had put in an appearance and breakfasted on disturbed worms.  On the back drive our robin’s rival perched on our friend’s container of cuttings. By the time I had returned with my camera the newcomer had repaired to the

larch which forms the avian boundary fence as agreed by the two rivals. The interloper sang from this tree, but I couldn’t spot him.

The bright morning sunshine streaked shadows along the various paths including the

Heligan, where Jackie admired a campanula in the Cryptomeria Bed.

but uprooted one of the invasive white alliums from the gravel.

After lunch I rather snoozed over the Rugby World Cup quarter final match between Wales and South Africa, then wandered around the garden again.

Antirrhinums surprisingly still thrive beyond the avian boundary fence;

Less surprisingly, mushrooms emerge from a log left to encourage insect life;

and the bank of chrysanthemums glows gloriously.

Autumn leaves still linger on the Weeping Birch,

and those of the Parthenocissus brighten the shadows on the south fence.

The winter flowering clematis has announced the coming season,

While an earlier variety rests on a bed of Erigeron.

Mum in a million lets her hair down in the Rose Garden.

Nugget worked at making eye contact with his favourite perching owl.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy piri-piri chicken; flavoursome savoury rice; and succulent lava beans and sweet potato ratatouille, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Fleurie.

 

 

First Foal

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We enjoyed another beautifully sunny day today.

 

In the front garden the columnar prunus Amanogawa now reaches the top of the house and looks down onto the crab apple blossom, which is currently a magnet for bees;

 

the crimson red rhododendron brightens the corner beside the eucalyptus tree, and in the Palm Bed on the opposite side of the Gazebo Path a pastel pink variety is beginning to bloom.

 

Bluebells have now joined the honesty and the alliums beneath the red Japanese maple in the Kitchen Bed.

Garden view from above

The weeping birch now has its foliage.

Fern at dead trunk

We have been trying to save a dying yellow-leaved tree. The main trunk is hollow at the base, but another clings to its side. Jackie has filled the gaping hole with a fern planted yesterday.

Poppies

From now until well into the autumn a proliferation of yellow and orange self-seeded poppies will pop up all over the garden. Each bloom lasts a day but there are plenty of buds hanging around to replace them.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Everton Post Office where I posted a small parcel to the new owner of my French house. We travelled on into the forest where

there was still much water on the moors, and enough moisture lay on the tarmac at the end of Jealous Lane to reflect the pillar box perched on a post.

Ignoring ponies of all shapes and sizes eating and drinking beside the road, a stately pheasant trotted across the moor.

Further along Shirley Holms, we met our first foal of the season. As is usual, the youngster, adhering to its mother’s flanks, found me worthy of interest, whilst the mare focussed on the grass.

A pair of mallards who appeared to have fallen out, and a colony of feeding rabbits occupied fields beneath the railway at the corner of Jealous Lane.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tender chicken curry and pilau rice garnished with fresh coriander. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Paniza.

Spinners Garden

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This morning, after a brief time in our own garden where

Heligan Path

The Head Gardener has been replenishing and planting the beds either side of the Heligan Path;

View to Rose Garden fro Brick Path

 sunlight brightened the Star of India clematis on the Gothic Arch;

Clematis and orange hawkweed

and another example was suspended from the prunus pissardi above the orange hawkweed,

Jackie drove us to Spinners Garden at Boldre. This small privately-owned garden has a fine collection of rare plants in its tranquil woodland setting

Lymington Valley

overlooking the Lymington Valley.

Jackie at entrance to Spinners Garden

Jackie was immediately taken with the blue cranesbill geraniums along the drive.

Spinners Garden sign

Although past their best, the rhododendron and azalea shrubberies still had much to offer.

Path 1

Paths off the entrance drive held much promise.

Lacecap hydrangea 1Lacecap hydrangea 2

There were different varieties of lace cap hydrangea;

Fern

many different ferns;

Flower beds 1

well stocked flower beds,

Wedding cake tree

including a cornus controverta Variegata, or wedding cake tree,

Schizostylis

and schizostylis or, if you must, Kaffir lily.

Cornus 1Cornus 3

Other cornuses were plentiful.

