Early this morning I watched the recording of last night’s third place rugby World Cup match between England and Argentina.
Afterwards I responded to blog comments on my posts and read and commented on those of others. I don’t normally mention this because I kind of take it as read. This was a not untypical three and a half hours session.
This was a day of unrelenting showers, but after lunch I managed to spend some time in shirt-sleeves-warmth with just a sprinkling of rain to focus on roses in the garden. There are still many more plants in and out of season, but I refrained from including these, even the crops of the sticky willy weed with which we normally do battle throughout the first couple of months of spring.
Later I read more of “The Voyage Home” by Richard Church.
Elizabeth visited this afternoon to pick Jackie’s brains about selection, placement, and planting of bulbs in readiness for next Spring. I added a few thoughts.
This evening we dined on oven fish and French fries with garden peas, pickled onions and sandwich gherkins with which Jackie drank Zesty and I drank more of the Garnacha.
Before lunch Jackie and I swung gently into our matutinal garden
tasks – planting in her case; weeding and dead-heading in mine.
The yellow Welsh poppies are in regular need of decapitation.
When I ventured out with my camera this afternoon I made sure to neglect neither the
clematis Montana cascading over the front wall nor the established pink climbing rose festooning the trellis.
One of the owls I righted a couple of days ago was returned to its perch alongside the Shady Path while another peeps round a clump of campanula alongside the daisy-like Erigeron.
Some peonies remain at their best while others bear sculptural seed heads.
Other clematises include the close-up Doctor Ruppel and the one I cannot name sharing its arch with a blue solanum. Magenta valerian is a focus of the Cryptomeria Bed; Leather leaf viburnum stands in shade beneath the copper beech; irises thrive in the West Bed; and these aquilegias are found in the Rose Garden, of which
these are further views, the last of which contains
both Gloriana and For Your Eyes Only.
Meanwhile Arthur Bell has reached new heights this year.
This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled new potatoes; carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli al dente, and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Moerbei.
We began work in the garden early, because we knew it would be a hot day. In addition to all her general labours, Jackie spent much time scrubbing surfaces, such as the slippery decking, and pigeon poo on chairs and benches. My task was a certain amount of dead heading and feeding of the compost bin, but mostly, taking advantage of the diffused light before the sun had risen too high.
This deep red climbing rose was inherited from our predecessors in a sorry, straggly, state, yet now thrives under the Head Gardener’s loving care.
This New Dawn, a present from Poppy and Tess, is now beginning to scale the gazebo.
This recent purchase is a climber called Brownie, which was bred by Nola M. Simpson in New Zealand before 2009.
The first of these clematises is accompanied by a bottle brush plant and a Chilean lantern tree; the second by a Rosa Glauca.
The bottle brush plant glimpsed above is the red one now coming into bloom; the climber Wedding Day spans the Brick Path.
Most hanging baskets have now been planted up.
Several hebes are flourishing. Jackie is very pleased with this sculptural eryngium.
A variety of day lilies abound.
Readers will be aware that we have one honey-scented cordyline Australis. We didn’t know ourselves that we have three more on the west side of the garden which we have not noticed flowering before.
Pale pink Penny Lane and bright red Super Elfin have happily settled on the Gothic Arch.
Peach Abundance flowers in the Oval Bed just outside the Rose Garden, among whose residents are
an unknown deep pink climber; red Roserie de l’Hay; red and white striped Rosa Gallica and yellow Laura Ford; poppies and foxgloves; pink and yellow Summer Wine; bright red Gloriana; and golden Crown Princess Margareta.
This afternoon we spent an hour with Mum, who was in good spirits, in the garden of Woodpeckers.
Afterwards I watched a memorable Wimbledon tennis match between Angelique Kerber and Sara Sorribes Tomo.
This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s delicious beef and onion pie with flavoursome Jersey Royal potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender runner beans, and meaty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes du Rhone.
Today was very hot and sunny. Until fatigue forced me inside I put in
more work on the stones of the Weeping Birch Bed footpath.
It is now possible once more to sit on the chair beneath the tree and look across to the Rose Garden. A raised stone sits in the foreground of this picture. I picked it out of the undergrowth with the intention of using it on the path. When the Head Gardener informed me that it was part of another path leading in the direction of the crow’s flight from the chair, I was somewhat disappointed. Ah, well.
In the Rose Garden we have, among others, Altissimo, foxgloves, Gloriana, Madame Alfred Carriere, and For your Eyes Only.
