Refreshment

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Jackie carried out much knowledgeable weeding and planting this morning, whilst I cleared up the discards and conveyed them to the compost pile.

Garden view along Heligan Path

The early sun lit libertias standing in the Weeping Birch Bed,

Rose Garden 1Rose Garden 4Rose Garden 5Rose Garden 3Rose Garden 2Rose Garden 6

and enlivened the burgeoning Rose Garden.

Raindrops on clematis CarnabyRaindrops on clematisClematis Marie BoisselotClematis

Various clematises,

Clematis Montana

including this wonderfully scented Montana festooned over the front wall;

Weigela

the weigela winding down the south fence;

Aquilegias

ubiquitous aquilegias;

Rambling rose pink

the pink rambler on the front garden trellis;

Libertia, geraniums Ingwersen's Variety, campanulas

borders everywhere, like this corner sporting campanulas, libertia, and geraniums Ingwersen’s Variety,

Raindrops on irises

and the long Back Drive hosting splendid golden irises, relished their welcome refreshment.

Fly on primula

A fly alighted on one of the front tub’s primroses.

This afternoon I added a little more to my biography of an era including me. I now have a working title: ‘A Knight’s Tale’. I took more text, and

this photograph from ‘A Sneaky Weekend’

I then made some prints from recent posts for Louisa.

After this I joined Jackie in the weeding, concentrating my efforts on uprooting the more obvious infiltrators, namely the smelly white alliums, clinging ladies’ bedstraw, and golden buttercups occupying the wrong beds.

This evening, there being no table available at the Crown in Everton, we dined at the Smugglers’ Inn at Milford on Sea. Having starters was a mistake. The platefuls were excellent. Mine contained battered whitebait, plentiful fresh salad, and thick wedges of equally fresh bread. Jackie received a huge plateful of bread and olives. Each serving was a meal in itself. An even bigger mistake was, in my case,  ordering succulent sirloin steak, still more fresh salad, a mountain of perfect chips, onion rings, and fried onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Jackie was treated to a huge bowl of cannelloni. more salad, and an equal number of chips to mine. Neither of us could finish our food, and we did not require a look at the dessert menu. The food was, I hasten to add, all extremely good, and the service impeccable. We both reminisced that, in our prime, we would have managed all this. Jackie drank Amstel, and I drank Doom Bar..

Ian’s Bag

This morning I repeated yesterday’s short walk. On leaving the house by the stable door, a heady fragrance greeted me. It floated from the Agriframes arch, where our retrained cream rambler now blooms. The scent is powerful enough to permeate the whole of the brick path.Rose -cream ramblerBee on cream rambler Bees were as drawn to it as I was. Should any of my gardening friends be able to identify it, we would be very pleased. (The head gardener’s research now establishes this plant as ‘Wedding Day’).Spider and prey Obviously a carnivore, a spider, wrapping its lunch in clingfim, ignored the honeysuckle sepals also ensnared in its sheltered web.

I enjoyed a pleasant conversation with Roger, during which we compared dodgy knees. I complimented him on keeping his public footpaths open. He was amazed at the lengths other farmers go to to keep the public away.

Rose garden stage 4

Aaron and Robin laid anther section of the rose garden path; and this afternoon, after Becky and Ian had returned home to Emsworth, I watered all the window boxes, hanging baskets, and newer plantings.

At Easter, when Frances and her family’s visit had coincided with the Emsworth family’s stay, and she had brought over some of Chris’s belongings for me to keep or to find good homes for, several containers were placed in the library. One of these was a large travelling bag filled with items I thought might be useful for Becky and Ian. I gave our daughter a rather impressive pair of field glasses. She thought Ian would really like them. I pointed out the bag, inviting her to rummage through the contents. As she began to do so, ‘wait a minute’, she exclaimed. ‘That’s Ian’s bag’. Sure enough, all its contents belonged to her fiancé. It was then she remembered that she had deposited this item in the library. Ian, feeling rather fortunate that I hadn’t given them to anyone else, took them home.

My catering task this evening was simplified by having one of Jackie’s superb sausage casseroles to microwave. With this we enjoyed boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage. A Post House Mess, consisting of Cornish dairy ice cream covering strawberries in a meringue nest, was to follow. I drank La Croix Saint-Roche montagne saint-emilion 2013.

The Agriframes Arch

Rose CompassionBirch leaves, verbena petals, nasturtium leavesAfter yesterday’s constant rain, a bright morning lent a sparkle to everything in the garden. The Compassion rose was sprinkled with raindrops; as the broad nasturtium leaves that had halted the descent of those of the birch, and petals of verbena bonarensis.

Clerodendrum trichotomumClerodendrum trichotomum 2This clerodendrum trichotomum had the appearance of a parasol-shaped cocktail stick bearing a drop of Delboy’s pina colada, as featured in the long-running TV comedy series, ‘Only Fools And Horses’. It should have had a dark blue cherry fixed to the ferrule. Perhaps that has been eaten.

I took my usual Hordle Cliff beach Families on shinglewalk. On this sultry summery morning, ringside seats on the shingle were filling up fast.

Soon after midday we took delivery of an Agriframes Classic Gothic Arch, and set about assembling it and putting it in place. This was to occupy us until the light faded as the sun began to settle itself down for the night.

Jackie pondering instructionsEven Jackie was flummoxed by the totally inadequate instructions that were enclosed. She needed my input to help decipher them, which, as my regular readers will know, is really saying something. A favourite of the R.H.S. gardens at Wisley, this elegant structure comes with a fifteen year guarantee. This is quite crafty really because it could take several of those years, before it is exposed to the elements, to construct it.

At the midway stage, we were advised to fix the bottom poles into the ground. A hole-maker was provided for the purpose. This metal pole was easily driven into the soil on one side of the path the arch was to straddle. On the other side, a few inches down, I struck an immovable object. Stone? Concrete? I wasn’t about to find out. We moved the site until all four holes could be pierced to the required depth. From then on it was comparatively plain sailing. Until we found we had two screws left over. A minor panic ensued as we carefully checked each spacer bar. There were none missing, so we decided someone on the assembly line must have been feeling generous.

White bush roseThe need for the arch was occasioned by a beautiful mature white rambling rose that was, during the summer, running rampant over the surrounding shrubs. Jackie had pruned it heavily earlier in the Agriframe archyear as it was becoming a danger to passers by. Once we had erected the arch we trained much of the rest of the rose onto it. There is still tidying up to be done, but we had had enough for one day.

This evening Jackie will drive us to New Milton to collect Louisa who will stay overnight and leave with us early in the morning for Chris’s funeral. We will all be early to bed with Jackie’s lamb Jalfrezi inside us.