In A Flap

As I walked down to the Back gate to open it for Aaron early this morning I passed

the delicate pastel shades of Penny Lane which will have a powerful fragrance later in the day;

oriental poppies which have stubbornly clung to some petals despite the recent gales;

abundant Félicité Perpétue draped over a dead stump;

and rich red Ernest Morse.

A myriad of bees were already engaged in packing their pollen sacs.

Two masquerading as others were a striped hoverfly and a green shield bug.

A somewhat tattered Red Admiral fluttered by, occasionally pausing to rest.

The roses on the front trellis have been so weighty of late as to pull down their support. It was one of Aaron’s A.P. Maintenance tasks today to strengthen this section.

This afternoon we took a drive into the forest. First stop was Setley Ridge Garden Centre where Jackie bought some more trays of plants and I photographed

a bee on an ageratum.

We then took the Sandy Down route to the east.

There was a little delay on the road to Beaulieu as a foal was shepherded across the road.

At East Boldre several somnolent ponies occupied the road. Others, including a foal, snoozed on the grass. Unmoved, those on the road played havoc with the traffic of which they were oblivious for some time. One dappled grey seemed to have dislodged its reflective collar.

Suddenly, silently, the entire group took off for Masseys Road. The previously recumbent foal soon caught up.

Dangerously foraging on the verge of South Baddesley Road three ducks diced with death. The white one was sent out scouting. Eventually it got in a flap trying to convince its leading companion that crossing the road was not a good idea.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork spare ribs marinaded in sweet barbecue sauce and Jackie’s vegetable rice, with which she drank Blue Moon Belgian style wheat ale, and I drank more of the Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon.

It Couldn’t Wait For My Return

On this bright and sunny afternoon, Jackie leapfrogged Mum’s perching stool down the garden, giving me three observation posts for a brief sojourn listening to the birds and pointing my lens.

Brick Path

I was able to look along the Brick Path

Clematis Doctor Ruppel

past the prolific clematis Doctor Ruppel

Rose Penny Lane

and the slightly scented rose Penny Lane, both intended to climb the Gothic Arch,

Ferns

to clusters of ferns in the West Bed.

Rhododendron

My favourite rhododendron could not wait until my return to burst into bloom in the Cryptomeria Bed,

Geranium palmatums

which has its share of geranium palmatums

Heuchera

opposite heucheras in Margery’s Bed.

Day lilies

Across the Grass Patch can be seen a clump of Day Lilies

Gazebo Path

also on view along the Gazebo Path, the foreground of which is illuminated by the Chilean Lantern tree.

Foxglove

Foxgloves, like this one in the Palm Bed stand proud throughout the garden.

Marigolds

The rich orange marigolds are rampant in the Dragon Bed.

Roses and poppy heads

The slender poppy heads shown alongside these roses are those of the yellow and orange species that crop up everywhere. Ii is normally my job to cut them down to encourage new growth. It may be some time before I am fit to return to duties.

My choice of Tesco’s prepared meals this evening was chicken jalfrezi; Jackie’s was a pasta bake.

 

A Splendid Morning

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The weather this morning was splendid. The morning was to become more so, with a visit from good friends.

In eager anticipation of the arrival Jackie was out early sweeping the corridors, manicuring the green carpet, refreshing the flowers, and generally tidying up the reception room that is the garden. It seemed only right that I should get out there and help.

Right on time at 11 a.m. Geoff Le Pard arrived with the Textiliste, the Vet, and Dog.

View across Kitchen Bed

We all sat on the patio with coffee and sparkling water. This is one view across the Kitchen bed.

The Textiliste 1The Textiliste 2

Everyone then wandered around the garden. Here are a couple of views featuring the Textiliste, a skilled gardener herself.

Geoff and Milo

This was the first bench tried out by Geoff.

Derrick, Geoff, and Milo 1Derrick, Geoff, and Milo 2

Partly for the benefit of our mutual friend, Pauline, the Vet reprised a photo of Geoff and me taken a year ago. Dog wasn’t in the last one. He didn’t get the joke his master and I shared.

The Vet 1The Vet and Milo 1The Vet and Milo 2

The Vet, of course, was, herself, far more worthy of the camera’s attention. Was Dog feigning an ailment in order to obtain a scratch?

Bidens

The large chimney pots, one of which holds this bidens, were much admired.

Jackie

Jackie, amused by the photo session,

Jackie, Geoff, and Milo

was soon to be joined by Geoff and Dog on the Nottingham Castle Bench. In the right foreground of this shot is another of the chimney pots.

Heuchera and day lilies

The opposite corner of the Dead End Path contains this heuchera and these day lilies.

Bee in Summer Wine

On a final visit to the Rose Garden before we set off for lunch, I spotted a bee slaking its thirst on Summer Wine.

Ogre sculpture

Watched over by an Ogre we all lunched at The Beachcomber Café at Barton on Sea. He seemed to be having as much fun as we were.

Afterwards, Jackie drove me to the Birchfield Dental Practice in New Milton for a clean and check up. All was well.

We arrived back home in time for the televised Wimbledon tennis semi-final between Johanna Konta and Venus Williams.