Trees and shrubbery 1

Splendid trees soared above the shrubberies, where

Camellia fruit pods camellia fruit pods glistened;

Brunnera leaves

and in the shadier areas leaves of brunnera

Acer leaves

and acer formed intriguing patterns.

Steps

Steps led up to the highest level,

Rodgersiae and orchids

where rodgersia shared their bed with wild orchids,

Azalea 1

and white azaleas bore occasional signs of pink parentage.

Waterfall

Fed by a man-made stream

Lily pond and bridgeLily pond and bridge 2

Lily pond and bridge 3

at a lower level lies a lily pond spanned by a wooden bridge.

Irises

Irises rise from the margins,

Damselflies and water boatmen

and damselflies and water boatmen flit around the lily pads.

Tractor, gulls, and cornus

From the cabin where we could buy tea and coffee, we watched gulls mobbing a tractor digging out soil to create a lake for a neighbour further down the slopes.

Aquilegia

Aquilegias waved us farewell as we walked back to the car.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi, boiled rice, and parathas, followed by Helen’s sublime lime and ginger cheesecake.

There’s Some Corner Of An English Churchyard

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Kitchen window 1Kitchen window 2

Over breakfast this morning, I photographed two more angles of view through the kitchen window;

Rose Garden

and afterwards, The Rose Garden.

Aquilegias

We have many banks of aquilegias.

Rose Compassion

Compassion blooms on the Dead End Path arch,

Bottle Brush Plant

And we have our first bottle brush flower.

Butterfly Painted Lady

A Painted Lady butterfly availed itself of the gravel camouflage.

St Nicholas's Church 1

This afternoon we visited St Nicholas’s church in Brockenhurst. Jackie and Sheila led the way into the exhibition inside;

Jackie examining gravestones

Jackie pausing to inspect the eighteenth century gravestones.

Graveyard St Nicholas's Church 1

I wandered around the beautiful landscaped graveyard, where light glinted through trees and the ground fell away allowing the monuments to ramble down the hillside.

After my following exploration, I joined the ladies inside where a couple of volunteers within were giving them an explanatory history of the World War One burials in the churchyard.

Yew tree

They told Jackie that this yew tree dated from the twelfth century.

Tree stump

This sculptured stump must also have been a substantial giant.

Graveyard St Nicholas's Church 2

Graveyard St Nicholas's Church 3

Past the tree I came to a set of steps and a path leading down to level ground.

Fern sculpture

Flashes of red against clean, cream background suggested I was approaching the memorial symbolised by the sculpture at the entrance to the church. This was a brilliant fern cut out from weathered metal, familiar to anyone familiar with an All Blacks rugby jersey. The brilliance lay in the figures silhouetted in the work. I crouched a bit to ensure that the background grass made this clear.

NZ Memorial 1NZ Memorial 2

Indeed, I had. Ninety three members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force soldiers from World War One lie buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery attached to this church.

Brockenhurst Churchyard Commonwealth War Graves Board

The farming village of Brockenhurst soon became a World War 1 hospital village, from 1914 caring for wounded and sick Indian troops, and from 1916 the No. 1 HQ New Zealand hospital. Those who died therein were buried in this churchyard.

K. Rapona gravestone

Of the 93 New Zealanders, 12 were Maoris, only one of whom died from wounds. This was Private Kiri Rapona. Clare Church’s book, which I bought, gives this young man five more years of life than does this gravestone. One other drowned and the rest succumbed to illness.

Sukha gravestone

One Indian is Sukha.

There are also three unknown Belgian civilians who share a plot.

Gravestones

These plots are very well tended and maintained by New Zealanders in UK.

Balmer Lawn Hotel

Of the three hospitals from those years, the only one still standing is now the Balmer Lawn Hotel, which keeps its own living lawnmowers.

Stained glass 1Stained glass 2

The very friendly couple who were very informative about the church and this particular section of its history, pointed out the Victorian stained glass in the twelfth century stonework of the windows.

This evening Jackie produced succulent chicken Kiev, creamy mashed potato, and crisp carrots and runner beans for our dinner. Sheila’s dessert was rice pudding, and Jackie’s profiteroles. As I had consumed two pieces of chicken I passed on this. But I did drink more of the Fleurie. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Sheila, sparkling water.

