Sunshine And Showers Today

Before this morning’s first shower descended I carried out a session of rose dead heading. Shirt sleeves kept me warm enough.

After a heavy spattering on our roof I introduced my lens to the sun briefly flirting with scudding cloud clusters.

Raindrops on various blooms and a few garden views came into view. The day, much of which I spent nearing the end of the second volume of Richard Church’s autobiography, continued with more overcast skies than with sunshine.

This evening we all dined on succulent roast pork with perfect tooth-testing crackling; crisp Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm broccoli and cauliflower; tender runner beans and spinach; and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank more of the Lieblich and I drank Hacienda Uranus Garnacha Old Vines, 2020.

Appreciative Lilies

Once again I didn’t manage to finish opening up the front garden path.

The bed alongside the house was choked with fruiting brambles, the stems of which rooted in the gravel and leapfrogged to the opposite side. I cut off the stems as far as I could reach, then prised up the roots with this heavy duty hoe.

After about an hour and a half I reached the end of my capacity with this stubborn root, and

didn’t have the energy to rake up the remaining loose weeds and branches. I had already chopped and bagged up two used compost bags, largely with brambles and fuchsia Delta’s Sarah which sadly needed trimming back from overhanging the path.

At least these lilies appreciated the extra space.

Later, I returned to ‘The Trial of The Templars’; and even later succeeded in removing that last bramble root and several more of the less stubborn weeds ready for raking from the gravel tomorrow

This evening we all dined on Mr Pink’s cod, chips, curry sauce, and mushy peas and Garner’s Pickled Onions with which Jackie and I both drank Zesty

New Arch And Continuing Clearance

Martin began the day by assembling and installing the replacement wooden arch;

then moved on to complete his clearance of the Dragon Bed and many other areas of the garden.

I also photographed the Weeping Birch Bed which will soon need further clearance.

Jackie, meanwhile, weeded the Brick Path section outside the Stable Door.

Ian returned home for work before dinner this evening which consisted of The Culinary Queen’s wholesome cottage pie topped with fried potatoes; firm broccoli; crisp carrots; and tender cabbage, with which she drank Pique-Nique Grenach 2022 left by our son-in-law and I drank Vacqueyras 2021 – a welcome present from Shelly and Ron.

An Original Sunblock

On this warm, sultry, morning I raised a healthy sweat bagging up, in readiness for the next dump trip, Jackie’s clippings from the path beneath the fallen arch.

I noticed an early mushroom nodding to mossy rocks bordering Margery’s Bed.

This afternoon, on a forest drive, we encountered several groups of

ponies, one sporting an original sunblock, either beside the skip outside the former village shop which had been their customary hopeful resting place;

or on the move elsewhere.

In this sequence, when enlarged, you may notice the distant gentleman pushing a buggy in the second picture, who becomes obscured by the Modus and emerges alongside the equines on the road.

More foals were in evidence outside Little Croft Farm on Bull Hill.

This evening we all dined on herb and garlic roast chicken and potatoes; carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, fine beans, and broccoli tender stems; and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

Footpaths Today

Jackie and I undertook a Tesco’s shopping trip today, after she had made purchases at Ferndene Farm Shop.

After lunch I conducted a long dead heading session with my new Wilkinson’s secateurs given to me on my birthday by Flo and Dillon. Later, I produced a few garden photographs.

On the near corner of Flo’s Fairy Garden stand a little patio seating set waiting for a permanent place when some healthy plants have been thinned out and the elfin gravel paths have been cleared a bit.

One cluster of day lilies stands beside the Shady Path

Gazebo and Brick Paths all now cleared,

attention has now been given to footpaths across the beds like these to the Orange Shed and through the West Bed;

and to the decking area cleaned and potted up.

Tall lilies tower over even climbers like Shropshire Lad in the Rose Garden.

We have ubiquitous varieties of day lilies and hot lips throughout the beds.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in pleasant conversation with the ladies of all ages in the household.

This evening we all dined on superb pork and chive sausages with creamy mash and fried onions, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Sierra Los Andes Mendoza Malbec 2022.

A Faint Reflection

This morning I converted the above post from Classic to Block edit, changing with the normal gallery. Thinking I would still need to change the galleries, the pictures of which have been disappearing, I checked back to mid-May 2014 and found all was OK.

Feeling somewhat relieved I then continued my forward momentum, converting the four following posts and changing some categories to Garden:

We English were known for obsessing about the weather long before the increasingly extreme, wild, terrifying, global fluctuations of recent decades. Our temperate climate is currently suffering less than many from fire, but torrential flooding is becoming more prevalent across UK.

Today the temperature in our gentler area of the country has plummeted to a good 10 degrees Celsius less than it was a few days ago when we had been hoping for rain denied us for weeks. Gloomy rough-hewn slate blocks the sun, and gusts of a stiff breeze toss flora and foliage every which way.

Even the promised rain couldn’t manage much more than a faint reflection in the patio paving.

