It Couldn’t Wait For My Return

On this bright and sunny afternoon, Jackie leapfrogged Mum’s perching stool down the garden, giving me three observation posts for a brief sojourn listening to the birds and pointing my lens.

Brick Path

I was able to look along the Brick Path

Clematis Doctor Ruppel

past the prolific clematis Doctor Ruppel

Rose Penny Lane

and the slightly scented rose Penny Lane, both intended to climb the Gothic Arch,

Ferns

to clusters of ferns in the West Bed.

Rhododendron

My favourite rhododendron could not wait until my return to burst into bloom in the Cryptomeria Bed,

Geranium palmatums

which has its share of geranium palmatums

Heuchera

opposite heucheras in Margery’s Bed.

Day lilies

Across the Grass Patch can be seen a clump of Day Lilies

Gazebo Path

also on view along the Gazebo Path, the foreground of which is illuminated by the Chilean Lantern tree.

Foxglove

Foxgloves, like this one in the Palm Bed stand proud throughout the garden.

Marigolds

The rich orange marigolds are rampant in the Dragon Bed.

Roses and poppy heads

The slender poppy heads shown alongside these roses are those of the yellow and orange species that crop up everywhere. Ii is normally my job to cut them down to encourage new growth. It may be some time before I am fit to return to duties.

My choice of Tesco’s prepared meals this evening was chicken jalfrezi; Jackie’s was a pasta bake.

 

Energy-Sapping Humidity

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Today was hotter, and considerably more humid than yesterday. I flopped this morning, but didn’t sleep. Perhaps that fact that I slept all yesterday evening had something to do with this. My brief trip into the garden at mid-afternoon was energy-sapping.

Correctly surmising that I might need a rest en route to my planned perch at the Westbrook Arbour, Jackie positioned Mum’s stool beside the Nottingham Castle Bench. I took a few pictures from there, then moved on. Melting, after about twenty minutes I fled back indoors.

I took a cooling break before uploading the pictures. This was extended by a very welcome visit from Shelly and Ron, for which I was most grateful.

My choice of Supermarket prepared meals this evening was fish pie to which Jacke added crisp carrots. leeks, and mange-touts, which added fresh flavour.

The Wisdom Of The Owl

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Aaron with tree roots

Two days ago views along the kitchen window and bed opposite featured a sawn tree trunk at the far end. Here Aaron is with the last of the stump he further sawed and removed. As usual, I printed him an A4 copy for his collection.

View alongside Kitchen Bed

This has provided a little extra space at the end of Jackie’s current work area.

Hebe and Brick Path

Here is another view of the gap, taken from a hebe on the corner of the Dead End Path.

Removing a tree is always a last resort. The branches of this one, however, were very brittle and constantly breaking when strong winds beset this whirlpool of a corner. The extra foot of space is also needed for the expected greenhouse.

Bottle brush plant 1

To the right of the above picture the yellow bottle brush plant has now turned brown. On the other side of the gazebo path a bright red variety has drawn its attention.

Bee on bottle brush plant 1Bee on bottle brush plant 3Bee on bottle brush plant 2Bee on bottle brush plant 1

Swarms of bees gather in the attempt to transfix themselves on the beds of nails that are its blooms.

Snapdragons, geraniums and petuniasSnapdragons and geraniums

Other strong reds of snapdragons, geraniums, and petunias blend in the plastic troughs forming the barrier at the start of the back drive.

Marigolds and black-eyed Susan

Equally vibrant are the marigolds and black-eyed Susans now clutching the orange globe.

Foxglove

It is almost a relief to encounter the cooler hues of this foxglove,

Hosta

these hostas,

Insect on hebe

or the hebes, this example of which has attracted a tiny flying insect I can’t identify.

Although its floor is of gravel, the patio at the South end of the garden is termed the Concrete one. That is because the surface beneath the pebbles was probably where the Post Office vans were parked.

Garden view from concrete patio towards Rose Garden

That is where our mid-afternoon water was taken and we enjoyed views looking towards the Rose Garden;

Garden view from concrete patio towards potting shed

towards the potting shed;

Day lilies and geranium palmatums

of this cluster of yellow day lilies flanked by geranium palmatums;

New Zealand flax

and the New Zealand flax that has flowered for the first time since our arrival.

