Spot The Difference

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN THE PAGE AND CLICKING ON THE RELEVANT BOX.

In today’s gardening division of labour my contribution was weeding the back drive, while Jackie continued planting, weeding, and watering.

My main focus was on the bed alongside the new fence.

This involved clambering between dead stumps and the fencing and digging out stubborn brambles and sticky Willies. I had not anticipated needing to use a fork on all this, but, most unusually for April, there has been so little rain that the ground is rock hard. Consequently I didn’t get very far. For those readers interested in the scale of things this drive is 75 yards long and the width of a terraced house plot.

Jackie filled the Rose Garden urns – one on the brick pillar we have just rebuilt – with compost

in readiness for these lilies bought from the Hordle Post Office a couple of days ago.

Other plantings in the Oval and Elizabeth’s Beds and the Rose Garden are mostly represented by labels.

Corner of Palm Bed at Fiveways

In this corner of the Palm Bed we have tulips; a yellow Japanese maple that clearly needs the pruning treatment;

Rhododendron 1

and a pink rhododendron just coming into bud.

Tree peony

A yellow tree peony competes with the latter over which will be the first in full bloom.

Daffodils, honesty, and hellebores continue to thrive.

This cream verbascum stands on the Back Drive bed,

Clematis Montana

and this clematis Montana spills over the front garden wall,

behind which a yellow potentilla is flowering. Can you guess what, when I put the first of these pictures of it up on the screen, got me rushing out there?

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, Garner’s pickled onions, and Tesco’s gherkins. I drank Doom Bar beer.

An Enforced Eviction

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Wisteria

Early this morning the sun shone on the wall-bound wisteria aiming for the en suite bathroom.

Raindrops on tulip Diamond Jubilee 1

Lingering early raindrops rolled around the Diamond Jubilee tulips,

Raindrops and fly on tulip Diamond Jubilee

onto which a thirsty fly dropped for a drink.

RhododendronRhododendron and pieris

Another rhododendron, leading the eye to the pieris on the grass, is beginning to bloom.

The day dulled over as it progressed. We spent the morning working on the garden. Jackie did some general planting and weeding, and sprinkled chicken pellets over the newly composted beds. Before you imagine otherwise, we do not keep chickens. The pellets come in a large bucket and are marketed as manure.

Vinca

Vinca makes an attractive ground cover, but it does have a tendency to sprawl, take root, and make life very uncomfortable for bed-mates. So it has been for the Weeping Birch Bed. I therefore concentrated my efforts on that. Fast approaching is the warmer weather when a thinner duvet will be in order.

Ladybird on vincaSnail and ladybird on vinca leavesSnail on vinca leaf

A black-spotted ladybird and a tiny striped snail suffered an enforced eviction as I ejected  their shelter.

Brick pillar

Our stone urns and other containers are mounted on dry brick pillars. The ground under one of these subsided a bit last autumn and it fell over. We spent the last few minutes before lunch levelling a space and beginning to rebuild the column.

This evening we dined on succulent roast pork and apple sauce, roast sweet and savoury potatoes, with al dente carrots, cauliflower, and runner beans; followed by rice pudding and blackberry jam.  I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

The Death Penalty

This morning we visited New Milton’s Birchfield Dental Practice, where Mr Hefferan relieved me of one of my choppers which was rather loose. His painless technique was a little more sophisticated than the application of my mother’s fingers many decades ago.

My Dad was a fan of the novelist Edgar Wallace. This is what prompted me to buy a second-hand copy of ‘The Flying Squad’ a good thirty or more years past. A recent exchange with Brian, LordBeariofBow, prompted me to get around to reading it. I finished doing so in the waiting room while Jackie was having her less drastic treatment.

A fairly standard early 20th century detective thriller that would seem tame if translated to today’s TV series, so often penned by women, my copy was the 1940, 13th edition of the 1926, work. Produced during the time of the Battle of Britain, this book has survived longer than would a modern counterpart. A hardback, suffering a little foxing and browning of paper, it is still quite durable. I know it has been read previously for there were one or two minor stains and the occasional crumb lodged within.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of Wallace’s novel is it’s constant reference to the death penalty of which the villains were in fear. Had I committed murder before I was almost thirty, I could well have been hanged.

It was not until the Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 that the death penalty for murder was abolished, although it was to survive in Northern Ireland until 1973. Wikipedia  tells us that ‘the Act was introduced to Parliament as a private member’s bill by Sydney Silverman MP.’ It provided  ‘that charges of capital murder at the time it was passed were to be treated as charges of simple murder and all sentences of death were to be commuted to sentences of life imprisonment. The legislation contained a sunset clause, which stated that the Act would expire on 31 July 1970 “unless Parliament by affirmative resolutions of both Houses otherwise determines”.[3] This was done in 1969 and the Act was made permanent.’

