Drying Out

The granite skies that hung over our trip to the Efford Recycling Centre late this morning of a rainless day in order to deposit another car load of garden refuse gave way to cloudless cerulean sunshine this afternoon.

Christchurch Road’s verge pools were now almost dry. As usual, once we had shaken our clippings from their spent compost bags into the huge containers at the dump, Jackie visited the Reuse Shop to donate two china mugs and a kitchen masher, and bought herself a composite owl and a metal lantern.

These plastic bags tend to become rather riddled with holes after constant use. Consequently chopped branches persist in piercing them, refusing to budge, and prevent other material from being loosened without sticking a hand into soggy greenery mixed with slugs and worms, and risking attack from thorns of brambles or roses. There is a bin on site to dispense with these bags when no longer fit for purpose. Three were discarded today.

After lunch I wandered round the garden in the sunshine and produced a few photographs, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

Later I made further progress with Roderick Random.

This evening we all dined on a repeat of yesterday’s curry meals with which Jackie drank Diet Coke and I drank Carménère Reserva Privada 2022.

Martin’s Autumn Preparation

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Uruguay.

Later, sporting short sleeved shirt on a walk round the balmy garden of sunshine and shadows, I wondered what season we were experiencing.

Martin has spent the last several weeks preparing the garden for autumn which is holding back summer.

In particular he has cut back all extraneous flora on the borders, revealing the brick edging.

Most of what we now see clearly in the beds has also been freed for viewing by him.

We don’t necessarily expect all these blooms to appear together.

As usual each image bears a title in its gallery.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s colourful savoury rice; spring rolls; tempura and hot and spicy prawn preparations followed by berry strudel and custard, with which she drank more of the blush and I drank more of the Bordeaux.

Where Can She Put Them?

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia.

When I walked round the garden afterwards the temperature was hot; the air humid; the skies overcast.

This, and the amount of colourful blooms (all identified in the gallery) demonstrate that summer has no intention of being pushed aside by autumn.

Jackie has been quietly collecting bulbs to bury for next spring. As I noticed her most recent purchases I could not help wondering

where on earth was she going to put them? As usual these locations are identified in their gallery.

This afternoon I watched the live matches between Samoa and Chile, and between Wales and Portugal.

For dinner this evening we all enjoyed a third sitting of Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi meal, without the samosas. She drank Hoegaarden and I Drank François Dubessy GSM 2021.

Beautifully Balmy Day

This morning I published

for Denzil’s Nature challenge.

Jackie took advantage of the bountiful shade on this beautifully balmy day to plant up her salvia Hot Lips cuttings, while I

wandered around with my camera producing a random range of pictures, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi, boiled rice, parathas, and vegetable samosas, with which she and I each drank more of yesterday’s beverages.

More Changeable Weather

Much more rain, with the occasional spell of sunshine, fell today.

We spent the morning talking with Flo and Dillon about their trip to Scotland and their hopes of buying a wonderful chunk of the Highlands.

In the afternoon en route to Shelly’s birthday party at Walkford we added our own spray showers to the verges, their drains regurgitating the water which was beyond their capacity to absorb, distributed by vehicles we were following.

There was a good family gathering at Jackie’s sister’s celebration at which a bunch of us watched the Rugby World Cup warm up match between Fiji and England.

On our return home I photographed a couple of views from my sitting room window then, before dinner

wandered around a damp garden with my camera. Each image bears a title in the gallery

We dined on racks of pork spare ribs and Jackie’s special fried rice, with which she drank McGuigan’s Black Label Chardonnay 2022, and I drank François Dubessy GSM 2021.

Garden Less Damaged

The temperature today was cooler, the wind easier, and the sun an intermittent visitor edging out the rain.

Jackie continued weeding and clipping. I helped with some bagging up and photographed

a few garden views and a couple of roses.

