Gold Blends

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Jackie did a great deal of tidying and planting today whilst I carried out a little of the latter.

Landscape bark scattered

We suspected that once the landscape bark in the rose garden began to attract live bird food we would need to sweep the brick path on a regular basis. That time is upon us. Like human babies in highchairs, the carnivorous members of our avian population toss out what they are not partial to.

Our camellias bloom at different times.

Camellia

Whilst this deep red one is at its peak,

Camellias and Japanese maple

a lighter relative fades to meld with the neighbouring Japanese maple;

Daffodils

and these once bright yellow daffodil trumpets have also turned to old gold.

This afternoon I walked to the paddock in Hordle Lane and back.

Rape fieldSky over rape field

Landscape with rape

The golden field visible from our bedroom window

Hedgerow and rape field 1Hawthorn hedge and rape field

blends in the hedgerow with hawthorn

Lichen and rape field

and like-hued lichen.

This evening we dined on pork rib rack coated in barbecue sauce and Jackie’s excellent vegetable rice followed by Black Forest gateau, with which I drank more of the cabernet sauvignon.

 

Veritable Carpets Of Offspring

Aaron this morning cleared more brick paths of weeds and began painting the Ace Reclaim bench with white Hammerite in order to combat rust; Jackie continued planting, weeding, and general maintenance work;

Landscape Bark

and I finished off spreading the Landscape Bark around the rose garden beds, thus offering The Head Gardener, who had begun the job yesterday, a certain minimal assistance. We need a few more bags to complete the task.

Each day now, we have more emerging varieties of

Tulips

tulip,

Daffodils

daffodil,

Pansies

pansy,

Primulas

and primula.

Fritillaria

Speckled fritillaria Jackie planted in the autumn thrive in the cryptomeria bed.

For ground cover we have such as

Celandines

buttercup-yellow celandines

Periwinkle

and deep-blue vincas.

Many self-seeders need to be kept under control. Cropping up everywhere we have, for example,

Honesty

purple honesty,

Hellebore seedlings

and multi-hued hellebores which drop veritable carpets of offspring. Unmanaged, this dense  brood would choke the rusty heuchera to death and cover the brick path onto which it is already encroaching.

We are still marginally ahead of the game in the race to have the garden ready for spring, but nature is catching up by the day.

This evening we dined at Lymington’s Lal Quilla. My choice was king prawn Ceylon, and Jackie’s, prawn bhuna. We shared egg fried rice, an egg paratha, and an onion bhaji; and both drank Kingfisher.

Not Quite The Man I Was

Bay branches

When Jackie heavily pruned a bay tree in our front garden last autumn, some of the branches escaped into the untended jungle next door.

This morning, I decided to do the decent thing and remove them. I cut them to size and filled one of the gravel container bags with them. Later, Jackie and I donated them to the Efford Recycling Centre, along with another bagful we had collected during the week. We only came back with a large cut glass bowl.

This afternoon we visited Mole Country Stores where we bought a new post for the uprooted side gate and three bags of Landscape Bark. This outlet hast vast areas both inside and out where can be acquired most garden materials I can think of, and quite a few I wouldn’t have known about. Among other goods, the outside yard alone displayed

Stakes

 stacks of timber stakes in all shapes and sizes;

Mole yard 1

house coal;

Mole yard 2

Irish Moss Peat;

Mole yard 3

compost, topsoil, and landscape bark.

The company also caters for equestrian needs, such as harness and bedding. Unless someone is breeding very large rabbits, I imagine

Carrots

these bright orange carrots are intended for horses.

As I make my way through my eighth decade, it is only time that travels faster than it did in earlier days. Certain adaptations have to be made. It was when my arthritic right wrist, perhaps suffering from this morning’s exertions, made me aware that I could not lift my share of the Landscape Bark bags that I was reminded that I am not quite the man I was.

Young women carrying Landscape Bark

The offer of help from two beautiful young women was therefore gratefully accepted, and I did my best not to feel embarrassed, but to stand back and enjoy it.

Back home, it was almost warm enough to sit down with drinks. Instead, we wandered around with them.

Daffodils

Daffodils lining the Heligan Path have a marked, pleasant, scent.

We dined on Jackie’s excellent lamb jalfrezi, succulent savoury rice, and vegetable samosas; followed by chocolate sponge pudding and custard. While The Cook drank Kingfisher, I finished the madiran.