An Increase In Numbers

For much of the day, apart from when Margery and Paul visited this afternoon, I listened to the men’s Cricket World Cup semi-final between England and Australia.

We enjoyed our usual stimulating conversation with this mother and son. Margery’s Bed is named after our friend who, a year or two ago, gave us some red hollyhock seeds which Jackie planted there. We were happy to tell her that they were blooming again at this time.

After the cricket finished I performed a dead heading session before our drinks in the Rose Garden where

Lanarth White lace cap hydrangea contrasts with Mrs Popple fuchsia;

and various lilies are keeping company with the roses,

one of which, Twice in a Blue Moon was a present from Becky and Ian for our second wedding.

We really don’t know how many wood pigeons inhabit our garden, but we can be sure that, because of their constant amorous activity, there will be an increase in numbers next year as usual. They resemble lumbering barrage balloons in the air, whoosh past my head as I sit in their flight path, thump on the fence or arbour supports on landing, and clatter among the branches overhead to announce their return home.

This evening we dined on succulent chicken Kiev; creamy mashed potato; savoury rice; crisp cauliflower; and tender green beans and sweetcorn, with which Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank Oyster Bay Merlot 2016 given to me by Mat and Tess for my birthday.

Aaron Knows The Score

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We have experienced an intermittently leaky kitchen extension roof since we arrived here. The amount of infiltration has depended upon the wind direction rather than the quantity of precipitation. One person has already allegedly repaired it – not very effectively.

Sid mending roof 1Sid mending roof 2

Sid, a very personable extra pair of hands, has joined Aaron in AP Maintenance. Today he mixed up cement and mended the roof properly.

Aaron removing stump 1Aaron with chainsaw

Aaron pruned a straggly climbing rose, and cleared more of the West Bed including stripping dead and intrusive growth from another palm, and sawing off an exposed tree stump we hadn’t known was there. When I told him that Sid had spotted a cracked tile and asked if we had any more, and I had replied that we had, but I would need to ask Jackie where they were, Aaron gave her yet another title. “The Maintenance Department”, said our friend, who knows the score.

Just to show willing, I assisted The Head Gardener in her general maintenance tasks this afternoon by occupying myself dead-heading.

Dahlias 1Dahlias 2

This is, of course, the season for showy dahlias

Chrysanthemums

bright, bushy, chrysanthemums,

Nasturtiums

and snaking nasturtiums;

Honeysuckle

but I am surprised to see honeysuckle rising again in both back and front gardens.

Geraniums

Geraniums

Begonia 1Begonia 2

and begonias cling on to life;

Fuchsia Mrs Popple

and fuchsias like Mrs Popple dangle away.

Rudbeckia

We have some multicoloured Rudbeckia;

Salvia Hot Lips

the aptly named salvia Hot Lips;

Cosmos

and long-lived cosmoses.

Rose For Your Eyes Only

The apparently everlasting For Your Eyes Only keeps company in the Rose Garden with

Rose Just Joey

fresh flushes of Love Knot,

Rose Laura Ford

Laura Ford,

Rose Mamma Mia

and Mamma Mia.

Butterfly Small White on verbena bonarensis

The Small White butterflies are still enjoying the verbena bonarensis,

Bee on clematis

and bees still gather pollen provided by such as this clematis.

Turfcutter's Arms (Jackie)

This evening we returned to the Turfcutter’s Arms

Roast belly of pork meals

for a roast pork dinner. Jackie drank Peroni and enjoyed a chocolate sponge dessert with ice cream; my choices were Ringwood’s Best and fruit crumble with custard.