The Moscow Show Trials

There was not much sun breaking through the clouds today.

This is quite useful when photographing white flowers like clematis Marie Boisselot as I did on my way to open the back gate for Aaron.

Geranium Palmatums and their attendant red fuchsias caught a touch of it as I walked along the Shady Path.

Bees were out early. This one still visited the ageing Festive Jewel in the Rose Garden into which I had been enticed by the magical scents that permeated the air.

A spider preferred to walk on the Blue Moon.

White beauties enjoying their time out of the limelight included Margaret Merril and Madame Alfred Carriere, sharing the entrance arch with Summer Wine.

Special Anniversary, Zéphirini Drouin, Absolutely Fabulous, and Mum in a Million all contributed their intriguing essences to the perfumed blend.

Despite its name the Sicilian Honey Garlic makes no apparent contribution to the mix.

Oriental poppies; libertia welcoming visiting bees; yellow irises; and red peonies enliven the borders of the Back Drive.

From a gentle amble through the garden I turn to the terrifying Moscow Show trials of the 1930s.

According to Wikipedia ‘The Moscow Trials were a series of show trials held in the Soviet Union at the instigation of Joseph Stalin between 1936 and 1938 against so-called Trotskyists and members of Right Opposition of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. There were three Moscow Trials: the Case of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center (ZinovievKamenev Trial, aka “Trial of the Sixteen,” 1936), the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center (PyatakovRadek Trial, 1937), and the Case of the Anti-Soviet “Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites” (BukharinRykov Trial, aka “Trial of the Twenty-One,” 1938). 

The defendants of these were Old Bolshevik party leaders and top officials of the Soviet secret police. Most defendants were charged under Article 58 of the RSFSR Penal Code with conspiring with the western powers to assassinate Stalin and other Soviet leaders, dismember the Soviet Union, and restore capitalism

The Moscow Trials led to the execution of many of the defendants. They are generally seen as part of Stalin’s Great Purge, an attempt to rid the party of current or prior oppositionists, especially but not exclusively Trotskyists, and any leading Bolshevik cadre from the time of the Russian Revolution or earlier, who might even potentially become a figurehead for the growing discontent in the Soviet populace resulting from Stalin’s mismanagement of the economy.[citation needed] Stalin’s hasty industrialisation during the period of the First Five Year Plan and the brutality of the forced collectivisation of agriculture had led to an acute economic and political crisis in 1928-33, a part of the global problem known as the Great Depression, and to enormous suffering on the part of the Soviet workers and peasants. Stalin was acutely conscious of this fact and took steps to prevent it taking the form of an opposition inside the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to his increasingly autocratic rule.[1]

Several of the victims of these judicial farces were personally known to Arthur Koestler, the Hungarian born British novelist who penned ‘Darkness at Noon’ in their memory decades before Mikhail Gorbatchev, in the late 1980s, introduced Glasnost, thus beginning the democratisation of the Soviet Union.

I finished reading this important book for the second time today. Without naming either Stalin or the USSR the work describes the energy-sapping destruction of the will of previous leaders who were now out of favour and forced by torture to contribute to their own finding of guilt and subsequent execution. Koestler’s prose is simply elegant but he describes an atmosphere of destructive, erosive, terror in an incongruously readable manner. I don’t often knowingly read a book twice, but since Louis had been reading his copy on his recent stay with us, I was prompted to do so.

Daphne Hardy’s translation renders the book most accessible, and Vladimir Bukovsky’s introduction is eloquently informative.

George Buday’s belligerent, brooding, wood engravings brilliantly supplement the attritional ambience of Koestler’s work.

The boards are blocked with a suitably spare design by Sue Bradbury.

We are now driving over to Emsworth for a curry outing with Becky and Ian. I will report on that tomorrow.

Nothing For It

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I spent a considerable number of frustrating hours attempting to secure internet access today. I will not bore anyone with the details. Looking on the bright side, I decided to tackle the paperwork for my annual tax return. This went quite well until I tackled my bank statements, which I receive on a quarterly basis. The most recent batch has not arrived. “No problem.” I thought. “Now I bank on line I can take the necessary details from there”. …………… “Ah……..”.

There was now nothing for it but to wander round the garden with my camera in hand and a mobile phone in my pocket. There are, of course, less pleasant ways of spending my time.

