Sweeping Up

Today Jackie was mostly refurbishing and tidying pots and hanging basket plantings.

She has completed the Shady Path where all is now well, except for

windburn on this white lobelia;

and on this yellow tree peony whose healthy seed pods offer optimism for next year.

Beyond this small triangular bed before the wisteria arbour

Mrs Knight continued her work on the greenhouse area.

The life of the sweet peas on the kitchen corner could not be extended, but the tomato plant over which the force of the winds had flung them, has survived.

It remains be seen whether this hydrangea in the patio will recover from its blisters.

After lunch the Head Gardener applied herself to stripping out dead parts of the patio’s potted plants and tidying the rest.

Nugget assisted her in sweeping up – the disturbed insects, that is. For those readers new to the “Where’s Nugget?” feature or whose robins are different from ours, notably lacking the distinguishing red breast, there follows

a selection of portraits of our little gardener’s friend.

Now, can you see “Where’s Nugget?” (5), from when he joined us later on the patio for drinks.

Soon after I had begun to draft this post, Jackie came inside complaining that her little companion was not letting her get anything done.

This evening we dined on coriander and garlic coated chicken kebabs; Jackie’s spicy omelette-topped savoury rice; and moist ratatouille with our own runner beans. The Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.

I will now wait half an hour for the TV Channel 5 broadcast of the cricket highlights to finish so that I can watch my own recording advertisement-free.

It Wouldn’t Go Away

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Sitting room shadows 1

A glance at the sitting room floor this morning

Sitting room shadows 2

set me chasing shadows, there;

Kitchen table shadows

across the kitchen table

Kitchen floor shadows

and floor;

Garden rocker shadow

on the patio;

Gazebo path shadow

along the Gazebo Path;

Cryptomeria Bed shadows

beside the Cryptomeria Bed;

Chimney pot shadow

across the grass;

Side entrance shadow and steam

beside the outlet for the heating system steam;

Head Gardener's Walk shadows

along the Head Gardener’s Walk,

Brick Path shadows

and the Brick Path.

Derrick's shadow

Normally I work hard to exclude my own shadow, but it wouldn’t go away.

Late this afternoon we drove out to Mudeford, where

Isle of Wight and The Needles

the Isle of Wight and The Needles benefited from the clear light,

Beach huts

as did holiday homes and beach huts.

Beaching boat

Two gentlemen wheeled their boat onto dry land.

Rain clouds

Distant rain clouds released their precipitation,

Clouds and gull

while those over the harbour displayed silver linings.

Sheep

We motored on into the forest. Sheep in a field alongside Snails Lane, Ringwood, basked in the last rays of the sun.

Clouds

By the time we reached Abbotswell

Trees and clouds

dusk had arrived

Trees and clouds

bringing a pink trim

Clouds

to soft mink clouds.

This evening we dined on succulent pork chops served with tasty Lincolnshire pork sausages on a bed of mushrooms, peppers, and mushrooms; cauliflower in cheese sauce; mashed potato and swede; and green beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the malbec.

 

 

 

 

Poppy Does Watering

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As we sat on the patio chairs with Aaron and his partner Leah, discussing the morning’s gardening, Poppy appeared in the kitchen doorway. Matthew soon followed, completing the pleasant surprise.

Jackie and Poppy

Granny was soon enjoying a cuddle.

Poppy 1Poppy 2

Poppy pottered around playing with pebbles and a car given to her by Akram at Lal Quilla on her last visit there.

Poppy 12Poppy 9

Poppy 3Poppy 6

Poppy 4

Displaying a rapid two-gun draw, she then began irrigating the paving

Poppy 5

and washing an owl

Poppy 11

Jackie employed a novel method of keeping the cans filled,

Poppy 7Poppy and JackiePoppy 8Poppy 10and Poppy trotted off to water the flowers in the Kitchen Bed.