On 13 August 1964, Peter Anthony Allen, at Walton Prison in Liverpool, and Gwynne Owen Evans, at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, were executed for the murder of John Alan West on 7 April that year. They were the last of such UK executions.

Perhaps better known victims of the hangman were Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged, and Derek Bentley who had met a similar fate two years earlier.

Film, TV, and stage productions have recounted the story of Ruth Ellis who died in 1955, and Derek Bentley, the subject of a 1991 British drama film directed by Peter Medak and starring Christopher Eccleston, Paul Reynolds, Tom Courtenay and Tom Bell.

The Bentley case led to a 45-year-campaign to win him a posthumous pardon which was granted in 1993, A further campaign resulted in the quashing of his murder conviction in 1998.

The gun that killed PC Sidney Miles had been fired by Bentley’s companion, 16 year old Christopher Craig, who was too young to hang. The finding of guilt hinged on the interpretation of Bentley’s cry, ‘Let him have it’. The jury interpreted the phrase to mean ‘Kill him’. The defence view was that he meant ‘Hand over the gun’.

Those two 1950s executions stayed in the memory of this then young boy.

Late this afternoon I wandered around the garden.

Bee? in flight

When I recently photographed an insect such as this one making a bee-line for euphorbia, I described it as a wasp. I don’t think it really can be. A bee, or a hoverfly, perhaps?

Rhododendron

I photographed this rhododendron in bud a day or two ago;

Cherry flowering

as I did this flowering cherry.

Erigeron

The erigerons outside the back door are recovering well from their severe haircut.

This evening we dined on shepherds’ pie, carrots and cauliflower. Jackie drank more of the Côtes de Gascoigne, and I drank Lion’s Lair Shiraz 2013.

A Sparrow in Swallow Drive

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE WHEN SCROLLING DOWN THE PAGE AND CLICKING THE RELEVANT BOX.

Jackie continued with the weeding of the rose garden today, whilst I wandered with the camera.

Tulips are now in bloom.

Tulip 2

This one really did come from Amsterdam, courtesy of Danni and Andy who brought it back for us.

A bank of yellow primroses fronts this striated group at the entrance to the back drive,

Wallflowers

along which golden wallflowers are massing.

Rhododendron

Our first rhododendron is beginning to flower;

Japanese maple

 Japanese maples are coming into leaf,

Cherry blossom

and a deep pink cherry blossom is blooming.

Saxifrages

Saxifrages planted last year are thriving.

Wasp

Clearly confused as to the season. a sleepy wasp staggered about.

This afternoon we went for a drive.

The tide was high at Keyhaven, where the wreck was now submerged,

Boats and Hurst lighthouse 2

and the Hurst lighthouse clear beyond the line of moored boats.

Mallards (purple headf)

A purple-headed mallard and mate basked on a lichen covered wall;

Coot and white bird

and a white-headed coot paddled past a white bird hiding in the reeds.

In view of Hurst spit swans waded, foraged, and drank. One bore a tide-mark causing speculation about what it had been swimming in.

Among those silhouetted on the spit were a woman and two children,

and two young women. In each group there was one person engaged in a mobile phone conversation.

Sparrow

We took a diversion around a housing development in Milford on Sea. Given that these streets all bore the name of a different bird, I wondered what a sparrow was doing on Swallow Drive.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb beef cobbler, sautéed potatoes and mushrooms, with crisp carrots, cauliflower and purple sprouting broccoli. The Culinary Queen drank sparkling water while my drink was San Andres Chilean merlot.

The End Of The Roll

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

We were promised sunshine and showers today. In the end the rain dominated. Consequently I was unable to cut the grass. There was nothing for it but, with the sun on my back when it did put in an appearance, while being dripped on by the trees, to take advantage of the light to photograph raindrops; then hit the massive ironing pile.

Gazebo path

The Chilean lantern bush is on the left of the Gazebo Path, and the yellow bottle brush one to the right. The eucalyptus is in flower.

Raindrops on Bottle Brush Plant

The bottle brushes were well washed;

Raindrops on rhododendron

Heligan Path BenchView from Brick Path across the lawn

as was the rhododendron that has bloomed in the Phantom Bed since these views from the Heligan Path and the Brick Path were last featured.

Raindrops on sweet peas

These sweet peas are now adorning the arch to our right.

Raindrops on peony

Peonies heads are too heavy to be raised

Cordyline Australis

in the Palm Bed, so named for the cordyline Australis.

Elizabeth's Bed

From the Oval Path to the right can be seen Elizabeth’s bed with its bright pink hydrangea;

Rose Garden

and straight ahead through to the Rose Garden, where

Riandrops on Mum in a Million

Mum in a Million

Raindrops on Margaret Merril

and Margaret Merrill have both washed their faces.

Raindrops on Day Lily

This day lily in Margery’s Bed has just had a shower.

Kitchen Bed View

Between shirts I nipped out to photograph this view across the Kitchen Bed from the Patio.

