Refreshment

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Jackie carried out much knowledgeable weeding and planting this morning, whilst I cleared up the discards and conveyed them to the compost pile.

Garden view along Heligan Path

The early sun lit libertias standing in the Weeping Birch Bed,

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 4Rose Garden 5Rose Garden 3Rose Garden 2Rose Garden 6

and enlivened the burgeoning Rose Garden.

Raindrops on clematis CarnabyRaindrops on clematisClematis Marie BoisselotClematis

Various clematises,

Clematis Montana

including this wonderfully scented Montana festooned over the front wall;

Weigela

the weigela winding down the south fence;

Aquilegias

ubiquitous aquilegias;

Rambling rose pink

the pink rambler on the front garden trellis;

Libertia, geraniums Ingwersen's Variety, campanulas

borders everywhere, like this corner sporting campanulas, libertia, and geraniums Ingwersen’s Variety,

Raindrops on irises

and the long Back Drive hosting splendid golden irises, relished their welcome refreshment.

Fly on primula

A fly alighted on one of the front tub’s primroses.

This afternoon I added a little more to my biography of an era including me. I now have a working title: ‘A Knight’s Tale’. I took more text, and

this photograph from ‘A Sneaky Weekend’

I then made some prints from recent posts for Louisa.

After this I joined Jackie in the weeding, concentrating my efforts on uprooting the more obvious infiltrators, namely the smelly white alliums, clinging ladies’ bedstraw, and golden buttercups occupying the wrong beds.

This evening, there being no table available at the Crown in Everton, we dined at the Smugglers’ Inn at Milford on Sea. Having starters was a mistake. The platefuls were excellent. Mine contained battered whitebait, plentiful fresh salad, and thick wedges of equally fresh bread. Jackie received a huge plateful of bread and olives. Each serving was a meal in itself. An even bigger mistake was, in my case,  ordering succulent sirloin steak, still more fresh salad, a mountain of perfect chips, onion rings, and fried onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Jackie was treated to a huge bowl of cannelloni. more salad, and an equal number of chips to mine. Neither of us could finish our food, and we did not require a look at the dessert menu. The food was, I hasten to add, all extremely good, and the service impeccable. We both reminisced that, in our prime, we would have managed all this. Jackie drank Amstel, and I drank Doom Bar..

In The Garden Today

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Brick Path

Among his other tasks this morning, Aaron finished weeding the original section of the Brick Path,

Iris 1Irises 1

and sprayed herbicide along the gravel of the Back Drive where an old gold iris has bloomed.

Mimulus

Many plants, like this pansy-like mimulus, have happily self-seeded from last year,

Mullein

others like two mulleins threatening to dwarf the roses among which they have taken root, may themselves be quite content, but their neighbours are not so.

Mulleins

We may have left it too late to move these two giants to the rear of the Back Drive border.

Rose Gloriana

Rose Gloriana is far more prolific in this, its third year in the Rose Garden,

rose Madame Alfred Carriere 1rose Madame Alfred Carriere 2rose Madame Alfred Carriere 3

the faded blue entrance arch to which bears creamy Madame Alfred Carriere.

rose Altissimo

Altissimo stands sentinel at the corner of The Rose Garden and Elizabeth’s Bed,

Fuchsia

where this sturdy fuchsia suspends its delicate pink flowers.

Erigeron

Cheerful erigeron cascades from the wall of the New Bed that contains

Clematis

this pink-striped clematis,

Clematis 2

as healthy as this, one of Jackie’s rescued spindly little twigs, mounting the front fence.

This evening we dined on pork medallions in barbecue sauce, with crunchy carrots, broccoli, and new potatoes. I drank Parra Alta Malbec 2016. Jackie had already imbibed her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.

Even The Dog Knows……

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Helen and Shelly visited this morning for coffee, scones, and a trip round the garden.

Unfortunately the sun disappeared during their visit. My later photographs saw better light.

Red campion

This red campion is allegedly a weed, but we like it.

Roseriae de l’Hay now flaunts her flounced skirts in the Rose Garden;

Poppy

larger deep orange

Yellow poppy and allium

and small yellow poppies are flowering;

Lamium

mauve lamium lines the Brick Path;

and a blue clematis climbs the gazebo.

The tour along the Back Drive reveals clusters of creamy May blossom; two varieties of iris; this year’s honesty; white libertia, red and yellow wallflowers; sculptural euphorbia; differently hued heucheras; roses rambling and bushed; daisy-like erigeron; geraniums, including Johnson’s blue; wispy bronze fennel; deep red valerian; and no doubt much that I have missed.

After lunch we transported the two large orange bags of clippings to the Dump, now known as the Efford Recycling Centre. Making up for having left empty-handed last time, we came back with two tables and a mirror for the garden. As we turned into Christchurch Road a dog on a lead was taking its own dump on the corner of the verge. While its back legs still frantically tossed up various items of herbaceous vegetation, the desperate creature was dragged away by its owner. I observed that even the dog had more idea about cleanliness than she did. My comment was made inside the car, as Jackie, who hadn’t seen the event, drove us away.

Later, while the Head Gardener continued tidying, weeding, and planting, I gave the buddleia in the Palm Bed such a severe trim as to refill one of the orange bags with the cuttings.

There was plenty left over from yesterday’s Indian takeaway for us to have second helpings this evening. I finished the Fleurie. Jackie had consumed her Hoegaarden on the patio earlier.

Back Drive Progress

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We spent the morning of another dull, overcast, day continuing the general tidying of the garden.

Many new aquilegias are fully or partially blooming.

Over the last few days Jackie has been fine-tuning my weeding of the back drive. In addition to digging up a few more invading brambles, most of my work this morning was transferring the Head Gardener’s piles of weeds to the compost heap. We just need to apply an herbicidal spray to the gravel and the job will be done.

