Emerging From The Gloom

This morning the temperature plummeted, as did rain until after lunch, when the overcast skies brightened and the wind speed escalated, for the rest of the day, to 40+ m.p.h.

We drove early to Ferndene Farm Shop to buy three bags of compost, a splendid, tall, lingularia; lettuce and other salad ingredients, before a short trip into the forest.

Beside Church Lane a pair of field horses sheltered under a tree.

The lane, like many others, had recently been resurfaced; hence the skid warning and speed limit. Often such signs stay in situ for months. Jackie had found a section of verge on which to park, otherwise no-one would have been able to pass while I photographed.

Further along the road we spotted a herd of deer which, as soon as they got wind of us, turned tail and huddled together further away. This did not put some of the young stags off their stroke.

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Church Lane is steeply undulating. As this equestrienne reached the top of one slope and emerged from the gloom, even though Jackie was driving very slowly, her horse fell into a panic. My chauffeuse stopped the car and turned the engine off, thus enabling the young woman to settle her steed and sidle past the Modus while preventing the driver’s side from being kicked in.

The far end of the lane emerges in Pilley where further coronavirus messages include the bus shelter with its Union flag and Stay Home messages; and the HOPE bench.

Back at home raindrops glistened on hemerocallis, nasturtium, honeysuckle, fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, and rose Hot Chocolate, to name a few.

I spent the rest of the day reading a book I will feature tomorrow.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy lamb jalfrezi, flavoursome mushroom rice, and plain parathas, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the delicious Douro

Like The Pool, Reflecting

One of Aaron’s tasks this morning was to embed into the soil of the front garden this previously potted Hot Chocolate rose,

near which is a planter containing last autumn’s petunias, pansies, and pelargonium, alongside a euphorbia. Similar survivors of our mild winter are the clematis, nasturtiums, pansies, and solanum adorning the garage door trellis.

This afternoon we took a short drive into a rather crowded forest. We encountered far more cars, cyclists, and walkers than of late. By and large social distancing was being observed, but in the village of Burley, for example, this wasn’t really possible.

A bovine mother and babies group was meeting in what is normally an unoccupied field alongside Hordle Lane. As always with these creatures my presence engendered a certain amount of curiosity.

Soon after we entered Forest Road we saw two herons trying their luck in what is now a rather shallow pool. Jackie parked as soon as she could and I walked back to photograph them standing in the water. A cyclist shot round the corner and spooked them. They took flight. I panned them and hoped for the best; almost immediately I was left, like the pool, reflecting.

Further along the road

assorted foraging ponies were strewn across the landscape.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s well filled, flavoursome, beef and mushroom pie; boiled new potatoes, crunchy carrots and broccoli, with tasty, meaty, gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Becks and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2018.

Grrrrr

A recent post from Sandra had me reaching for my copy of

I will simply refer you to Sandra’s review and say that I enjoyed this short book in my 1977 paperback edition.

Taking regular rests, today I was mostly occupied with irrigation and decapitation of garden plants,

More lilies are blooming on the patio;

we have a peripatetic plethora of hemerocallis, incorrectly called day lilies.

The last of these faces this small clematis climbing the trellis in the front garden,

and stands beside this fuchsia Delta’s Sarah.

Most hanging baskets contain petunias and trailing lobelias.

Bees were particularly attracted to geranium palmatums and yellow saxifrages.

In the Rose Garden, Just Joey has matured, and Alan Titchmarsh stands proud.

Both are visible in these images also including a red carpet rose and Love Knot.

Rosa Gallica has shed a tear over a Deep Secret.

We can drink in the beauty of Hot Chocolate.

Lady Emma Hamilton and Absolutely Fabulous converse with Crown Princess Margareta in the background;

and red valerian introduces

the deep red potted geranium at the edge of the Oval Path.

WordPress took note of my paperback’s title and flushed out everything that followed as soon as I had completed this post, so I was forced to do it all again. Grrrrr.

This evening I dined on Jackie’s glorious chicken jalfrezi; pilau rice; and onion bahji, with which I drank Peroni.

First Donkey Foals

Jackie has not neglected the front garden in her clearing and planting of the last few days. This morning I gathered and bagged up her cuttings from the gravel path.

Erigerons, day lilies, Hot Chocolate rose and fuchsia feature here.

Clematises, nasturtiums, petunias, lobelias, and solanum currently bloom in front of the garage door.

This afternoon we left the sunshine behind at home as steady rain tracked us to the North of the forest.

Coats glistening, a trio of ponies took shelter among trees at Ibsley;

further on, at Frogham, more shaggy yet bedraggled donkeys, including our first foals of the season found their own shelter.

