Poisonous To Them

On a much cooler and overcast morning Jackie drove me into the forest.

The water tubs at the start of Sowley Lane had been refilled, and we saw another on St Leonard’s Road.

Barley fields on either side of Tanner’s Lane are producing fine crops, perhaps a little early.

Against the backdrop of the Isle of Wight the Solent gently rippled with choppy waves slipping over the grating shingle beach.

Plants clinging to the ancient stone walls of St Leonard’s Granary, and the sweep of sward outside the grange were beginning to die back, although the no doubt well irrigated lavender borders remained bright.

The pool alongside the Grange where we often see groups of ponies drinking was becoming very dry. The close-up of the marsh ragwort was produced by Jackie.

The ponies and foals gathered together further along St Leonard’s Road know instinctively to avoid the familiar yellow plants which are poisonous to them.

This afternoon the clouds were swept away from the garden as the sun brought back the heat. Later Flo watered and dead-headed; Jackie planted, watered, and dead-headed; I just dead-headed – quite a lot.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower and broccoli; tender green beans; and tasty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank mixed fruit cordial, and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Special Anniversary

It was not until 26th June 2014 that we decided to make a before and after record of the work done on the garden begun on 1st April. We regret not having thought of this from the  very beginning.

This was when we decided to turn the remnants of a kitchen garden into a Rose Garden.

Wire contraptions had to be removed from the eastern fence. This process, with additional photographs, was featured in the post of 5th July.

Concrete slabs, buried bricks,

 

assorted paving,

 

 

and even a discarded bath were all unearthed during the next three months.

By the time Aaron joined in the project in February 2015, I had cleared the plot ready for him to level it by the 8th.

He then set about laying down brick paving to our design.

By 8th October The Head Gardener had selected and planted the roses and furniture had been installed.

The above photographs all appear in previous posts and are contained in the garden record albums.

Today I produced a batch of prints from May to September this year to bring the album up to date. Here are a few of those:

Jackie uses this one from 31st May as her screen saver.

Here are a couple of smaller scenes showing the additional planting of lavender and heucheras;

 

 

and individual roses such as Lady Emma Hamilton;

Gertrude Jekyll;

 

and Special Anniversary from July. This last one is a happy coincidence because today is the second anniversary of our second wedding.

The Crown Inn at Everton has changed hands since we were last there. That is where we chose to have our anniversary dinner. The ambience and the menus are different; the service and food were good. Jackie enjoyed the house burger with fries and salad, as did I  a perfectly cooked rib eye steak with similar accompaniments. Mrs Knight drank Moretti and I drank Riscos Chilean Malbec 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Find The Colours

After lunch Matthew and Poppy arrived to spend the weekend with us.

Our granddaughter was keen to explore the garden again. She and Matthew walked around with a list of ten colours of which she was to find representatives. The only one that proved problematic was green.

I imagine there are enough colours in these pictures to cover the game. As usual, clicking on any example in each of the groups will access its gallery with the titles.

This evening we all dined on Forest Tandoori Indian Take Away’s excellent fare. Mat and I enjoyed lamb jalfrezi; Jackie’s choice was chicken shashlik; Poppy picked at a paratha. We shared various rices, a paratha, and onion bahjis. I drank Tsing Tao beer, and Jackie and Mathew chose Blue Moon.

P.S. As Jackie has so kindly informed me, the yucca is a phormium, so I have changed the title.

Preparing For Departure

Having been picked up by Shelly, Jackie left today just after noon for three days away with her sisters.

In her efforts to ensure I would be well catered for, the Culinary Queen packed the fridge with cooked meals and salad lunch materials. The plate on the fourth shelf down contains the lunch I enjoyed after the ladies had left.

A Post It note was stuck on my computer screen in case I needed help in informing the world what I had eaten for my dinner.

Concentrating on containers and the patio area, we were both on watering duties this morning. I irrigated the front garden this afternoon.

Later on I repaired to the Rose Garden with a book.

The rich peachy pink of Mama Mia

towers above a sweep of lavender,

among which I watched flit a butterfly I cannot identify. (In his comment below, TanGental has confirmed that it is a Hedge Brown)

Creme de la Creme

and Special Anniversary are comparatively new blooms;

Hawkshead fuchsia swings towards a spent Winchester Cathedral.

Crisp peach coloured Just Joey has put in an appearance.

Petunias and cosmos are planted in the urn behind

Love Knot, which remains prolific.

