Hot And Sunny

Throughout the day the temperature was hot and the skies sunny.

Suddenly the pink climbing rose on the front trellis is blooming.

This morning Martin first retrained the jasmine against the new fence, whilst I dead headed and weeded,

albeit lacking the ability to kneel or the staying power he demonstrated later.

I also produced three other garden views labelled in the gallery. The Wonderful Grandparents rose in the bottom lefthand corner of the first has four clusters of healthy buds.

This evening we repeated last night’s menu and beverage.

Path Clearance

I spent much of the morning recovering the pictures to

This really was a difficult task. None of the pictures was visible – although they were all in my systems I needed Wayback Machine to help me identify them and insert them in the right places. It looks to me as if this is the same for my whole Knight’s Tale series.

Last week, Martin, among other things, cleared weeds from the gravel

of the Oval Path.

Today he worked his way from the entrance to the Rose Garden,

past Florence sculpture at Fiveways,

and along the Gazebo Path. The gravel was raked at the end.

Our prolific rose, Ernest Morse, has been risking his life playing chicken across the Back Drive. Before getting out his kneeler our gardening friend began by tying back this rose which Jackie had bought along with his companion Doris Tysterman as weedy twigs about 6 years ago at Poundstretchers for the price of 49p each. At the end of the season, once these repeating blooms are over, the intention is to build a proper support for them.

Later, in order to submit a post for a request, I converted this post from Classic to Block edit:

This evening we dined on oven fish, chips, and onion rings, pickled gherkins and onions, with which Jackie drank Diet Coke and I drank more of the Bordeaux.

Found Photographs

On the evening of 14th, before I’d even found the instruction manual on my Samsung Gallery A13, I took a test walk round the garden.

There was just one acceptable picture.

A couple of days after this a photograph of Ellie appeared on the phone Wallpaper.

Some days still later I discovered the phone gallery which contained portraits of our great granddaughter sitting in her Great Grannie’s chair.

Flo had been busy.

Today I worked out how to e-mail these images to myself and put them into my iPhotos library.

This evening we repeated yesterday’s pasta arrabbiata meal with the same beverages.

Rampant Alliums

For some days now a pair of robins have approached the stable door at the back of the house, settled in the wisteria, and drunk from Waterboy’s shell.

Another flits around the front garden, unwittingly taunting me through the window as I begin this draft.

The couple are becoming interested in Jackie’s continuing clearance of the Pond Bed and tolerate her talking to them but are not yet ready to pose for photographs. My sightings are far too fleeting for my trigger finger.

The Gazebo Path meets the Oval Path at the entrance to the Rose Garden. That is the point I had reached when a welcome shower drove us both in this afternoon.

When we first arrived in Downton we thought the little white onion flowers that came up after the snowdrops were quite charming. Little did we then know how invasive they are. One bulb can produce 300 babies. The first of the pictures shows a plastic bucket with part of Jackie’s collection; the second some with a cluster of pendant offspring all of which I attempted to prize out with a fork – I have no doubt I didn’t unearth them all.

Laid out on a shove halfpenny board with a 1p piece and a normal sized matchstick for scale Jackie has photographed in ascending sizes the allium vineal (wild garlic) and allium triquetrum bulbs with which we are dealing.

A brief period of sunshine followed the rain, giving me the opportunity to photograph raindrops, like these on tulips

or the feather lying among the weeds on the Oval Path, which will probably be my next targets.

Clematis Montana Mayleen is beginning its climb up the Cypress stump, beside which a freshly blooming rhododendron is poised to replace a fading camellia.

The Palm Bed photograph displays a spreading spirea, the rusting Ace Reclaim bench which has to be replaced, and the alliums triquetrum requiring eradication,

which also nestle annoyingly beneath another burgeoning rhododendron, a yellow Japanese maple, and the tulips Lilac Wonder.

Longer term readers will be familiar with Jackie’s pet robin who didn’t make it back this spring. He had, however, nurtured three broods before wintering in the forest. This was Nugget, at least three of whose progeny have returned in his stead. Let us call them collectively Nugget Junior.

While we prepared for dinner in the kitchen a sunshine-shower sparkled in the garden, refreshing Nugget Junior who is perched on the stone urn roughly in the centre of this image which can be enlarged with a couple of clicks.

Readers will also remember the game of Where’s Nugget? Much nearer to the house I am happy to present Where’s Nugget Junior? (1). If enlargement doesn’t reveal the robin, try looking through the second window pane in the second row.

Dinner consisted of spicy pizza with plenty of fresh salad. Jackie likes extra cheese on her pizza. I don’t, so she gave me a side dish of crispy bacon and mushrooms. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.


General garden maintenance this morning included Jackie’s replanting of the

Iron Urn consisting of pansies underplanted with purple tulips, having replaced the root-bound soil; and much more clipping, chopping, and bagging of wayward shrubs.

The winter pansies now blend well with the pale purple colchicums or autumn crocuses, phlox, and Japanese anemones while contrasting with Puerto Rico dahlias.

Pelargoniums and lobelias hang happily over the Pond Bed with its Japanese maples, neighbours to

red and white dahlias.

Japanese anemones,

many attracting hoverflies. continue to proliferate.

The hoverflies enjoy other flowers such as this rain-freckled pale pink rose; you will probably need to access the gallery and bigify the ginger lily to spot its fly, but perhaps not the bluebottle on the tiny diascia.

Numerous happy plantings like pelargoniums and sweet peas; eucalyptus with suspended petunias and cascading bidens; and fuchsia Delta’s Sarah with more pelargoniums continue to produce.

Further fuchsias include the red and purple Mrs Popple and the delicate white Hawkshead;

most petunias also hang from baskets.

Yellow antirrhinums have bloomed non-stop since early spring; many sweet peas persist; pieris produces red leaves.

The sun spotlights mossy stones at the edge of the Gazebo Path.

We now have so many full garden refuse bags that Jackie tried to book the one permitted half hour slot at the recycling centre. This, of course, can only be done on line. There are none available for the rest of the month; more distant appointments will be ‘posted soon’.

Later in the afternoon we carried out extensive watering.

Unfortunately I submitted yesterday’s post without realising that I had omitted the virgin beef pie picture, with the result that those who viewed it first will not have seen the complete rudbeckia bas relief. That has now been rectified by the inclusion of the original, and here is an image of today’s second serving. We have consumed the stem and most of the leaves, and despite the small shark emerging from the right of the crust, no marine animals were harmed in the making of this production.

With this delicious pie we enjoyed boiled new potatoes, crunchy carrots and, cauliflower, tender green beans, and tasty gravy; Jackie drank Hoegaarden while I started on another bottle of the Bordeaux.