Poppy 13

For our dinner this evening, Matthew and Poppy joined Jackie in a trip to Mr Chatty Man Chan at Hordle Chinese Take Away, and returned with a scrumptious selection including our granddaughter’s favourite noodles.

Poppy 14

She sampled most other items, including spare ribs.

 

Mini Marathon Rewards

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Yesterday evening, apparently of its own accord, our front door opened and in walked a dog.

Not to worry, it was Scooby, soon to be followed by Becky and Ian who had come to stay the night.

Eucalyptus blooms

As we sat around the kitchen table, lowering sunlight played on the eucalyptus blooms.

This morning I cut the grass while Aaron continued with the fencing.

After this, I scanned the last few negatives of the October 1983 mini marathon, featured in the last two posts.

Louisa and boys 10.83

Louisa was quick to join the leaders having first go at the refreshments.

Sam, Mat and Becky 10.83

This time, Sam really had finished his run,

Sam 10.83Sam 10.83 2Sam 10.83 3

and took his turn at the scoff;

Sam and others 10.83

along with all the others, including our stalwart Nos. 1 and 2.

No 24 10.83

No. 24., considered by some readers to be elegant enough to be a potential professional, remained equally composed at the trough.

This afternoon, Becky noticed a considerable amount of pink, with which she produced this symphonic work.

Scooby and carpet 1

Standing on a sitting room carpet

Patio window 1

she glanced through the patio French windows

Drying sheets 1Patio with drying sheets

at the sheets drying on the chairs toning nicely with the flowers and the maple reflecting the velvet curtains.

This evening we all dined at Lal Quilla in Lymington, where we enjoyed our usual warm welcome, efficient service, and excellent food. My main  meal was king prawn naga and chapatis. Three of us drank Kingfisher and Becky drank rosé wine.

Sleeping Beauty

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Today, I continued redistributing the gravel on the back drive. This involved shifting barrow loads of the material from one end to another, and raking them smooth. There is more to be done.

rose Félicité Perpetué

Whilst I was there, I noticed, swaying in the breeze, the one Félicité Perpetué bloom that has yet arrived on what should soon be a splendid display draped over the dead stumps.

Rhododendron

On the compost corner the rescued rhododendron is now quite prolific.

Brick path

Does Wedding Day rose, on the Agriframes arch, bloom whilst the viburnum plicatum, visible beneath the arch, is still flowering? If so, the two plants will be in tune.

Rose Garden 1

The Rose Garden now burgeons daily. On the wall of the shed hangs the bird bath Vicki made for us.

rose Schoolgirl

A Schoolgirl has come out to play;

Rose Gloriana

and Gloriana is living up to her name.

Kitchen window view

In the morning this was a view from the kitchen window,

Patio 3

before Jackie removed the honesty to the right, thus revealing the large white clematis Marie Boisselot to anyone sitting in the patio. I put that particular heap of seeding plants onto the compost, because there are plenty more hanging up to dry, ready for scattering later in the year. The frog king, and his princely son ogle Jattie’s sculpture, the sleeping beauty.

Patio 1

Patio 2

We took a short break on the patio with our fizzy lime squash, and surveyed one of Jackie’s myriad of maintenance tasks, namely the tidying up of the corner shingle bed, into which she has set an attractive piece of stone.

Geranium palmatum

Until now, the honesty has carried the purple torches throughout the garden. The batons have now been passed to geranium palmatums.

This evening we dined on our second helping of Chinese takeaway, with which I drank Patrick Chadot Fleurie 2014, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

Before And After: The Patio

Once more, wet and warm described the day’s weather.

Although we have created a gravelled patio at the south end of the garden, there always was a designed one alongside the back of the house. This, in April 2014 was full of weeds and the surrounding areas were overgrown. Our project is a continuing one, so will no doubt evolve still further, but The Patio is the final section, prepared today, for the garden album.

Photinia

On 7th May 2014 the area was dominated by next door’s photinia and lonicera hedge; and our own ficus and poplar.

