A Little Autumn Colour

For the last couple of days marauding rooks have raided Nugget’s robin feeder, ripped it off the Japanese maple, and robbed him of his food.

Jackie has baffled the thieves with a pair of hanging basket frames.

In contrast to yesterday’s dismal weather, today was clear, bright, and cold, taking every opportunity to display a little autumn colour.

Here is Margery’s Bed seen from the Cryptomeria Bed,

and sculpture Florence’s view of the house.

Weeping Birch leaves still linger

and the white solanum goes on forever.


Some Japanese maples have retained their leaves,

others have carpeted the lawn and paths with them.

The last scene above can be seen from the Fiveways end of the Phantom Path.

Jackie focussed on the grasses in the Palm Bed named for

the Cordeline Australis which is in fact evergreen.

Mrs Popple is one of the hardier fuchsias,

another of which, Delta’s Sarah, still attracts no doubt confused bees.

A number of pelargoniums still look down from hanging baskets, like this overlooking the Dragon bed in which

Ivy twines herself around one of the eponymous mythological figures.

Jackie spent much of the morning trying not to tread on Nugget while they were cobbling together a winter cold frame.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44a and 44b)

Wherever she moved to another location he was there first. Fortunately she took her camera.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44c and 44d)

Jackie also focussed on a sparrow with,

a pied wagtail,

and a white wagtail on the rooftop. I trust one of our birder readers will correct any errors in identification.

Late this afternoon Elizabeth visited to gather up bags of files that had remained in our single spare room since she moved out last year. She stayed for dinner which consisted of chicken marinaded in mango and chilli sauce; savoury rice topped with an omelette; and tender runner beans. My sister finished the Cotes du Rhone and I drank Chateau Berdillot Cotes de  Bourg 2018, while Jackie abstained.







As the wind has dropped and the temperature soared, we now enter into a heatwave.

The recovery work in the garden is under way. Clearing fallen branches, staking up plants, watering, and dead-heading were the order of the day.

Palm Bed

Jackie staked up the nicotiana in the Palm Bed for the third time;

Hanging baskets and Palm Bed

Hanging baskets

Hanging basket

it can be seen through hanging baskets settled back in place,

Gazebo Path

but no longer bends across the Gazebo Path.

Pedestal planter

Standing planters have been set up again.

View from Phantom Path across lawn

I have now dead-headed the phlox in the foreground of this view from the Phantom Path, but not yet cut the grass.


Fortunately most begonias did not suffer from wind burn.

This evening we dined on meaty beef burgers, crisp chips, a variety of baked beans, and lashings of fried onions, followed by zesty lemon tart and cream. Jackie drank fruit juice whilst I imbibed Moreland brewery’s Old Crafty Hen.

Parents Must Allow Children To Be Adventurous

On another dull, overcast, morning, Jackie drove to a follow-up appointment with her knee surgeon whilst I stayed at home for a visit from Paul, the Double Glazing Doctor, who arrived on time and gave the promised, reasonable, estimate later on. The work will be done next Wednesday when the new television is to be installed.

I amused myself by sorting and scanning a few more of the photographic prints returned by Elizabeth.

In 1986 Jessica, Sam, Louisa, and I spent some time house sitting for the Drapers in Meldreth, and in the process, enjoying a holiday.

Sam 1986

This shot of Sam shows that a gentle, kind, boy nevertheless has a penchant for playing soldiers. Give him a cricket bat and his grandfather’s military cap and what does he do with the bat? My son is living proof that children who play in this way are not necessarily destined to grow up with killer instincts.

Joseph & Louisa 1986

Later that year, on an outing with Elizabeth, Rob, Adam, and Danni, Louisa enjoys a ride on the back of my brother, her uncle Joseph.

Louisa 5.89 001Louisa 5.89 002

Louisa, of course, will have a go at anything. Here she is rolling around in a galvanised tub on the lawn at Lindum House in May 1989. I know it has a jagged hole and she has bare feet, but she was very careful, and parents must allow children to be adventurous.  Had Jessica and I  been more timorous ourselves would this little girl have grown up to complete the Three Peaks Challenge? I know I couldn’t have done it, even when fit.

This much brighter afternoon, I heaved the rest of the rocks out of the recovered bed, laid a few more stepping stones, and built up borders with them.

Later I took a stroll down to Roger’s farm gate and back.

Grasses veiling dahlia

A freshly blooming dahlia in The Shady Bed is veiled by small ornamental grasses,


and alongside The Brick Path eryngium is nicely framed by the red Japanese maple.

Garden gate

On Downton Lane the secret garden gate looked particularly inviting,

Blackberry blossom

and blackberry blossom is developing into as yet green fruit.

This last quartet of un-enhanced photographs were shot on the setting that replicates film.

This evening Jackie produced her classic sausage casserole which we enjoyed with crisp carrots, cabbage, and new potatoes. She drank her customary Hoegaarden whilst I drank Parra Alta malbec 2014.