Waiting In The Wings

On a chilly, largely overcast morning, occasionally lifted by sunlight peeking over the sometimes fluffy cotton clouds, I wandered around with my camera enjoying the general views opened up by Martin’s dedicated winter’s work.

It was difficult to ignore the red Japanese maple,

even when the collection of trees featured both the doomed Weeping birch tree and its foreground gingko waiting in the wings.

The second image in the first gallery features the Brick Path.

Here is another, followed by

one of the Gazebo Path, from the far end of which

can be seen this view west.

Whichever way we look we benefit from Martin’s work.

These are from the Rose Garden.

This morning Jackie shopped at Ferndene Farm Shop where she enjoyed the Gloucester Old Spot piglets at their trough.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s spicy penne Bolognese with Parmesan cheese with which she and I drank more of the Tempranillo Rosado.

All Hands On Deck

Soothed by today’s gentler avian chorus, Jackie, Martin, and I all worked in the garden this morning.

The Head Gardener freed a couple more metres of the bricks on the eponymous path of their green packing, leaving a few more for future treatment.

After loading the rest of the refuse on the Back Drive into his van to remove when he left, Martin completed his meticulous weeding of Fiveways and the Shady Path;

then opened up the completely overgrown Head Gardener’s Walk for wobbly legs, enabling me to reach more spent roses from The Generous Gardener, in addition to which I did the same for Arthur Bell

and New Dawn;

then snipped secateurs, strapped straying stems in the Rose Garden, extracted weeds, and transported trugs of further refuse to add to Martin’s van load.

Later, working backwards from 6th July to 28th June 2014 I changed pictures to the normal Gallery, thus recovering them to the posts, which results in cropping of some images on each post which can nevertheless be viewed in full in the galleries. This is more annoying than excessively time consuming.

This evening we all dined on beef and chicken burgers, fried onions, and fresh salad with which I drank more of the Appassimento and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

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.

Robin In Attendance

Jackie and I put in gardening stints early on another warm and sunny day, while Martin continued throughout the day.

Continuing my war with velcro-stemmed sticky Willy, I weeded and dead-headed a little.

Martin came to us on the recommendation of Jackie’s sister Helen. One of the last jobs he carried out for her included extracting a clump of geraniums from her front wall. She gave this clump to Jackie. Today

the Head Gardener separated this into individual plants and positioned them in the soil around the patio border – one can be seen at bottom left of the first two pictures in this gallery.

Accompanied by a pair of Nugget’s progeny

our gardening friend spent the day clearing and tidying more of the Rose Garden. Where’s Martin? (4) is the subject of the first in this gallery.

Here we have pink Festive Jewel with white Madame Alfred Carrière; magenta Roserie de l’Haie with yellow Laura Ford; white Winchester Cathedral; pink Schoolgirl before a yellow climber; pink Shropshire Lad beside Gloriana; peach Crown Princess Margareta; red thornless Zephirine Drouhin; a close up of Roserie de l’Haie; and bright red Altissimo.

This evening we all dined on succulent pork and apple sausages and creamy mash; flavoursome carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and tasty gravy with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bardolino.

Baby Species

On this morning of largely overcast skies and warmth to which we have not recently been accustomed, I carried out dead heading and the easier weeding whilst Martin occupied himself with

the heavier clearance work in the Rose Garden

and cutting the grass.

After lunch Becky gave Ellie one of her regular walks round the garden.

Later, Jackie and I took a forest drive.

Beside Holmsley Walk Campsite we spotted two foal colts somewhat younger than our great-granddaughter.

The first of these, still clinging to his mother, grappled with the problem of pesky flies;

the second, a more recent occupant of the womb, slept through our visit. The last two images in this gallery are by Jackie.

At Norley Wood we observed both roadside pink may blossom and rich golden moorland gorse.

King Charles III, his mask having slipped a bit, still occupies his celebrity seat in Robert Gill’s Everton Road garden post his coronation day.

This evening we all dined on Red Chilli’s excellent takeaway fare. My main course was prawn Madras; Becky’s, vegetable curry; Dillon’s, chicken dhansak; Flo’s, chicken pasanda; Jackie’s, chicken saag. Mushroom rice, pilau rice, special fried rice, peshwari naan, and panir tikka were shared. Jackie and I both drank more of the Zesty.