I have been persuaded by some of my blogging friends to break my “acquire no more books” rule and complete the Avignon series of Lawrence Durrell with a purchase of Quinx which I began reading today.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s wholesome Monday pie, tender Sweetheart cabbage mixed with leaves of cauliflower the firm florets of which were accompanied with crunchy carrots. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley Shiraz 2018 – a splendid wine given to me by Tess and Matt a couple of Christmases ago.

The Lavender Garden

This morning I updated the following post from Classic to Block edit:

Jackie drove us all to Lavender Farm Gardens at Plaitford, near Salisbury, for lunch. What looked like a limited choice of menus turned out to be very good. Jackie enjoyed her paté and salad; my smoked mackerel and beetroot salad was excellent; as was Flo’s roast beef bagel; Dillon was pleased with his cheese pastry; Ellie helped herself to crisps off her mother’s plate, and was fed other suitable items, like some of her great grandmother’s paté.

Afterwards we each wandered around the gardens at our own pace.

This evening we all dined on tender roast chicken; sage and onion stuffing; crisp fried potatoes; crunchy carrots; and firm broccoli with which Jackie finished the Asahi and I finished the Malbec.

Comparative Fly-Whisks

Jackie and I took an early forest drive this morning on which

may blossom, like this on Beaulieu Hill, has now followed blackthorn onto the hedgerows.

Opposite this sample we spotted a foal on the verge with a group of ponies.

Ruefully comparing her stubby little tail with her mother’s extensive fly-whisk she clung to the Dam’s flanks, frequently attempted to suckle, scratched with her hoof, and eventually settled seated on the daisy sprinkled sward,

which they kept at manageable length.

A young robin made use of the shadows for camouflage until taking to flight when I approached too near.

Yesterday I had not placed titles correctly on the flower gallery, but did so this afternoon when I also posted

these photographs of sections of the garden, photographed from upstairs windows, at the request of prolific blogger friend Judy Dykstra-Brown.

This evening we all dined on oven cod, chips, and onion rings; fried red tomatoes; green garden peas; pickled onions and gherkins, with which Jackie drank more of the Pinot Grigio and I drank Vineyards Zesty white wine.

Where’s Martin? (3)

Jackie and I spent most of the morning in Boots Opticians in New Milton where we bought new specs for her and I was advised that a cataract operation would be in order.

Martin, in the meantime, battled the gales to make far more progress on tidying the garden, and in particular

weeding the Gazebo Path.

Where’s Martin? (3).

Wind swept

the Cordyline Australis

and the Weeping Birch, stripping the latter of the last of its leaves.

In the afternoon the washing machine we bought last week was swiftly and efficiently fitted and the old one taken away.

Later Elizabeth and Jacqueline dropped in for a chat in which we sorted out international and national politics. They didn’t stay for dinner because they had enjoyed a substantial late lunch at Rosie Lea Tea Rooms.

Jackie and I dined on Chicken Kiev, chips, peas, and sweetcorn with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bordeaux.

On The Brink of October

This morning I trained my camera on the garden from various vantage points

beginning with our en suite bathroom window.

From the patio can be seen, against the kitchen wall, some of the glorious zinnias that Jackie grew from seed and spread abundantly around the beds;

and this corner of the Pond Bed sporting Delta’s Sarah fuchsia, geraniums, petunias, and the ubiquitous erigeron;

this side of the Chilean lantern Bed, with its begonias, Japanese anemones, and dahlias lies alongside

the Gazebo Path, dappled by a sunny interval, as was

the owl and Mrs Popple fuchsia in the Cryptomeria Bed,

and the Weeping Birch bed with its well out of season kniphofias, and further fuchsias.

Shadows were cast across the Brick Path and its flanking flowers.

Finally I focussed on the prolific varieties of bloom around the Wisteria Arbour. These are our colours on the brink of October.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie, firm broccoli and cauliflower, crunchy carrots, tender cabbage, and meaty gravy with which the Culinary Queen drank Hogaarden, I drank Comté Tolosan Rouge, and Flo and Dillon abstained.