Red and white mimuluses are blooming in a hanging basket over the Heligan Path; yellow ones in a tub beside the decking.
White petunias share a pot with angels wings, and blue pansies in a hanging basket beside the greenhouse are almost fluorescent.
Planting was again Jackie’s main occupation today. Here she displays a tomato grown from seed.
She has also installed one of Shelly’s Christmas presents, namely a retractable plant hanger which, when attached to the top of the Gazebo can be applied to a hanging basket and retracted to a position giving the required headroom for passing husbands. This one certainly appreciates it.
We have a number of clumps of Erigeron and various peonies.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s flavoursome savoury rice topped with an omelette and served with two preparations of prawns – one tempura with sweet chilli sauce, the other hot and spicy. We both drank Concha y Toro Reserva Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc 2020.
Here is the next ten of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘Nicholas Nickleby’, scanned yesterday:
‘No-one could have doubted their being twin brothers’
‘ ‘My children, my defrauded, swindled, infants!’ cried Mr Kenwigs, pulling at the flaxen tail of his second daughter’
‘A quiet, little frequented, retired spot, favourable to melancholy and contemplation’. You will usually find a cat or a dog in Mr Keeping’s drawings.
‘The terrified creature became utterly powerless and unable to utter a sound’
Mr Browdie gave his wife a hearty kiss, and succeeded in wresting another from Miss Squeers’
‘Divers servant-girls were almost scared out of their senses by the apparition of Newman Noggs looking stealthily round the pump’
‘ ‘What do you want, sir?’ ‘How dare you look into this garden?’ ‘
‘Miss Squeers elevated her nose in the air with ineffable disdain’
‘A bar-maid was looking on from behind an open sash window’
‘Stepping close to Ralph, the man pronounced his name’
The outside temperature is now hot by our standards. We made more progress in the garden.
Jackie has finished planting her hanging baskets and other containers flanking her favourite view from the stable door and along the Gazebo Path. The red Chilean lantern tree to the left of the second picture, and the yellow bottle brush plant on the right will soon be in full bloom.
These cosmos, petunias, geraniums, and angels wings in containers by the rhododendron can be seen near the end of the path on the right.
I finished the weeding of the footpath through the Weeping Birch Bed. I still have to find some more stones to complete the repair, but I couldn’t manage that today.
These gladioli in a trough outside the kitchen door increase each year.
Love Knot, and Gloriana, with purple aquilegias alongside, are two of the roses coming to fruition in the Rose Garden.
I only normally watch daytime TV for cricket and rugby. Today I made an exception for the 1958 version of Dunkirk, starring John Mills. As I said in my eponymous post, both Jackie’s and my father survived the event, and I had an urge to watch the film for the first time.
This evening we dined on oven fish and chips, baked beans, and cornichons with chilli. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.
Today was cool and overcast. This afternoon I dead-headed the Rose Garden,
then photographed some blooms that escaped the chop. These include Absolutely Fabulous, Ballerina, Gloriana, Deep Secret, Mamma Mia, Aloha, Lady Emma Hamilton, Special Anniversary, Crown Princess Margareta, and Shropshire Lad. Each is labelled in the gallery which may be accessed by clicking on any image. For enlargement scroll down to just beneath the gallery pictures where, to the right, is a box indicating ‘view full size’. The full size may be further enlarged with one or two clicks.
A certain little robin followed me around, sending me in for the camera before I was ready. We were both rewarded by a big fat juicy worm
Nugget tossed the writhing creature, twisting his head faster than the speed of my shutter, enabling him to peck off beak sized bits. For him, fresh food is now available.
We prefer our fodder cooked, so this evening we dined on roast gammon with Jackie’s moist ratatouille and firm penne cheese, with which she drank Becks and I drank Flores de Soligamar Tempranillo & Garnacha 2018.
More sunshine periodically penetrated the clouds today.
Jackie spent much of the morning on general garden maintenance while I wandered around with a camera. Apart from the rhododendrons in the two pictures above
I focussed on two more flanking the Gazebo Path.
Bees were very busy. One filled its yellow sacs while flitting from one bristly borage plant to another.
The wisteria is really past its best, yet still interested a larger apian specimen.
Was it an attempt at camouflage that caused another to colour coordinate with its target orange poppy? On the left of this picture stands a spent seed head which will need decapitation in order to promote a new flower.