Elsewhere, day lilies proliferate.

Petunias and geraniums thrive on the earlier watering, from which Erigeron and lobelias collect the drips.

As the yellow bottle brush plants fade, the red ones are beginning to bloom.

Petunias, geraniums, and others along the Kitchen Path to the greenhouse are looking refreshed enough.

Here we have views from the Gazebo in each direction along its eponymous path.

This evening I dined on Jackie’s succulent beef braised in red wine with mushrooms and peppers; creamy mashed potatoes and tender spring greens.

Multiple Occupation

Although a little drier than expected, today remained largely overcast. Just before lunch Jackie took me on a tour of what she has achieved during the last few days in the garden. It struck me that I have never really shown the packed multiple occupation of our beds.

While listening to the men’s Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and South Africa, I rectified that this afternoon.

The Kitchen Bed is faced by sweet peas, foxgloves and others beside the wall. Fuchsias, day lilies, antirrhinums, erigerons, ferns are all at home in the bed.

The Butler’s Sink beside the Patio contains petunias, foxgloves, geraniums, heuchera, and bidens;

one view of the bed includes a pink diagonal of fuchsia, geranium palmatum, and clematis.

Bees were investigating the orange poppy sharing the small triangular Wisteria Bed with day, lilies, fennel, and roses.

Geranium palmatums and fuchsias are among the occupants of the Dragon Bed.

Ferns, day lilies, and geranium palmatums, fuchsias, alliums, and more pack the Palm Bed.

Spirea goldflame, penstemon, bottle brush plants, day lilies, ferns, etc all wake in Margery’s Bed.

Youthful hot lips and an ageing rhododendron occupy the Cryptomeria Bed on the opposite side of the Phantom Path.

A pot containing fuchsia, geraniums, and others stands beneath the Westbrook Arbour

and above the West Bed where we find astilbe, pulmonaria, and lamium among others.

Erigerons, aruncus, lamiums, geraniums, fennel are among the residents of the Weeping Birch Bed.

Fuchsias and feverfew are found in Elizabeth’s Bed.

The Oval Bed has its share of Day Lilies.

The Rose Garden contains more than roses. Heucheras, lavender, and fennel are examples.

It is a year or two since we created the New Bed, but, like the thousand plus year old New Forest, it retains its name. Erigerons, solanum, clematis, and ferns are there maturing nicely.

It is hard to remember how overgrown with brambles and crowded with rocks and detritus was the back drive when we arrived. These previously non-existent borders now contain roses, poppies, hostas, geraniums, foxgloves, and viper’s bugloss among the many plants at home there.

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s superb sausages braised in red wine; served with creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cono Sur Bicicleta Reserva Pino Noir 2017.

A Layered Rose

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP ACCESSES ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING THE BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. THESE MAY BE FURTHER ENLARGED WITH CLICKS

Jackie, Elizabeth, and I worked in the garden for much of the morning, and after lunch until the temperature rose too much for us.

Elizabeth began by weeding the front garden

which houses this fuchsia Delta’s Sarah.

Later, she mowed the grass and cut the edges.

Jackie gave the lavender border in the Rose Garden a severe hair cut,

during the process of which she discovered a rooted layered rose, and rushed off to plant it in a pot. Layering, I have just learned, is a method of propagation resulting from the formation of roots whilst the infant is still attached to the parent plant. Gardeners, to achieve this, will bend a suitable stem to ground level. Our carpet rose in question had done this naturally.

My task was dead-heading roses, including For Your Eyes Only and Creme de la Creme in the Rose Garden, where a hoverfly fossicked through fallen petals.

Did I miss any?

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s smoked haddock; piquant cauliflower cheese; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots and cabbage; and shrunken spinach. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank Squinzano reserva Rosso 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Petrified By Ponies

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS ACCESS GALLERIES THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN THE PAGE AND CLICKING THE RELEVANT BOX.

This afternoon we visited Otter Nurseries in order to buy rambling roses to supplement the planting Jackie carried out this morning.

Jackie in discussion ablout companulas

The Head Gardener was soon into a discussion about campanulas with a another customer seeking information.

I wandered around the plentiful displays while Jackie selected Perennial Blush and Super Elfin ramblers. A bee flitted from lavender to lavender.

Walkers on road

As we parked for me to investigate the Heywood Mill stream, a family group wandered, chatting, down the road.

Stream

The stream itself was unhindered one side of the road bridge,

and bore the reflections of a fallen tree on the other.

