Refreshment

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Jackie carried out much knowledgeable weeding and planting this morning, whilst I cleared up the discards and conveyed them to the compost pile.

Garden view along Heligan Path

The early sun lit libertias standing in the Weeping Birch Bed,

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 4Rose Garden 5Rose Garden 3Rose Garden 2Rose Garden 6

and enlivened the burgeoning Rose Garden.

Raindrops on clematis CarnabyRaindrops on clematisClematis Marie BoisselotClematis

Various clematises,

Clematis Montana

including this wonderfully scented Montana festooned over the front wall;

Weigela

the weigela winding down the south fence;

Aquilegias

ubiquitous aquilegias;

Rambling rose pink

the pink rambler on the front garden trellis;

Libertia, geraniums Ingwersen's Variety, campanulas

borders everywhere, like this corner sporting campanulas, libertia, and geraniums Ingwersen’s Variety,

Raindrops on irises

and the long Back Drive hosting splendid golden irises, relished their welcome refreshment.

Fly on primula

A fly alighted on one of the front tub’s primroses.

This afternoon I added a little more to my biography of an era including me. I now have a working title: ‘A Knight’s Tale’. I took more text, and

this photograph from ‘A Sneaky Weekend’

I then made some prints from recent posts for Louisa.

After this I joined Jackie in the weeding, concentrating my efforts on uprooting the more obvious infiltrators, namely the smelly white alliums, clinging ladies’ bedstraw, and golden buttercups occupying the wrong beds.

This evening, there being no table available at the Crown in Everton, we dined at the Smugglers’ Inn at Milford on Sea. Having starters was a mistake. The platefuls were excellent. Mine contained battered whitebait, plentiful fresh salad, and thick wedges of equally fresh bread. Jackie received a huge plateful of bread and olives. Each serving was a meal in itself. An even bigger mistake was, in my case,  ordering succulent sirloin steak, still more fresh salad, a mountain of perfect chips, onion rings, and fried onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Jackie was treated to a huge bowl of cannelloni. more salad, and an equal number of chips to mine. Neither of us could finish our food, and we did not require a look at the dessert menu. The food was, I hasten to add, all extremely good, and the service impeccable. We both reminisced that, in our prime, we would have managed all this. Jackie drank Amstel, and I drank Doom Bar..

The Dump Can Wait

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN PAIRS ACCESS GALLERIES THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN THE PAGE AND CLICKING THE RELEVANT BOX.

Much of today was spent planting roses, tidying beds, and pruning and lopping trees and overgrown shrubs.

I cleared up Jackie’s maple cuttings from yesterday, then concentrated on the myrtle behind the Compassion rose. Both these trees were depriving the rose of light and air, and the variegated myrtle was full of sports anyway.

The arch, as seen from the bench on the Dead End Path and from the distance of Fiveways, now awaits the retrained rose. The young leaves of the copper beech, the last to arrive, can be seen to the top left of the first picture.

Garden view through Agriframes Arch

Looking through the Agriframes Arch from the Dead End Path, one can see that the yellow bottle brush plant and

Chilean lantern plant

the Chilean lantern tree are both coming into bloom.

Elsewhere, Sweet Williams and Cerinthes romp ahead of the fuchsia beneath them.

Fly on marigolds

Bright marigolds attract flies like the one in this image.

Viburnum Rhytidophyllum

The viburnum Rhytidophyllum, with its delicate scent, creamy white clustered flowers, and crinkly leaves, is enjoying its best year since the surrounding jungle was opened up.

Gloriana, Crown Princess Margarete, and Jacqueline du Pré have all put in an appearance in the Rose Garden.

I chopped up all the tree branches and filled two orange bags with them. We had intended taking them to Efford Recycling Centre, but we ran out of steam and decided that the dump could wait.

This evening we dined on meals from New Forest Tandoori takeaway in Pennington. We both enjoyed prawn puri starters. My main course was king prawn naga with special fried rice; Jackie’s was chicken buna with fragrant pilau rice. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.

An Enforced Eviction

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Wisteria

Early this morning the sun shone on the wall-bound wisteria aiming for the en suite bathroom.