More irises;

Geraniums Johnson's Blue

geraniums like these Johnson’s Blue from Gloucestershire’s Hidcote Gardens;

and hostas, heucheras, alliums and bluebells are some of the plants that line these borders. We thin out the profuse alliums every year.

This afternoon we voted at the local County Council elections where we were informed that the turnout was looking like 20-30%, which was about average. I ask you.

This took place at Milford on Sea church hall. Jackie then drove us to the clifftop where

we thought the pink thrift, despite the gloom of the day, was looking quite colourful against  the grey water reflecting the slate sky.

Pigeon on clifftop

A small pigeon had come to contemplate the calm sea,

Walkers on beach

and a few walkers wandered along the beach below.

The caged structure to our left of the pigeon is intended to keep the public away from the crumbling cliff edge.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. The welcome, the service, and the food, were as good as ever. My choice was lamb dansak with special fried rice; Jackie’s was prawn and mushroom biriani; we shared a plain naan, and both drank Kingfisher.

A Nature Lesson

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On another overcast morning Jackie and I tidied up the garden with secateurs and broom while Aaron and Sean completed the building of the log shelter. Later, Jackie did some more planting and pruning as I carted clippings and branches to the compost and dump bags.

This afternoon I returned to the scanning of the negatives of the 1985 holiday in Instow.

Stump and barbed wire 1985

A fine fossilised scarecrow in a field was revealed as a gnarled stump crossed by barbed wire.

Bees on kniphofia 1985

Bees congregated on kniphofia.

Roof repairs 1985

A roofer was hard at work in the August heat. This seemed to me to be some traditional method merging slate with other materials. Were they being refurbished or replaced altogether, like those next door? I would be happy to learn from anyone with knowledge of this.

Jessica and Louisa 1985 1Jessica and Louisa 2Jessica and Louisa 1985 3Jessiac and Louisa 4

Our holiday home was a short walk from these houses. Here, Jessica sits with Louisa on the wall featured yesterday, introducing her to the wonders of nature. Tall irises stand proud while yellow roses ramble along the stones.

Jessica and Sam 1985

Sam took his turn, too.

For dinner this evening, Jackie produced lemon chicken with chilli and garlic; swede and potato mash; broccoli; and sautéed leeks, peppers, mushrooms and courgettes. This was followed by rhubarb pastries and ice cream. The Culinary Queen drank a blend of Bavaria and Hoegaarden, and I drank Foremost Hawke’s Bay syrah 2015.

From Ice Cream To Bread And Butter

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Today was dull and heavy with the promise of rain that never came to relieve the oppression.

I took a trip back to the summer of 1985 through the medium of colour slides which I scanned.

Louisa ice cream 1985 1

Here Louisa tackles an ice cream in the garden of our Gracedale Road home.

Louisa ice cream 1985 2

This has featured before, but it was then taken from a print. It is sometimes difficult to get the melting treat all in the the mouth,

Louisa ice cream 1985 3

but is definitely worth trying.

(Who would have thought I would one day be scanning these into an Apple?)

Sam ice cream 1985 2

Sometimes it’s a race against time before it runs down into your sleeve,

Sam ice cream 1985 1

and you are left wondering where it’s all gone.

Soon after these photographs were taken, Jessica and I travelled with the children to Instow, near Bideford in Devon, for one of the holidays we enjoyed with the Henry Pearson family in those days.

Sam and Louisa, Instow 1985 3

This time Sam enjoys bread and butter,

Sam and Loiusa Instow 1985 2

Sam and Louisa Instow 1985 1

and clambers over a stout, cemented, stone wall in the garden of our borrowed house.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers, lashings of onions, chips, and baked beans, followed by chocolate sponge pudding with caramel sauce. I drank Doom Bar and Jackie drank fruit juice.

One Day Of Life

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I can spot a dandelion or a bramble when it grows big enough to be difficult to eradicate. The Head Gardener can spot any sort of weed as soon as it pokes through soil. She can distinguish that soon between a plant she will welcome and allow to live and another that must die. I am not safe in that department, so I don’t weed. Except for the few paltry dandelions and small cluster of brambles from one parent root that I removed today.

Jackie continued her phenomenal soil replenishment programme, sensibly choosing the Shady Bed for her main focus because it was pretty warm. It is worth repeating that this involves digging out poor soil, finger fishing thousands of tiny superfluous allium bulbs, adding spent potting compost, then

Planting in Shady Bed

planting, in this case begonias, mimuluses, and geraniums.

Aaron and Robin spent the morning working on the fence.

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 2

In the Rose Garden the forget-me-nots in each picture have self-seeded around the base of Mum in a Million, planted in honour of my late mother-in-law, and just coming into bud. This seems rather thoughtful.

Poppies etc

These self-seeded orange poppies pop up all over the garden, only last a day, and are rapidly replaced.

Day Lily

The same applies to the similarly hued day lilies, so called for obvious reasons.

Irises

Fortunately these orange irises, along the Back Drive, having a delightful scent, bloom a little longer.

Clematis Niobe

The clematis Niobe enhancing the kitchen wall is now very vigorous;

Chilean Lantern tree

the Chilean Lantern tree is coming into flower;

Alliums

and different alliums emerge daily.

View From Decking 2

On the right of this view from the Decking the Cordyline Australis, otherwise known as Cabbage Plant, is coming into bud. It will soon bear sweet-smelling cascading floral filigrees.

Bird's nest

Beneath this palm Jackie found another bird’s nest that has served its purpose.

Sadly, this evening, we came to the end of the last batch of Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi, served with egg fried rice, parathas, and onion bhajis. I look forward to the next one. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta malbec 2014.