No-one Will Buy Any Ice Cream Today

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Today the Met Office threatened us with continuous steady rain. It didn’t come. We were also promised a stiff breeze. We received that. It was to be cold. It was. 6 degrees centigrade to be precise.

Mrs Knight drove us to Ferndene Farm Shop. While I loaded the Modus with three bags of compost she entered the hut to pay for them and emerged with a tray of geraniums. And I had thought we were only going for compost.

There was much on display in the outside garden centre. Rows and rows of plants like pansies, pierises; heucheras, hottuynias, heathers; and cellophane swathed bouquets.

Numbers of people who had time in the day to shop wandered around making plant selections.

Jackie was one. She sought and found a suitable climbing rose.

Dead-heading Marguerites

The young woman from the sales department, who had been in shorts a couple of weeks ago, offered me the opinion that it was too cold for sandals (sans socks, you understand), upon which I stabbed the air with my right index finger and exclaimed vociferously “I always go into sandals at the first sign of summer and I am not going back to more suitable shoes just because we’re having a little blip. Brrr”. She suggested that the blog-bound photograph I would publish of her tidying up marguerites would make her famous.

New Forest Ice Cream sign

As it was a bit nippy I nipped back into the car while Jackie visited the shop for some carrots. Noticing the advertising sign beside the door I speculated internally that no-one would be buying ice cream today. As my lady returned to the driving seat she announced “I have bought some New Forest ginger ice cream”.

Just to be perverse, the sun crept out this evening, enough to brighten the garden.

We dined on Jackie’s succulent roast pork with perfect crisp crackling, Yorkshire pudding, mashed potato, ratatouille, runner beans, and carrots bought this morning. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the merlot.

 

Giving A Hand

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Just before lunch today, Jackie and I arrived at Mum’s home in West End where we joined Mum and Elizabeth. Jackie had packed a plentiful picnic lunch of sandwiches, tomatoes, cakes and jam tarts; Elizabeth brought salad. These were enjoyed when Danni and Andy joined us a little later. We were a gardening party to spend the afternoon working on our mother’s garden.

Elizabeth began by assembling the new lawn mower and cutting the grass;

while Jackie pruned the shrubbery on the drive to the

front garden with, among others, its magnolia, heathers, and muscari. Perched on Mum’s raised garden chair, I helped to fill the bags with the cuttings

I offered similar assistance in cutting up the photinus that the Head Gardener pruned in the back garden. By cutting out the lower branches she gave the tree shape, and, in the process, revealed the hiding place of a blue cockerel.

Danni and Andy concentrated on weeding and redefining the edges of the flower beds.

In truth, I spent most of my time watching the others work. Well, someone had to take the photographs.

The penultimate photograph in the lawn mowing sequence contains an ailing rose with muscari at its feet. Jackie dug out the rose and set the smaller, healthy, plants aside for replanting while Elizabeth raked out and bagged up photinus leaves.

Until she began to feel cold and wish to go back indoors, Mum kept an eye on proceedings. She had been helped out without her walking frame. Elizabeth gave her a hand as far as the door, after which she made her own way inside.

Back home this evening Jackie and I consumed some of the lunch that had been surplus to requirements.

 

Sold By Spencers Of The New Forest

On a glorious spring morning Jackie drove us to Ferndene Farm Shop in Bashley Cross Road. The ground is drying up and many pools on the roads and heathland receding.

I have before photographed the shelves inside this shop which has the best produce of its kind I have sampled. The produce outside would grace any good garden centre. Like everything else they sell, all the merchandise is in tip-top condition.

A good range of garden plants and wonderfully colourful cut flowers glowed in the sunshine.

Primulasprimulas close-up

Brightly hued primulas were much in evidence.

Daffodils & hyacinthsHyacinths & violets

Daffodils, violets, and hyacinths were arrayed in trays.HeathersShrubs & heathers

Grasses etc

Less flamboyant shrubs, heathers, and grasses displayed pastel hues.

Cut flowersCut flowers 2

The most vibrant palettes had provided pigments for the roses, carnations, and chrysanthemums in the various bouquets. There were also bunches of tulips and narcissi.

Compost

Even the compost bags are attractively packaged.

From the farm shop we drove to Milford on Sea and wandered around there for a bit, then checked out Everton Nurseries. You see, Spencers’ sign in the garden of the house on which we have recently exchanged contracts to purchase, confirms that Ferndene Farm Shop, Milford on Sea, and Everton Nurseries will soon be our local resources.

 It announces:Sold sign

The farm shop’s superb smoked ham provided the meat for our salad lunch.

This afternoon I watched two Six Nations rugby matches on television. Ireland beat Italy by a lot and France beat Scotland by a little. Neither game was very inspiring, although Brian O’Driscoll enlivened the Irish performance by profitable flashes of brilliance, and Yoann Huget scored a ninety metre interception try for the French.

This evening we dined on battered cod and chips, gherkins, pickled onions and mushy peas, with which I drank a glass of Bergerac Grande Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2012.