Raindrops on tulip Diamond Jubilee 1

Lingering early raindrops rolled around the Diamond Jubilee tulips,

Raindrops and fly on tulip Diamond Jubilee

onto which a thirsty fly dropped for a drink.

RhododendronRhododendron and pieris

Another rhododendron, leading the eye to the pieris on the grass, is beginning to bloom.

The day dulled over as it progressed. We spent the morning working on the garden. Jackie did some general planting and weeding, and sprinkled chicken pellets over the newly composted beds. Before you imagine otherwise, we do not keep chickens. The pellets come in a large bucket and are marketed as manure.

Vinca

Vinca makes an attractive ground cover, but it does have a tendency to sprawl, take root, and make life very uncomfortable for bed-mates. So it has been for the Weeping Birch Bed. I therefore concentrated my efforts on that. Fast approaching is the warmer weather when a thinner duvet will be in order.

Ladybird on vincaSnail and ladybird on vinca leavesSnail on vinca leaf

A black-spotted ladybird and a tiny striped snail suffered an enforced eviction as I ejected  their shelter.

Brick pillar

Our stone urns and other containers are mounted on dry brick pillars. The ground under one of these subsided a bit last autumn and it fell over. We spent the last few minutes before lunch levelling a space and beginning to rebuild the column.

This evening we dined on succulent roast pork and apple sauce, roast sweet and savoury potatoes, with al dente carrots, cauliflower, and runner beans; followed by rice pudding and blackberry jam.  I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

Making It Through The Winter

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS ACCESS GALLERIES THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE.

Frost on heuchera leaves

Once the heavy overnight frost fringing these heuchera leaves had thawed, the garden was warmed by the sun

which was low enough to light lily leaves and grasses,

while pearly jewels dripped from naked and semi-clad twigs,

Raindrops on rose leaves

and lingering rose leaves.

Autumn-hued hydrangeas hang on to life.

Alliums 2

The first clusters of precocious onion-smelly alliums have pierced the soil,

Leycesteria

and a pendulous leycesteria has already produced its kindergarten mobiles.

Shady Path

Shadows slanted across the Shady and

Brick Path

 the Brick Paths.

Three winter flowering pink Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn,shrubs are doing what is expected of them.

One camellia has begun to flower and has even provided evidence that some flies are capable of making it through the winter.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s brilliant beef in red wine, boiled new potatoes, and piquant cauliflower cheese. I finished the merlot.

Getting The Hang Of It

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to get out into the garden and play with my new toy. Confining myself to the Creative Automatic setting with the zoom lens, I made a few close-ups. I had about a 60% success rate.

Asiatic Lilies

Starting with lilies, here are some Asiatics dappled by sunlight;

Day Lily

a day lily basking in full sun;

Fly on Lily

Fly on Lily – Version 2

and a fly exploring one in the New Bed.

Rose Mamma Mia

Now to roses. Mamma Mia is maturing nicely;

Rose Love Knot

Love Knot is prolific;

Rose For Your Eyes Only

and this is For Your Eyes Only.

Penstemon

These beautiful penstemons also grace the Rose Garden.

Bottle Brush plant

The red Bottle Brush plants, now that the yellow one is over, are coming into their own.

I also did some dead-heading and cut the grass, while Jackie watered the pots, and tidied and catered for our weekend guests. These were my long-term friend, Jessie, and her flat-mate, Guru, who arrived in time for lunch.

After lunch we visited the New Zealand graves at St Nicholas’s church in Brockenhurst. This was of interest to Guru because he has recently been learning about the Indian Army involvement in World War One, and there are three Indians buried there. I photographed one of these on our previous trip. (The pictures that follow were made with the CanonSX700 HS)

Arogyasami' s gravestoneSumeer gravestone

Here are the other two.

Belgian gravestone

On that day the light had been too strong for me to photograph the stone of the unknown Belgians who had worked in the hospital. Today was less bright.

Gravestone in tree

One of the nineteenth century stones has had a tree push it over;

Cross in meadow

the lichen on another blended well with the wild flower meadow.

After this we attended the  RNLI fundraising event at Gordon’s home in Downton Lane. This was an afternoon of jazz music and cream tea in the garden. It was very enjoyable.

