Can It Really Be October?

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Today I took several strolls around the garden, marvelling at what we still have in bloom. Some of the flowers should be long gone. This is simply a selection. Identification can be found from the gallery captions. As can be seen from the orange poppy, geranium Rosanne, and hot lips shots, hover flies and bees still prowl for pollen. Can it really be October?

This evening Jackie produced a splendid roast chicken meal complete with sage and onion stuffing; roast potatoes, some of which were sweet; crunchy carrots, and cauliflower; tender runner beans and Brussels sprouts. She had drunk her Hoegaarden whilst cooking. Elizabeth drank Hop House lager and I drank Mendoza Morador 2016.

Afterwards, having been pointed in the right direction by my blogging friend Paol Soren, I attempted to comply with the popular request for photographs of the fairyland produced by our solar lights, some of which may be seen festooning the earlier daylight pictures. Unfortunately I don’t have a tripod, so there is a little more movement than would normally be seen. Now I have a better idea of what I am doing, I will have a go with Elizabeth’s tripod.

A Layered Rose

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Jackie, Elizabeth, and I worked in the garden for much of the morning, and after lunch until the temperature rose too much for us.

Elizabeth began by weeding the front garden

which houses this fuchsia Delta’s Sarah.

Later, she mowed the grass and cut the edges.

Jackie gave the lavender border in the Rose Garden a severe hair cut,

during the process of which she discovered a rooted layered rose, and rushed off to plant it in a pot. Layering, I have just learned, is a method of propagation resulting from the formation of roots whilst the infant is still attached to the parent plant. Gardeners, to achieve this, will bend a suitable stem to ground level. Our carpet rose in question had done this naturally.

My task was dead-heading roses, including For Your Eyes Only and Creme de la Creme in the Rose Garden, where a hoverfly fossicked through fallen petals.

Did I miss any?

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s smoked haddock; piquant cauliflower cheese; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots and cabbage; and shrunken spinach. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank Squinzano reserva Rosso 2014

 

 

 

 

 

We Ate Their Cake

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Late yesterday afternoon, Jackie created a new bed alongside the Head Gardener’s Walk on a piece of barren ground around the bases of holly and bay trees.

She earned her period in the Gardener’s Rest where she slaked her thirst with sparkling water

Having been held in a snarl up on the M27 for over an hour, Elizabeth’s friends Pauline and Jo were forced to abandon their visit to the garden. I therefore stepped out on their behalf.

I wandered along the Gazebo Path,

glancing to the left across to the Dragon Bed and the new wooden arch.

These, of course, are dahlia days. A white break has appeared among the petals of the single red one, and a hoverfly homes in on Puerto Rico.

Fuchsias like Mrs Popple continue to thrive.

These potted pansies have bloomed continuously since early spring.

Polish Spirit is just one example of the clematises that continue flowering.

Sculpture Florence stands proud on Fiveways.

Japanese anemones proliferate.

While I was at it, I picked some runner beans for tonight’s dinner.

A number of gladioli are pleased to be alive;

as are numerous petunias gracing hanging baskets.

Bees, like these milking bright blue heliotrope and blushing sedum, toil away, taking advantage of our Indian summer.

Love Knot and Margaret Merrill are just two of the roses basking in

the Rose Garden, where Absolutely Fabulous and Lady Emma Hamilton, in their maturity, are plumply alluring.

As I came to the end of my tour, Jackie arrived home with a garden centre trophy in the form of an ailing hydrangea. We have often seen how these bargains respond to her nurturing.

Jo sent Elizabeth a text showing her mother bearing the flowers that had been meant for us.

The timing was perfect, because we were sitting in the patio while we ate their cake.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s delicious sausage casserole; swede mash, crunchy carrots, and the tender aforementioned runner beans. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Malbec.

 

 

 

The Head Gardener’s Hod Carrier

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Brick PathJackie working on Dragon BedJackie continues weeding, clipping, planting, and replenishing soil. This involves a certain amount of popping out to a garden centre. Today, for example, she departed for some lime and returned with, in addition, a garden tray, a parasol, and the obligatory few plants. Here she was working away on the Dragon Bed near the house end of the Brick Path a couple of days ago.

Wisteria arbour

Here is a current view of the Wisteria Arbour where, accompanying the eponymous plant, can be seen a red rose and Carnaby and Star of India clematises; with bronze fennel, cerinthes and Sweet Williams in the foreground bed.

Garden view across Kitchen BedAlliumFrom the corner of the patio the view across the Kitchen Bed contains the white clematis Marie Boisselot reflected by libertia; alliums, pansies, and diascias bringing notes of purple and pink; and russet triangle points made up of the recently pruned maple, the distant copper beech, and the now fully blooming

Chilean Lantern Tree

Chilean Lantern tree.

Rose Peach Abundance 1

Rose Peach Abundance soars over the Oval Bed,

Rose Altissimo

as does Altissimo beside the potting shed.

Rose Mum in a Million

Mum in a million,

Rose Crown Princess Margarete

Crown Princess Margarete,

Rose Schoolgirl

and Schoolgirl are all flourishing in the Rose Garden

Rose Festive Jewel

where Festive Jewel

Rose Garden 1

leads the eye through For Your Eyes Only to Gloriana, with Love Knot to the left;

Hoverfly on rose Summer Wine

and a small hoverfly investigates Summer Wine peeping from its rack on the entrance arch.

Heucheras

The Head Gardener is wondering whether the splendid, flouncing, heucheras are now putting the roses in the shade.

