Doctor Ruppel’s Cricket

This morning I continued my dead heading race with the plants and some gentle weeding, while Jackie concentrated on clearing out spent compost from hanging baskets, planting up more, and redistributing the compost.

These baskets are some of last year’s which will receive her attention.

Here are two of the clematises that border on the patio, the second of which is a Doctor Ruppel;

ascending the Gothic arch is another one such, today providing a resting place for a minuscule cricket.

The climber, Paul’s Scarlet occupies the Wisteria arbour from where similar coloured poppies can now be seen half way along the Gazebo Path.

We have lost the label for this white rose in the Dragon Bed, but

I remember this one is Winchester Cathedral, situated in

The Rose Garden, where we will also find

Rhapsody in Blue and this pale pink climber.

The rhododendron in the Cryptomeria Bed is now in full bloom,

as are a number of aquilegias and a few day lilies.

Finally, Erigeron festoons corners of the patio.

This afternoon we shopped at Tesco and I read more of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain begun yesterday evening.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable stewp with fresh crusty bread; I drank Almocreve vinho regional Alentejano tinto reserva 2020.

Weeding Plants And Postage Stamps

Warmed by a climbing sun; my paths eased by Martin’s clearance work; ears soothed by sweet birdsong, occasionally accosted by raucous jackdaws; I dead headed roses and Welsh poppies and pulled up weeds this morning.

Before a trip to Ferndene Farm Shop this afternoon in order to buy three large bags of compost,

I photographed more flowers and garden views, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

Something else has gone digital is our postage stamps. I have been doing my best to ignore this leaflet from Royal Mail, but bit the bullet today and followed the instructions, filled in the form on the reverse, and posted to the recycling centre 32 first class stamps which will soon be regarded as weeds ready for composting. We are promised replacements bearing the relevant barcode.

Becky turned up just before dinner and stayed over.

We all dined on pizzas, salad, and sausage rolls our daughter brought with her. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Collin-Bourisset Fleurie 2021.

A Bunch Of Roses

This largely overcast morning Jackie spent weeding and planting; my contribution was dead-heading and a little clearing up.

After lunch I picked a bunch of roses.

Later this afternoon I posted

This was an attempt to tidy up the series. For the first 3 episodes of the tale I had incorporated sections like this first one into my daily diary posts. I wanted to take them out and keep them apart from what I had been doing this century. Now I’ve got myself into a muddle because I don’t know how to get the revised ones in the right order and retain the earlier complete posts under another category. I guess I’ll figure it out. I hope that at least is clear.

This evening we all enjoyed further helpings of yesterday’s Chinese takeaway with which Jackie drank Tsing Tao beer and I drank more of the Shiraz.


Today dawned dull and drizzle-wet. We ventured into the garden early – Jackie to inspect and, where possible, nullify the storm damage and I to empty refuse trugs then carry out some dead heading.

Jackie had a chat with Nugget when he came to sample what she had dug up for him. He is able to eat himself now, rather than fly off to the nest with the goodies. The last of these four pictures is “Where’s Nugget?” (90)

The only real damage was windburn such as browning and curling of these Japanese maple leaves.

As will be seen by this rain-bejewelled Rhapsody in Blue, I didn’t get very far with dead-heading before returning to the house.

I paused to photograph this inherited clematis which has taken advantage of the light made available by the lopping of the cypress, not yet draped by the climbing plants set to cover it.

Even such a day could not dull the charms of this kniphofia and pelargonium blend.

Rain eased up for half an hour before lunch, enabling is to carry out a little more work.

Here are raindrops on sweet peas, lilies, hemerocallis, and petunias. Galleries can be accessed by clicking on any image; each one can be viewed full size by clicking on the box beneath it. Further enlargement is then possible.

Later in the afternoon we continued a bit more. Nugget is now training another junior, perhaps from his latest brood.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s crisp fish and chips and our own jars of somewhat soggy and sharpish gherkins and pickled onions having been first opened before the lockdown. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

A Tattooed Jet-skier


Yesterday, Jackie, having set a border with transplanted heucheras some weeks ago, thinned out the other plants in the small bed to the left of the rose garden entrance. As Aaron said, this increased the sense of space.

One of Aaron’s tasks this morning was to prune the plants over the arch to the front garden;

another was to fix spikes to the top of the Westbrook Arbour to prevent perching pigeons pooing onto the bench beneath.

Late this morning Jackie drove me out with the intention of photographing the New Forest Marathon. Unfortunately, because of road closures, and my inability to walk far enough along the paths that would lead to the runners, we abandoned the idea and went home to lunch, after which an amble round the garden was possible.

We still have a number of lively clematises, like this Polish Spirit in the Dragon Bed alongside the Shady Path,

and this Hagley Hybrid in the Rose Garden,

where is also to be found glorious Gloriana,

pink-cheeked Mum in a Million,

and Rhapsody in Blue harmonising with verbena bonariensis.

Peach Delight still stretches over the Oval Bed,

where nasturtiums echo rudbeckia,

itself found in the Palm Bed,

also home to helenium

and echinacea.

Bees swarmed blushing sedums

and Japanese anemones;

a wasp sought saxifrage.

Perhaps a spider’s spinning a modest veil for Florence sculpture.

Gauras have proved difficult to grow here. An exception is this one swaying in the Weeping Birch Bed.

This fuchsia curtains Elizabeth’s Bed from the Rose Garden.

In the late afternoon we visited Mudeford Quay which thronged with visitors, Many of whom were enjoying themselves catching crabs, although they snared more seaweed. The secret, which enabled one group to fill buckets with the unfortunate creatures before tossing them back into the water, seemed to be the bacon bait, which, to my mind, would have been better served flavouring a sausage casserole.

Taking advantage of the low tide, one dog walker wandered along the sandbank, passing the Isle of Wight, and retracing his steps.

Just as I was about to leave, a tattooed jet skier sprayed into sight and navigated his way between the port and starboard buoys.


Early this evening, Jackie rushed in for the camera, rushed out with it, and returned with a backlit image of the heuchera I had photographed this morning.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s splendid pork paprika; wild rice; crunchy carrots, and our own runner beans, followed by her sublime bread and butter pudding. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while my sister and I finished the Fleurie.