This evening we dined on minted lamb burgers; potatoes pulverised into a creamy mash; crunchy carrots and broccoli; and tender green beans with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Pinot Noir.

Late Summer Flowering

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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.

Hot Chocolate And Hot Lips

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It was another mark of progress this morning when I wandered around the overcast garden while Jackie was out shopping. I didn’t imagine I might have to be rescued in some way.

Wedding Day rose has begun to bloom on the Agriframes Arch spanning the Brick Path.

The diagonal view from the Heligan Path towards the greenhouse features Hot Lips and the clematis now blooming over the Phantom Path.

The arch over the Dead End Path, from which can be seen the Rosa Glauca in the patio, supports Compassion rose and scarlet runner beans.

Astilbe and campanula Samantha flourish in the West Bed.

Poppies, heucheras, and clematises vie with roses in the Rose Garden.

Bee flying to yellow bottle brush

Here, a bee sets its sights on one of the yellow Bottle Brush plants’ blooms.

Hostas and erigeron

The sun having put in an appearance this afternoon, and a hosta in the front garden having caught my eye, I ventured out again.

Geraniums

Jackie has replaced the pansies in the stone tubs on the wall with bright geraniums.

Fuschia Delta's Sarah

Fuchsia Delta’s Sarah thrives in the triangular bed beside the wisteria arbour;

Petunias and diascias

almost black petunias are set off nicely by pink diascias in a pot beside the Kitchen Bed;

and these hanging baskets on the kitchen wall contain diascias, lobelia, and bidens.

This evening we dined on our second helpings of yesterday’s Forest Tandoori takeaway meals.

Where’s That Smile?

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The lower temperature brought a cooler and more pleasant day on which The Head Gardener continued her creative planting, serious weeding, and cutting back. I dead-headed roses, carted debris to the compost heap, and made a few pictures.

Kitchen wall planting 2

The planting on the kitchen wall now seems complete. But you can never be sure. It might be possible to squeeze in something else.

Kitchen wall planting 1

Surely, however, the corner viewed from the patio has more than its share of hanging baskets

Kitchen corner planters featuring petunias, violas, and bidens

and a profusion of pots beneath them.

Kitchen BedKitchen Bed 2

Even the kitchen window reflects its eponymous bed.

Urn containing petunias, alyssum.geraniums, and cosmoses

This is the stone urn standing behind the frog pond on the patio end.

Rose Garden

We have a number of carpet roses which provide a profusion of ground cover. This one in the Rose Garden flirts with Love Knot and Alan Titchmarsh.

Rose Hot Chocolate

Some of you may prefer Hot Chocolate.

Rose Mama Mia

Mama Mia produces a splendid show,

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

and, Emma Hamilton hangs her heavy head into the arms of Absolutely Fabulous.

Rose Super Elfin

Super Elfin, the red rambler in the herbaceous border, virtually uprooted by the beast coming under the North Breeze fence, has benefited from our deterrents and promises to climb to dizzy heights.

Hydrangea 2

Of all the spindly little plants that have received nurture from Jackie, she is justifiably proud of two colourful hydrangeas with dark-trimmed leaves.

Clematis and rosa glauca 2Clematis and rosa glauca

It has taken two years to train this clematis, now mingling with rosa glauca on the arch spanning the Head Gardener’s Walk.

New Bed 1Poppies in New BedPoppies in New Bed

The New Forest is not new. It was, after all where William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, was killed. But, like Jackie’s New Bed, now two years old, it was once. Both are ageing gracefully.

Verbena

Did you, as a child, ever have a kaleidoscope toy? If so, I imagine you could have produced something like this verbena, nature’s own.

Antirrhinum

We have many antirrhinums. Here is a red one.

Petunias in hanging basket, Jackie's smilePetunias and Jackie's smile 2

Jackie took the occasional rest. Sometimes she sat on the Ace Reclaim bench where she could admire her plantings such as the petunias in this hanging basket;

Phlox

the blue phlox in the bed facing her;

Phantom Path

the Phantom Path;

Florence sculpture

the sculpture entitled Florence, now perhaps bidding for the name Flora;

Garden view across Margery's bed from Ace Reclaim bench

and the view across Margery’s bed with its proliferation of day lilies,

Day lily 1Day lily 2

 other examples of which are these.

Did you spot both smiles?

This evening, the friendly Mr Chan produced our meal, which Jackie collected from Hordle Chinese Take Away. I finished Jessie’s excellent Chablis.