Deer

As we drove away, I spotted a deer. This necessitated by driver screeching to a halt and , heart in mouth, reversing back along the narrow, winding, lane until I could poke my lens into the hedgerow. The creature did not hang around.

English bluebells lined the verges and

Bluebells in wood 1

carpeted woodlands.

Ponies - one pregnant

Tempted by the sight of two white ponies, one of which was very pregnant, we drove down an even narrower lane.

Horse and rider

Further on we encountered a horse and rider, requiring us to stop for them to edge on by.

Next came the penned-in horned sheep. One of these woolly animals was particularly inquisitive.

Ponies on road

There were so many ponies on the road near Pilley, that a young driver was unable to move on. Jackie had to drive round her. She apologies, saying that she was petrified by the ponies. It was only when the horses thinned out a bit that she was able to get back into gear.

One of this group was a foal, still very wobbly on its legs.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sublime cottage pie, served with carrots and Brussels sprouts. I finished the Vacqueyras. Jackie didn’t imbibe further as she had drunk her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.

Getting Started

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF NECESSARY.

During a brief spell of sunshine this morning, I focussed on the front garden and the back drive.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson, pink rose, honeysuckleHoneysuckle

Clematis Mrs N. Thomson, pink roses and honeysuckle still festoon the front trellis;

Poppy

and in the beds thrive pink poppies,

Rose Hot Chocolate and fuchsia Chequerboard

the rose, a deep red Hot Chocolate, and red and white fuchsia Chequerboard.

Back Drive bed

Lavender, poppies, antirrhinums, and pansies are among the many plants along the drive.

Just before 2.00 p.m. my memory card was delivered. First I had to extract it from its packaging. This was no mean feat. With the aid of the indispensable downloaded manual I managed to insert the device into the camera, and, following directions, format it and bring up information on the display. I was even able to attach a zoom lens and take a couple of test shots.

Bee tester 1Bee tester 2

Regular readers will recognise my old friend the bee who allows me to catch him on the wing.

Having taken these testers from a reasonable distance, I called it a day. There’s only so much new information that can be absorbed and retained by an elderly gent who began school life with a steel-nibbed pen you dipped into an inkwell set in the top of your desk.

Did I say ‘retained’? Forget that one.

One slight problem remained before I could publish these last two pictures. The memory card was too big to insert into the slot in the computer.

‘Now what?’ ‘Maybe that is what the USB lead is for?’ I fiddled around with the camera body and found a hidden compartment that would take one end of it. ‘That must be the link with the iMac’.  ‘But I’d best seek confirmation on the manual’. That was on page 185.

Have I mentioned that the new kit weighs a ton?

This evening we dined at Royal China in Lymington. The food was as good as ever, and the service as efficient and friendly. We both drank Tsingtao beer.

Gooseberry

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

This morning Jackie drove us around the east of the forest.

Pony on road

At East End we passed some ponies chomping by the roadside.

Lane

It was a narrow lane, so Jackie drove on and parked in a passing spot for me to walk back to photograph the scene.

Field and hedgerow 1Field and hedgerow 2

This is a small farming area with fields enclosed by hedgerows.

Ponies on road 1

Back up the hill and round the bend, I observed a novel method of clearing ponies from the road.

Ponies on road 2

What this driver did was to give the rear end of the white pony a gentle nudge with the vehicle’s nose and keep creeping forward.

Ponies and foals 1

In the field alongside stood, in awe, a little foal with a thought bubble above its head bearing the caption ‘Will I be like you when I grow up?’ I am not sure, however, that this was not a Falabella (named after its Argentine breeder, Julio) such as we encountered at St Leonard’s, further down the road.

Ponies 1

Falabella 1Falafella 2

This adult horse, lost in a group of larger ponies, rarely exceeds 75 cm. in height.

Ponies 2

Ponies 4

Two pairs in this group were indulging in heavy petting,

Ponies 5

which extended to love bites,

Ponies 3

Ponies 1

which was all rather difficult for the unfortunate, mournful-looking, gooseberry.

Lavender Farm 4

We visited the Lavender Farm at Plaitford where we enjoyed coffee and plants along with many other visitors.

Lavender Farm 1

Even before entering we could see that lupins and foxgloves were in abundance.

Lavender Farm 5

Many more plants at their peak were also on sale;

Lavender Farm 2

Lavender Farm 3

and, of course, numerous types of lavender,

Lavender Farm 8

Lavender Farm 7

also growing in the gardens. I am not sure which bird is represented by the avian topiary in the centre distance of this shot,

Lavender Farm 6

but this is surely an elegant swan.

