Seeking Camouflage

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The sun has returned after several days’ absence. I wandered around the garden with a camera. These photographs reflect the current conditions in our plot.

Hibiscus 1

Hibiscuses are now in full bloom. This one is at the front;

Nasturtium

as is this yellow climbing nasturtium sharing the garage frontage with

Hanging basket and clematis Star of India

hanging baskets such as this container of geraniums an lobelia blending with the clematis Star of India behind them.

Dahlias, lobelias, and fuchsia chequerboard

There are quite a few dahlias reaching up to meet the Chequerboard fuchsia sharing the basket suspended from the wisteria arbour with the paler blue lobelias.

Clematis Polish Spirit and buddleia

A buddleia peeps through the Gazebo arch festooned with clematis Polish Spirit;

Eucalyptus

nearby petunias hang from the eucalyptus.

Leicesteria

Leicesteria drop earrings dangle in the West Bed

Japanese anemone

which also contains white Japanese anemones Jackie planted a couple of years ago to contrast with the ubiquitous pink ones.

Begonias and lobelia in hanging basket on dead snake bark maple

Begonias swing from the dead snake bark maple.

Gladioli Priscilla

Priscilla gladioli have survived the rains in the

Through the New Bed

New Bed.

Petunias and geranium

These petunias and geraniums stand on a brick plinth in the Weeping Birch Bed;

Petunias, geraniums, etc

opposite them a pot on the corner of the Raised Bed contains more of each with many blooms behind them.

Crocosmia etc

The crocosmia in this shot greets you as you leave the Rose Garden,

Rose Garden featuring Just Joey

this view of which is focussed on Just Joey.

Elizabeth's bed with Altissimo

Altissimo, in the centre of this shot looking into Elizabeth’s Bed, has sent out a lower than normal stem.

Palm Bed

Yellow rudbeckia takes centre stage in this section of the Palm Bed.

Comma butterfly

This bronzed Comma butterfly appears to be seeking camouflage from the dead little fir tree

Gazebo Path

in a pot on the right hand side of the Gazebo Path.

Perhaps last night’s power cut improved tonight’s evening meal. A consequence was that the lemon chicken Jackie was marinading remained in the lemon juice overnight. We enjoyed this with her special fried rice and runner beans. I finished the pinot noir. Jackie had drunk her Hoegaarden on the patio as an aperitif.

 

 

 

Umbrellas And Multi-Ocular Devices

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Early on this grey, overcast, morning, Jackie drove us to Lymington and back to buy a birthday present.

Lilies and bronze fennel flowers

Upon leaving the house I decided I had not published enough photographs of the front garden. I therefore focussed on these lilies flanking bronze fennel flowers;

Fuchsia Sir Matt Busby

fuchsia Sir Matt Busby suspended over the front porch;

Nasturtium

orange nasturtiums potted in front of the garage door;

Clematis

a purple clematis soaring both them;

Solanum

white solanum adorning the trellis;

Lobelia and petunias

lobelia and petunias cascading over a hanging basket;

Lacecap hydrangea

and this pink and blue lace cap hydrangea spreading across the right hand corner.

It being market day in Lymington I hoped to have further fun with the camera. No sooner had we emerged from the shop, which must be nameless at the moment, and I brought out the camera, than the rain came down and umbrellas went up. Nevertheless, I persisted, and photographed

Women's tops

a rail of Summery women’s tops;

Melons

an abundance of bulbous green and golden melons;

Nectarines

glistening nectarines;

Olives

metal bowls of oleaginous olives;

Bread

loaves of rustic Mediterranean bread;

Veg cutters

the stall of a gentleman demonstrating veg cutters the colour of which made up for a lack of oranges;

Sandals

and decorative sandals, the display of which now seemed somewhat optimistic.

Couple under umbrellaWoman with pink umbrellaWoman with umbrella 1Woman with umbrella at fruit stallWoman with umbrella 2Woman with umbrella 3Couple under umbrella 2

Here are some of the umbrellas,

Woman keeping rain off with plastic bag

not forgetting the lady who had forgotten hers.

Reading glasses

Reading glasses may now be obtained without prescription, and are cheaply available on market stalls.