Patio

By 13th, we had weeded the cracks between the paving stones, but not yet disguised the blue painted Butler sink;

Rose, fig, and unidentified tree all trimmed

by 27th, our trees were trimmed;

Patio corner

and by 28th the sink was surrounded by rocks on shingle, and we had refurbished the boundary with our neighbours, using a length of ornamental wrought iron and a useless door from inside the house.

Scooby in patioScooby on the prowl

This corner was festooned with flowers on 14th August when Scooby had a look round, then went on the prowl.

Mum and Elizabeth with Derrick reflected

After an unusually cold August, it wasn’t until September 14th that we enjoyed afternoon tea there with Mum and Elizabeth. Note that the side gate is still fixed and covered with trellis.

Rat 8Rat 1

The rocks around the sink, on 1st January 2015, provided useful cover for a rat attracted by the bird food.

Ficus roots 18.9.15

We tried to maintain the ficus with heavy pruning, but eventually decided it had to go. I finally removed its roots on 18th September.

Jackie planting pansies 19.9.15Pansies in patio

The next day Jackie planted up the vacant space in which pansies were blooming on 12th October.

This afternoon I printed and pasted the Gazebo Path section into the album.

Chicken thighs baked in West Indian chili sauce; special fried rice; and mange touts, cob corn, and carrots were produced by Jackie for our dinner this evening. A selection of Tesco’s cream cakes was to follow. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Reserve des Tugets Madiran 2012.

Before And After: The Dead End Path

Becky’s August Birthday meal was twice postponed through illness, as was Ian’s earlier in October. Everyone was fit for Ian’s daughter Heather’s recent one. That is why we drove to Emsworth last night. As far as Becky was concerned, she was just going to Nicolino’s Italian restaurant across the road from their flat with Heather and her husband, Chris. She was open-mouthed when the other four arrived in the restaurant to see Jackie and me sitting there. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening with excellent food and service. My choice was minestrone soup followed by spaghetti Al Pescatore. I had no room for dessert. Valpolicella was my beverage.

 

Quay Street 25.7.15Stump 4Jackie 7.67 002 - Version 2Today was a very wet one. I began by making my final selection of three prints for The First Gallery Christmas exhibition. We need to take them to Paul for framing, and will do that in the next day or two to meet the submissions deadline.

 

These images have all appeared in previous posts. I have chosen them for variety. The first is of Quay Street, Lymington, this July. The walkers are Danni and Andy. The next, a stump, was from our garden on 24th January this year. Finally, we have a portrait of Jackie in July 1967, heavily cropped and converted to black and white

I continued with the production of the next sequence for the garden progress album. This is The Dead End Path.

Garden 7.5.14

 

This shot of the garden on 7th May 2014, shows why the path has its name. Behind the blue painted Butler sink is a low wall separating the path from the patio. In the bottom left hand corner, incidentally can be seen the start of a collection of rubbish from inside the house. This was destined for the dump.

Sinks in path

The above-mentioned sink had two companions on the path leading from the brick path behind it. We moved them on 17th May. I had to empty them before being able to move them at all. A couple of thyme plants therein now thrive on the patio.

Path to sinks

I managed to shift them as far as the low wall, but definitely needed the assistance of Jackie and a lever to lift them onto the wall.

Boundary and sinks

What on earth do you do with two hefty lumps of white stoneware covered in peeling blue paint? Disguise seemed the only option.

Garden

By 16th June, all three of the sinks were suitably clad, at least on the patio side. It is the Gazebo Path that trails away on the left hand side of the photograph.

View along dead end path

The new planting was established by 18th September 2015, but the Dead End Path side still exposes its peeling paint. The Compassion rose to the left has benefited from clearing out the undergrowth which had choked it.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage casserole, mashed potato and swede, piquant cauliflower cheese, and boiled carrots, cabbage, and mange touts. She drank sparkling water, and i quaffed Castilo San Lorenzo rioja reserva 2010.