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This morning Shelly and Ron visited with more presents for Jackie. We sat talking on the patio before conducting the obligatory garden tour.
The poplar, of which I featured a close-up yesterday, made a pleasing back drop to our conversation.
Also yesterday I photographed Just Joey before he had come into his full splendour, which he had done today.
Quite nearby, Flower Power, finally released from the being the Big Beast’s convenience, is demonstrating its vigour for the first time.
Shelly bent to experience the full fragrance of stripy Rosa Gallica,
sharing it’s bed with the glowing Laura Ford;
and, later, looked aloft to admire the budding Wedding Day smothering the Agriframes Arch.
Finally, Jackie proudly showed her sister that the spindly little allium she had last year transplanted from beneath a prised-up brick in the path had, emulating Hans Christian Andersen’s Ugly Duckling, developed into a beautiful swan-necked crane.
After a routine tidying session, we took a trip to Molly’s Den. Jackie has hankered for a couple of stone window boxes with which to replace the plastic ones that sat on the stone wall at the front of the house, except when they were blown down. She suggested that would be what she would like for her birthday. We began at that antiques emporium.
These two stood immediately inside the doorway. Obviously we bought them.
But, really! Two stone troughs for a birthday present! That had only ever been subterfuge on my part. While the Head Gardener went looking to make sure they were no better ones among the many other displays, I searched for something that would be a bit more of a surprise.
This vast, hangar-like, warehouse is separated into cubicles and smaller display cabinets linked by gangways like this one.
There’s not much you can’t find here; retro and vintage clothing;
furniture and furnishings;
garden tools and kitchenalia;
baskets and kettles;
Now, in situ, underneath the wisteria arbour, isn’t that a more suitable present?
Needless to say, it was essential that the window boxes be potted up post haste.
This evening we joined Becky and Ian at the Crown Inn at Everton for a birthday dinner. The food, the service, and the ambience were all excellent. I enjoyed well-filled steak and kidney pudding, crisp chips, and perfectly cooked fine slivers of broccoli and carrots wrapped in a tender cabbage leaf, followed by unbelievably light and moist bread and butter pudding in creme anglaise. I drank a pint of Doom Bar followed by a glass of Delcoeur vin de l;Herault. Should any of the other three feel inclined to report on their meal, I invite them to do so in a comment.
Jackie was given a joint present from Becky, Ian, Mat, and Tess, in the form of a quite magnificent owl. I will photograph this bird when it has been placed in the garden.