The clematis Montana now drapes the front wall upon which a trough of blue pansies smile; the potentilla now dances with the vinca.

The sweet scent of the wisteria pervades the area beneath its arbour.

Buds of blue irises and red poppies are simply biding their time.

While I wandered and emptied a trug or two into the compost, Jackie continued replenishing soil and planting in beds and containers.

These verbascum look down on similarly hued Erigeron,

Cow parsley in Dragon Bed

just as the cow parsley soars above everything else in the Dragon Bed.

pansies and clematis Marie Boisselot buds

In the Kitchen Bed’s stone urn white pansies bridge the season of faded white daffodils and that of clematis Marie Boisselot, whose buds can be observed in the obelisk behind.

Geranium Palmatum

The first of the geranium Palmatums, which will soon arrive in abundance, has lined up along the Shady Path in line with heucheras,

Shadow on heuchera

on the leaves of which a hebe casts its shadow.

Erigeron, aquilegia, vinca, alliums, silenes

Erigeron, aquilegias, vinca, alliums, and silenes crowd each other in the Weeping Birch Bed,

aubretia and wild strawberries

as do aubretia and wild strawberries in the Oval Bed opposite.

Butterfly Small White, honesty

Small White butterflies flitted about.

Rosariae de L'Hay corner of Rose Garden

Rosariae de L’Hay enlivens its corner of the Rose Garden.

This afternoon, until I was back on line, I continued reading John Le Carré’s The Night Manager.

Dinner this evening consisted of Jackie’s excellent pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I consumed A Dark Apothic 2015 Californian red.

 

 

 

 

Compassion Recovered

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Arch blown down

Apart from the collapse of the Compassion rose arch, the recent storms have treated us with respect.

Clematis and Solanum on dead tree

The clematis and solanum have remained attached to the dead tree.

Crocosmia 1Crocosmia 2

Orange crocosmia still stands at the potting shed entrance to the Rose Garden,

Crocosmias orange and yellow

while yellow and orange thrive harmoniously in the Dragon Bed.

Clematis Duchess of Albany

Clematis Duchess of Albany drapes herself over the arbour in the Rose Garden

Rose Penny Lane

Where Penny Lane parades her maturity;

For Your Eyes Only

and others such as For Your Eyes Only

Festive Jewel

and Festive Jewel are reliving their youth.

Fuchsia Delta's Sarah

Fuchsia Delta’s Sarah spreads along the side of the triangular bed now beside the greenhouse.

Japanese anemones and maple

Light pink Japanese anemones reach the lower branches of the red maple;

Japanese anemones pink

darker pink ones are quite prolific,

Japanese anemones

while white ones enliven the

West Bed

West Bed with its New Zealand hebe, its leicesteria,

Dahlia

and its dahlias.

Fuchsia Mrs Popple

Close by we have fuchsia Mrs Popple.

Clematis and geranium

One clematis climbing the gazebo blends well with geraniums in a hanging basket;

Lobelias and begonia in hanging basket

another basket contains deep blue lobelia and an orange begonia.

Petunias and lobelia

Purple petunias and more lobelias populate the Back Drive barrier tubs.

Gaura

The gaura in the Weeping Birch Bed is thriving.

View across Kitchen Bed 2

The views across the Kitchen Bed;

Garden view from beside Weeping birch

from beside the weeping birch,

Dragon Bed and Shady Path

and along the Shady Bed from the Dragon Bed corner remain colourful.

Bee on geranium palmatum

Bees, like this one in a geranium palmatum continue working hard;

Fly on gladiolus Priscilla

flies, such as this one crawling over Priscilla, are in abundance.

Rudbeckia in Margery's Bed

Yellow rudbeckia are at their best. Here are some in Margery’s Bed.

Aaron fixing arch 1Aaron fixing arch 2Aaron fixing arch 3

This morning was spent generally tidying up, one of Aaron’s tasks being to refurbish the fallen arch.

Aaron replacing Compassion rose

He then,

Jackie and Aaron replacing Compassion rose 1Jackie and Aaron replacing Compassion rose 2

assisted by Jackie,

Arch repaired

recovered the Compassion rose and tied it back in place.

This afternoon we visited Willows garden at Pilley. On the grounds that we couldn’t stand the competition, I will report on that tomorrow.