A Stream Of Cyclists

Yesterday Jackie put in more work perfecting the Rose Garden clearance. The path leading to the white seat had been weeded by Flo.

When she noticed the bag of recycling material outside our front door ripped open this morning with its contents distributed round the garden, Jackie wondered what had done this. After she cleared it up and stepped out the back the answer became clear.

Badgers had returned. The Waterboy arrangement, the corner pots on the patio edge of the Pond Bed, and the stumpery had been wrecked. Before I photographed the damage The Head Gardener had righted the second two sites although she had missed the ornamental mouse trampled into the patio gravel, and the earth was still strewn across the Brick Path. In the process Jackie had disturbed a wasp’s nest, one resident of which stung her.

Later in the morning Dillon, straight off the plane, arrived with Flo and Becky who had collected him on arrival soon after 7.00 a.m. None of the three had slept during the night, so the young couple went straight to bed and Becky rested on our sofa for a while before setting off back to Southbourne. She later texted to let us know she had arrived home safely.

I scanned 14 of our granddaughter’s colourful drawings before Jackie and I lunched at

The Rising Sun. The allegedly Light Bites we enjoyed were

a Ploughman’s Lunch for me and tuna salad for Mrs Knight.

The photograph of the pub above was taken from the cracked and hoof-pitted-concrete-moulded terrain of Wootton Common opposite.

The extra large photograph albums I ordered for the wedding photographs arrived this morning.

New Forest Cycling Club had gathered by the stream at Wootton Car Park. As we arrived they trooped off down the road

and left the increasingly shallow shingle bed to other visitors.

This evening we dined on Red Chilli’s excellent takeaway fare with which Jackie and Dillon drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank water, and I drank Chassaux Rasteau 2019.

South End Back In Order

Martin finished the work on and around the Oval Bed –

pictured in progress

and on completion.

The Rose Garden has been rather neglected during the last week or so. Our friend just had time to shave the rampant red carpet rose and bag up the clippings before it was time for him to return home. He has certainly got the rest of the south end of the garden back in order.

While Martin gardened I printed – another 59 of the wedding photographs before I ran out of ink this afternoon. Becky ordered me some more on line while I sourced the albums myself.

In order to keep an eye on the printing process I do not leave the machine which takes quite a time. This has enabled me to make a very good start on reading “The Moonstone” which Becky bought for me for my birthday.

Topped up with a little of Jackie’s rice we dined this evening on the last of the Red Chilli takeaway with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

The Garden At The Start Of July

Yesterday evening Jackie finished her work on the Lawn Bed.

She also continued her general maintenance, such as the Weeping Birch Bed weeding and replanting, following Flo’s earlier work on the footpath.

Early this morning Jackie and I transported the last of the garden refuse to the Efford Recycling Centre, after which we purchased three more large bags of compost and a few vegetables from Ferndene Farm Shop.

Later, I finished reading ‘If The Old Could’ and published https://derrickjknight.com/2022/07/01/if-the-old-could/ after watching the third round Wimbledon tennis match between Heather Watson and Kaja Juvan.

Before dinner I produced

a gallery of garden views, each of which bears a title.

This evening Jackie and I dined on her spicy paprika pork while Flo preferred meat and vegetable pasty to accompany the boiled new potatoes, crunchy carrots, and firm cauliflower and broccoli, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden; our granddaughter, Raspberry Rhubarb and Orange Blossom cordial; and I, more of the Chianti.

From One Scent To Another

The usual division of labour applied to garden maintenance this searingly hot day, although Flo had worked until it was too long after dark to see, finishing the last of the compost and plants; and filling our score of watering cans.

As soon as I had prised my nostrils from the scented rose bushes, had a long sit down and a cold drink of water, I staggered round the garden with my camera.

Then I sunk my nose into the bookishly scented ‘Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins.

Becky joined us this evening and we all dined on pizza, prawns, and salad with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Barolo. The others abstained. Strawberries and cream were to follow.

Where’s Martin?

Martin and Jackie spent several hours between them this morning weeding and clearing; I chipped in with some of each and mostly dead heading, largely concentrating on

the Rose Garden, of which I wish I could convey the scents.

After lunch I recorded the general scenes, as usual titled in the galleries.

View east from Heligan Path. Where’s Martin?

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and onion pie; boiled potatoes; crisp cauliflower and carrots; tender green beans; and meaty gravy, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Douro.