Enjoying The Garden

Today was warm and sunny enough to warrant a dead heading and weeding session which I undertook while Jackie continued her clearing and planting.

After my stint I sat on the wooden bench in the Rose Garden enjoying my surroundings. Later I wandered around and photographed random

plants and a butterfly, each image of which bears its title in the gallery.

Flo no longer needs my help with her photography project, but she does need the camera, which involves sharing it.

This gave me an opportunity to start reading Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.

Later, we all dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.

Windburn

Today we enjoyed more sunshine and less rain than yesterday, but the wind raged at 55 m.p.h. I battled with this on a dead heading expedition and later photographed some windswept plants – I was at least as wobbly as the flowers.

Although Jackie had taken down the most vulnerable hanging baskets they were blowing in the wind,

as were many of the flowers, some of which will be obvious from a lack of focus or a missed framing – sometimes it would be me who wasn’t holding the camera steadily enough, such as with the first of

this group of phlox.

On the other hand these lilies of the same plant, one cluster higher than the other were pictured just a second apart.

More worrying are the leaves of the Weeping Birch, already prematurely aged by wind-burn from previous gales.

Comparatively sheltered are most of the day lilies

and some of the roses.

The decking and St John’s wort were largely protected.

This afternoon, Jackie and I watched the Wimbledon Ladies final between Marketa Vondrousova and Ons Jabeur.

This evening we all dined on Red Chilli Takeaway’s excellent fare, with which Jackie, Ian, Dillon and I drank Kingfisher.

Clinging Precariously

Knowing that we could expect heavy rain this afternoon, Jackie spent all morning

trimming Wedding Day on the Agriframes Arch which would be bound to be ravaged.

She completed the task as the rain began.

I carried out dead heading, a little clearing up, and photography.

Phlox are doing very well this year.

It is the season for dahlias

and Japanese anemones.

Fuchsias are enjoying it too. These examples are Garden News, Magellanica, Mrs Popple, Hawksmoor, and Sarah’s Delta.

Roses picked out by my lens include Alan Titchmarsh, Summer Time, a pink climber, Deep Secret, and Lady Emma Hamilton.

Other gems include two varieties of eryngium; blue agapanthus contrasting nicely with pale calendulas; the swamp lily Crinum Powellia; whiskery St Johns wort; White Pearl sweet peas and; potted begonias reclining on the rusty rocker, now a little unsafe to use for its intended purpose.

In addition to the clematis still sprawling on the Agriframes Arch above, we have many others, including

Polish Spirit in the Dragon Bed and on the barrier trellis, and Purpurea Plena Elegans in the Rose Garden.

Rather like the Head Gardener, bees such as these clinging precariously to lavender, to salvias, and to verbena bonariensis, were working against the rain clock.

This afternoon I posted “A Knight’s Tale (10: After the Revolution)”

Our dinner this evening consisted of chicken breasts cooked in Nando’s chilli, lemon, and mango sauce, and Jackie’s savoury rice, with which she drank Cotes de Provence rosé 2020, and I drank more of the Fleurie.

A Ship In A Bottle

Some 100 yards or so to the east along Christchurch From our house lies the entrance to a series of quarry pits. Our friend Giles has learned that three of the pits have been filled with water and converted to bird sanctuaries. In recent months a series of gates into the woodland have appeared. I imagined that these may provide access to the waters. This morning I walked along to investigate. Each one of the gates bears a digital padlock on the inside.

The last two of these images show the dried ditch. Remaining enticed by views beyond the gates, I returned home thinking that further research would be in order.

A bonus was that I met and enjoyed a lengthy conversation with our next door neighbours, Laraine and David, from whom we have been largely in Covid-induced isolation for too many months.

Jackie continued work in the garden and later photographed the Brick Path which has become quite slippery. The first of these shots shows a completed section; the second, work in progress; and the third what was still to be done.

From later afternoon until early this evening, The Head Gardener continued her task to completion among the essential shade.

These three scenes comprise the southern, central, and northern, sections of the thoroughfare, which I photographed.

After lunch I had previously toured with my camera.

Slightly left of centre in this picture we see a rather spindly Jacqueline du Pré rose which was being choked by Japanese anemones. Jackie removed the invaders and bagged them up for the stack of garden refuse destined for the dump. I carried them across to join the others, and

photographed them while I was at it. These, containing material too woody for compost, have all been packed in the last fortnight.

Hydrangeas and hanging baskets need frequent watering during this hot weather which now warrants a government Amber heat warning.

Phlox of various hues are really flourishing; Rhapsody in Blue flowers again.

One day lily has penetrated the aluminium latticework of a bench on the lawn. Rather like a ship in a bottle it would have been neatly folded to facilitate entry before its sails were unfurled.

Before settling down to drinks in the Rose Garden, Jackie photographed a ladybird, perched higher than either of us, waiting for a sunflower to open.