This evening we dined on fish pie, ratatouille, carrots and broccoli, with which we both drank Bergerac blanc sec 2016.

 

Defying Gravity

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Today I divided my time between wandering idly around the garden hunting down piles of weeds and clippings deposited by the Head Gardener; transferring four barrowloads of compost from the south end of the garden to the ficus hole in the Dragon Bed; and, of course, making photographs. Jackie continued with her weeding, clearing, and planting.

Garden view from iron urn

This view from the iron urn features two paths and the yellow bottle brush plant now coming into bloom. The chimney pot on the grass patch is still to receive its portion of the contents of the plant trays to be found in abundance.

Begonias

These begonias are among those still to be given a tenancy.

Phantom Path 1

This splendid rhododendron flanks the Phantom Path,

Rhododendron and geranium palmatum

and has a happy relationship with a geranium palmatum,

Geranium palmatum

one of many to be found all over the garden.

Brick Path

Rodgersias lurch across the older section of the Brick Path,

South end of garden

at the south end of which can be seen the clematises and gladioli in the window boxes and the weigela on the fence beyond.

New Bed

The join with the newer section of that path can be seen in the opening between two foxgloves in the New Bed.

View from Rose Garden

This garden view extends from a corner of the Rose Garden featuring pink aquilegias; the rose Summer Time at the corner of the painted shed; and, halfway up on the left-hand edge,

Rose Ballerina

Ballerina, who trips merrily across her stage.

Orange theme on chimney pot

The orange theme of black-eyed Susan and marigolds atop this chimney pot was determined by the finial of this obelisk. Susan should soon wrap herself around it.

Raindrops on geranium

This geranium sheds a tear or two.

Rose on wisteria arbour

Now that the wisteria has finished flowering, its companion red rose has taken over floral duties;

Clematis and white climber

and the white rambler has now joined clematis Star of India on the arch spanning the Brick Path at the corner of the Phantom Path.

Roses Festive Jewel

Even before we reach the Rose Garden the scent of the prolific Festive Jewel drifts into our nostrils.

Rose Peach Abundance

Peach Abundance,

Roses Peach Abundance and red, and valerian

sharing this shot of the Oval Bed with a large red sky-climber and vibrant valerian, does have a delicate scent completely snuffed out by the more powerful fragrance.

Day Lilies

Day lilies, on the other side of the bed, are now enjoying their twenty four hours of glory.

Clematis Hagley Hybrid

Two clematises offering their first bloom are Hagley’s Hybrid in the Rose Garden,

Clematis Piilu

and Piilu against the redundant garage door.

Félicité Perpétue 1

Félicité Perpétue along the back drive has also produced its first flower;

Rose Félicité Perpétue 2

rather further on is the one in the front garden,

Foxgloves

which also has an abundance of foxgloves.

Bee on erigeron

Bees are now somewhat busy. Here is one exploring the larger erigerons;

Bee on bottle brush plant

another sampling the aforementioned bottle brush plant;

Bee on heuchera

and finally one defying gravity while sipping from a swaying heuchera.

For our dinner this evening we supplemented Mr Pink’s exceedingly good Fish and Chips with Tesco’s gherkins and Garner’s pickled onions. We both drank Cimarosa Special Edition sauvignon blanc 2015.

She Powdered Her Face

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Today’s weather would have blessed any Summer’s day. It was warm and sunny, and Jackie and I raised a sweat as we continued weeding, planting, and lopping. I use ‘we’ loosely. I mainly tidied up after the real work. We transported the two full orange bags of cuttings to the dump, and later almost completely refilled one of them.

Clematis 2Clematis Passion FlowerClematis 3Clematis 1

Clematises are now bursting out all over. The first two depicted here are Niobe and Passion Flower. I can’t name the others.

Rose Summer Time

Roses like creamy golden Summer Time,

Roses Summer Wine and Madame Alfred CariereRoses Summer Wine and Madame Alfred Carriere 2

white Madame Alfred Carriere, and glowing pink Summer Wine clamber up structures in

Rose Garden

the Rose Garden, over one corner of which Altissimo dances the tightrope.

Compassion roses

while Compassion rewards us for clearing its space over

Garden view from patio along Dead End path.

the Dead End Path.