This afternoon I scanned the last few frames on the Devon September 1983 holiday roll of colour negative film featured yesterday, when Mary observed that an image of Jessica and Louisa warranted a close up. This is the next shot in which I have

Jessica and Louisa 9.83 1

first cropped the background,

Jessica and Louisa 9.83 1 Crop

then brought the subjects into close-up.

Jessica and Louisa 9.83 2

Once released, Louisa was quite clear where she wanted to go,

Louisa 9.83 1

but not quite so confident when negotiating the terrain,

Sam 9.83

which hadn’t fazed Sam at all.

Jessica 9.83

Here is Jessica shortly before we left.

Louisa 9.83 2Louisa 9.83 3

Back home, our daughter adopted the usual exhausted mode.

Jackie having returned from her three days away, we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled onions and gherkins, followed by Dorset Apple Cake brought back from Tolpuddle. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Reserve des Tuguets Madiran 2012.

A Bee And Three Flies

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

Early this morning, we drove Sheila to Brockenhurst for her return home. Apart from Jackie’s planting , and my occasional wander round the garden on this overcast day, we spent it flopping.

We have blooming clematises

Clematises Niobe and Arabella

Niobe and Arabella on the kitchen wall;

Clematis Comtesse de Bouchaud

Comtesse de Bouchaud sporting a fennel veil;

Clematis Durandii and geranium palmatums; and bee

Durandii, making its way above geranium palmatums playing host to a bee in the rose garden;

Clematis Margaret Hunt

Margaret Hunt;

Clematis recovered

and this one Jackie recovered after finding that a creature had burrowed underneath it. We had wondered why it wasn’t doing anything.

Rhododendron, geranium palmatums, and clematis Star of India

The recently flowering rhododendron blends well with the Clematis Star of India, the ubiquitous geranium palmatums, and poppies against Jackie in the background.

Poppies

Here are more poppies leading us to the Rose Garden,

Rose garden reflection

where Laura Ford is reflected on the side of the potting shed;

and where thrive, among others,

Shropshire Lad and fly

Shropshire Lad,

Crown Princess MargareteCrown Princess Margarete

Crown Princess Margareta,

Rose Mamma Mia and fly

Mamma Mia,

Rose Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll,

Rose Mum in a Million

and Mum in a Million.

Rose red

This red rose was rescued from the jungle by Elizabeth;

Rose scarlet

this scarlet one stands in the Oval Bed;

Rose pink

and this pink one in the small triangular bed outside the stable door.

Oval Path

The tall scarlet rose is evident in this view of the Oval Path.

Honeysuckle 1

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle 2

now climbs above the entrance to the Rose Garden which is visible

View from Back Drive

from the entrance to the Back Drive.

A bee is flagged up in the text. Three roses each bear a fly. Can you find them?

Mr Chatty Man provided our Hordle Chinese Take Away meal this evening. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Chateauneuf du Pape.

Mothers’ Protection

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

I watered the pots in the front garden this morning.

Roses on trellis

More pink roses bloom on the trellis each day;

Clematis Piilu

and clematis Piilu

Solanum

and a tiny solanum are now making their way across the garage door frontage.

Rose Mamma Mia

New arrivals in the Rose Garden include Mamma Mia,

Rosa Mundi

Rosa Mundi,

Rose Deep Secret

and Deep Secret;

Rhododendron

and my favourite rhododendron is coming to fruition.

Rose peachRose peach crop

The peach rose is reaching its peak,

Bee in peach rose

and attracting bees.

This afternoon we took Sheila on a forest driveabout to the North of the forest.

Ponies on road 1Ponies on road 2Ponies on road 3

A group of ponies on the far side of Burley ignored a Give Way sign as they held up the traffic.

Ponies 1

While we were watching another group, including a couple of foals, drinking in the stream at Ibsley,

Ponies 2

an alarming neighing was set up by two other adults of these normally silent animals. There was a clattering of hooves on the tarmac to our right, and a thudding on the sward on the other side of the water, as the spooked ponies scattered. The foals clambered up the bank at the calls of their dams. This one nuzzled its relieved parent.

Ponies 3

These creatures reconvened on the road.

Ponies 4

Meanwhile others tore frantically around the field until a loose collie dog ran off and joined its owners out of sight. The horses then quietly regrouped under the trees.

Pony with carrot

Some homeowners leave carrots out for ponies. This mother crunched on one, whilst her foal satisfied itself with grass to the right of the cattle grid protecting the house entrance.

Foal 1

As I disembarked from the car, the youngster made its way back to its Mum,

Pony and foal

and had a scratch under the protection of her flanks.

We stopped off for a drink at The Royal Oak in North Gorley, then Sheila treated us to a meal at The Plough in Tiptoe. We all chose gammon steak, eggs, chips, and peas. My drink was Ringwoods Best Bitter. Probably because I had also had a pint at The Royal Oak, I wasn’t able to fit in a dessert.