Not Quite Mid-May

Today’s tour of the garden began with

clematis Marie Boisselot in the Kitchen Bed which also contains an as yet small wisteria, clusters of ferns, Japanese maples, the now ubiquitous erigeron, and self seeded bronze fennel which will have to go when it outgrows it’s welcome.

Other clematises include Niobe, now rivalling the fading wisteria and the burgeoning rose Paul’s Scarlet for space above the Wisteria Arbour; and Doctor Ruppel, one of which is beginning its ascent up the arch facing the Westbrook Arbour.

At the Brick Path corner of the Dragon Bed a deep red peony prepares to top off the happy planting of phlox and geraniums.

At the far side of this bed the magnolia Vulcan is beginning to relish the light now permitted into its corner.

The pink rhododendron in the Palm Bed sits opposite the deeper variety in Margery’s Bed.

There are a number of vantage points along the Brick Path.

The yellow diurnal poppies alongside the Gazebo Path

can be seen slightly above the centre of this view through the Cryptomeria Bed.

Before Aaron left this morning he had mown the grass patch which is beginning to warrant the epithet lawn.

Rose Madame Alfred Carriere soars above the entrance to the Rose Garden; Jacqueline du Pré adds harmony; Laura Ford a splash of yellow beside Roserie de la Haie; and Gloriana a touch of majesty to the side fence.

Aquilegias dance with ferns in the South Bed;

weigela festoons the fence above them.

Three hawthorn trees, swathes of libertia, and carpets of erigeron give a distinctly white hue to the Back Drive borders.

These are glimpses of the garden in not quite mid-May.

While we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks on the patio a pair of pigeons settled down for the evening in the copper beech.

For our dinner we travelled around the world in 60 minutes. We enjoyed Jackie’s special fried rice with Japanese tempura prawns, Chinese pork spare ribs, Indian tandoori chicken, Belgian Hoegaarden beer and more of the Chilean Carmenere wine.

Sparrows To The Right Of Us, Sparrows To The Left Of Us

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Lilies

This afternoon I wandered around the garden seeking flowers I may not yet have featured this year. These lilies have just popped in a patio planter.

Agapanthus

The agapanthuses in the Palm Bed again stretch across the Gazebo Path.

Rudbeckia and phlox

They stand alongside these Rudbeckia and phlox;

Begonias

while on that bed’s Shady Path side these begonias bloom.

Dahlia Puerto Rico

This flamboyant dahlia, aptly named Puerto Rico blazes between Brick and Gazebo Paths.

Clematis

The arch across the Shady Path supports this purple clematis.

Fuchsia Mrs Popple

In the Rose Garden we have fuchsias Mrs Popple

Fuchsia Bella Rosella

and Bella Rosella.

Gloriana

Gloriana rose is having a better year;

Special Anniversary rose

while Special Anniversary

Crown Princess Margareta rose

and Crown Process Margareta are enjoying a second flush.

Hydrangea

Jackie bought this rather splendid hydrangea very cheaply in Lidl this morning. It doesn’t have a name. You can’t expect everything for £5. She will nurture it in the pot until the weather is kinder.

Sparrows' nest

Now to the sparrows. I have reported on the second brood of these birds in the loo extractor fan. keeping their parents foraging. We have a second set in the rusted burglar alarm on the other side. These are not visible, but I can assure you that they make as much noise as their not so distant cousins.

This evening the three of us dined on a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce and Jackie’s sublime savoury rice. Mrs. Knight drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I finished the Malbec.

“Just Like Daddy’s”

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This morning I became a veritable barber in a dead-heading spree.

Front garden from my window

I began with the prolific Japanese anemones in the front garden.

Japanese anemones 1

As I look out of my sitting room window each morning, I think of that excellent blogging poet Pleasant Street, who commented recently that she preferred to see older blooms alongside the fresh ones, “like life”. Although our reason for dead-heading is not vicariously to deny the effects of ageing, but rather to promote new growth, Pleasant certainly has a point. In deference to that I have left the blooms immediately in view to nature.

I also gathered up some of the branches broken by the winds. As the day continued the winds gradually returned to approach the 60 m.p.h. expected this evening.

