None Of That Nonsense

Late this afternoon rain had brought abandonment to the first day of the fourth Ashes Test match, but here it was reasonably warm and sunny.

Jackie, hindered by Nugget, continued planting, while I wandered around the garden.

Clematis Marie Boisselot, in her third flush, has now toned down her blue rinse.

Other clematises, such as Polish Spirit,

and the tiny white campaniflora, have weathered the storm.

A Lidl pink one still climbs the arch spanning the Brick Path beyond the pelargoniums flanking the Nottingham Castle bench.

Here are some of those pelargoniums.

Begonias are in their prime.

Fuchsias, like these two chequerboards, continue to thrive.

Mama Mia, Absolutely Fabulous, Winchester Cathedral, Festive Jewel, Crown Princess Margatera, and Hot Chocolate are all examples of roses still holding up their heads.

Long shadows streak across the tiny lawn.

Honesty and Hollyhocks are displaying seed pods.

Earlier in the summer Aaron moved the miscanthus from the edge to the centre of the Palm Bed. It has survived.

Pelargoniums drape many of the hanging baskets.

Petunias and bidens are equally prolific.

The New Bed and Elizabeth’s Bed still offer much colour.

The first of this set of pictures show cosmos and echinacea alongside Elizabeth’s Bed, the second is of the Weeping Birch Bed, and the last two lead us towards the house.

Now, “Where’s Nugget?” (14)

Jackie can’t settle to drinks on the patio without taking a trowel to stir the pudding for her little friend.

This evening he looked askance at her first effort and

took up a stance on a stone above some slate chips as if, like a stroppy toddler, to say “I don’t like that dinner. Get me something else”. I can assure you that the Head Gardener had none of that nonsense from her own children.

I certainly didn’t turn up my nose at our delicious dinner of spicy pork paprika, mushroom rice, and runner beans, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.

Not Cold Enough

Perhaps it was the very light overnight frost that led the blackbirds to investigate the neglected crab apples in the front garden.

This one turned its back on them and considerately stayed just long enough for me to photograph it.

We still have plenty of colour in our plot.

There are winter flowering plants such as this viburnum bodnantensis Dawn in Margery’s Bed,

and the tiny clematis cirrhosa Freckles dotted over the gazebo.

Hardy autumnal chrysanthemums we do expect;

maybe some of these fuchsias are tough enough to make it through the winter;

but self seeded bidens?;

still perky nasturtiums?;

sturdy penstemons?;

varieties of geranium not sheltered in the greenhouse?;

roses such as ascending Altissimo,

blushing Schoolgirl,

marvellous Mamma Mia,

and blooming Absolutely Fabulous?

To send these beauties packing it is not yet cold enough.

This evening Jackie produced a fillet of pork laced with powdered mustard, flaked almonds, and brown sugar, served with roast potatoes and parsnips; colourful rainbow carrots, firm Brussels sprouts, and tender runner beans. Having enjoyed a beer beforehand, neither of us imbibed.

 

 

 

I Took A Tumble

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. SINGLE IMAGES MAY BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK WHICH CAN BE REPEATED

Ronan and Mark of Tom Sutton Heating are well on schedule with our new installation. We have hot water. After another couple of days all will be completed.

Jackie continued her work on garden maintenance this morning and I dead-headed a few token roses this afternoon.

Crown Princess Margareta

and Mamma Mia are two of those that keep on giving;

as is Compassion, kindly climbing over the Dead End Path.

Clematis Sieboldii, masquerading as a Passion flower, has surprised us by blooming in the last few days;

geraniums are keeping pace with nasturtiums;

and bees continue their dalliance with dahlias.

Our National Trust has adopted the practice of placing a thistle on the seat of antique chairs in order to deter people from sitting on them. One of our metal chairs in the rose garden has come apart. Naturally it will be used as a planter rather than despatched to the dump. In the meantime, following the National Trust, Jackie has plonked a pot of chrysanthemums thereon.

Later, we drove along Cowpits Lane, Ringwood, turning into Linford Road, which we had not previously traversed. This proved to be a winding tree-lined lane of which the ponies claimed ownership.

The large foal that appears in the first picture of the long gallery attracted my attention as it began licking the tarmac in the middle of the road. The creature was oblivious of the car waiting behind it. I waved my arms about a bit attempting to draw it out of the way. This was to no avail. The driver emerged from his vehicle and adopted a hands on approach. I turned my back on the approaching animal, as it came towards me. This was in order to remove myself from its path. I was going to have to descend a steeper incline than I would have liked. As to be expected my pace increased to an involuntary run. The terrain levelled out, and so did I.