Head Gardener's Walk/Shady Path

I then wandered around the garden again, along the Head Gardener’s Walk to the Shady Path

Dragon Bed

beside the Dragon Bed,

Begonia

where a glowing begonia shines like a beacon.

Comma butterfly

A rather tatty Comma butterfly took a rest,

Red Admiral and Comma butterflies

then flitted across to join a Red Admiral in the sunshine.

Gazebo Path

To the left along the Gazebo Path,

Agapanthus 1Agapanthus 2Agapanthus 3

a large cluster of agapanthuses, in different stages of emergence, are bursting from their cases.

Dead tree trunk

This is the trunk of the dead tree that supports solanums and clematises.

Fuschia Mrs Popple and hydrangea Lanarth White

In the corner of the Rose Garden beside the orange shed, fuchsia Mrs Popple provides a strong contrast to Lanarth White hydrangea.

Sweet peas 1Sweet peas 2

Finally, I thought Bruce would like to see how the sweet peas are coming along.

This evening Jackie and I dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled gherkins and onions. I drank Arborescence Fronton 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.

The Stable Door

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The much needed rain fell overnight and persisted as drizzle this morning. This afternoon we could continue in the garden. My contribution was weeding and making photographs. Jackie did the more creative tidying and planting.

Raindrops were left on poppies, heucheras, foxgloves, blue clematis, spider’s web complete with trapped insect, geraniums, rose For Your Eyes Only, rhododendrons, and libertia.

Clematis Marie Boisselot, and lilies benefited from their wash.

Jackie

Jackie, leaning on the stable door, was amused at my wandering around with the camera. I have often mentioned the stable door, so , just in case anyone is wondering, I feel bound to mention that we do not keep horses. There is no point when we can trot off in search of some any time we like. What we call the stable door is

Stable door

this. And yes, we do know that, like much of the house, it needs some attention.

This evening we dined on fish, chips, pickled onions, and gherkins. Jackie drank Peroni and I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

A New Brother

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Jackie, on an even duller day, continued her creative cultivation.  My contribution this morning was a raked redistribution of the now rather rutted gravel on the back drive. In doing so I gained even more appreciation of the efforts of Richard in shifting shingle from his beach hut described in ‘Like Shovelling Water Or Coal In A Bunker’. And the ground I was working was at least level.

This afternoon I scanned a batch of colour slides from June 1980.

Jessica 6.80

This one of Jessica was taken shortly before Sam’s birth, in University College Hospital in Euston Road, on 19th.

Sam 21.6.80

Here is the new arrival at two days old. He must have had decent fingernails, hence the protective mittens.

Jessica and Sam 5

Cradled by his Mum he slept peacefully,

Jessica and Sam 21.6.80 6

then shared his first joke with her,

Matthew and Sam 21.6.80 2

and was introduced into the eager arms of Matthew

Becky and Sam 21.6.80 1

and Becky.

While I was drafting this, the rain having desisted, the light was just good enough to photograph the view from my window including part of the front garden, where can be seen

Tulips bed in front garden

euphorbia, tulips, daffodils, pansies, heucheras, hellebores, borage, with a glimpse of

Crab apple blossom

the crab apple blossom, to the left of which, out of shot, a couple of owls, of course, stand sentinel on the fence.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s marvellous steak and mushroom pie, sauteed potatoes and peppers, carrots, and cauliflower in a cheese sauce; followed by treacle tart and cream. The Cook drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cotes du Rhone.

Early Morning Lovemaking

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Now, please don’t get too excited. It’s birds I’m referring to. Pigeons, to be precise.

Pigeons 1

Pigeons 2

I am no good at sexing birds, so I’m not sure which was which in this couple, although I suspect that it was the female who remained aloof whilst her suitor performed on the trapeze.

Pigeons 3

Not greatly impressed, she turned and flew away.  He swivelled on the high wire and set off in pursuit.

Jackie continued her mammoth weeding and planting in the garden.

Bamboo roots

My contribution was digging out bamboo roots that had strayed into the gravel of the Oval Path. This also involved lifting border rocks and replacing them after removing the interlopers. Afterwards I ambled around with watering cans, and, of course, a camera.

Tulips, daffodils a,d pansiesTulips and daffodilsTulip mix

We are daily enjoying new tulips,

Parrot tulips

including these parrots.

Wallflowers 1

We inherited some prolific yellow wallflowers along the back drive.

Wallflowers 2

Encouraged by them Jackie added these beautifully red-veined ones last year,

Erysimum Redjap

and these varicoloured erysimum Red Jeps quite recently.

mesambryathemums

Another recent planting is mesembryanthemums,

Red maple bed

seen here in situ beyond the russet heuchera.

It was so hot this afternoon that we took cold drinks on the Castle Bench because it was in the shade. There is a little table each side of the seat for drinks. Jackie sat on the right. I sat on the left. She is left-handed. I am right-handed. Work it out. Until she twigged what was going on, we both rested our glasses in the middle of the bench. Then we swapped positions, and there was nothing between us.

This evening we dine on Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole, carrots, cauliflower, and new potatoes. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the fleurie.