GuruJessie and Guru

We arrived too late for a traditional cream tea, but were amply compensated with home-made cakes and delicious strawberries and cream. Jessie amused us by furtling in her bag for sweeteners for her tea.

We dined on Jackie’s classic chicken jalfrezi, pilau rice, and parathas. She drank Hoegaarden, and I drank a Georges du Boeuf Fleurie 2014 that our guests had brought. Jessie’s choice was Irn-Bru, and Guru’s orange juice.

He Was Not Alone

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Fly in gladiolus

Here is my third photograph in the seven day Filling Facebook with Nature project. I posted it after lunch. It first appeared in Walls, my post of 21st September 2014.

On another wet day, I scanned some more black and white negatives from October 1983. These covered a trip to Covent Garden, and another to Bulcote in Nottinghamshire. Since only the first set is complete, I will just feature them today. The others will follow when I have covered the rest of that collection.

Punch and Judy 10.83

While the Punch and Judy man was setting up there was not much interest shown in the top-hatted gent in the striped box. Maybe the man in the foreground was letting him know where Punch was hiding.

Punch and Judy crowd 10.83 1Punch and Judy crowd 10.83 2

Once he got going, however, the audience was engrossed. Perhaps not the woman in the foreground.

The renovation and resurgence of this popular tourist venue was in its early stages in those days. Thus all the shops, restaurants and other outlets were quite new then.

Ponti's smoker 10.83

It was also possible to sit at Ponti’s enjoying a cigarette or two.

Ponti's couple 10.83 1

Covent Garden couple 10.83 2

No. This gentleman was not alone.

Ponti's smoker 10.83 2

Really, he wasn’t.

Ponti's couple and child 1

There was just another call on his companion’s attention.

Ponti's couple and child 10.83 2

I am always careful about drawing conclusions about strangers, but I think we can safely assume that this was a close little family.

For our dinner this evening, Jackie combined her delicious beef stew with sausage casserole surplus. Potatoes, onions, and mushrooms were added, and a glorious meal was the result. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Fleurie.

Precipitation

AS ALWAYS, CLICK ON ANY IMAGE YOU WISH TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Keeping out of the kitchen this morning was just not an option. The enticing aromas of tonight’s dinner would not permit it. Preparation of Jackie’s delicious chicken jalfrezi was under way. The spicy fragrance and enticing colours of food from the Indian sub-continent would, if necessary, compensate for lack of taste. They don’t even have to think about that, for their flavours are second to none.

Chicken jalfrezi 1

Initially I resisted, until the bubbling sauce got the better of me;

Chicken jalfrezi 2

and the tomato puree added rich colour.

Chicken jalfrezi 3

Jackie normally likes to fry the chopped chicken pieces separately, but they had not been defrosted in time, so

Chicken jalfrezi 4

in they slid,

Chicken jalfrezi 5

and the tempting mixture continued cooking, until,

Chicken jalfrezi 6

with the addition of ample chicken stock, the pan simmered away the early part of the afternoon,

Chicken jalfrezi 7

until the lid was removed to release the condensed liquid and allow the meal to thicken up.

Heavy overnight rain and a thick cloud layer rendered the garden an inverted version of the pan lid. When the precipitation ceased

Fly and raindrops on crab apple blossom

a bedraggled fly still sought shelter among the liquid drops on the crab apple blossom;

Clematis

our first large blue clematis bloom had taken a battering;

Rhododendron

and the first offerings of an early rhododendron,

Rose Shropshire Lad

rose Shropshire Lad,

Peony

and tree peony, were all somewhat soggy.

Early this evening the weather was dry enough for us to sit in the rose garden for pre-dinner drinks. The higher and brighter notes of the small birds combined with the deeper ones of the wood pigeons, against the repeated refrain of The Needles lighthouse fog warning.

Rose Madame Alfred Carriere and raindrops

A weeping Madame Alfred Carriere had popped out during the day,

Misty background

in time to catch the mist rolling in from the sea.

Meat samosas, egg fried rice, and paneer in a curry sauce, were served with the aforementioned stependous jalfrezi.  Sticky toffee pudding and cream was to follow. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I started another bottle of the Cotes du Rhone.