The concerned driver’s female companion yelled to alert him to what had happened. Slaloming around the grazing ponies, Jackie dashed out of the Modus. She and the driver soon stood on either side of me. I lay on my back, quite comfortably working out how I was going to get up. I rolled over and reached for helping hands. Jackie picked up the camera which had dented my forehead and raised my left cheekbone.

This looked much worse than it was. I only had a small cut and a little bruise. More importantly, I now know I can fall over and get up – quite a fear when you’ve just had a new knee fitted. No cameras were harmed in this production.

Elizabeth stayed at Mum’s tonight. Jackie and I dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent  fare. Mrs Knight finished the Sauvignon Blanc and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Preparing For Ophelia

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

(Gwen and Yvonne, divert your eyes when it comes to the culinary coda)

Compared with what has been inflicted on Wales and Ireland by the albeit waning hurricane Ophelia, we have got off lightly.

Chairs lain down

This morning we made our usual preparations for protection from strong winds, notably laying down chairs, pedestals,

Pelargoniums and marigolds

and hanging baskets.

Towards midday a fleeting glimpse of a bright red version of yesterday’s solar discs was seen peering from behind the billowing smoke

Clouds 1Clouds 2Clouds 3Clouds 4Clouds 5Clouds 6Clouds 7Clouds 8Clouds 9

 that was dark slate-coloured clouds. By the time I had gathered up the camera the sun had disappeared. The temperature was so unseasonably warm as to give the impression that there was, indeed, a fire somewhere.

Birds flying against clouds

I suspect that the birds thought they must be having a sleepless night;

Clouds and weeping birch

but the weeping birch still hung unmolested.

By early afternoon the sky had lightened and the sun played upon the garden.

Pansies

These pansies still brightened

Patio planting

the pots outside the kitchen door.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsias etc

Fuchsias are among the flowers still blooming beside the greenhouse.

Pelargoniums 1Pelargoniums 2Pelargoniums 4

Various pelargoniums,

Pelargoniums 3

including this sweetly scented one;

Begonias

and begonias still defy the coming of the first frost.

Petunias

Delicate striped petunias thrive in the Cryptomeria Bed;

Dahlias

and white dahlias in Elizabeth’s Bed.

Rose Just Joey 2

Among the rejuvenated roses are Just Joey,

Rose Aloha

Aloha,

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Lady Emma Hamilton,

Rose Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia,

Rose Peach Abundance

and, photographed later, when the wind was getting up and making this spray elusive to the lens, Pink Abundance.

Weeping birch in wind 1

The weeping birch was now waving about,

Cordyline Australis

as was the Cordyline Australis.

Weeping birch 2

I wondered how many of these leaves would be in place in the morning.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s divine liver and bacon, new potatoes, cabbage and mange touts, with which I drank Chateau Bonhomme minervois 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boldre Bridge

CLICK ON THE CLUSTERED GALLERY IMAGES TO ACCESS THEIR LARGER FORMAT SLIDESHOW.

At 16 degrees, our incredibly mild period continues. It was therefore strange today to begin the winter clearing whilst we continue to enjoy blooms from spring and summer. We did so in rather desultory fashion.

It is difficult to think of winter when you can admire

roses Margaret Merrill, Penny Lane, Mamma Mia, and especially Summer Time;

or fuchsias, geraniums, dahlias, gauras and poppies, one of which harbours a hoverfly; and many more.

With the sun shining, we set off for brunch at The Friars Cliff Cafe. Unfortunately this was in everyone else’s minds. The car park at Steamer Point was crammed full, and shoals of humanity floundered on the beach. There was no doubt the cafe would be full to bursting like me after the Olympics breakfast. We therefore turned back and aimed for Calshot. We hadn’t travelled very far before the sky clouded over. It didn’t look very conducive to photography, so we brunched at Otter Nurseries. Only when I had chosen a liver casserole did Jackie tell me that was what she had planned for this evening. She happily did a rethink.

The walls at Otter contain some rather well-executed paintings for sale. One of these was Boldre Bridge. We wondered why we hadn’t seen the bridge, and realised that would be because we had always driven over it. So we went to look for it. I passed through a five-barred gate and descended a bank to find something approximating the painter’s vantage point.

I was intrigued to notice that the architect had made it possible to feature the Christian fish symbol. The five-spanned bridge, which dates from at least the 18th century is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) 1990, as amended,  for its architectural or historic interest.

A tree had fallen across the river, on which autumn leaves floated over reflections of broken, reeds, and still grey sky.