Plough, Lavender Farm

Since our last visit a blue painted plough has been added to the interesting artefacts enhancing the beds.

This evening we dined at Dynasty in Brockenhurst. My choice of main meal was Ayre (fish) jalfrezi with special fried rice. We shared onion bahji, tarka dhal, and egg paratha. Jackie and I drank Kingfisher, and Sheila drank sparkling water.

Three Roses

It is now 9.30 p.m. I f I finish this post this evening it will be a miracle, because, so far, much of it has been spent having useless and frustrating conversations with someone in India about lack of BT Broadband connection.

This morning Jackie drove us to Helen’s home in Poulner where we decanted into Helen’s car, in which she drove us to Lavender Farm at Landford, just inside Wiltshire. Taking in lunch we spent the best part of the day enjoying another splendid late summer’s day, before reversing the process.

The farm is an outlet for many wonderful plants, seen at their best on such a beautiful day.

Lavender and more

There was, of course, a plentiful supply of lavender, but also very much more.

Cacti display

From the moment we entered, it was clear that the displays for sale were all as attractive as this one for cacti.

Helen in gardenHelen and Jackie in gardenJackie and Helen 2Jackie and Helen 3

The three of us wandered around the gardens. I photographed the two ladies.

Garden towards car park

Lavender farm flowers

Sometimes just the beds;

Vegetable area

or other people, like these two admiring the vegetables;

Tea in garden

and these taking tea.

brian and Sandra 1Brian and Sandra 2

A couple I noticed sitting among the flowers were Brian and Sandra. Having taken the first picture from some distance away, as is my wont when I have not asked for permission, I walked along the narrow path to their bench, and sought it in retrospect. A very pleasant conversation ensued and they happily posed for a second picture. Brian turned out to have a collection of some 3,000 colour slides, mostly of historic Southampton, and was wondering how to digitise them. I described my scanner and advised them how to go about the task.

Wasps sign

The garden was clearly troubled by wasps in July.

Collection box

There is no charge for enjoying this haven, but charitable donations are encouraged.

Of course we bought some plants. Apart from smaller ones like heucheras and salvias, three roses on Jackie’s collection list just had to be acquired.

Rose Gertrude Jekyll

The first was Gertrude Jekyll, named after the famous gardener.

This is from the website in her honour: Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), created some 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America; her influence on garden design has been pervasive to this day. She spent most of her life in Surrey, England, latterly at Munstead Wood, Godalming. She ran a garden centre there and bred many new plants. Some of her gardens have been faithfully restored, wholly or partly, and can be visited. Godalming Museum has many of her notebooks and copies of all her garden drawings, (compiled and sorted by members of the Surrey Gardens Trust); the original drawings are in the University of California, Berkeley.

Her own books about gardening are widely read in modern editions; much has been written about her by others. She contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines. A complete list of every book and article written by her is in the Bookshop section of this site. A talented painter, photographer, designer and craftswoman; she was much influenced by Arts & Crafts principles.

(c) Elizabeth Banks; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Elizabeth Banks; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

William Nicholson painted this portrait of her in October 1920.

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Next came Lady Emma Hamilton.

Wikipedia tells us that:

George_Romney_-_Emma_Hart_in_a_Straw_HatEmma, Lady Hamilton (26 April 1765; baptised 12 May 1765 – 15 January 1815) is best remembered as the mistressof Lord Nelson and as the muse of George Romney. She was born Amy Lyon in Ness near Neston, Cheshire, England, the daughter of Henry Lyon, a blacksmith who died when she was two months old. She was raised by her mother, the former Mary Kidd, at Hawarden, and received no formal education. She later changed her name to Emma Hart.

Rose Mamma Mia

 

Finally, has the rose Mamma Mia anything to do with Abba?

Readers may be amused to learn the reason that my first attempts at photographing these last two roses produced very bleary images. This is because a very small insect had become ensnared in Helen’s chutney. Not being able to identify it with the naked eye, I thought that if I photographed it with the macro facility it would be possible to do so. The creature turned out to be a small wasp. But I had poked the lens into the chutney, with the obvious results. My handkerchief was not adequate for the task of cleaning the glass, so I had to use a lens cloth when we got home, and photograph the roses here.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice, with chicken samosas. I finished the cabernet sauvignon.

Phew! 11.35 and all done.