Modelling Daphne’s Dress

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My 75th birthday was very pleasurable. Matthew, Tess, and Poppy woke up here in the morning, and Shelley and Ron,  Becky and Ian visited in the afternoon. We all sat in the garden after lunch.

Poppy 1Poppy 2

The first present I opened was from Poppy, who had chosen it. A certain amount of self-interest was rapidly confirmed.

Mat and Tess 1

Our granddaughter provided her parents with their own party hats.

Poppy 3Poppy 4Tess and Poppy 3

Matthew obligingly assembled a colourful bird house that Louisa and Errol had sent me. Poppy saw it as a handbag and commandeered it for a tour of the garden she undertook with Tess;

Poppy and poppy

she was intrigued to be introduced to one of her floral namesakes,

Tess and Poppy 1

and to many other blooms,

Tess and Poppy 2

with some of which she picked and adorned herself.

Kitchen Bed

This was one view of the Kitchen Bed,

Garden view across Margery's Bed

and another seen across Margery’s Bed, each containing

Day lilies 1Day lilies 2

a number of day lilies, some of which Jackie dug up for Tess along with several other plants.

Garden view from Heligan Path bench

This scene is beyond the Heligan Path bench.

New Zealand flax

Being a Kiwi, Tess was able to describe exactly how to propagate New Zealand flax, and to explain the haka.

Pigeons on roof 1Pigeons on roof 2Pigeons on roof 3Pigeons on roof 4Pigeons on roof 5

The reason for this was that I understand that this war dance also represents other events such as courtship, and I had no idea whether the capers of the pigeons on our roof represented war or love.

Poppy 5Poppy 6Poppy 7

Becky brought over a beautifully hand stitched and embroidered dress that her niece Poppy had left behind at her home. Poppy couldn’t wait to strip off and model it. This treasured possession had been made by Tess’s friend, Daphne Harris.

This evening, except for Shelly and Ron who had left earlier, we are all going to dine at Lal Quilla. Regular readers will understand that that means I will enjoy a hot curry and drink Kingfisher, and at the end of the meal will be past caring what anyone else consumed. Should anything out of the ordinary occur, I will report on that tomorrow.

The Wisdom Of The Owl

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Aaron with tree roots

Two days ago views along the kitchen window and bed opposite featured a sawn tree trunk at the far end. Here Aaron is with the last of the stump he further sawed and removed. As usual, I printed him an A4 copy for his collection.

View alongside Kitchen Bed

This has provided a little extra space at the end of Jackie’s current work area.

Hebe and Brick Path

Here is another view of the gap, taken from a hebe on the corner of the Dead End Path.

Removing a tree is always a last resort. The branches of this one, however, were very brittle and constantly breaking when strong winds beset this whirlpool of a corner. The extra foot of space is also needed for the expected greenhouse.

Bottle brush plant 1

To the right of the above picture the yellow bottle brush plant has now turned brown. On the other side of the gazebo path a bright red variety has drawn its attention.

Bee on bottle brush plant 1Bee on bottle brush plant 3Bee on bottle brush plant 2Bee on bottle brush plant 1

Swarms of bees gather in the attempt to transfix themselves on the beds of nails that are its blooms.

Snapdragons, geraniums and petuniasSnapdragons and geraniums

Other strong reds of snapdragons, geraniums, and petunias blend in the plastic troughs forming the barrier at the start of the back drive.

Marigolds and black-eyed Susan

Equally vibrant are the marigolds and black-eyed Susans now clutching the orange globe.

Foxglove

It is almost a relief to encounter the cooler hues of this foxglove,

Hosta

these hostas,

Insect on hebe

or the hebes, this example of which has attracted a tiny flying insect I can’t identify.

Although its floor is of gravel, the patio at the South end of the garden is termed the Concrete one. That is because the surface beneath the pebbles was probably where the Post Office vans were parked.

Garden view from concrete patio towards Rose Garden

That is where our mid-afternoon water was taken and we enjoyed views looking towards the Rose Garden;

Garden view from concrete patio towards potting shed

towards the potting shed;

Day lilies and geranium palmatums

of this cluster of yellow day lilies flanked by geranium palmatums;

New Zealand flax

and the New Zealand flax that has flowered for the first time since our arrival.

I haven’t mentioned the wind in the last few days. I thought that if I ignored it it would go away. It hasn’t.

Upturned pot and parasol

A couple of hours after we had been sitting beneath this parasol a sudden gust wreaked havoc. Admittedly the parasol had not been fitted tightly into its base, but it took off like a kite, smashed down into the bed, tipped over the stand supporting the recently planted red geraniums, and dragged down the string of overhead solar lights.

Broken plants

We began by lifting the parasol over everything and slotting it securely into its stand. Then picked up the pot and pedestal. Chucked broken bits onto the compost, and placed what would be salvageable onto one of the tables.

Gravelly soil

It was, I thought, very sensitive of the owl not to give me the benefit of his wisdom as I placed him on a chair and used his table to take the gravelly earth I scooped up and, with fingers and sieve, separated the two ingredients, so The Head Gardener could repot the remains.

This evening we dined on a fusion of more of Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with vegetable samosas. Jackie drank Peroni and I opened Jessie’s delicious Georges Duboeuf Fleurie 2016 and drank some of it.

