More Than She Could Chew

Aaron works in all weathers. This morning, however warm enough, was even too wet for him. He visited anyway and we enjoyed a pleasant conversation over tea, coffee, and biscuits.

Afterwards I watched England’s World Cup Rugby match against Tonga.

Although this afternoon the skies remained overcast, the steady rain let up; Jackie worked on cuttings in the greenhouse; and I tried to photograph

Nugget without his getting too much under my feet as he darted back and forth after prey.

“Where’s Nugget?” (28)

Rosa Glauca hips and pelargoniums are just two examples of wearers of glistening pearls;

Virginia creeper perspired precipitation,

which weighed down one solitary bedraggled wasp’s antennae.

We have never before had so many nuts dropping from our copper beech. They have to be swept up daily, the husks making good mulch.

Later, with the sun made fairly regular appearances, we drove out into the forest.

One flock of sheep occupied the green at Bramshaw

while another streamed out onto a side lane.

A lone pony was carrying out lawn mowing duties at Nomansland.

Pigs, such as these at Landford, sought out mast;

we wondered what this one at Fritham had caught. soon we realised that

she had trapped a rat

and that she had bitten off more than she could chew. Jackie exclaimed that this sight had permanently put her off pannage pork.

We took the lane leading from Fritham down to Eyeworth Pond where

small birds flitted to and from the trees and the peanuts birders had left on the posts.

An inquisitive cow raised its head in the woodland,

and ponies enhanced the moorland landscape.

This evening we dined on fish pie and a medley of carrots, cauliflower, greens, and runner beans, all perfectly cooked al dente. We both drank Albarino 2017.

Before The Storm

Threatened with a thunderstorm, after two lengthy dead-heading sessions, I wandered around the garden while Jackie continued with her general tidying and maintenance work.

The blooms in these images of the Rose Garden and the bed at its entrance are identified in the titles of the galleries, each of which can be accessed by a click.

The Shady Path runs between the Dragon the the Palm Beds. The kniphofia and fuchsia occupy the Dragon Bed. The poppies are volunteers having forced their way through the gravel.

Day lilies, sweet Williams, lobelia, more poppies, and geranium palmatums are found in the section of the Dragon Bed alongside the greenhouse.

Day lilies, fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, geraniums, and clematis Marie Boisselot all make their contributions to the Kitchen Bed.

Supported by the Gothic Arch, Wedding Day now flowers above the Brick Path.

More day lilies and a fuchsia thrive in what we now call the Grass Bed.

Here are the current views down the Phantom Path;

from the Concrete Patio to the Oval Bed;

and over the stepping stones in the Cryptomeria Bed through to Margery’s Bed.

By early evening the skies were oppressively leaden, but the storm had held off when we drove into the forest.

On Undershore,

Gilpins is blessed with a quite magnificent cornus, which arlingwoman, below, has identified as Kausa.

On a particularly dark section of Church Lane a trainee rider loomed up out of the murk ahead of us.

Further on a deer dashed out of the light into the dark.

As we arrived at Tanners Lane a pair of kayakers were coming in to land.

There was a distinct dearth of donkeys, ponies and other wildlife in all the spots where we would expect to see them. We came to the conclusion that they had tuned in to the weather forecast and were lying low.

This evening we dined on perfect pork chops; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender green beans; and tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Squinzano Reserva 2014.

Bedmaking

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This year we have enjoyed a bumper crop on the apple tree we inherited. Previously it has produced just a handful of weedy fruit which never came to anything. I picked a few after lunch.

On this gloriously warm and sunny day, Jackie continued with the refurbishment of the Weeping Birch Bed on which she has spent many hours over the last few days. Like many of the beds in the garden, this one has been laid over solid concrete, the soil gradually seeping through the dry brick and stone retaining wall onto the gravel which we laid down a couple of years ago. Most plants were now rooted in very few inches of earth. The Head Gardener has rebuilt the wall; sifted much soil and gravel; cleared an access footpath; replenished the soil with compost; weeded and replanted, along the way digging out stray rocks, including tufa.

Experts are now dictating that asters should now be called something long and forgettable, yet the Autumn Jewel variety now settled in its new home does not bear the new nomenclature. We will therefore continue to term the plants beside the rose that has no name, facing self-seeded bidens across the brick path, as we have done all our lives.