We dined on flavoursome liver and bacon; boiled potatoes; cauliflower and carrots al dente; and tender cabbage, with which Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I finished the Shiraz.

Around The Beds

We have concentrated so much on paths recently that, on a bright and sunny morning, I decided to take a tour around the beds.

Each of these pictures bears a title in the gallery. The only editing has been a little slight cropping. I trust the Head Gardener will forgive the occasional inclusion of a trug.

Love Knot

In an earlier post Tangental asked for suggestions for flowers that would be blooming in the last week of August when he hopes to host a family event. Although, he, the Textiliste, and Dog themselves have an enviable garden I promised to let him know what we have currently flowering. Needless to say they will be aware of most of what I have to offer, but, here goes.

This month does not finish until next Monday, the 31st, but this will be the last full week. We are predicted to be hit by another fierce storm tomorrow so I decided to post what we still have today.

The second of these two pictures demonstrates that gladioli are vulnerable to gusts of wind and need to be supported with stakes strong enough to see off Count Dracula.

Carpet roses come in a variety of colours and drape everything in sight. The red one might be appropriate for the special occasion.

Super Elfin is a fast growing prolific climber.

Given the occasion, the red Love Knot, might be appropriate; this one, and the sweetly scented peachy Mamma Mia and yellow Absolutely Fabulous survived our heavy pruning yesterday. The latter two are most prolific repeat flowering.

This is all that is left of For Your Eyes Only, the most prolific rose of all, but so resilient is it that all our snips will have prepared the way for plentiful new shoots within the next sennite (Archaic English WP).

At this time of year Rosa Glauca converts clusters of delicate pink and white flowers to rosy hips.

A variety of hydrangeas still thrive,

and hibiscus,

seen also with red and white dahlias and tall, strongly scented, bronze fennel, has come into its own.

This is of course the time for dahlias, of which we have a range.

Our Japanese anemones come in two shades of pink and in white. In the third of these images they blend well with pink pelargoniums and fuchsia Delta’s Sarah.

Pelargoniums and geraniums will grace any hanging basket,

as will begonias of any shape, size, or hue;

likewise sometimes scented petunias.

Provided you keep up with dead-heading, as with most of these plants, sweet scented phlox of many different colours will continue to delight.

We find rudbeckia hard to grow a second year, but this Goldsturm variety returns.

A number of crocosmia, like Emily MacKenzie and the yellow one we can’t identify for certain, are still blooming, although others such as Lucifer have finished, but, like Arnie, will be back.

The daisy-like erigeron and yellow bidens offer points of highlight throughout the garden. Erigeron thrives in paving, steps, and stony soil; all our bidens are self seeded survivors from last year.

Sedums begin to blush towards the end of the summer. The second picture has a backdrop of ornamental grass, some of which puts us in mind of Cousin It from the Adams Family. All good space fillers.

Eucomis, or pineapple plants, are a fun talking point;

nasturtiums trail everywhere until the first frost.

Nigella is a little blue flower.

This white solanum has flowered consistently for more than twelve months, far outstripping its neighbouring honeysuckle, now transformed into not very attractive berries. The solanum comes in blue, too.

Jackie produced a dinner this evening consisting of her special savoury rice served with prawns, some of which were spicy, and others tempura, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Saint-Chinian.

Her Pride And Joy

Late yesterday evening Jackie raced round the garden with her camera, gleefully photographing

her pride and joy. Petunias, pelargoniums, phlox, fuchsias, clematises, alliums, agapanthuses, dahlias, verbenas, campanulas, erigeron, lilies, Japanese anemones, diascias, begonias, eucalyptus, roses, and no doubt many I’ve missed. As usual, clicking on any image will produce the gallery, each member of which is separately labelled and can be viewed full size by clicking on the box beneath it, and further bigified with subsequent clicks.

As if that weren’t enough, the Assistant Photographer dashed out later to capture

the full moon, and again this morning to add

crocosmias Emily McKenzie and Solfatare,

and finally Lycesteria.

I had my work cut out today to select from 56 images, load them into the iMac, edit and crop them, then transfer them to WordPress retyping each title. I left my own camera alone, and for the first time ever rejected the offer of a forest drive, otherwise I would have been at the computer until midnight.

This evening we dined on Forest Tandoori takeaway fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Making Do

On another hot summer’s day visiting traffic continued to pour into our area, so we stayed at home and I made do with garden flower photography.

During the morning and later in the afternoon Jackie concentrated hard on irrigation, including filling the Waterboy’s shell, the level of which suffers from dehydration and thirsty birds.

Butterflies and bees didn’t seem to mind the heat as they flitted from plant to plant. There is room for both Small White butterfly and a bee on the hibiscus in the first picture; bees had sole occupation of the bidens and the saxifrages; the Meadow Brown and the Small White butterflies were unwilling to share space on the sedum or the verbena bonariensis.

