Late Summer Blooms

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While Jackie, weeded, watered, and planted, my main gardening task today was extensive dead-heading. If anyone spots any heads I’ve missed in the following photographs, I’ll thank you for not mentioning it.

Petunias, geraniums, erigeron

We have many petunias. These, with geraniums and erigeron, grace the sitting room wall.

Petunias and fuchsiaPetunias geraniums, and lobelia

These, in a basket hanging over the shady path, blend well with a dangling fuchsia and lobelia above;

Begonia and petunias 1Begonia and petunias 2

accompany begonias,

Dragon Bed

like these above the Dragon Bed,

Petunias

or are planted in beds.

Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

Dahlias, such as Bishop of Lllandaff,

Dahlias, phlox, etcDahlias

and some I can’t identify are cropping up everywhere.

Dead End Path 2Dead End Path 1

This last trio grace the West Bed alongside the Dead End Path.

Bee on dahlia

A furry bee is cleverly camouflaged by the red and yellow one.

Bee on carpet rose

Other bees explore a carpet rose

Bee on salvia

and a salvia,

Salvias, cosmos, etc

two varieties of which are potted at the corner of the Kitchen Bed.

Crysanthemums

These chrysanthemums speak to the phlox behind.

Geraniums

I have no idea how many geraniums fill this stone urn nearby. Last autumn they were all little broken stems that the Head Gardener stuck in soil and nurtured through the winter.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus, Japanese anemones etc

Hibiscuses and Japanese anemones such as these on opposite sides of the Brick Path are typical of late summer blooms.

Penstemon and Festive Jewel

Another happy juxtaposition is that of the penstemons and Festive Jewel in the Rose Garden.

Fuchsia Lady in Black climber and hydrangea

The climbing fuchsia Lady in Black, against the pink hydrangea backdrop, has begun its ascent up the new arch beside the greenhouse;

Clematis

while the White clematis climbing the obelisk in the Kitchen Bed still flowers.

Shady PathPhantom PathThe Heligan Path

Jackie has produced her own individual signage for our paths,

Cryptomeria Japonica

and such as the Cryptomeria.

Palm Bed

Finally, here is a view across the Palm Bed.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken, breaded mushrooms, boiled potatoes, crunchy carrots, and crisp spring greens. One of the advantages of being a wine drinker is that, after a tipple on the patio, I have some left for my dinner. It doesn’t seem to work like that with Hoegaarden. I drank Cimarosa, reserva privada cabernet sauvignon 2012.

 

 

 

Seeking Camouflage

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The sun has returned after several days’ absence. I wandered around the garden with a camera. These photographs reflect the current conditions in our plot.

Hibiscus 1

Hibiscuses are now in full bloom. This one is at the front;

Nasturtium

as is this yellow climbing nasturtium sharing the garage frontage with

Hanging basket and clematis Star of India

hanging baskets such as this container of geraniums an lobelia blending with the clematis Star of India behind them.

Dahlias, lobelias, and fuchsia chequerboard

There are quite a few dahlias reaching up to meet the Chequerboard fuchsia sharing the basket suspended from the wisteria arbour with the paler blue lobelias.

Clematis Polish Spirit and buddleia

A buddleia peeps through the Gazebo arch festooned with clematis Polish Spirit;

Eucalyptus

nearby petunias hang from the eucalyptus.

Leicesteria

Leicesteria drop earrings dangle in the West Bed

Japanese anemone

which also contains white Japanese anemones Jackie planted a couple of years ago to contrast with the ubiquitous pink ones.

Begonias and lobelia in hanging basket on dead snake bark maple

Begonias swing from the dead snake bark maple.

Gladioli Priscilla

Priscilla gladioli have survived the rains in the

Through the New Bed

New Bed.

Petunias and geranium

These petunias and geraniums stand on a brick plinth in the Weeping Birch Bed;

Petunias, geraniums, etc

opposite them a pot on the corner of the Raised Bed contains more of each with many blooms behind them.

Crocosmia etc

The crocosmia in this shot greets you as you leave the Rose Garden,

Rose Garden featuring Just Joey

this view of which is focussed on Just Joey.

Elizabeth's bed with Altissimo

Altissimo, in the centre of this shot looking into Elizabeth’s Bed, has sent out a lower than normal stem.

Palm Bed

Yellow rudbeckia takes centre stage in this section of the Palm Bed.

Comma butterfly

This bronzed Comma butterfly appears to be seeking camouflage from the dead little fir tree

Gazebo Path

in a pot on the right hand side of the Gazebo Path.

Perhaps last night’s power cut improved tonight’s evening meal. A consequence was that the lemon chicken Jackie was marinading remained in the lemon juice overnight. We enjoyed this with her special fried rice and runner beans. I finished the pinot noir. Jackie had drunk her Hoegaarden on the patio as an aperitif.

