Survivors December 2019

Today was the third bright, sunny, and cold one in a row. Given that overnight temperatures are in the low minuses, I wandered around the garden to photograph some of the albeit somewhat poorly looking surviving flora.

Two that seem to bloom continuously are the yellow bidens

and the white solanums from last year.

A few primulas,

penstemons,

pelargoniums,

and pansies linger.

The yellow antirrhinums refuse to die.

Mrs Popple

and Delta’s Sarah are two of the still flowering fuchsias.

Fatsia,

vibernum bodnantense Dawn,

and clematis Cirrhosa Freckles we may expect to enjoy at this time of year;

but not the hebes.

Carpets,

Paul’s Scarlet,

Just Joey,

 

Winchester Cathedral,

and Festive Jewel carry the baton for team roses.

Hoards of Hunnish sparrows occupy the hawthorn, swooping on

sad little Muggle’s

feeder for which he has to wait his moment,

while more of Attila’s marauders concentrate on the front garden robin’s seeds.

We didn’t see Nugget today.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Chateau Pinenc Minervois 2017.

 

 

Meet Muggle

Weather-wise this was a gloomy, but largely dry, day which Jackie began by photographing

her now completed work on preparing the New Bed for winter.

Her lens also produced images of the stumpery;

roses including Super Elfin still scaling the Gothic arch;

Mum in a million,

Absolutely Fabulous,

and Just Joey gracing the Rose Garden;

and Doris Tysterman embellishing the back drive,

the borders of which cheer us still.

 

The textures of ferns and grasses appeal to hot lips in Margery’s Bed, which displays autumn colour,

while hebes are blooming early – or is it another late flowering?

Camellias have produced buds already,

while the patio planting does not yet appear to be on the way out.

 

Dahlias still thrive,

as do numerous fuchsias, including Hawksmoor,

Army Nurse,

Chequerboard,

and others.

A blue salvia survives. It is hardy enough not to need a place on

the new shelving that has increased the number of cuttings that can be overwintered in the greenhouse.

One of Jackie’s first tasks was to fix up a nesting box for Nugget’s rival.

Although showing considerable interest in the proceedings this little fellow didn’t keep still long enough for many photographs. He can be seen in the centre of this picture. Our very good blogging friend, Uma, has named him Muggle, on the grounds that Nugget is certainly magical but he must be more earthbound. Therefore, meet Muggle.

Nugget, of course, takes a dim view of this. He made his feelings known when he cocked his head from the top of the Rose Garden fence, muttering “what do you think you are doing”.

“Where’s Nugget?” (40)

This evening we dined on flavoursome pork cutlets; breaded chicken;  crisp roast potatoes, including the sweet variety; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender runner beans, with tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Fronton 2017.

Almost Too Quick

Heavy rain this morning gave way to bright, sunny, spells; in one of which I photographed some raindrops

on roses, dahlia Puerto Rico, a begonia, a pelargonium, fuchias, and penstemons.

Japanese anemones had managed to stay dry.

It didn’t take Nugget long to join in, and

he was almost too quick for “Where’s Nugget?” (29)

Becky and Ian joined us late this afternoon and accompanied us to the Regent Centre in Christchurch where we watched “Downton Abbey”, then drove to Bowling Green to dine at The Wheel Inn. I will report on this tomorrow.

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.

If You Weren’t The Head Gardener

CLICKING ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP WILL ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL EXAMPLES OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Jackie has spent quite a bit of time in the last three days clearing up after the storm. This has involved sweeping up leaves and broken plants; tying up some of the taller flowers;  generally clearing the paths; and continuing to water the baskets and other containers. Before the rain she carried out most of the required dead-heading. The roses in particular have benefited from the generous precipitation from the heavily laden clouds, so a little more pruning was required. I continued with that this afternoon.

These general path views demonstrate that much has been recovered.

Madame Alfred Carriere has swooned over the bright red petunias in the nearby urn. She will need to wait for Aaron’s attention on Sunday. The full size gallery version of the first picture above contains a bee wallowing in Summer Wine.

Dahlias have largely survived, supported by the Head Gardener’s ties. Those mingling with gladioli Priscilla hold a great attraction for bees.

Tall, slender, verbenas bonarensis, were a particular worry for Jackie as they bent double in the high winds. They have, however, largely perked up, and remain strong enough to bear bees swaying in the gentle breeze.

Many more blooms are appearing in the Rose Garden. Here we have For Your Eyes Only, Absolutely Fabulous, and Just Joey.

Rudbeckia is in its golden prime.

The patio borders are mostly unscathed, as are

the hanging baskets, such as those along the kitchen wall, and large pots like the one at the South end of the garden.

All in all, if you weren’t the head gardener, you might think there had been no storm.

I am happy to report that, of the Two Historic Houses, Elizabeth made the choice that would have been ours, put in an offer, and had it accepted – on the Swedish house. She returned home here this evening and the three of us dined on Jackie’s splendid, hot, chilli con carne and wild rice. Elizabeth and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon. Jackie had consumed her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.

Can It Be Mid-October?

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

The lingering virus from which we have now recovered has really rather reduced gardening for a month. Today, I wandered around on a survey mission, and was pleasantly impressed.

View across grass

The grass could do with cutting, but there is also colour in abundance.

Dahlias we would expect;

chrysanthemums

and chrysanthemums;

but clematises?;

roses Just Joey, Margaret Merrill,

Penny Lane, or Altissimo?,

Begonia

begonias?,

Geranium

geraniums,

Fuchsia

and fuchsias in abundance?

Honeysuckle

Not to mention honeysuckle,

Bee and asters

or bees frequenting asters.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious pasta beef arrabiata. Her beverage was Hoegaarden, and mine Santa Julia malbec 2015.

A Virus

I am ailing. I am sneezing, I am coughing. I ache. I shiver.

This morning, I dozed over my laptop. Back in bed this afternoon, I vainly attempted to still the words wandering at will across the pages of Rumer Godden’s  (Mr WordPress, Ms Godden may be regarded as a goddess by some, but that is not what I wrote.) ‘China Court’.

Brick path paving

At noon I walked out to admire Aaron’s work on refurbishing the Brick Path. He has nearly completed the task.

Hoverfly on clematis Natacha

After this I photographed a hoverfly on a clematis Natacha in the New Bed,

rose Gloriana

a rose Gloriana, now in bloom,

rose Just Joey

and Just Joey, now fully opened.

Owl

Finally, I imagined I saw an owl in the dead maple. Perhaps I was hallucinating.

This evening Jackie produced delicious pork chops cooked with mustard and almonds; mashed potato; and crisp carrots, green beans and cabbage. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but could only eat a small portion. Cherry crumble and custard was to follow.