We have packed the long life milk, so it fell to my lot, this bright morning, to walk down to the village shop to buy some more. I returned via the church path, The Splash, and Furzey Gardens.
Burgeoning spring has come to Castle Malwood Lodge garden, with its flowering cherries and its shrubs; to those in the village; and to the verges and hedgerows.
I stopped on the way to say goodbye to Alan. We discussed the ‘bedroom tax’, which in my view is far more complex than it seems to some. There is no doubt that many elderly people, often recipients of depleted and diminishing Social Services, are struggling alone to keep going in family houses when all their offspring have moved away, whilst younger people, faced with mounting rents, strive to bring up families in one-bedroomed flats. Whether penalising those Council tenants who cannot, or are reluctant to, move from their life-long homes is the answer, remains to be seen. Nevertheless, somehow a balancing of this problem needs to be achieved.
At the village green I met a couple seeking a walk before lunch in the Trusty. I now have plenty of experience with which to set them on their way.
Celandine, violas, primroses, and hawthorn sparkled in the sunshine. I find it almost impossible to photograph primroses in bright sunshine, so I settled for an equine one who, with Champion, her male escort, basked at the trough.
Moss adorned the little-used public telephone box.
A flaming bright orange berberis blazed alongside the road leading up to the church.
A number of trees bordering the still soggy church footpath have been cut down. They leave fascinating forms reminiscent of a child’s wooden jigsaw puzzle.
At one end the signpost has been embellished by the addition of an outstretched gauntlet. Clearly someone thought the direction of the thoroughfare needed some clarification.
Less hardy than the New Forest ponies, many of the adult thoroughbreds in the fields still wear their winter warming coats. The youngsters seem to be deemed not to need them.
Alex Schneideman, in a recent post, illustrated an enlightening article on the emotional impact of out of focus portraits against sharply drawn settings. I wonder what he would think of this shot of the horses seen through the hedgerow.
Whilst I was wandering this morning Jackie began the task of dismantling her portable garden. We continued it this afternoon. When she had installed it, she had disturbed a sleepy toad. The creature obviously survived the trauma, for today the horticulturist once again aroused it from its slumbers.
Jackie’s garden contained the deer-proof fencing, various assorted bricks, and a total of 84 pots of flowers, most of which were quite large. Some of the pots were in hanging baskets. There was the bird feeder with its squirrel baffle, and lots of both wooden and metal stakes. This was no mean achievement to put together, and quite a project to take apart. As I trudged backwards and forwards across the garden to return brick-loads to their previous resting place behind the garages, I wondered how she’d managed to carry them all across in the first place.
As I post this we are about to drive to the Curry Garden at Ringwood, where we will enjoy their usual excellent food and a pint and a half of Kingfisher.