 

 

 

A Topsy-Turvy Season

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A wander round the garden in this balmy morning’s light diffused by wandering clouds above raised questions about what season we are enjoying.

Spider

An industrious web constructing spider, seeking camouflage in the spent marigold seedpods

Marigolds

must have been confused by the plants’ fresh blooms.

Spider 2

By early evening the predator had moved house and wrapped its dinner.

Bidens

Like many of our bidens, these have self seeded from hanging baskets and tubs.

Small white butterfly on bidens

The Small White butterflies still light on them and many other plants.

Lace Cap Hydrangea

Some of the clusters on this lace cap hydrangea have turned blue.

Hibiscus

Several hibiscuses are filled with flowers.

Petunias

Petunias,
Phlox

phlox,

Fuchsia

fuchsias,

Begonia

and begonias go on forever.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

Others, like these antirrhinums in the Weeping Birch Bed

Antirrhinum

and alongside the Brick Path, are having a new growth surge.

Autumn crocuses and geraniums

Pansies and geraniums refuse to cede ground to the autumn crocuses,

Poppy

and the little orange poppies and persistent lobelias really do think it is spring.

Digitalis

Digitalis cavorts with gaura,

RobinRosa Glauca hips and robin

and robins and other little birds swing along with rosa glauca’s hips.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

It is difficult at this time to find a view that does not include Japanese anemones. Even here, one glows like a coal in the background shadows beyond the Weeping Birch.

Most of the roses are budding again.

Ballerina rose

Ballerinas are back on stage,

Rose Mum in a Million

as are Mum in a Million,

Rose Gloriana

Gloriana,

Rose Flower Power Flower Power, and many more.

Urn at southern end of Brick Path

When admiring the view through the urn at the southern end of the Brick Path

Grizelinia branches

I did my best to ignore the fresh pile of cut branches produced yesterday by Aaron, Sean, and Rory while cutting down the grizelinias.

Later this afternoon, Jackie drove us to Steamer Point, between Highcliffe and Mudeford. I will publish photographs tomorrow, because I think I have enough on this post today, and because, for reasons that will become apparent, we plan to return in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi, and omelette-topped onion rice, with samosas and onion bhajis. I drank more of the Fleurie and Jackie drank Le Héron Gros Manseng 2015.

Hordle Scarecrow Trail

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This morning we visited New Milton, for a shop at Lidl; for me to have a haircut at Hair Design opposite; and to pay some cheques into the bank, although there’s hardly any point in the current economic climate.

Following the amount of interest expressed in yesterday’s scarecrow photographs, we investigated further. The competition is judged by visitors, like us, who bought a list of entrants with space for voting on three categories: Child, Individual, and Business. There is no prize, but subscriptions go towards the September fete. The theme is Children’s Stories. The pictures taken yesterday are of children’s creations. Today we visited a few more, including

Scarecrow 7

Jun(ior) 3 ‘Red Riding Hood’, at 29, Sky End Lane;

Scarecrow 4

IND(ividual) 14 ‘Ugly Duckly’ at 49, Ashley Lane;

Scarecrow 6

and Businesses 11 ‘Tinkerbell’ at Hordle Post Office, 14 Everton Road;

Scarecrow 5

13 ‘Little Red Riding Hoodie’ at Hordle Pharmacy;

Scarecrow 3

16 ‘Mr Wolf Little Red Riding Hood’ at Everything Pets in Stopples Lane;

Scarecrow 1

17 ‘Alice in Hordle Land’ at Classic Cuts alongside the pet shop;

Scarecrow 2

and 18 ‘Wanna bite, Snow White’ next door at Co-op Stores.

Back at home, the sunlight played on front garden plants

Hibiscus

hibiscus,

Lilies

and some rather splendid lilies.

Shelly visited this afternoon and wandered around the garden with her sister.

The Raj in Old Milton is the third reincarnation in our time of the restaurant that was The Jarna when we first arrived in April 2014, then Spice of India until six months ago. We tried it this evening, and found it to be good. My choice of main course was king prawn naga. Jackie and I shared a naan, pilau rice, and tarka dal. She drank Kingfisher and I drank Cobra.

The Biggest Aspidistra In The World?

(THE TITLE IS THE RESULT OF AN ERROR ON MY PART. AS SEVERAL COMMENTERS HAVE POINTED OUT, MY ASPIDISTRA IS A PLUMBAGO. AH, WELL, IT GAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCE GRACIE FIELDS. I WON’T CORRECT MY TEXT, BECAUSE THE JOKE IS NOW ON ME, BUT THANKS ARE DUE TO ALL MY EDITORS 🙂

Even though today was Easter Sunday, and the weather was blustery and showery with occasional sunshine, Aaron and Robin finished weeding the gravel paths in the garden.

This afternoon I scanned the penultimate batch of Barbados negatives from March 2004.

These were the last few from the Bridgetown walk and the first from around the Sugar Cane Club hotel to which we transferred when realised that our initial choice, at the southernmost tip of the island, was so far from Port St Charles where Sam would be ending his epic row.