Clematises are today represented by Marie Boisselot scaling her obelisk above her Erigeron carpet;
by Niobe, seen against the kitchen wall alongside
Star of India scaling the wisteria arbour;
by Dr Ruppel (see doesitevenmatter3 comment below)
climbing above the Brick Path;
and by one of the Montanas supported by the now fading lilac.
Iris reticulates are quite prolific.
Offerings from the Rose Garden include
For Your Eyes Only,
and Festive Jewel.
From the Pond Bed towards the copper beech the eye is taken back to the Rose Garden.
While I stood before the wisteria arbour horizontal rockets zoomed over my shoulder aiming for the bird feeders beneath it.
One of these was a wing-flailing Nugget
intent on giving his offspring a taste for his favourite suet pellets.
Now, “Where’s Nugget?” (75)
This evening we dined on spicy pepperoni pizza with plentiful fresh salad, with which Jackie drank Heineken and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2018
Threatened with a thunderstorm, after two lengthy dead-heading sessions, I wandered around the garden while Jackie continued with her general tidying and maintenance work.
The blooms in these images of the Rose Garden and the bed at its entrance are identified in the titles of the galleries, each of which can be accessed by a click.
The Shady Path runs between the Dragon the the Palm Beds. The kniphofia and fuchsia occupy the Dragon Bed. The poppies are volunteers having forced their way through the gravel.
Day lilies, sweet Williams, lobelia, more poppies, and geranium palmatums are found in the section of the Dragon Bed alongside the greenhouse.
Day lilies, fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, geraniums, and clematis Marie Boisselot all make their contributions to the Kitchen Bed.
Supported by the Gothic Arch, Wedding Day now flowers above the Brick Path.
More day lilies and a fuchsia thrive in what we now call the Grass Bed.
Here are the current views down the Phantom Path;
from the Concrete Patio to the Oval Bed;
and over the stepping stones in the Cryptomeria Bed through to Margery’s Bed.
By early evening the skies were oppressively leaden, but the storm had held off when we drove into the forest.
Gilpins is blessed with a quite magnificent cornus, which arlingwoman, below, has identified as Kausa.
On a particularly dark section of Church Lane a trainee rider loomed up out of the murk ahead of us.
Further on a deer dashed out of the light into the dark.
As we arrived at Tanners Lane a pair of kayakers were coming in to land.
There was a distinct dearth of donkeys, ponies and other wildlife in all the spots where we would expect to see them. We came to the conclusion that they had tuned in to the weather forecast and were lying low.
This evening we dined on perfect pork chops; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender green beans; and tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Squinzano Reserva 2014.
I wasn’t able to dead head all the roses today, although I carried out quite a long session with secateurs before my knees suggested that a rest might be in order. After taking one, it seemed likely that spent buds would not spoil any photographs, so I wandered around with the camera.
Here are four Rose Garden views with individual shots of Aloha, Absolutely Fabulous framed by a foxglove crescent, Gloriana, For Your Eyes Only, Rosa Gallica; and Ballerina dancing attendance.
Roses elsewhere include Wedding Day just coming into bloom on the Gothic arch; the peach rose in the Oval Bed; and Compassion beside the Dead End Path.
Bees continue to swarm around the yellow bottle brush plant and the valerian.
Purple lamium and blue petunias share one of Jackie’s pots; cosmoses feature in others. Our day lilies are proliferating; fuchsias Delta’s Sarah has proved to be hardy enough to survive our winter.
The kitchen wall display has benefited from all the recent rain.
The Palm Bed is named for the cordeline Australis which can be seen beyond its compatriot eucalyptus.
These three views are of the Phantom Path; the Shady Path; and the junction between the Brick and Gazebo Paths, the latter of which is shown from both directions.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie, firm carrots, and tender runner beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Navarra Garnacha Roble 2017.
This picture was one of Jackie’s favourites for the competition which didn’t make the final cut. I therefore used it in a card for her birthday tomorrow. Don’t worry, she won’t have an advance viewing because she reads the blog posts first thing in the morning.
After lunch, while Jackie continued planting up her myriad of containers, I dead-headed the roses. This will from now on be a daily necessity.
If anyone notices any I have missed, please don’t mention it.
This evening we dined on smoked haddock fish cakes topped with cheese by the Culinary Queen; piquant cauliflower cheese; Lyonnaise potatoes, soft-centred yet crisp on the outside, with nicely charred onions; and, for added colour, green peas. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Carenina Gran Reserva Monte Plogar 2011.