I haven’t mentioned the wind in the last few days. I thought that if I ignored it it would go away. It hasn’t.

Upturned pot and parasol

A couple of hours after we had been sitting beneath this parasol a sudden gust wreaked havoc. Admittedly the parasol had not been fitted tightly into its base, but it took off like a kite, smashed down into the bed, tipped over the stand supporting the recently planted red geraniums, and dragged down the string of overhead solar lights.

Broken plants

We began by lifting the parasol over everything and slotting it securely into its stand. Then picked up the pot and pedestal. Chucked broken bits onto the compost, and placed what would be salvageable onto one of the tables.

Gravelly soil

It was, I thought, very sensitive of the owl not to give me the benefit of his wisdom as I placed him on a chair and used his table to take the gravelly earth I scooped up and, with fingers and sieve, separated the two ingredients, so The Head Gardener could repot the remains.

This evening we dined on a fusion of more of Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with vegetable samosas. Jackie drank Peroni and I opened Jessie’s delicious Georges Duboeuf Fleurie 2016 and drank some of it.

 

 

 

 

The Stable Door

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The much needed rain fell overnight and persisted as drizzle this morning. This afternoon we could continue in the garden. My contribution was weeding and making photographs. Jackie did the more creative tidying and planting.

Raindrops were left on poppies, heucheras, foxgloves, blue clematis, spider’s web complete with trapped insect, geraniums, rose For Your Eyes Only, rhododendrons, and libertia.

Clematis Marie Boisselot, and lilies benefited from their wash.

Jackie

Jackie, leaning on the stable door, was amused at my wandering around with the camera. I have often mentioned the stable door, so , just in case anyone is wondering, I feel bound to mention that we do not keep horses. There is no point when we can trot off in search of some any time we like. What we call the stable door is

Stable door

this. And yes, we do know that, like much of the house, it needs some attention.

This evening we dined on fish, chips, pickled onions, and gherkins. Jackie drank Peroni and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

A Little Short Of Perfection

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After three days of cloud and rain, this one was hot and humid. Too much so for making a start on restoring our plants to their best condition.

Heuchera and crocosmia leaves

The sun did, however, cast friendly light upon such as these heucheras and leaves of barren crocosmias.

Crocosmia

Those crocosmias my not have bloomed this year, but many have.

Tomatoes

During last week’s storms the container of our aptly named Tumbler tomatoes was blown down, smashing another underneath. It has recovered reasonably well.

Hydrangea 1Hydrangea 2

The hydrangeas have probably fared best in the wet weather.

Mamma Mia rose

Roses such as Mamma Mia

Special Anniversary rose

and Special Anniversary have become rather spotty.

New Guinea impatiens

The New Guinea impatiens plants have thrived,

Florence sculpture and cosmoses

as have various cosmoses, like those adorning Florence.

Canna lily

Canna lilies stand proud in the Palm Bed.

Penstemon

Various delicate penstemons, like this one with a lodger, also remain upright,

Foxglove

while the stems of this unusual antique pink foxglove has stooped a little.

Clematis Marie Boisselot

The clematis Marie Boisselot still climbs her obelisk.

The begonias and geraniums are doing well, but we have a lot of dead heading to catch up on.

BegoniaAs will be seen the garden is currently a little short of perfection.

This evening we dined on pork and apple sausages with strips of pork belly, fried mushrooms and onions, crisp cabbage and carrots, and mashed potatoes. I drank Meszaros Pal Kekfrankos 2013, while Jackie chose fruit jiuce.

A Dust Bath

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Gull at sunset

This is the second of my 7 day nature series on Facebook.

It appeared originally in https://derrickjknight.com/2014/04/29/a-fascinating-collage/

When we paid for Country Girl last week, Jackie also bought one of her favoured wrought iron candle holders for use as a planter. It has a screw fitted to adjust the height.

Candle stick planter

Today, I moved it to the gravelled concrete at the southern end of the garden. This involved moving a pile of bricks from where it now stands, and raking gravel to cover that corner. I had to evict a large number of woodlice, slugs, and, one snail.

Country Girl's headpiece

Jackie had moved a few of the bricks earlier. Feeling the heat she must have removed her jumper, and slung it over the nearest available hanger, thus providing the Country Girl, now dubbed Florence, with a purple hair extension

Brick path

The white climber is now making its way up the Agriframes Arch straddling the Brick Path.