 

 

Getting Started

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During a brief spell of sunshine this morning, I focussed on the front garden and the back drive.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson, pink rose, honeysuckleHoneysuckle

Clematis Mrs N. Thomson, pink roses and honeysuckle still festoon the front trellis;

Poppy

and in the beds thrive pink poppies,

Rose Hot Chocolate and fuchsia Chequerboard

the rose, a deep red Hot Chocolate, and red and white fuchsia Chequerboard.

Back Drive bed

Lavender, poppies, antirrhinums, and pansies are among the many plants along the drive.

Just before 2.00 p.m. my memory card was delivered. First I had to extract it from its packaging. This was no mean feat. With the aid of the indispensable downloaded manual I managed to insert the device into the camera, and, following directions, format it and bring up information on the display. I was even able to attach a zoom lens and take a couple of test shots.

Bee tester 1Bee tester 2

Regular readers will recognise my old friend the bee who allows me to catch him on the wing.

Having taken these testers from a reasonable distance, I called it a day. There’s only so much new information that can be absorbed and retained by an elderly gent who began school life with a steel-nibbed pen you dipped into an inkwell set in the top of your desk.

Did I say ‘retained’? Forget that one.

One slight problem remained before I could publish these last two pictures. The memory card was too big to insert into the slot in the computer.

‘Now what?’ ‘Maybe that is what the USB lead is for?’ I fiddled around with the camera body and found a hidden compartment that would take one end of it. ‘That must be the link with the iMac’.  ‘But I’d best seek confirmation on the manual’. That was on page 185.

Have I mentioned that the new kit weighs a ton?

This evening we dined at Royal China in Lymington. The food was as good as ever, and the service as efficient and friendly. We both drank Tsingtao beer.

Perseverance Rewarded

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Until 2.30 p.m. when Jackie drove us to Brockenhurst to collect our friend Sheila who is staying with us for a few days, she continued sterling maintenance in the garden while Aaron and Robin continued with the fencing.

Erigeron

The erigeron outside the French windows featured as part of yesterday’s kitchen door shot. Here is a close-up of some of them.

Walking down the back drive to open the gate for our two marvellous garden maintenance men, I admired, on the bordering beds,

Snapdragons

snapdragons;

Wallflowers and valerian

wallflowers and valerian;

Rose Félicité Perpetué

and rose Féliticé Perpetué, now draping the dead stumps.

Rose garden 1

Rose garden 3

The heucheras in the Rose Garden provide stiff competition for the roses themselves.

Rose garden 4

Here, the geranium palmatums lead us in,

Aquilegias, Schoolgirl and Golden Showers

and aquilegias front Schoolgirl and Golden Showers.

Rose Ballerina and honeysuckle

 Ballerina dances with honeysuckle alongside the entrance arch.

Rose Hot Chocolate

The rose Hot Chocolate in the front garden is, however, just ahead of that in the back.

Rose pink climber

Rose deep pink climber

Festooning the front trellis are two different depths of pink roses.

View from Crytomeria Bed

Here is a view across the Cryptomeria Bed to Elizabeth’s Bed.

Rose peach bush

The peach coloured rose photographed yesterday is further open today.

Hoverfly on For Your Eyes Only

The smallest hoverfly I have ever seen landed on For Your Eyes Only.

Bee on stick

I have striven for a long time to capture a bee in flight. Today my perseverance was rewarded.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, and carrots. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, I drank more of the Fleurie, and Sheila drank water.

Two Seasons Merge

This morning Aaron and Robin took out three mature self-seeded hawthorn stumps from the front garden, leaving a raked clear soil in situ; they pruned our side of the griselinia trees; and Aaron replaced a missing end cap on the front guttering.

The garden, on this balmy, sun-filled day, remains in full bloom. Autumn and Summer flora mingle happily, as the seasons merge.

Crysanthemums yellow

Numerous chrysanthemums are in bloom. These recently acquired yellow ones have possibly been forced, but no matter.

Clematis Duchess of Albany

Her skin may be showing signs of age, but the clematis Duchess of Albany, frolics gamely on the rose garden pergola, beneath which many roses, such as

Rose Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate,

Rose Margaret Merrill

and Margaret Merrill, are flowering profusely. Of a recent listing of the best ten autumn flowering roses Jackie read, we have five. One is Margaret Merrill.

Dahlia

We have forgotten what this dahlia is called, but it is very prolific.

Rose pink

Despite the heavy pruning required for the installation of the Monet Arch at the front, and a blight of black spot, a few pink roses are persevering.

Interspersed with watching two televised quarter final matches of the Rugby World Cup, I continued work on the garden album.

The matches were between Ireland and Argentina, and between Scotland and Australia.

We dined this evening on the other half of the Experiment Pie. It was still delicious. Fresh boiled potatoes, carrots, and green beans accompanied it. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Morlands Old Crafty Hen.