A Negative Tattoo

The day dawned dull yet dry; the air cool and cheerless. Nevertheless Compassion rose, its neighbouring geranium palmatum; rose Penny Lane and her accompanying clematis Dr Ruppel flourished well enough as I made my way into the garden to gather up clippings from the Head Gardener’s morning graft. After lunch I carried out an extensiveContinue reading “A Negative Tattoo”

Chekhov Stories

On an even hotter day today we started gardening even earlier. While Jackie concentrated on tidying and watering, despite the efforts of another dislodged and overhanging climbing rose, I cleared another arm of the Rose Garden of weeds. Just before lunch, Mark and Rob, two of Aaron’s team, arrived to set about the Back Drive.Continue reading “Chekhov Stories”

I Hoped Not

Given the forecast (accurate) of the very hot day we gardened in the morning. My contribution was weeding the central brick paving of the Rose Garden, where, later, Jackie took a break sitting in the shade. This afternoon my Chauffeuse drove me into the forest. A parliament of rooks was held beneath a dead treeContinue reading “I Hoped Not”

“Where’s Elizabeth?” (2)

Although the day became somewhat brighter and warmer as it progressed, it was really quite dull and cold until mid-afternoon. This morning we took a brief trip to Ferndene Farm Shop where the Head Gardener bought three more bags of compost and trays of bedding plants. This afternoon we carried out a Tesco shop inContinue reading ““Where’s Elizabeth?” (2)”

May

I suppose it is fair to say that “we” shopped at Tesco this morning. Our usual division of labour on such trips applied. Jackie dons a mask and spends up to an hour dodging other customers to reach the aisles; I sit in the car reading – today more chapters of ‘Nicholas Nickleby’; Jackie bringsContinue reading “May”

An Arboreal Charnel House

Although still breezy and somewhat nippy, our morning’s weather was much brighter. Accompanied by chirruping small birds, the screeching of the greenfinch, the cooing of doves, the repeated mating plea of a wood pigeon, and the gentle buzzing of the bees, Jackie continued her various plantings such as those in tubs, stone urns, box containersContinue reading “An Arboreal Charnel House”

Equine Families

A loosely latched utility room window constantly thudded throughout last night against the whistling rhythm of thunderous gales sweeping through the Isle of Wight at speeds of up to 100 m.p.h. The Weeping Birch bent its back and tossed it tresses. As I write we do not expect a cessation until 9 p. m. AContinue reading “Equine Families”

Back Inside The Lamb

Yesterday evening we met Elizabeth and Danni inside The Lamb Inn at Nomansland for our first permitted meal together since the months long Covid lockdown. Jackie’s photograph of Danni arriving shows that masks had to be worn on entry and walking about, but could be removed while seated. Three of us chose chicken, ham, andContinue reading “Back Inside The Lamb”

“He’s Just Found He’s Got Legs”

Yesterday evening I reached a point past nine more of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to “Nicholas Nickleby”. and scanned them today. Keeping depicts such movement in ‘The animals were no sooner released than they trotted back to the stable they had just left’. ‘A female bounced into the room, and seizing Mr Squeers by the throatContinue reading ““He’s Just Found He’s Got Legs””