“What’s Going On?”

In bright sunshine at 10 a.m. this morning it was hard to believe that the meteorologists had threatened us with 48 hours of gale force winds from 11 a.m. onwards. Nevertheless forecasts are now much more accurate than they were in our youth, so we battened down the hatches. Thousands of items of garden furniture and millions of hanging baskets – or so it seemed – needed to be brought down to ground level.

First, the patio furniture was lowered. the two teapots in the bottom left corner are for Nugget’s consideration as a prospective new home.

The hanging baskets required careful handling to prevent causing damage before the gales were given the chance to wreak havoc. Chequerboard fuchsia hanging from the arch over the dead end path is shown in the two pictures before those in which Jackie delicately replaces potted petunias. Having stretched a long arm from its pot it had required tying up. I needed to undo this.

All this activity naturally aroused Nugget’s curiosity. At first he hopped about from the rocks to the gravel,

then took up a position on the back of the white chair in the Weeping Birch Bed. The usual magnification from the galleries will show him clearly tweeting “what’s going on?”.

The Head Gardener found room for what she called “the lucky few” in the greenhouse.

This afternoon we took a coastal trip to see what was going on there.

At Milford on Sea a young girl sheltered along the sea wall in an effort to avoid the violence of the waves and the spray. Kite surfers could be seen in the distance near Hurst lighthouse.

Further along, at Barton on Sea, hardy groups clambered on the rocks.

The Isle of wight seemed shrouded in spray.

At Mudeford black headed gulls bobbed buoyant as corks on the surging waves. Although two skilled sailboarders sped along the surface,

another less proficient pair spent much of their time attempting to lodge and right their sail. No sooner had they seemed upright than they were back beneath the surface. I had to admire their persistence.

This evening we dined on crispy duck, spring onions, cucumber, and plum sauce in pancakes; followed by spare ribs in barbecue sauce; with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Saint-Chinian.

Preparing For A Storm

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For the last couple of days Jackie has kept much garden furniture and many hanging baskets grounded against buffeting from the heavy winds. As this afternoon’s gusts swept towards the 60+ m.p.h. we are to expect overnight, there was no reason to lift tables, chairs, parasols, or baskets. Readers may care to spot the dropped baskets in this further collection of

experiments with my new Sigma 35mm lens.

Given that she exchanged contracts on her Pilley house purchase today, it was appropriate that we named the delicious spicy creation that Elizabeth produced for our dinner this evening Pilley Celebration Chicken. This was served with Jackie’s splendid savoury rice and crisp sugar snaps. My sister and I drank Parick Chodot’s Fleurie 2016; my wife drank Hoegaarden.

Down The Garden

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN GROUPS WILL ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Patio

As it began to rain whilst they were finishing the painting yesterday, Clare and Andrew had placed the garden chairs under the wisteria arbour. This morning, Aaron carried them to the patio.

The day was overcast. Jackie and Aaron spent the morning on garden maintenance, now at its most pressing. Aaron also filled his truck with our pruning and clippings. From the patio I continued on a perambulation with the camera.

I took my usual route along the Kitchen Path, passing the rose campion planted in front of the lysimachia firecracker with feverfew to the left.

At the corner by the iron urn, in view of the geraniums and verbena in a planter above the Dragon Bed with its pink snapdragons and prolific marigolds,

I made my way along the Brick Path, past the grass patch with its bed of bright pink begonias,

taking a rest on the Westbrook Arbour bench, and looking down the Phantom Path to sculpture Florence. Penny Lane is making her way up the Gothic Arch, opposite clematis Star of India.

Campanula persiciflora

The campanula Persiciflora stands at the south end of the Brick Path, beneath the dead snake bark maple.

It normally takes me quite a while to make inroads into a new book. “Pilling Always Pays’, by Thomas Armstrong, which I finished today, was no exception. My post-operative lethargy probably contributed to this, but I did also think that the author’s painstakingly thorough method of introducing his cast of characters may have played a part. Nevertheless, I will not hold this against him, for he proceeded to tell a carefully crafted story with numerous apparently disparate strands skilfully knitted together in the final pages. The setting was a provincial town in 1936, with its closely interwoven upwardly mobile community. ┬áIn ‘Auntie Ivy And Sir Edmund Hillary’ I featured what I had found inside my copy.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken, new potatoes, crunchy carrots and cabbage, and moist ratatouille, with flavoursome gravy.