Jackie inspecting specs 1Jackie inspecting specs 2Jackie inspecting specs 3

Jackie has collections all over the house and garden. Naturally she inspected these specs,

Jackie wearing four pairs of specs

and bought £5’s worth of what Becky calls her mother’s multi-ocular devices. The idea is that wearing two pairs gives you twice the strength of magnification. Four is overdoing it a bit.

This afternoon I watched the women’s Wimbledon tennis final on TV.

For this evening’s dinner, Jackie produced steak and onion pie, new potatoes, crispy breaded mushrooms, crunchy carrots, and fresh spring greens. We had drunk respectively Hoegaarden and Banks’s Amber bitter on the patio beforehand. I had some of mine left over to drink with the meal. Jackie hadn’t. But then, her bottles are smaller than mine.

 

 

 

 

 

Recovery

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As the wind has dropped and the temperature soared, we now enter into a heatwave.

The recovery work in the garden is under way. Clearing fallen branches, staking up plants, watering, and dead-heading were the order of the day.

Palm Bed

Jackie staked up the nicotiana in the Palm Bed for the third time;

Hanging baskets and Palm Bed

Hanging baskets

Hanging basket

it can be seen through hanging baskets settled back in place,

Gazebo Path

but no longer bends across the Gazebo Path.

Pedestal planter

Standing planters have been set up again.

View from Phantom Path across lawn

I have now dead-headed the phlox in the foreground of this view from the Phantom Path, but not yet cut the grass.

Begonia

Fortunately most begonias did not suffer from wind burn.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers, crisp chips, a variety of baked beans, and lashings of fried onions, followed by zesty lemon tart and cream. Jackie drank fruit juice whilst I imbibed Moreland brewery’s Old Crafty Hen.

Planting Continues

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My contribution to garden maintenance today was to accompany Aaron to Mole Country Supplies to buy more fencing materials with which he and Robin virtually completed their job; to cut the grass; and to dead head some roses. Jackie did a lot of watering.

Rose Emma Hamilton

In the Rose Garden Emma Hamilton basked in the sunshine,

Hydrangea Lanarth White

and Hydrangea Lanarth White tolerated the shadow of the orange shed.

Bee on bidens

A bustling bee explored a bidens;

Butterfly Small White on petunia

a Small White butterfly sought refuge in the camouflage of a petunia;

Butterfly gatekeeper

and a rather tattered  Gatekeeper took a rest in the Weeping Birch Bed.

The Head Gardener had also purchased a few more plants, including

New Guinea impatiens, lobelia, geraniums in chimney pot

the New Guinea impatiens introduced to the chimney pot on the grass that it shares with lobelia and geraniums.

By request, for our dinner this evening, Jackie produced fried eggs, bacon, and mushrooms; chips and baked beans. Lovely. She drank Hoegaarden and I didn’t.

The Pool

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Following on from my post of two days ago I scanned a few more slides from The Dumb Flea holiday.

Becky, David and Samuel 8.81

Here Becky sits in the garden with her two regular charges, David and Samuel. Yes, that is a pet rabbit hopping about.

Another great attraction was the pool.

Becky and Sam 8.81 1Becky and Sam 8.81 2

Becky got Sam accustomed to the idea of water-wings;

Sam 8.81 1Sam 8.81 3

then, somewhat pleased with himself, and concentrating hard, he was off on his own,

Beckie 8.81

leaving Becky

Cherie 8.81

and Cherie to enjoy their own swim.

This afternoon Jackie was almost back to normal planting in the garden.

Gardman Arch

She assembled and embedded a Gardman Arch across the Phantom Path and positioned a clematis Venosa Violacea on the Margery’s Bed side;

Lobelia and Star of India

and further along placed a large lobelia in the space left for it beside the Star of India.

My contribution was a little weeding, dead-heading, and watering.

Rose Mamma Mia

Roses, such as Mamma Mia, enjoyed a few minutes of sunshine in a rather overcast day.

For our evening meal we visited the Hare & Hounds public house just outside Sway. We were not disappointed. I enjoyed a plentiful whitebait starter followed by chicken and leek pie, chips, and peas; Jackie’s mushroom pot followed by generous tagliatelle was equally good. Neither of us could even think about a dessert. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I imbibed doom bar.