Tree

I would be grateful if anyone could identify this rather magnificent tree with its root tentacles.

House 1Houses

Here are some more roadside dwellings, both fixed and chattel examples, all with beautifully rusting corrugated iron roofs;

Bouganvillea

and, naturally, bougainvillea,

Hibiscus 1

 hibiscus,

Frangipani

and frangipani.

Flowers unknown 1Flowers unknown 2

I couldn’t identify these flowers.

I also learned that Gracie Fields’s claim for her brother Joe was probably rather dubious.

Aspidastra

Their aspidistra couldn’t have been as big as this one.

Sun loungers

Our new hotel, near the shores of the Atlantic, was well equipped with sun loungers.

Seascape 1Seascape 2

Seascape 3

The Ocean itself bore out Homer’s description of the ‘wine-dark sea’.

This evening we dined on roast duck; roast potatoes; colourful and crunchy carrots, broccoli and Brussels sprouts; and gravy so full of goodies as to accommodate a standing spoon. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished one bottle of the madiran and poured a glass from the next, with which I will continue now.

Entering Bridgetown

When you have been a townie all your life and you take up residence in an area that has none of the mains services that you have taken for granted, you tend to forget things. Like oil for the central heating. Because there is no gas. Then you tend to run out at a Bank Holiday weekend. And, being Easter, it is still chilly.

Stove

Fortunately we have a wood-burning stove. We have never before used it, but did have the chimney swept last autumn. And did have logs from the many pruning jobs we’ve carried out. All I had to do was get my head round operating it. Probably, if I had moved the church candle a bit further away from the heat it would not have melted. Hopefully we are not roasting the jackdaws that clatter the metal plate above the stove with nesting materials and, no doubt, a few jewels they have nicked. And no, I’m not going up there to find out.

Today was the first of a typical British Bank Holiday weekend, cold, wet, and windy. Just not the job for all those Egg Hunts. It was suitable for what Paul Clarke calls a ‘rainy day post’. Consequently I travelled back in my archives to a rather different day in March 2004 in Barbados, and scanned the next batch of the Bridgetown walk negatives.

bougainvillea 1bougainvillea 2

Bougainvillea continued to spread its various shades of magenta and pink along the roadsides. In the first of these two pictures, the rambling plant seeks the protection of the thorns of the plant to which it clings.

Wall collapsingBougainvillea and building

Others ramble around buildings that have seen better days.

Schoolgirl

I passed a slender schoolgirl complete with backpack on her way to her classes. Her hair had received the typical close attention that the turn-out of all these young people displayed.

Fencing in undergrowth

Although some of the roadside buildings remained rather unkempt,

Tree by roadsideHouses by roadside

others were smarter,

Steps

and even grander.

Road

Those steps, and the increasing traffic informed me that I was nearing the Bajan capital. Was the young woman with her arms folded pondering boarding the taxi/bus?

Traffic policeman

Had she done so, she would probably know what offence the hapless driver went on to commit.

Oleander

Other flowers in the hedgerows and gardens were frangipanis

Hibiscus

and hibiscuses.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce, prawn gyazas, and vegetable fried rice topped with omelette. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank more of the madiran.

 

 

 

 

Grass Cuttings And Wild Woodbines

Decking repair

This morning Aaron twice drove himself and me to Mole Country Stores to buy some decking with which he repaired our somewhat decayed structure. The reason for the second outing was that the new lengths were narrower than those being replaced, so we were originally two short.

Sitting in the cab of a working van took me back to my teens and early twenties. As I said to Aaron, it is often the scents of such an enclosed space that stay in the memory. The dominant one in our friend’s vehicle was that of grass cuttings. Dad’s removal van during the 50s and 60s bore the strong aroma of Wild Woodbines, his chosen brand of cigarettes. I worked alongside my father in the school holidays, and later, on Saturday mornings.

Today’s TV rugby fare included matches between Samoa and USA, Wales and Uruguay, and New Zealand and Argentina. In order not to spoil things I will say nothing about them, except that that was a lot of TV.

In the intervals between contests I took the air in the garden, where plants and wildlife continue to benefit from the Indian summer.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus thrives;

Colchicum

the first colchicum or Autumn crocus has emerged from the soil;

Bee on bidens

Bees, like this one on a bidens, still coat their limbs with pollen;

Spider wrapping prey

and a spider wrapped up its prey with which to stock up its larder.

The sunlight enhanced the garden views such as

View from Shady Path across Grass Patch

those from the Shady Path across the Grass Patch,

View from Brick Path across Heligan

and from the Brick Path towards the Heligan one and beyond. Japanese anemones are prominent in each one.

Jackie produced her delicious chicken jalfrezi with egg fried rice for our dinner tonight. Tesco’s meat samosas made good starters. Jackie drank Hoegaarden whilst I finished the malbec.