That is why I spent the morning as I did and the afternoon making a good start on reading Lawrence Durrell’s “Livia”.

Jackie, however, did manage another two metres of the Brick Path weeding and the planting of an urn that Martin had recovered from behind the garden shed yesterday.

We can no longer watch Cricket Test Matches live on Freeview television, so my custom is to avoid radio coverage and turn off BBC TV news when it comes to sport, so that I remain blissfully ignorant of events until the evening transmission of highlights.

Today is the third day of the second Ashes match between England and Australia, so I won’t know until after dinner what happened yesterday once our middle order lashing lemmings launched themselves over the alluring antipodean cliff to squander the optimistic morning. As usual I will refrain from telling you for fear of spoiling your own deferred gratification.

This evening we all dined on a medley of tasty sausages and creamy mash; firm carrots and Brussels sprouts, and meaty gravy with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Lock Keeper’s reserve Shiraz 2022.

All Hands On Deck

Soothed by today’s gentler avian chorus, Jackie, Martin, and I all worked in the garden this morning.

The Head Gardener freed a couple more metres of the bricks on the eponymous path of their green packing, leaving a few more for future treatment.

After loading the rest of the refuse on the Back Drive into his van to remove when he left, Martin completed his meticulous weeding of Fiveways and the Shady Path;

then opened up the completely overgrown Head Gardener’s Walk for wobbly legs, enabling me to reach more spent roses from The Generous Gardener, in addition to which I did the same for Arthur Bell

and New Dawn;

then snipped secateurs, strapped straying stems in the Rose Garden, extracted weeds, and transported trugs of further refuse to add to Martin’s van load.

Later, working backwards from 6th July to 28th June 2014 I changed pictures to the normal Gallery, thus recovering them to the posts, which results in cropping of some images on each post which can nevertheless be viewed in full in the galleries. This is more annoying than excessively time consuming.

This evening we all dined on beef and chicken burgers, fried onions, and fresh salad with which I drank more of the Appassimento and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

More Attractive Than Triffids

Bright sunshine casting shadows beneath a clear blue sky shortly before midday when I took a chilly walk around the garden belied the temperatures skirting freezing which, during a current further cold spell below 0 centigrade sending rivulets of condensation from our bedtime breath dripping down walls and misting tightly closed windows until we were able to fling them open and dash shivering downstairs to our electric portable radiators timed to ignite at their lowest heat level an hour before Jackie but perhaps a couple after I expected to emerge.

Snowdrops and hellebores share the limelight with, at a higher level, a

variety of camellias;

daffodils are following up fast;

fern filigrees and honesty seed bud traceries are picked out by the clear light, as are

new shoots from our recently pruned roses.

When we first arrived here the garden of the then abandoned next door house, North Breeze, rampaged through our land, as demonstrated by

Now we have the benefit of attractive, sweet scented, acacia,

currently in bloom, hanging over the Back Drive fence.

This afternoon I watched the Six Nations rugby match between Scotland and France – probably the most impressive contest I have ever seen.

For dinner this evening Jackie produced her omelette-topped egg fried rice on which to bed hot and spicy, and tempura prawn preparations, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Nine Years On

Early this morning I watched a recording of the Women’s Rugby World Cup quarter final match between New Zealand and Wales.

After lunch I wandered around the garden on another balmy shirt-sleeves- afternoon, primarily to admire

Martin’s work on the Shady Path.

As can be seen, the weeds are gone, but beech leaves

and Mrs Popple blooms are beginning to weave a new carpet;

the Gazebo Path still sports weeds and more welcome encroaching plants;

the Heligan path, named because when we first arrived nine years ago we didn’t know it was there,

is becoming almost as overgrown as it was then;

the Brick Path,

the Phantom Path,

and the Kitchen Path are all flanked by still blooming beds.

This afternoon we took a short forest drive which I will feature tomorrow.

Tonight we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken stewp. She had drunk her Hoegaarden beforehand. I finished the Malbec.

On The Brink of October

This morning I trained my camera on the garden from various vantage points

beginning with our en suite bathroom window.

From the patio can be seen, against the kitchen wall, some of the glorious zinnias that Jackie grew from seed and spread abundantly around the beds;

and this corner of the Pond Bed sporting Delta’s Sarah fuchsia, geraniums, petunias, and the ubiquitous erigeron;

this side of the Chilean lantern Bed, with its begonias, Japanese anemones, and dahlias lies alongside

the Gazebo Path, dappled by a sunny interval, as was

the owl and Mrs Popple fuchsia in the Cryptomeria Bed,

and the Weeping Birch bed with its well out of season kniphofias, and further fuchsias.

Shadows were cast across the Brick Path and its flanking flowers.

Finally I focussed on the prolific varieties of bloom around the Wisteria Arbour. These are our colours on the brink of October.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie, firm broccoli and cauliflower, crunchy carrots, tender cabbage, and meaty gravy with which the Culinary Queen drank Hogaarden, I drank Comté Tolosan Rouge, and Flo and Dillon abstained.