We are enjoying a variety of the once unfashionable dahlias,

some of which,

like these euphorbia and kniphofia, still attract bees and wasps,

as, especially, do sedums, now rivalling geranium in richness of red.

This Small White butterfly rented the verbena bonariensis on a short term lease from the bees.

Geraniums, lobelia, and Japanese anemones continue to thrive;

while, in the Rose Garden, Mama Mia and Absolutely Fabulous are among those furnishing further flushes.

This evening we finished Jackie’s splendid pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank Patrick Chodot’s Brouilly 2016.

 

One That Didn’t Get Away

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In anticipation of the expected 45 m.p.h. winds we were out early this morning battening down the hatches.

Chairs and plinth grounded

Chairs

Hanging basket on ground 1Hanging basket on ground 2Hanging basket on ground by eucalyptusHanging baskets on ground 1

and hanging baskets were grounded;

Phantom Path

trugs, like this blue one on the chair at the west end of the Phantom Path were upended;

Gladiolus

I lifted this flowering gladiolus’s broken stem and wedged it between another and the bamboo support. It was rather ragged but deserved a lift.

Small white butterfly on Japanese anemone

This Small White butterfly hadn’t heard the weather forecast.

Dahlias Coup de soleilDahlias, poppy etc

Iron urn

Dahlias, of course, are in season;

Verbena bonarensis

verbena bonarensis goes on for ever;

Salvia

salvias and snapdragons still thrive,

Begonias etc

as do some begonias.

Rosa glauca hips

Hips, like those of Rosa Glauca, glow, glistening.

kniphofia 1

Kniphofias are having a second flush,

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 2Rose Crown Princess Margareta

as are roses, including Crown Princess Margareta, although most are showing signs of age.

Kitchen BedElizabeth's BedSouth end of gardenGazebo Path 2Gazebo Path 1Cryptomeria Bed

Most of the beds are still vibrant.

Ferns

We have many ferns. A Japanese Painted Lady sits in the centre of these.

Jackie planting bulbs 1Jackie planting bulbs 2

Jackie spent some time planting bulbs,

Jackie digging up bramble 1

and dived into the Kitchen Bed

Jackie with bramble

to emerge like a triumphant angler with a lengthy bramble.

Sid has now joined Aaron in AP Maintenance. Today they switched to the afternoon. By then the wind had really got up and the rain began to fall, leaving its mark on Jackie’s lens when she took some of ,these photographs. In less than two hours

Sid mowing lawn

Sid mowed the grass;

Aaron pruning eucalyptus 1Aaron pruning eucalyptus 2

 Aaron transformed the eucalyptus, seen here blowing in the wind,

Aaron and Sid checking eucalyptus pruningEucalyptus

to this;

Cordyline Australis

the pair removed an extraneous buddleia, thus revealing the trunk of a Cordyline Australis which they stripped of dead lower foliage;

Cypress clippings

smoothed out the gravel on the back drive, and took away all their cuttings and the contents of one of our orange bags.

Weeping birch 2Weeping birch 1

The boughs of the trees, for example the weeping birch, were whipped by the wind, and, by the time the maintenance crew had left, the rain was hammering down.

Shelly and Ron visited this afternoon. Ron investigated our drainage system; I printed the pictures from Ron’s party for them; and Shelly brought some of her own freshly picked runner beans which Jackie and I ate for dinner, along with chicken marinaded in Nando’s tasty mango and lime sauce, mashed potato, and carrot and swede mash. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Fleurie.

 

 

 

 

A Topsy-Turvy Season

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A wander round the garden in this balmy morning’s light diffused by wandering clouds above raised questions about what season we are enjoying.

Spider

An industrious web constructing spider, seeking camouflage in the spent marigold seedpods

Marigolds

must have been confused by the plants’ fresh blooms.

Spider 2

By early evening the predator had moved house and wrapped its dinner.

Bidens

Like many of our bidens, these have self seeded from hanging baskets and tubs.

Small white butterfly on bidens

The Small White butterflies still light on them and many other plants.

Lace Cap Hydrangea

Some of the clusters on this lace cap hydrangea have turned blue.