Palm Bed

Remarkably little damage has so far been incurred. Here are the Palm Bed;

View from circular brickworkKitchen Bed corner

the corners at the house end of the Brick Path;

Gazebo Path

the Gazebo Path;

Elizabeth's Bed

Elizabeth’s Bed;

Solanum and clematis

the solanum and clematis draped on the dead tree;

Dahlias 1

perked-up dahlias;

Petunias and begonias

petunias and begonias in large pots;

Chrysanthemums

chrysanthemums;

Rose Gloriana

and rose Gloriana.

Small white butterfly on verbena bonarensis 2

The Small White butterflies flitted around everywhere.

Molly's Den display 1Molly's Den display 3Molly's Den display 4Molly's Den display 5Party dresses

This afternoon Elizabeth visited and we took a trip to Molly’s Den, where I photographed a few random displays.

Molly's Den display 2

Not quite so random was this scene, taking me back to one Christmas in the 1980s.

Ironing board

Louisa would have been about six or seven when Jessica and I bought her an ironing board. “Just like Daddy’s”, was her delighted cry.

This evening, before Elizabeth returned home, we dined on Jackie’s perfect pork paprika and wild rice. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank more of the Fleurie.

In The Garden Today

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Brick Path

Among his other tasks this morning, Aaron finished weeding the original section of the Brick Path,

Iris 1Irises 1

and sprayed herbicide along the gravel of the Back Drive where an old gold iris has bloomed.

Mimulus

Many plants, like this pansy-like mimulus, have happily self-seeded from last year,

Mullein

others like two mulleins threatening to dwarf the roses among which they have taken root, may themselves be quite content, but their neighbours are not so.

Mulleins

We may have left it too late to move these two giants to the rear of the Back Drive border.

Rose Gloriana

Rose Gloriana is far more prolific in this, its third year in the Rose Garden,

rose Madame Alfred Carriere 1rose Madame Alfred Carriere 2rose Madame Alfred Carriere 3

the faded blue entrance arch to which bears creamy Madame Alfred Carriere.

rose Altissimo

Altissimo stands sentinel at the corner of The Rose Garden and Elizabeth’s Bed,

Fuchsia

where this sturdy fuchsia suspends its delicate pink flowers.

Erigeron

Cheerful erigeron cascades from the wall of the New Bed that contains

Clematis

this pink-striped clematis,

Clematis 2

as healthy as this, one of Jackie’s rescued spindly little twigs, mounting the front fence.

This evening we dined on pork medallions in barbecue sauce, with crunchy carrots, broccoli, and new potatoes. I drank Parra Alta Malbec 2016. Jackie had already imbibed her Hoegaarden on the patio beforehand.

The Dump Can Wait

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Much of today was spent planting roses, tidying beds, and pruning and lopping trees and overgrown shrubs.

I cleared up Jackie’s maple cuttings from yesterday, then concentrated on the myrtle behind the Compassion rose. Both these trees were depriving the rose of light and air, and the variegated myrtle was full of sports anyway.

The arch, as seen from the bench on the Dead End Path and from the distance of Fiveways, now awaits the retrained rose. The young leaves of the copper beech, the last to arrive, can be seen to the top left of the first picture.

Garden view through Agriframes Arch

Looking through the Agriframes Arch from the Dead End Path, one can see that the yellow bottle brush plant and

Chilean lantern plant

the Chilean lantern tree are both coming into bloom.

Elsewhere, Sweet Williams and Cerinthes romp ahead of the fuchsia beneath them.

Fly on marigolds

Bright marigolds attract flies like the one in this image.

Viburnum Rhytidophyllum

The viburnum Rhytidophyllum, with its delicate scent, creamy white clustered flowers, and crinkly leaves, is enjoying its best year since the surrounding jungle was opened up.

Gloriana, Crown Princess Margarete, and Jacqueline du Pré have all put in an appearance in the Rose Garden.

I chopped up all the tree branches and filled two orange bags with them. We had intended taking them to Efford Recycling Centre, but we ran out of steam and decided that the dump could wait.

This evening we dined on meals from New Forest Tandoori takeaway in Pennington. We both enjoyed prawn puri starters. My main course was king prawn naga with special fried rice; Jackie’s was chicken buna with fragrant pilau rice. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2014.