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I began the day with a walk round the garden with the camera. Jackie joined me to ensure that I did not miss any of her special successes.
First was the front of the house, with clematis, nasturtiums, solanum and verbena bonariensis festooning the trellis in front of the garage door; honeysuckle old and new, and pink roses having another flush; and planters of geraniums, lobelia, and petunias.
Constantly watered geraniums and other goodies thrive along the kitchen wall, opposite Jackie’s precious pineapple plants (eucomis, but I can’t get the alliteration with that) in the bed.
Begonias beside the Head Gardener’s Walk spill out of their pot. The ferns in front of them were plucked from less hospitable positions and replanted by She Who Walks The Path.
Jackie paid particular attention to hydrangeas during the long hot spell. Some, like one in the Dragon Bed, and other low-lying specimens, were little more than dried up sticks. The Phantom version, after which its path has been named, has not flowered for three years. The blooms are much smaller than they should be, but at least they are there.
Rudbeckia, Japanese anemones and a late blooming, self-seeded day lily brighten the palm bed. The pink Japanese anemones occupy the Kitchen Bed.
More rudbeckia grace the grass patch border, as do lobelias Cardinalis.
We have crinum Powelliae in the Cryptomeria Bed; ginger lilies, and white gladioli in the Weeping Birch Bed.
The Westbrook Arbour planting, including that seated in the cane chair, has matured well, as have the solanum and clematis soaring above the dead tree at the far end of the Brick Path. Penny Lane has claimed the Gothic Arch.
Roses Lady Emma Hamilton, Absolutely Fabulous, Winchester Cathedral, Gaujard, and Hot Chocolate thrive in the revived Rose Garden;
the unknown peach rose and climbing Compassion overlook the patio.
This afternoon Jackie drove me to Lymington Hospital where a little of my blood was extracted for a PSA test, essentially to rule out prostate cancer.
This evening the three of us dined at the Wallhampton Arms. Jackie enjoyed a smoked haddock fishcake starter; Elizabeth, potted shrimps; and whitebait for me. The ladies each chose spatchcock chicken as a main course, whereas I Chose ribeye steak. Jackie drank Moretti while Elizabeth and I shared a bottle of Nine Lives merlot 2016. Back at home, our dessert consisted of Jackie’s splendid apple and apricot crumble and custard.