Cuttings for compost 2Cuttings for compost 1My primary function has been to explore all paths and corners of the garden seeking out heaps of weeds and clippings and either chopping them up to fill the orange bags, or dumping them on the fast developing compost piles.

These contributions can crop up anywhere, especially, it seems, when I think I have finished.

Wheelbarrow loaded with weeds

This was just the first wheelbarrow load today.

Weeds for compost 1

Pushing it happily along the Brick Path, I discovered the next two loads. It is fun being the Head Gardener’s Hod Carrier.

Fortunately, Jackie had produced enough of her marvellous lamb jalfrezi meal yesterday for it to be reprised this evening. As usual, this offered some enhancement. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, leaving the Kingfisher to me.

Progress Of The Thatchers

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Jackie tying up roses

During the morning and part of the afternoon work continued in the garden, mostly in the Rose Garden, although I did also partly composite the Oval Bed.

In the front, the Prunus Amanogawa,

and the crab apples are blossoming.

Hoverfly on euphorbia

Hoverflies

Poppy

and our crinkly little orange poppies are appearing everywhere.

This afternoon we drove to Redcliffe Garden Centre in Bashley to buy some metal stakes for holding the log in place in Jackie’s most recent attempt to keep out the big beast. We continued on into the forest, and on our return bought some stone from Otter Nurseries.

Bluebells

The bank leading up to the Church of St John the Baptist at Boldre now wears a blanket of bluebells and dandelions,

Primroses

alongside those of primroses.

Thatching progress 1

The thatching at East End, on an L-shaped building much more extensive than the front elevation shows,

continues apace; nevertheless I am informed that, weather permitting, this very large job is expected to take five weeks.

This evening we dined on Mr. Pink’s fish, chips, and pea fritters, with pickled onions and gherkins. I drank more of the Bordeaux.

P.S. In a comment below, Quercus Community has provided this informative link on thatching: http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/longstraw/longstraw.htm

Boldre Bridge

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At 16 degrees, our incredibly mild period continues. It was therefore strange today to begin the winter clearing whilst we continue to enjoy blooms from spring and summer. We did so in rather desultory fashion.

It is difficult to think of winter when you can admire

roses Margaret Merrill, Penny Lane, Mamma Mia, and especially Summer Time;

or fuchsias, geraniums, dahlias, gauras and poppies, one of which harbours a hoverfly; and many more.

With the sun shining, we set off for brunch at The Friars Cliff Cafe. Unfortunately this was in everyone else’s minds. The car park at Steamer Point was crammed full, and shoals of humanity floundered on the beach. There was no doubt the cafe would be full to bursting like me after the Olympics breakfast. We therefore turned back and aimed for Calshot. We hadn’t travelled very far before the sky clouded over. It didn’t look very conducive to photography, so we brunched at Otter Nurseries. Only when I had chosen a liver casserole did Jackie tell me that was what she had planned for this evening. She happily did a rethink.

The walls at Otter contain some rather well-executed paintings for sale. One of these was Boldre Bridge. We wondered why we hadn’t seen the bridge, and realised that would be because we had always driven over it. So we went to look for it. I passed through a five-barred gate and descended a bank to find something approximating the painter’s vantage point.

I was intrigued to notice that the architect had made it possible to feature the Christian fish symbol. The five-spanned bridge, which dates from at least the 18th century is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) 1990, as amended,  for its architectural or historic interest.

A tree had fallen across the river, on which autumn leaves floated over reflections of broken, reeds, and still grey sky.

Just before we drove on, the sun began to light up the foliage on Rodlease Lane.

En route to Sway, I wandered into the forest, taking advantage of the light streaming through the trees, and exchanging greetings with a family of riders.

Forest scene 3

As I ventured further in, attracted by pinpoints of light in the distance, I was rewarded by this dramatic view across the moorland featuring

House in moorland

  a single dwelling in an idyllic setting.

Driving through Hordle on our return, Jackie spotted a cautionary notice for any witches inclined to take to the skies tomorrow night, and a cry for help from an underground prison.

Jackie’s rethink for tonight’s meal involved lemon-flavoured chicken Kiev, French fries, and baked beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.

Fading Beauty

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This was a glorious sunny day with the warmth of mid-summer. Bees and butterflies abounded in the garden. It was a good day for wandering around, but that is all we felt inclined to do. We can defer the winter preparation until it feels more like autumn.

Hoverfly

This was either a midget bee, or a baby hoverfly flitting among the Japanese anemones.

Dragon Bed 2

Here are two views of the Dragon Bed showing bidens, petunia, hydrangea,

Dragon Bed 3

and more Japanese anemones.

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only continues to bloom.

Oval Path

Fuchsia 2

The Oval Path lies alongside the rose garden, leading to Elizabeth’s Bed. Here we have dahlias, hydrangeas, and one of the many fuchsias;

Fuchsia 1

another of which hangs beneath the wisteria.

Gazebo Path

Here is the Gazebo Path from the south. The new rudbeckias are still waiting for the demise of the nicotiana.

Weeping Birch Bed

View through Weeping Birch Bed

The Weeping Birch Bed looks towards the back drive,

New Bed through arch

alongside the entrance to which is the New Bed, still full of colour. Sweet peas flower to the left of the arch.

Prompted by https://rakmilphotography.wordpress.com/ I used my 50mm lens for most of these shots.

We are in the presence of fading beauty.

For dinner this evening, Jackie produced smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese, and carrots and runner beans al dente. We finished the Gros Manseng.