Today’s lilies are the heavily scented pale pink double and the freckled beauty seen in better light.

It is the season for dahlias including the two-toned Puerto Rico.

The season for this rhododendron is long over, but the plant doesn’t know that.

Pale pink phlox coexist with rich rust-coloured chrysanthemums.

Lady Emma Hamilton and Ballerina dance on in the Rose Garden, while soaring Altissimo and an unknown pink climber once more reach for the skies.

Hollyhocks, rudbeckia Goldsturm, California poppies, petunias, and hydrangea Tricolor all lend their colour.

Much as the Head Gardener tries to train her clematises, some, like this Niobe, insist on trailing where they will.

As always, the galleries can be accessed by clicking on any image, each of which may be viewed full size by clicking on the box beneath it and further with another click.

Later this afternoon Elizabeth visited for a cup of tea and didn’t stay for dinner which consisted of Jackie’s egg fried rice, mini spring rolls, and tempura and spicy prawns. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Carles.

Shifting Light

This morning my gardening occupations combined dead heading and making photographs.

These roses Summer Wine and Altissimo, both coming again, were too high for me to reach with hand secateurs, and I couldn’t be bothered to fetch the steps.

Bigifying will probably be necessary to appreciate these bees on bidens, on Japanese anemones, and coming to land on crocosmia. Just click on any image to access the gallery and enlarge further with clicks on the ‘view full size’ box underneath and again if required. The bees swarming the Japanese anemones must be welcoming the plants’ early blooming.

Crocosmia blend well with other plants such as these bell-like alliums and the Japanese maple with its fingers singed by recent violent winds.

From beside this latter crocosmia I was able, through the maple, to view the petunias and pelargoniums featured alongside the kitchen wall.

We haven’t identified all the clematises in the garden. The first of this triptych above, for example, is a Lidl unnamed purchase; we do know that it is Niobe who shares the arch with the fuchsia, Chequerboard; the Head Gardener was determined to track down ‘clematis viticella purpurea plena elegans’, which took her some time, because when we arrived seven years ago this then weakly specimen was ailing in the rubble jungle that we eventually turned into the Rose Garden – it was fostered out in another bed until we returned it to its native soil, and has taken three years to reach the top of its supporting beam.

One of these yellow evening primrose blooms has survived the night well; this phantom hydrangea is also a survivor – it is the plant after which the eponymous path is named – first planted on one side of the Phantom Path it was really rather poorly for its first two years, until Aaron moved it into Margery’s Bed where it has enjoyed more light. We hope it will soon be in the shape in which we bought it.

Hemerocallis still thrive and we also have stargazer lilies in the main garden.

Four hours later, in mid afternoon I set out once more with my camera, giving me shifted lighting conditions.

A bee did its best to weigh down a verbena bonariensis.

Niobe could now sunbathe, and the clematis at the barrier between the garden and the back drive enjoyed light and shade;

the freckled lilies kept out of the direct sunlight;

sweet peas and hollyhocks could take it stronger.

My lens found the white flowers the best beneficiaries: sweet scented petunias, powerfully aromatic phlox, a clutch of dahlias, different Japanese anemones and the phantom hydrangea sheltered in shade this morning.

This evening we dined on prawn fish cakes, peas, and fresh crispy bread and butter with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Carles from a second bottle.

“It Tells So Many Stories”

My early morning walk to open the back gate for Aaron displayed

various beds, yucca, evening primroses, Welsh poppies, petunias, hollyhocks, a bee using a bidens as a trapeze, phlox, agapanthus, gaura, a Large White butterfly on a verbena bonariensis, and lilies in the Rose Garden. As usual the individual images are labelled in the gallery which may be accessed by clicking any one and viewed full size by clicking the boxes underneath them then further enlarged.

Later, Nugget Junior 2nd demonstrated his prowess at darting to catch insects on the wing. We really hope he hasn’t seen off his Dad.

Before he left I printed copies for Aaron of a couple of photographs I took of him last week.

He really likes this portrait, as do I. “It tells so many stories”, he said. Most of my pictures of him go into an album which he could use, should he ever have the need, to advertise his work as A.P. Maintenance. This one will be framed and hung on his wall.

Our friends, Barbara and Adrian Chapman, sent as an e-mail attachment a copy of this well composed and executed oil painting by Adrian, based on one of my photographs and a Google street view. I particularly like his use of colour and the turn of the neck of the foreground pony, and am honoured to have provided the inspiration.

This afternoon I offered a certain amount of assistance to Jackie with the general garden maintenance. My tasks were dead-heading, pruning under instruction, and cutting up material for the compost bin.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sumptuous savoury rice; spicy pork paprika; and pork ribs in barbecue sauce, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Squinzano.