A Virtual Garden Walk

Having spent most of my life living or working in London, sometimes involving short or long distance commuting, I am so grateful that we moved to The New Forest in good time to escape the necessary lockdown of these times.

For those not so fortunate – those cooped up in tower blocks or the upper floors of flooded houses; those with young children clamouring for fresh air exercise; those without partners to share the isolation; those sharing it within fraught relationships; those without gardens to enjoy; those on the other side of the world now entering their winter,

I offer this

 

 

 

virtual garden walk on a bright spring day.

I spent much of the afternoon reading.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s colourful, tasty, and aromatic, pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Mezquiez.

What Is The Link?

Today’s atmosphere was somewhat dull and heavy, possibly in anticipation of the forecast return of heavy winds.

I took a turn around the garden while I could.

This view leads us south from the patio;

from the left hand corner of the Kitchen Bed our eye travels to the West Bed,

also seen in this shot of the Brick Path,

on the east side of which lie the Heligan Path and the Weeping Birch and Cryptomeria Beds.

Stepping stones take us past the Cryptomeria northwards to the house;

seen also from the Weeping Birch Bed.

Aaron has been planting roses on both sides of the back drive which should be even more colourful in the summer.

Here is the view southwards from the lawn;

and two around the greenhouse.

The front garden is what I see from either my desk or my reading chair.

This afternoon’s Six Nations rugby match between Ireland and Italy has been postponed. I trust Yvonne will forgive me for publishing this

list from Jackie’s morning shopping trip, and asking what links it with the previous sentence.

Later this afternoon I watched the rugby international between England and Wales, after which we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef pie; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

 

Through The Window

Another day of steady rain

washing windswept windows;

greasing patio paving;

puddling paths;

pearling maple branches;

glazing garden views;

dowsing patient sparrows;

refreshing colourful camellias,

 

and pink prunus Autumnalis,

ensured a day of Hardy reading and through-the-window photography.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken curry and savoury rice followed by baklavas with which I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

 

“Did Someone Mention Carrots?”

Although Dennis kept the wind up throughout the night and the morning, the rain desisted and some of the rainwater subsided.

The swirling skirts of the weeping birch gave testimony to the strong breezes.

Aaron had cleared up much of the garden debris yesterday, and no further untidiness manifested itself. Daffodils, snowdrops, camellias, and more, have survived.

With followers like mine it was clear what our afternoon’s drive should entail. We dutifully made our way to South Sway Lane and our equine friend in the sodden field.

Much of the water had returned to the river and the pony was happily once more chomping on grass,

taking time to polish her hooves

and drink from the normal stream.

I must admit to feeling somewhat rejected as she determinedly pursued her grazing.

It was when Jackie called to ask me if I had the carrot that the mood changed. The animal lifted her head, whinnied “did someone mention carrots?”, and trotted over to the barbed wire fence.

She was quick to relieve my outstretched palm of an extra-long Tesco’s finest root vegetable.

Far too quick for the Assistant Photographer who hadn’t enough time to focus her camera and had to settle for my subsequent question about the subject’s satisfaction with her meal.

We returned home through driving rain.

This evening we dined on succulent fillet steaks, luscious ratatouille, and crisp potato wedges coated in herbs and garlic. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2018.

Swooping And Squabbling

All was still and bright in the garden today when we began the post-storm recovery.

We didn’t manage the patio area, which won’t take long tomorrow.

Aaron righted the Rose Garden arch, with minimal discomfort to Crown Princess Margareta and Zefirini Drouhin.

The Phantom Path;

the Gazebo Path;

views from the Kitchen Bed,

from the Shady Path,

from the Palm Bed,

towards the Rose Garden from the corner of the Phantom Path, are now less cluttered.

Some hanging baskets, like these suspended from the eucalyptus, have been righted.

In order to prevent loosening of the rose roots from further winds, Jackie has begun their winter pruning.

Nugget, of course, could not keep his beak out of the process. Yes – he and Muggle are both alive and well.

“Where’s Nugget?” (42)

Late this afternoon we took a drive into the forest. Given that a woman had been killed not far away yesterday by a tree falling on her car it had been a good decision not to risk it ourselves.

Moody skycapes loomed above Beaulieu Heath

and Hatchet Pond,

casting reflections on the water

over which greedy gulls swooped and squabbled.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s especially spicy lamb jalfrezi with pilau rice, vegetable samosas, and plain parathas with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fleurie.

Emergency Grounding

The bare copper beach brings clear signs of autumn to the garden, as

Jackie continues her clearance of the Palm Bed and, in particular,

the Dead End Bed. This New Zealand hebe has received heavy pruning.

The thick limb to the right of the chimney planter, and supporting the remaining branches, has been rooted from the original shrub that had been planted further back some years ago.

Here is another view from Margery’s Bed.

Jackie has removed some plants, repositioned others like the potted hydrangea ready for planting, set a profusion of spring bulbs,

and stepping stones for access during next spring’s burgeoning.

Clearance and replanting has also been carried out on the opposite side of the path.

The same treatment has been applied to other bed’s such as Margery’s which can hopefully expect a profusion of richly hued Black Beauty Dutch irises.

Here, the Head Gardener contemplates the remains of a crocosmia collection. She did most of her own compost accumulation, but left me a little.

Anticipated winds in excess of 50 m.p.h. prompted the usual emergency grounding of the wooden patio chairs.

This evening, with additional starters of tempura prawns and vegetable wantons, we dined on our second helpings of Hordle Chinese Take Away, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2018.

Rather More Than I Did

This morning a made some headway in loading inks for the Epson SureColor P600 printer

These are the instructions;

here is the box of the nine inks and the slots for positioning them;

this is the row of inserted inks.

 

When setting up yesterday I was asked to select my language, namely English. I did. Everything in the lit up information panel is now in another tongue. While the automatic 10 minute process was continuing, it didn’t matter that I couldn’t understand this. When I got to loading the paper I needed to follow instructions I couldn’t read.

I then tried to download the software. This was meant to be done by Wi Fi. This required the identity of my router and its password key. I entered those. I was then told the printer could not be found. There was an option to download with a USB. None was supplied.

Fortunately at this point I had to give up to receive Margery and Paul who visited for coffee. After this pleasant interlude, I enjoyed my lunch and watched the recorded World Cup rugby match between Scotland and Russia.

Jackie, in the meantime, had been happily planting with the usual interference from Nugget.

He eyes up every hole Jackie digs,

and pounces on it,

sometimes using the trowel as a springboard. This procedure usually means that Jackie sits with a plant in her hand for a good ten minutes until her little hindrance has stepped aside.

Now “Where’s Nugget?” (34).

Later this afternoon I had another attempt at downloading the printer software. It is no good. I need help.

After a heavy shower I walked around the garden to cool myself down and cheer myself up.

Raindrops were in evidence,

and the various beds sparkled – rather more than I did.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips and Garner’s pickled onions with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Casilllero del Diablo reserva Malbec 2018.