Hibiscus

Several hibiscuses are filled with flowers.

Petunias

Petunias,
Phlox

phlox,

Fuchsia

fuchsias,

Begonia

and begonias go on forever.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

Others, like these antirrhinums in the Weeping Birch Bed

Antirrhinum

and alongside the Brick Path, are having a new growth surge.

Autumn crocuses and geraniums

Pansies and geraniums refuse to cede ground to the autumn crocuses,

Poppy

and the little orange poppies and persistent lobelias really do think it is spring.

Digitalis

Digitalis cavorts with gaura,

RobinRosa Glauca hips and robin

and robins and other little birds swing along with rosa glauca’s hips.

Weeping Birch Bed 2

It is difficult at this time to find a view that does not include Japanese anemones. Even here, one glows like a coal in the background shadows beyond the Weeping Birch.

Most of the roses are budding again.

Ballerina rose

Ballerinas are back on stage,

Rose Mum in a Million

as are Mum in a Million,

Rose Gloriana

Gloriana,

Rose Flower Power Flower Power, and many more.

Urn at southern end of Brick Path

When admiring the view through the urn at the southern end of the Brick Path

Grizelinia branches

I did my best to ignore the fresh pile of cut branches produced yesterday by Aaron, Sean, and Rory while cutting down the grizelinias.

Later this afternoon, Jackie drove us to Steamer Point, between Highcliffe and Mudeford. I will publish photographs tomorrow, because I think I have enough on this post today, and because, for reasons that will become apparent, we plan to return in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi, and omelette-topped onion rice, with samosas and onion bhajis. I drank more of the Fleurie and Jackie drank Le Héron Gros Manseng 2015.

Fish ‘n’ Chips

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Wind chimes

Alison visited today and brought us a wonderful set of wind chimes. Given the amount of wind we usually experience, it is sod’s law that the air was now perfectly still.

On display during her walk around the garden were

Japanese anemones and dahlias

Japanese anemones

Dahlia

and dahlias;

Clematis and petunias

clematises and petunias;

Begonia

begonias;

Bees approaching kniphofia

and bees approaching kniphofias

Bees on sunflower

or stocking up on sunflowers.

Mr Pink's Fish & Chips

A response to yesterday’s post from Pauline, The Contented Crafter, prompted me to look into the fire at Mr Pink’s Fish And Chips shop. It was on the evening of Wednesday 24th August that the oil in one of the chip pan vats caught fire. Three firefighting  crews were rapidly in attendance to extinguish the fire, and no-one was hurt. The best fish and chip shop for miles around will, however, be closed for some weeks.

We had been considering for some time visiting The Cliff House at Barton on Sea, an hotel with a restaurant serving, among other things, fish and chips, so when Pauline asked us what we were going to do on fish ‘n’ chips nights, this seemed a good reason to try it.

We did that this evening. We both enjoyed excellent hake in sourdough batter, served with chips in a tin mug and peas in a pottery dish. My delicious dessert was summer berry Eton mess which came in a jam jar. Jackie’s trio of ice creams was enjoyable, but she wasn’t sure about the flavour of one, and asked for my opinion. I suggested Plasticine, on the grounds that it was the same colour of that modelling material after children had been at it. The waitress informed us that it was blueberry. Jackie drank Erdinger wheat beer and I drank an Italian pinot grigio. The service was friendly and efficient. We will return.

Find The Moth

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Today was overcast and unseasonably hot and humid. I cut the grass and had a wander around the garden. Many of our plants linger on, refusing to accept the advent of autumn.

Clematis

We still have blooming clematises.

Heligan Path

Although the leaves of the weeping birch are beginning to colour the Heligan Path,the beds bordering it remain colourful.

Rudbeckia

The new rudbeckias stand in a tub as they are having to await the demise of the nicotiana sylvestris which they are intended to replace.

Begonia

We have white begonias.

Bee on sedum 1

Bees continue to plunder the sedums into which they merge;

Moth camouflaged

but the prize for camouflage goes to this moth posing as a dying begonia leaf.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s powerful chilli con carne with rice and peas, followed by Victoria sponge and lemon meringue pie ice cream. I drank Croix des Célestins Fleurie 2014, and the Culinary Queen didn’t.