 

 

 

 

The Garden Map

Come for a further wander down the garden paths.

Rose

Stepping out of the utility room stable doorway, we meet this little rose that was bramble-bound last year.

Poppy

This frilly new pink poppy sits quite well against the red Japanese maple, visible from the kitchen window.

Grass patch

Opposite our small patch of grass, we think designed for a dog loo,

Penstemon, thalictrum, New Zealand flax, Japanese maple

against the backdrop of a yellow Japanese maple, speckled New Zealand flax arches over red penstemon and budding thalictrum.

Phantom path

Passing the other end of the Phantom Path, at the far end we see a yellow-green-leaved tree, only one branch of which seemed alive last year, before we lopped out all the dead wood.

Orange Hawkweed

Jackie transplanted the outspoken orange hawkweed, regarded in other parts of the world as an infestation, from the former kitchen garden. It now enlivens the Oval Bed.

Sambucus

This Sambucus, planted not so long ago, now blooms behind the potting shed.

Back drive

The back drive is now framed by new planted troughs. In the top right hand corner of the picture can be glimpsed a basket suspended from the slender arch through which we now walk into the garden. Please don’t tell the head gardener that I keep banging my head on it.

From the end of the drive we turn left to see how Hallmark Builders are getting on with their ‘massive’ project on the recently sold The Spinney at number 11.

Wall building

Two men are building a beautifully curved wall.

Rodgersia

Back down our own brick path we see the delicate pink rodgersia, yet another member of the saxifrage family.

Dead End Path

Just past this plant lies the Dead End Path.

Rosa Gallica

Back at the house, the pink striped Rosa Gallica is now blooming against the kitchen wall,

Rosa Glauca

and the Rosa Glauca soars above the patio.

Taking visitors on a meandering trip is rather easier than the task on which the head gardener has been engaged during much of the last two or three days. Jackie working on garden map

John Whitworth recently expressed his need of a garden map.  We are not lovers of straight lines, but, had we had a few more, Jackie’s task would have been so much easier. When she proudly presented the finished chart, I then had the task of reproducing it. Since it had been drawn on A3 paper, which is too large for my scanner, I had to photograph it with my little SX700 HS Canon. Having the benefit of neither Ken Morse’s equipment nor  his expertise, it was difficult to achieve an unwarped rectangle from above. Here is the finished masterpiece:

Garden map

Later this afternoon I had transferred the bonfire ashes to the compost heaps, and raked back the shingle that I’d scraped out for a makeshift hearth.

It is hardly surprising that there had been no time for cooking. There was nothing for it but to go out for dinner. It was Spice of India that was graced with our presence, for which we were rewarded with an excellent meal. My main course was naga chicken with special fried rice; Jackie’s was chicken shaslik and salad. We shared a paratha, and both drank cobra.

Immigrants

In suggesting the Japanese kawazu zakora as a possible identification for yesterday’s pink flowering cherry, arlingwoman said that her first thought had been kwanzan. We do, we then realised, have one of those. It was featured in ‘The Gate Of India’

Still fairly sluggish in the morning, I worked on Jackie’s garden plans.

No. That doesn’t mean I did any gardening. What the head gardener has produced is several lists and a chart. She likes to be able to check items off when she has carried out the essential tasks. For the time being, at least, she will be weeding alone, so this becomes more necessary. She wanted copies on which she can write her ticks.Weeding list

I scanned and printed some.

Garden plan

The chart had been created by tracing Google’s satellite map. It is a bit rough because trees and brambles had obscured some of the detail when the spies in the sky photographed the plot. Jackie needed a larger version from which to make a more detailed drawing. I was able to do this on A3 plain paper that had been included in a pack of A3+ photographic paper that Paul Clarke had given me.

Spanish omelette

The Spanish omelette Jackie cooked for lunch cried out to be photographed. Who was I to ignore its plea.

After each consuming a portion of this, we spent quite some time watering tubs, pots, and newly bedded plants. This routine task would not normally warrant mention, but, unusually for April, it has become a daily necessity. Later, Jackie planted some new shrubs where the log pile had been, and we watered those in.

New Zealand flax

Tulipa saxatilis

Japan is not the only country from which originated many of the plants that came with the house. Among other immigrants are the New Zealand flax, a plant grown for the colourful, speckled, sculptural, quality of its leaves; and the tulipa saxatalis, a very hardy variety of tulip from the mountains of central Asia. I was particularly pleased to get this shot because, like equally tough Shetland ponies, they stand on very short stems, so I had to extend in a downward direction my one good arm and press the shutter whilst unable to see what I had in the screen. Fortunately I am right handed. However, the dodgy knee is on that side, which makes bending it an operation I wasn’t prepared to embark upon. I captured a number of images suffering from the problems of parallax, before securing this one.

Ajuga

Even our ajugas could have been native to Australia, or parts of Europe, although I’m not sure about that.

Jackie was required to cut up my share of the spicy pizza we enjoyed with various salads for our dinner, She was, however, unable to assist me in retrieving a piece of the chocolate meringue that I had allowed to topple over the edge of my dish onto the table. This is because she was helpless with laughter as she watched me chase it around the cloth with a spoon. She drank her customary Hoegaarden, and I drank Doom Bar.