Hare & Hounds

The setting sun set the building aglow as we left for our short journey home.

Taking The Plunge

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Whilst I am very happy with my Canon SX700 HS camera, I am becoming increasingly aware of its limitations. In particular I do miss my SLR film cameras with good quality zoom lenses. It was such a device that enabled me to fill the frames of the colour slides featured yesterday without poking a lens up the children’s noses and thus spoiling the spontaneity. This would also have captured our garden birds without their constantly taking flight. Who knows, I may also be able to catch them on the wing.

This morning I took the plunge, sought advice from my friend Alex Schneideman, and, following it, researched suppliers on the internet, and ordered on line a second-hand Canon EOS D5 Mark 2 DSLR with a couple of lenses from Camera Jungle. All I have to do upon its receipt is pluck up courage to try it out.

We have both been feeling a bit off colour for a few days. Jackie was able today to return to her weeding and planting

Sprinkler

and set the sprinkler operating.

I spent some time deadheading and weeding. It was a dull day, which made work a little easier.

Front garden trellis

Clematis 1

The front trellis now sports a couple of clematises, two pink roses, honeysuckle, solanum and nasturtiums;

Marguerits corner

while on the opposite corner of the entrance Marguerites blend with potentilla, hydrangea, and the rambling Félicité Perpétue rose. Nasturtiums and geraniums are also in the bed.

Lobelias, begonias, clematis

On the trellis covering the garage door, a clematis winds above lobelias and begonias in a hanging basket.

Clematis 3

Other clematises, such as these over The Head Gardener’s Walk

Clematis 2

and The Shady Path, now festoon the garden.

Margery's Bed

Star of India will soon wind around its obelisk in Margery’s Bed.

Dragon bed from kitchen bed urn

From the Kitchen Bed urn

Dragon Bed

there is a clear view of The Dragon Bed.

This evening we dined on pizza and salad. Jackie drank J.P.Muller Gewürztraminer 2014 and I drank Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2012.

Remembering 7/7

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We have a number of hanging baskets around the kitchen doors.

Fuchsia Blue Angel

This one contains fuchsia Blue Angel;

Clematis Warsaw Nike, petunias, lobelia, borage, apple mint

here clematis Warsaw Nike, from its pot clambers up to another containing petunias and lobelia. The white pot contains apple mint, and borage occupies the bed.

Bidens

Nearby, bidens blooms.

New Bed

The New Bed is now taking on its summer garb. Fuchsia, dahlias, lilies, clematises, and solanum are all in evidence.

As it is my birthday today, I received a lot of messages. Some of these were texts. For the last couple of months anyone trying to phone me on the mobile when I am at home has not been able to receive a reply and has been sent straight to voicemail. I have then received a text saying I have a voice message which I have not been able to access.

I have refrained from boring readers with this, but today I decided to visit O2 in Christchurch in an attempt to resolve the issue. The problem seemed to have been a faulty SIM card. This was changed, and hopefully things will have improved.

While the O2 man was fetching the new card I reflected on another birthday when I could receive no signal on the mobile phone. This was the day of the London Underground suicide bombs. I is hard to believe that was 11 years ago.

This afternoon we enjoyed, within minutes of each other, visits from Helen and from Shelly and Ron They came bearing gifts. Including Bill, each couple had brought a birthday card and presents of wine and a book, and we drank sparkling squashes on the hand-made garden chairs, of which we now have four, and one, otherwise relegated, perfectly serviceable in black plastic.

Cork bookmark002

An additional gift from Helen and Bill was an intriguing bookmark, made of cork, that they had brought back from Portugal.

Ian and Becky’s present to me was a meal for the four of us at Lal Quilla. This was great fun, particularly as the staff entered so well into the spirit of the occasion. My choice of a main meal was Purple Tiger (a king prawn dish) and special fried rice. We shared onion bahjis, parka dahl, and an egg paratha. Becky drank red wine and the rest of us drank Kingfisher.

Birthday cake

At the end the head waiter sang happy birthday and brought me a ‘cake’.