Just before we drove on, the sun began to light up the foliage on Rodlease Lane.

En route to Sway, I wandered into the forest, taking advantage of the light streaming through the trees, and exchanging greetings with a family of riders.

Forest scene 3

As I ventured further in, attracted by pinpoints of light in the distance, I was rewarded by this dramatic view across the moorland featuring

House in moorland

  a single dwelling in an idyllic setting.

Driving through Hordle on our return, Jackie spotted a cautionary notice for any witches inclined to take to the skies tomorrow night, and a cry for help from an underground prison.

Jackie’s rethink for tonight’s meal involved lemon-flavoured chicken Kiev, French fries, and baked beans, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.

A Little Short Of Perfection

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

After three days of cloud and rain, this one was hot and humid. Too much so for making a start on restoring our plants to their best condition.

Heuchera and crocosmia leaves

The sun did, however, cast friendly light upon such as these heucheras and leaves of barren crocosmias.

Crocosmia

Those crocosmias my not have bloomed this year, but many have.

Tomatoes

During last week’s storms the container of our aptly named Tumbler tomatoes was blown down, smashing another underneath. It has recovered reasonably well.

Hydrangea 1Hydrangea 2

The hydrangeas have probably fared best in the wet weather.

Mamma Mia rose

Roses such as Mamma Mia

Special Anniversary rose

and Special Anniversary have become rather spotty.

New Guinea impatiens

The New Guinea impatiens plants have thrived,

Florence sculpture and cosmoses

as have various cosmoses, like those adorning Florence.

Canna lily

Canna lilies stand proud in the Palm Bed.

Penstemon

Various delicate penstemons, like this one with a lodger, also remain upright,

Foxglove

while the stems of this unusual antique pink foxglove has stooped a little.

Clematis Marie Boisselot

The clematis Marie Boisselot still climbs her obelisk.

The begonias and geraniums are doing well, but we have a lot of dead heading to catch up on.

BegoniaAs will be seen the garden is currently a little short of perfection.

This evening we dined on pork and apple sausages with strips of pork belly, fried mushrooms and onions, crisp cabbage and carrots, and mashed potatoes. I drank Meszaros Pal Kekfrankos 2013, while Jackie chose fruit jiuce.

Deadheading

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Isan Thai

Isan Thai, here photographed by Barrie Haynes, has been in business for just a few weeks. Here is its brochure description:

Isan Thai001

It deserves to continue.

This is where we spent a most convivial evening and excellent meal yesterday evening, at 129 Parkstone Road, Poole. We joined Barrie and Vicki; their relatives Alan and Rosemary; and friends John and Lynn. We were pleased to meet the group with whom we had relaxed conversation. The staff’s greeting was warm and the service friendly.

My choice was tempura king prawns followed by Tom Saap with spare ribs, and egg fried rice. I drank Singha beer.

Walking in the Sea002

Barrie presented me with a copy of his recently published novel which I had read in draft. I will, in due course, write a review of it.

We have been asked how we keep the garden flowers in such good condition. There are several reasons for this. The first is the thorough soil replenishment carried out by The Head Gardener; secondly, plentiful feeding, thirdly her watchful battling with disease and insects, then constant watering, and finally

Jackie dead heading petunias

deadheading. This occupied us both today. As can be seen, our new garden chairs double as clothes driers.

Deadheading is the removal of spent flowers before they come to seed. If they are left alone the plants will stop producing the wherewithal for regeneration. The idea is to prevent this and thus lengthen the flowering season. Jackie, to whom I am indebted for this information, also tells me that those flora that do not need this maintenance are termed ‘self cleaners’.

Petunias and geraniums

The petunias in the basket needed just a little work. The dead petals are at the bottom right of the cluster. I often spot such blemishes on the photographic images, then have to deal with them and retake the shot. I was lucky with this one in that I could use it as an example.

Begonia

Begonias,

Rose Mamma Mia

and roses such as Mamma Mia need daily attention.

Japanese anemones

The Japanese anemones have only recently begun to bloom, but their turn will come.

Aluminium dump bench

We found a spot for the aluminium dump bench bought a day to two ago. When its peeling black paint has been removed and the seat repainted it will be as good as new.

Dump bench

It replaced the other rather rickety one on the grass. This has been relegated to the Dead End Path. The bricks underneath this earlier dump purchase will function as supporting pillars. Aaron’s fencing can be seen in the background.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled onions, and gherkins. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Bavaria mixed. I didn’t, considering that I consumed enough Singha last night to cover me for this meal as well.