Lurking In The Shade

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Today Aaron and Robin levelled out the soil flanking the new fence and cleared away our last items of debris in preparation for building a log store.

Bath and other debris

The rubbish included the buried bath, now in its last resting place on the Back Drive, before removal to the dump.

Walking in The Sea Back 002

I finished reading Barrie Haynes novelette ‘Walking in the Sea’ this morning. The illustrator is Barrie’s young granddaughter whose cover appeared on https://derrickjknight.com/2016/08/05/deadheading/

The blurb accurately describes the essence of this scurrilous romp which would probably, perhaps slightly Bowdlerised, provide the basis of a good TV detective series plot. Written almost entirely in the present tense, with direct, uncomplicated, and amusing prose, the book carries the reader along, keeping its essential secrets to the end. It was certainly easier reading than Jane Austen, its humour requiring rather less work.

Brambles 1

I have occasionally mentioned our ongoing battle against invading brambles. This is what happens if we relax for  week.

Brambles 2

This time I reached over the fence with the long loppers in order to stem the flow at the lowest possible level.

Dragon's Bed 1Dragon's Bed 2

On my way back down the garden I spied The Head Gardener lurking in the shade beside the Dragon’s Bed.

Crocosmias

There are two types of crocosmia in this bed. The yellow one did not flower at all last year.

Cosmoses with bees

Drowsy bees clambered in and out of the cosmoses.

Florences's view

Here is Florence’s view past the hanging geraniums to Compassion rose climbing across the Dead End Path;

Hollyhocks

whilst beside the Phantom Path to the left, Margery’s hollyhocks soar aloft.

Rudbeckia

There are several clumps of Rudbeckia. This one is in the Palm Bed.

Ornamental grass, petunias, lobelias, nicotiana sylvestris

At the corner of the Cryptomeria Bed, ornamental grass; petunias, lobelia, and geraniums in hanging baskets; nicotiana; and buddleia stand in line.

Sprinkler

We enjoyed a drink in the Rose Garden where Jackie operated the sprinkler, and

Fuchsia and beyond

a fuchsia leads us past phlox and through the arch beside the hollyhocks featured above.

Jackie’s dinner this evening consisted of pork medallions baked in mustard and brown sugar topped with almond flakes; courgette, tomato and onion gratin; crisp carrots and green beans; boiled new potatoes; and tasty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Becks and I drank sparkling water.

One For Mary Tang

AS ALWAYS, CLICKING ON AN IMAGE, REPEATED IF NECESSARY, WILL ENLARGE IT

The kitchen door was open this morning as I wandered into it. Such was the heady blend of sweet scents that pervaded the room, that I looked around for the bouquets of blooms I felt sure The Head Gardener must have gathered. There were none. The aroma emanated from the garden itself on this much warmer day. This became apparent as I investigated.

Magazine on bench

Testament to Jackie’s occasional breaks, gardening magazines like this one on the Heligan Path bench, are likely to be found in sunshine or shade, depending on her needs at the time. In the right foreground of this picture, on a dry brick plinth stands one of the recently purchased half-dozen stone urns, planted with geraniums, petunias, and, yet to burst forth, begonias. Heucheras, hellebores honesty and hebes fill the near beds, whilst in the background the palm which gives its name to the recently refurbished plot, is budding, which it didn’t do last year. An ornamental grass bends at the feet of the weeping birch, now sporting catkins. There will probably be no more long shots of the garden that do not contain an owl.

Jackie reading on Heligan Path bench

Later, with the bench in shade, I shifted my viewpoint in order to show the scene through what will soon be a cascade of clematis Montana seen, already covering the other side of the dead tree at top right, that will cover the plank of wood used to form the arch. Jackie enjoys a rest.

This evening we attended a quiz night at Helen and Bill’s church hall in aid of CAFOD. Everyone had brought  contribution of finger food and there was a bar where beer, wines, and soft drinks were available, and variously consumed by the assembled company.

Quiz Night WinnerPeter Thomas, a very skilled magician, offering his services free of charge, stepped in at the last minute to manage the quiz, and to entertain us with some marvellous tricks.

Our family members made up two tables; one team consisting of Bill, David and Jen, John, and Rachel; the other of Becky and Ian, Shelly and Ron, and Jackie and me. The first of these groups came second overall, and we won. The winners were each given a certificate to prove it.

This post is for Mary Tang, who likes the panoramic views.

Does Anyone Recognise This?

The two young heroines of The Three Peaks Challenge, each posted on Facebook today that they were unable to move. I think they have earned a fortnight’s pampering.

Bottle Brush plant

Gazebo pathA surprise visit from Matthew this morning gave me a good excuse to potter about and wander round the garden whilst Jackie undertook some more serious weeding. She still, of course, gave our son the attention he deserved.

As its yellow companion across the gazebo path begins to fade, the red bottle brush plant is now coming into bloom.

Ornamental grassUnknown yellow flowerWe have a number of ornamental grasses in the garden, perhaps the most unusual one sporting purple seeds. Alongside this in the raised bed has emerged an interesting yellow flower that we cannot identify. It is now hard-pressed by the huge cuttings pile which will have to be disposed of soon.

As will have become apparent, many of our treasures are still revealing themselves, some still being hidden by other growth. LeycesteriaThis leycesteria, for example, struggles to be noticed from the depths of a hazelnut tree, no doubt brought into being some time ago by a careless squirrel who had dropped his nuts.

We are never quite certain about pulling up what we think is a weed. Galled roseA particular rose, certainly in the wrong place, has therefore been allowed to live as it sends out long, budless, stems which we thought must be sports. The leaves now bear beautiful, red, frond-like growths we take to be some kind of gall. Does anyone recognise this?

Path - dead endAfter Matthew returned home this afternoon, we drove to Redcliffe Garden Centre in Bashley, to buy some more gravel. Naturally a few plants had also to be purchased while we were there.

I laid the gravel on the very first footpath we renovated. We call this one the dead end path because it stops at the blue painted sinks before the patio wall.

This evening we dined at The Royal Oak, not many yards away. I enjoyed a rib-eye steak; Jackie’s choice was butterfly chicken wrapped in bacon with barbecue sauce. I then had a large portion of apple crumble whilst she chose an excellent and huge slice of cheesecake with ice cream. I drank Doom Bar while she imbibed Becks. The quality of the food has gone up a notch.

P.S. Jackie has established that the growth on the rose leaves is a wasp gall, more commonly attached, and ultimately fatal, to wild roses. Wasps lay their eggs on the plant, causing it to do all sorts of weird things. We will definitely have to remove it.

P.P.S. From Jackie: Wasp gall on the rose leaf and a Bartonia nuda pursh is the yellow plant. X