Hollyhocks

Foxgloves

Geranium Palmatum

and geranium palmatums are beginning to prepare us for their annual profusion.

Diascia

Diascas,

Bidens

bidens,

Marguerites

and marguerites are just three of the plants carefully positioned in a variety of containers.

Butterfly Painted Lady on erigeron

A Painted Lady who had definitely seen better days powdered her face in the erigeron pollen.

This evening we dined on spicy chicken kebabs, plain boiled rice, and plentiful salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cabillero de Diablo, reserva cabernet sauvignon  2015.

Sleeping Beauty

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Today, I continued redistributing the gravel on the back drive. This involved shifting barrow loads of the material from one end to another, and raking them smooth. There is more to be done.

rose Félicité Perpetué

Whilst I was there, I noticed, swaying in the breeze, the one Félicité Perpetué bloom that has yet arrived on what should soon be a splendid display draped over the dead stumps.

Rhododendron

On the compost corner the rescued rhododendron is now quite prolific.

Brick path

Does Wedding Day rose, on the Agriframes arch, bloom whilst the viburnum plicatum, visible beneath the arch, is still flowering? If so, the two plants will be in tune.

Rose Garden 1

The Rose Garden now burgeons daily. On the wall of the shed hangs the bird bath Vicki made for us.

rose Schoolgirl

A Schoolgirl has come out to play;

Rose Gloriana

and Gloriana is living up to her name.

Kitchen window view

In the morning this was a view from the kitchen window,

Patio 3

before Jackie removed the honesty to the right, thus revealing the large white clematis Marie Boisselot to anyone sitting in the patio. I put that particular heap of seeding plants onto the compost, because there are plenty more hanging up to dry, ready for scattering later in the year. The frog king, and his princely son ogle Jattie’s sculpture, the sleeping beauty.

Patio 1

Patio 2

We took a short break on the patio with our fizzy lime squash, and surveyed one of Jackie’s myriad of maintenance tasks, namely the tidying up of the corner shingle bed, into which she has set an attractive piece of stone.

Geranium palmatum

Until now, the honesty has carried the purple torches throughout the garden. The batons have now been passed to geranium palmatums.

This evening we dined on our second helping of Chinese takeaway, with which I drank Patrick Chadot Fleurie 2014, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

Rewards

Snatching half an hour of occasional sunshine before the expected gloom set in for the day, I wandered around the garden with my camera.

Rose pink climber

Two retrained pink climbing roses are in bloom along the front garden trellis.

Geranium palmatum

We have masses of geraniums palmatum. Jackie took cuttings last year, and distributed some in the front, where they are thriving and will soon replace the wind-blown crab apple blossom from above.

Libertia and red Japanese maple

Similar division has been effected with libertia. My method is described in the linked post. I would have been happy to write that the libertia here frolicked solely with alliums and bluebells against the red Japanese maple. Unfortunately when I put this picture up on screen it revealed the clinging velcro strings of lady’s bedstraw, a pernicious weed we have spent two years eradicating. That put a halt to my proceedings while I assisted The Head Gardener in its immediate removal.

Red Japanese maple

The maple’s red foliage appears to be extended by a rhododendron on the other side of the grass.

Snapdragon

Snapdragons are now fully out, this one fortuitously planted within sight of one of the residents of the Dragon Bed.

Shady path

Walking straight on past the dragon leads to the Shady Path, so named because of its original state.

Gazebo path

Running roughly parallel to the right of this is the Gazebo Path.

View from shady path

This is the view through the gazebo across the grass patch.

Roses red climber

Continuing along the Shady Path, red climbing roses now reward Jackie’s training.

Gladioli

When we arrived here, some very poorly looking slender red gladioli struggled in poor soil outside the kitchen door. Our resident expert lifted the bulbs and replanted them in the boxes she arranged at the head of the back drive. They are standing proud and coming into flower.

Rhododendron

A mature rhododendron has been rescued from the choking jungle,

Clematis Doctor Ruppel

and nearby, similarly hued clematis Doctor Ruppel proliferates.

Hawthorn 1Hawthorn 2

The hawthorn along the back drive has responded to pruning.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. My main choice was Goan King Prawn, and Jackie’s sag chicken. We shared an egg paratha, special fried rice, and onion bahji; and both drank Kingfisher.