It was Rupert Brooke, an Englishman who did die in 1915, who is immortalised by his own verse: ‘And if I should die, think only this of me, that there is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England’. I have adapted his words for today’s title.

A Fatal Error

Whilst Jackie drove the well used route to Shelly and Ron’s this morning, I, like Wordsworth’s Lucy ‘dwelt among the untrodden ways’. Well, untrodden for a very long time. And, apart from lunch, I trod them all day. Cleared areaCamelliaYesterday’s clearances had revealed the presence of another hidden gravel path, which I determined to open up and refurbish. The camellia mentioned yesterday is now fully visible through the cleared area.

I began by planting the two forgotten items from yesterday – a lilac and a fern. The lilac was to be placed alongside this path, and required the usual clearance of weeds, brambles, and ivy. Sneaking up behind and to the right beneath Allium and galliumthe allium in this next photograph can be seen the tentacles of the ubiquitous grasping gallium aperine.

Poppy orangePoppy yellow and aquilegiaPoppies of various hues are cropping up all over the place.

I have not featured the deutzia before because I could not identify it, but, happily, Jackie has done so:Deutzia

RoseAlthough its leaves bear the dreaded black spot, that curse of pirates and rose-growers, the pink climbing rose at the front of the house is beautiful and abundant.

Well, that’s enough of wandering around the garden. I’ve done the planting and had a look at the flowers. Now I must get down to business.

A few yards into the rediscovered path, some quarry tiles had been laid as a point of interest. A few were broken. A little further on, and to the right of these, is a smaller, linking, and also overgrown stretch of lined gravel. This has a similar feature of four tiles. I therefore diverted from my main objective, cleared that route, and took up the tiles and used them to repair the other set on the longer, meandering pathway.Path revealed In this photograph of the first opened thoroughfare the rake at the far end lies on this arrangement. I have left a few little violets in situ.

Jackie had not, of course, been idle on her return. She continued with curtains, and has now made and hung curtains for the whole house, often fixing the rails as well.

After lunch, I allowed myself a little diversion to pull out two thistles like those of yesterday, and to plant a little round tree/bush in place of one of them. Jackie had unsuccessfully tried to persuade me to take it easy this afternoon. Whilst I was engaged in removing the second of the thistles she came out and asked, in that mock accusative tone that indicates that the speaker thinks you are overdoing it: ‘What are you doing now?’. When she saw what I was engaged in, she gasped, and her expression turned to horror. ‘You’ve pulled up the acanthus!’ she exclaimed.

The head gardener was very forgiving, and most encouraging. She estimated that what was left of it would reach maturity in about seven years. The fatality, in this case, was therefore not the plant, but the tool that I had broken in trying to uproot the very stubborn sections of the acanthus. The plant should revive. Not so the fork handle. I wonder if Ronnie Corbett has any in stock? (Anyone who doesn’t know this reference is highly recommended to look up the Fork Handles sketch on Youtube. It is The Two Ronnies at their very best).

To return to the main path. I will need a heavy duty axe to remove a holly stump from the far end of it. Holly stumpSomeone has cut it down in the past, and it had bushed up. I trimmed off the shoots but otherwise cannot shift it, even with the aforementioned fork when it was still intact.

Path to decking 2Path to decking 1Two photographs will not suffice for the finished article, so here are two:

We are promised rain this evening, to continue into tomorrow. This will be a welcome relief because I will be forced to take a break.

I do ache a bit.

Two of the delights of Indian food are the aromas and the colours. Roast pork & red cabbageJackie adheres to these in her presentation, which is why she produced a special variety of red cabbage as a suitable compliment to her succulent roast pork, crackling, and vegetable rice (recipe).

For cabbage with a suitable gentle piquancy for this meat:

Take 1/2 small red cabbage, 1 large red onion, 1/2 a cooking apple (this one was Bramley`) cored, but not peeled.

Thinly slice all ingredients. Stir fry with big nob of butter and splash of olive oil. When part cooked add a splash of white vinegar and a good glug of red wine.

Stir it all up, turn the heat down, whack the lid on and let it cook a little while longer until soft but not soggy.

Try it. It was perfect.

With it I drank Dino shiraz Terre Siciliane 2012 and Jackie didn’t. I would have given her some but she doesn’t like red wine, except in cooking.