Just Too Short

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I took a couple of strolls around the garden with a camera this morning. Sculpture Florence turned her back on the early light streaming from the Rose Garden.

Overnight rain had refreshed fuchsias, geraniums, hydrangeas, and dahlias, in one of which

a bedraggled bee risked drowning.

Our red hot pokers are over now, but other kniphofias of more autumnal hues stand erect in the Weeping Birch and other beds.

White solanum continues to drape itself over the dead tree beside the New Bed.

Spiders lurk everywhere. Look closely at the close-up of the hanging basket at the corner of the Phantom Path.

This afternoon Jackie drove me into the forest.

Along the Rhinefield Road a rather young foal foraged far from his parent who looked to be away in the distance.

A little further along a forest sprite impersonated the upper section of a dead tree escaping the clutches of its parent body.

Along the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive dry layers of fallen leaves and pine cones offered a spring to my step and to those of a lone walker. A carved cone marked a route.

Passing the trough on Wootton Common we noticed that it was surrounded by cattle vying for a drink. By the time we had turned round to park the car near the animals, they were all trooping off along the moor.

Ah, not quite all. Just one diminutive creature had been left behind. In vain did this Marshmallow cow, time and again, circle the trough attempting to slake her thirst. Even her neck was just too short. Eventually she hit on a super wheeze. She tried the human spout. I wonder if the next two-legged drinkers will have any idea about who had preceded them.

This evening the three of dined on Jackie’s roast beef; Yorkshire pudding; pigs in blankets; roast potatoes, sweet and normal; crunchy carrots, tender runner beans; and gravy solid with onions and mushrooms. Elizabeth and I drank La vieille ferme 2017, while the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden.

 

 

 

Meal Of The Day

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Susan Rushton’s post earlier today featured colchicums. There are a number of different varieties of these autumn crocuses.

Colchicums 1Colchicums 2Colchicums 3

Ours are different, and a bit battered by wind and rain. I think they are speciosum. Here they are Susan.

Spider 1

Whilst on my way to obtain the first two images above, I spotting a spider waiting on its web. As I watched it hauled itself up aloft and I just left it to get on with it.

Colchicums 3

Later, I walked the same way to capture the flowers in a different light.

Spider with bee prey

The spider was gloating over its meal of the day. That was one bee that would seek no more pollen.

Snapdragons and spider

It is, of course, the season for these insectile predators. I couldn’t even photograph these snapdragons without one poking its nose in.

Garden view through arch towards Oval Bed

The antirrhinums appear to the right of this view through the arch framing the Oval Bed.

Weeping Birch Bed

The kniphofia to the left is one of many in the Weeping Birch Bed

Kniphofias and begonia 2

blending with the begonia in a hanging basket behind.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsia 2

We still have many thriving fuchsias

New Bed

including one festooning the New Bed.

This afternoon I finished reading ‘Phineas Finn’, the second of Anthony Trollope’s six Palliser novels. This follows the fortunes of the eponymous hero as he ventures into the Victorian Parliamentary world. Without giving away any of the story I can say that, against the background of conflict over reform bills in the 1860s, we have love triangles; fraught courtships; political and matrimonial intrigue; and a view of social history of a time when Members of Parliament needed independent incomes in order to fund their campaigns and carry out their duties if elected; and when women were dependent upon submission to their husbands.

Trollope’s lengthy work is rendered readable by his elegant, flowing, prose, which may not suit some of today’s readers requiring shorter, more racy works.

The author is clearly in sympathy with the status of women, especially those trapped in unhappy marriages. Perhaps that is why, as stated by J. Enoch Powell – himself a controversial politician active a century after the period of the book – the female characters have rather more depth of study than do the males.

Powell’s introduction is sound, and he was aptly chosen by the Folio Society whose 1989 edition I was reading.

In my review of ‘Can You Forgive Her?’, I expressed my disappointment in the illustrations of Llewellyn Thomas. I am no less enamoured of those he has made for the current volume, so I won’t reproduce any.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington. My main meal was Goan lamb, while Jackie’s was Chicken shashlik. We shared special fried rice, a paratha, and onion bhaji; and both drank Kingfisher and the customary complimentary Bailey’s.

Pollie’s Day Lilies

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Grass edge 1Grass edge 2

This morning, while Jackie continued planting, I shaved a curved line on the edge of the grass patch,

Petunias

where Jackie had placed a group of petunias. Then, removing grass roots and us much moss as possible, I broke up the sods and mixed them with the Head Gardener’s fresh soil.

Clematis 2

Of all the clematises in the garden it is perhaps pertinent to mention two today. This one is making its way across the arch spanning the Phantom Path on the other side of Margery’s Bed against which the above petunias have been placed.

Clematis

The other, being the same white hue as the now faded Marie Boisselot now commands the attention that she had in her youth on the Kitchen Bed obelisk.

Kniphofias

The same bed contains miniature kniphofias;

Cosmoses and geraniums

the stone urn standing beside them contains cosmoses and geraniums;

Mesembryanthemums

and almost fluorescent mesembryanthemums overlook the Waterboy’s fountain.

Flies on scented lily

Gloriously scented lilies in the New Bed attract a myriad of flies.

Day lilies 1Day lilies 2Day lily 1Day lily 2

Day lilies abound throughout the beds, but they are of just three varieties.

When Jackie discovered that a splendid collection of the plants is nurtured in Sway, just two or three miles up the road, it became imperative that we should pay a visit. Accordingly we took a trip to Pollies Daylilies signin Mount Pleasant Lane,

Along a winding gravelled drive we entered a lovely garden with a huge array of plants of all kinds. I rang a doorbell and Pollie Maasz, the friendly and pleasant proprietor, emerged to show us around her amazing collection, about more of which can be read on Day lilies .

Day lilies 5Day lilies 6Day lilies 3Daylilies 4Day lilies 8Day lilies 9Day lily 4Day lilies 7Day lily 7Day lily 6Day lily 5Day lily 8Day lilies 13Day lilies 12Day lily 9Day lilies 11Day lily 3Day lilies 10Day lilies 14Day lilies 5

A gate in the domestic garden led us to a splendid display of unusual hemerocallis flowers.

Horse and flies 1Horse and flies 2

As Pollie searched among rows of potted samples for sale, through a wire fence, she chatted to her neighbour’s horse, tormented by marauding flies. The good-natured mare tossed her head in vain attempts to rid herself of the plague.

Day lilies 15

We bought two plants. All we have to do is create spaces for them.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. I enjoyed chicken jaljala; Jackie chose chicken shashlik; and we shared mushroom rice and a plain paratha. We both drank Kingfisher.

 

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.