Bee on geranium palmatums

The clump of geranium palmatums halfway down that shot draws bees so large that they weigh down the petals to which they cling whilst plundering the nectar.

Philadelphus

Those plants are at the corner of the Dead End Path, alongside which a large philadelphus is in bloom.

Bee and beetle on poppy

Other plants attracting bees include poppies (this one also has a beetle)

Bee on linaria

and linaria.

Insects in poppy

Bees have shaken off so much pollen in the poppy that much smaller insects avail themselves of the bowl for a dust bath.

Mosquito in foxglove

What, now, is this nosey creature entering the foxglove?

Mosquito on foxglove

It’s a mosquito making a bee seem comparatively harmless.

My afternoon tasks including gathering up The Head Gardener’s weeding and clippings, and dead-heading roses, mostly in the Rose Garden where a few clematises like this

clematis Hagley's Hybrid

Hagley’s Hybrid have been incorporated for variety.

For our dinner this evening Jackie produced a stupendous beef stew with new potatoes. So tasty was this that when offered a choice of more stew, sticky toffee pudding, or more stew and sticky toffee pudding, I opted for more stew. That way, I reasoned, I could eat more.  Jackie drank Peroni, and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014, except for the glassful I knocked over the table, which was a shame.

Around Our Patch

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Yesterday, I took a tour around my  Social Work patch from the 1970s and ’80s. Today I took several around the domestic one I share with The Head Gardener.

Back door

I began by stepping through the kitchen door into the patio. The large window box filled with mimuluses and pansies stands in earth which was so poor that we believed it to have been used as a midden in more recent times than one would imagine. Jackie did a very thorough job of getting rid of the rubbish and replenishing the soil under and around the planters. The plentiful erigeron plants have populated the rest of the garden. Between one clump and the window box can be seen flowers of one of the two thriving thyme plants I transplanted from the blue painted Butler sinks in our first year. The wall by the path to the right is crammed with an assortment of planters.

Rose (patio)

This little patio rose has responded to feeding,

rose peach

as has this peach coloured beauty.

rose peach stems

There were just two blooms on straggly stems when we arrived. They will soon be cascading from stronger limbs.

Rhododendron

We have a new rhododendron in the Palm Bed.

Passing this on the way to the Rose Garden,

rose Altissimo

where Altissimo stands sentinel,

I was reminded of a visit to  a perfumer in Bergerac. This was with Emily and Alice a few years ago. They spent ages choosing a present for their mother, Heidi. The scents were most enticing. But they couldn’t match those emanating from our living blooms.

Rose garden entrance

Petunias and geraniums in the foreground urn lead us to the entrance arch bearing Summer Wine, Madame Alfred Carière, and honeysuckle;

Chris Beardshaw, Festive Jewel

Chris Beardshaw introduces Festive Jewel;

Rose Magic Carpet

and Magic Carpet is beginning to fulfil its function.

Cordyline Australis cabbage tree

Even these wonderful aromas, however, are not as far-reaching as the sweet, heady, scent of the Cordyline Australis. Anything smelling less like a cabbage, (it is also called Cabbage Tree) I cannot imagine.

Jackie planting Elizabeth's Bed

One of Jackie’s major tasks today was further planting of Elizabeth’s Bed. She can be seen in the centre here working on this.

I have mentioned before that geranium palmatum has taken over from honesty in its ubiquity. It can be seen dancing in synchronicity with

geranium palmatum, clematis Rouge Cardinal, rhododendron

clematis Rouge Cardinal and rhododendron;

geranium palmatum, rose Compassion

with rose Compassion;

Clematis Natacha, geranium palmatum, aquilegias

with clematis Natacha;

Foxglove, geranium palmatum

and with foxgloves.

Bee in antirrhinum 1

Lazy bees were about this afternoon. This one dusted its rear in an antirrhinum.

Waterboy Bed

The pieris I brought in a pot from Sutherland Place is thriving in the centre distance of this bed, that also contains heuchera, marguerites, geraniums, bronze fennel, and, further right, out of shot,

Iberis

iberis.

Solanum

We have a solanum under the dead snake bark maple,

rose Félicité Perpetué

and Félicité Perpetué is now opening in the front garden.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack and vegetable risotto followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.