Waste Not……..

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Although I didn’t have to grapple with the mortgage issue until late this afternoon, I’ll deal with it first to get it out of the way. The latest nonsense is that, after almost a month of procrastination and prevarication on behalf of the solicitors in the case, we learned two days ago that one of our documents must be signed in face to face contact with a solicitor acceptable to the lender. The firm that the building society originally approved is in Manchester. We were not prepared to travel up there for a ten minute encounter. Our independent adviser found one in Southampton who withdrew today on the grounds of sickness. Jackie and I will have to trail around tomorrow to find another prepared to witness our signatures.

Happily ignorant of this, we began the wet and rainy day taking the bags of garden refuse to the dump, then drove on to MacPenny’s garden centre in Bransgore, where I wandered around the garden while Jackie plundered the plant sales and waited for me in The Robin’s Nest cafe.

Plants for sale

Autumn has applied its rosy tints to many of the potted shrubs on offer.

Hosta

Being the only person daft enough to enter their garden on such a day, I had it to myself. This giant hosta gave me a gleaming greeting.

Shrubbery 1Shrubbery 2

Shrubbery 3

The dismal weather could not deter the shrubbery from doing its cheery best to brighten the day.

Cyclamen

Cyclamen,

Fuchsia

fuchsia,

Unidentified flower

and this flower I cannot identify, splashed colour around. Susan Rushton, in her comment below, has suggested this: ‘The mystery flower looks like hesperantha coccinea.’.

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas were a little more muted.

Mossy root

Almost fluorescent green moss coated tree roots;

Chrysanthemums and stepsChrysanthemums and grass

small ferns punctuated log steps beside which asters, or Michaelmas daisies, clustered; splendid Pampas grass perched on a terraced bank.

Steps 1

Other logged steps were deep in shade;

Dog's headstone

where William was laid to rest.

Autumn leaves 3

A few trees were in the process of shedding their leaves; some clinging stubbornly on;

Autumn leaves 1Autumn leaves 2Autumn leaves 6Autumn leaves 4Autumn leaves 5

others decorated damp sward.

Autumn leaves on path 2Autumn leaves on path 1Autumn leaves on path 3

Winding paths are already being carpeted.

Hosepipe

A loosely coiled hosepipe lay dormant.

Eventually the rain increased and drove me inside where we enjoyed good quality brunches before returning home.

Regular readers will know that it is rare for us to leave the recycling centre ( the dump), without making a purchase from the sales area. Today, Jackie bought a child’s multi story car park for the use of grandchildren and great nephews.

Apples and bag of bulbs

Someone had tossed apples along with branches into the green refuse container. They were rescued and brought home with bags of bulbs from MacPenny’s. As the saying goes, ‘waste not, want not’.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s exquisite beef and mushroom pie; tasty gravy; new potatoes; and crisp carrots and cabbage; followed, of course, by stewed apples and vanilla ice-cream. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the malbec.

 

 

One For Barrie

Hose 1Sometimes underground, sometimes stuck among the branches of shrubs, a hosepipe trail snakes across the garden. It began coiled up behind a water butt outside the back door. Today Jackie tried attaching it to the outside tap, and followed its path. This was not an easy process, and would have been impossible without the amount of undergrowth clearance we have carried out.

Beside the butt, the yellow pipe disappears under paving stones.Hose 2 Between two of these we catch a glimpse of what appears to be white piping. Only a sixth sense prevented Jackie from hacking this out when she was weeding between the stones. This was just as well, because, almost certainly, this is part of the first piece of plastic hose that emerges in a shrubbery some way across the garden. Hose 3Hose 4From the now exposed earth, continuing by attachment to a green hosepipe, it climbs into a now much reduced vibernum. Until I cleared that area, the lengthy irrigation system was entwined among weighty brambles whence it dropped down to weave between plants and shrubs flowing overHose 5 the brick path that it now runs alongside. The compost heap lies beside a dead tree at the end of this path.Hose 6 The green hose was looped around a branch perhaps seven feet above the soil, and had been flattened before vanishing into the heap. Jackie unhooked the pipe and puffed it out. With the aid of a fork and gardening gloves we extricated it from the pile, the tap was turned on, and, hey presto:Jackie with hose

the far end of the garden has a water supply.

Maybe when the compost heap heats up a bit, we could trail the hose back through it and I could have a bath in the kitchen garden after all.

Bath emptiedActually, I jest. I emptied the bath today. First I had rather a shock because I couldn’t move Bath upendedit. This was because a thick root of something or other had grown through the plug hole and was clinging on. When, on the 28th June, I had begun to clear out the soil, first Jackie, then Paul, on our visit to The First Gallery, quipped: ‘Just pull out the plug’. How right they turned out to be. Having done so, it was reasonably easy to lift the bath over the box hedge and carry it down the garden. Jackie and I then sorted out a temporary resting place for it on the ever diminishing skip pile. This involved beginning to transport the IKEA wardrobe sections across to the boundary between us and the empty property, so I can use them to make a more substantial cobbled up fence. Isle of Wight through thrift and sandalIsle of Wight through thrift 1Isle of Wight through thrift 2Motorboat passing Isle of WightThat will probably be a winter job.

In the still hot and humid early evening, I ambled through Shorefield, passing the now silent rookery and Alice’s rabbits which have grown a bit, to Hordle Cliff top and back. I stretched out on my back among the grasses and thrift to take some shots of the Isle of Wight and The Needles for Barrie who missed them during his and Vicki’s years in Lincolnshire. I know our friend will appreciate the effort required to get down for the angle of these images, and even more so to turn over and clamber back onto my feet.

Sparkling water was the perfect accompaniment for Jackie’s chilli con carne (recipe) with wild rice and peas that we enjoyed for our dinner.

‘Last One To The Chimney Pot’s A Sissy’

Brick radial path intermediate stageJackie has, on and off all week, been working at clearing the longest radial brick path. We determined today to finish it together. I began at the far end and Jackie continued working away from the house.Brick path original being cleared

The radial paths, we think, were laid down in the 1980s. This one joins a much older one, contemporary with The Heligan Path, and probably dating from the 1930s. It is made of brick and was revealed to be beautifully undulating with a pattern somewhat like herringbone.

My totally uncompetitive lady jocularly cried, as we began: ‘Last one to the chimney pot’s a sissy’. The marker in question can be seen at the far end of the paths in the first two pictures. It will be apparent that, by lunchtime, when the shots were taken, there wasn’t much likelihood that I would be able, at the completion, to have any pretensions to machismo.

Finally, in the true spirit of Chris Brasher’s 1981 London Marathon, there was no single winner. Dick-Beardsley-and-Inge-S-001When American Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen crossed the finish line, they did so together, holding hands, in an inspirational gesture which fired many previous non-runners, including me, to enter the event the following year.

Jackie and I each arrived at the chimney pot at the same time. Brick radial path clearedBrick path original clearedThese photographs of the completed task are taken from the marker itself.

The green hosepipe seen snaking along beside the older path is part of an irrigation system rigged up by the previous owner. We have yet to test its operation and efficacy.

Dianthuses and aquilegiasDianthus

Along with aquilegias and many other attractive plants, dianthuses of various colours crop up all over the garden, as here alongside Jackie’s path. There is even a white one.

A number of different evergreen trees that we cannot identify are sprouting new needles. Here is one of them:Evergreen unidentified

Jackie had, yesterday, made off with enough food from the Hordle Chinese Take Away to suffice for today as well. So that was our dinner taken care of. With it, I finished the Bordeaux.

Afterwards we drove down to the beach at Milford and watched the gulls and the waves.