Seeking Camouflage

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The sun has returned after several days’ absence. I wandered around the garden with a camera. These photographs reflect the current conditions in our plot.

Hibiscus 1

Hibiscuses are now in full bloom. This one is at the front;

Nasturtium

as is this yellow climbing nasturtium sharing the garage frontage with

Hanging basket and clematis Star of India

hanging baskets such as this container of geraniums an lobelia blending with the clematis Star of India behind them.

Dahlias, lobelias, and fuchsia chequerboard

There are quite a few dahlias reaching up to meet the Chequerboard fuchsia sharing the basket suspended from the wisteria arbour with the paler blue lobelias.

Clematis Polish Spirit and buddleia

A buddleia peeps through the Gazebo arch festooned with clematis Polish Spirit;

Eucalyptus

nearby petunias hang from the eucalyptus.

Leicesteria

Leicesteria drop earrings dangle in the West Bed

Japanese anemone

which also contains white Japanese anemones Jackie planted a couple of years ago to contrast with the ubiquitous pink ones.

Begonias and lobelia in hanging basket on dead snake bark maple

Begonias swing from the dead snake bark maple.

Gladioli Priscilla

Priscilla gladioli have survived the rains in the

Through the New Bed

New Bed.

Petunias and geranium

These petunias and geraniums stand on a brick plinth in the Weeping Birch Bed;

Petunias, geraniums, etc

opposite them a pot on the corner of the Raised Bed contains more of each with many blooms behind them.

Crocosmia etc

The crocosmia in this shot greets you as you leave the Rose Garden,

Rose Garden featuring Just Joey

this view of which is focussed on Just Joey.

Elizabeth's bed with Altissimo

Altissimo, in the centre of this shot looking into Elizabeth’s Bed, has sent out a lower than normal stem.

Palm Bed

Yellow rudbeckia takes centre stage in this section of the Palm Bed.

Comma butterfly

This bronzed Comma butterfly appears to be seeking camouflage from the dead little fir tree

Gazebo Path

in a pot on the right hand side of the Gazebo Path.

Perhaps last night’s power cut improved tonight’s evening meal. A consequence was that the lemon chicken Jackie was marinading remained in the lemon juice overnight. We enjoyed this with her special fried rice and runner beans. I finished the pinot noir. Jackie had drunk her Hoegaarden on the patio as an aperitif.

 

 

 

The Crane

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This morning Shelly and Ron visited with more presents for Jackie. We sat talking on the patio before conducting the obligatory garden tour.

Poplar

The poplar, of which I featured a close-up yesterday, made a pleasing back drop to our conversation.

rose Just Joey

Also yesterday I photographed Just Joey before he had come into his full splendour, which he had done today.

rose Flower Power

Quite nearby, Flower Power, finally released from the being the Big Beast’s convenience, is demonstrating its vigour for the first time.

Shelly smelling rosa gallica

Shelly bent to experience the full fragrance of stripy Rosa Gallica,

Rosa gallica and Laura Ford

sharing it’s bed with the glowing Laura Ford;

Jackie and Shelly

and, later, looked aloft to admire the budding Wedding Day smothering the Agriframes Arch.

Allium

Finally, Jackie proudly showed her sister that the spindly little allium she had last year transplanted from beneath a prised-up brick in the path had, emulating Hans Christian Andersen’s Ugly Duckling, developed into a beautiful swan-necked crane.

After a routine tidying session, we took a trip to Molly’s Den. Jackie has hankered for a couple of stone window boxes with which to replace the plastic ones that sat on the stone wall at the front of the house, except when they were blown down. She suggested that would be what she would like for her birthday. We began at that antiques emporium.

Stone window boxes

These two stood immediately inside the doorway. Obviously we bought them.

But, really! Two stone troughs for a birthday present! That had only ever been subterfuge on my part. While the Head Gardener went looking to make sure they were no better ones among the many other displays, I searched for something that would be a bit more of a surprise.

Gangway

This vast, hangar-like, warehouse is separated into cubicles and smaller display cabinets linked by gangways like this one.

Clothes - second hand

There’s not much you can’t find here; retro and vintage clothing;

Furnishings

furniture and furnishings;

Garden tools etc

garden tools and kitchenalia;

Baskets, kettles, etc

baskets and kettles;

Wedding flowers

bridal accoutrements;

Jackie in rocking chair 1

and a rocking chair.Jackie in rocking chair 2

Now, in situ, underneath the wisteria arbour, isn’t that a more suitable present?

Stone window boxes planted up

Needless to say, it was essential that the window boxes be potted up post haste.

This evening we joined Becky and Ian at the Crown Inn at Everton for a birthday dinner. The food, the service, and the ambience were all excellent. I enjoyed well-filled steak and kidney pudding, crisp chips, and perfectly cooked fine slivers of broccoli and carrots wrapped in a tender cabbage leaf, followed by unbelievably light and moist bread and butter pudding in creme anglaise. I drank a pint of Doom Bar followed by a glass of Delcoeur vin de l;Herault. Should any of the other three feel inclined to report on their meal, I invite them to do so in a comment.

Jackie was given a joint present from Becky, Ian, Mat, and Tess, in the form of a quite magnificent owl. I will photograph this bird when it has been placed in the garden.

 

 

 

 

The Woman In White

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Early this morning our septic tank was cleared. This happens every eighteen months, and Jackie always feels better when it is done.

Knowing we were in for a hot spell, Jackie undertook extensive watering. My tasks involved the eradication, cutting up, and bagging of niggling nettles, invasive ivy, bothersome brambles, and thrusting thistles.

This afternoon we spent much of the time seated on the patio with guests. First Margery and Paul came to lunch, then Helen came bearing birthday presents for Jackie for tomorrow.

Naturally the garden was a focal point.

Gazebo Path 1Gazebo Path 2

Here are two views of the Gazebo Path.

Rose Just Joey

In the Rose Garden, Just Joey

Rose Winchester Cathedral

and Winchester Cathedral have joined the other attractions;

Foxgloves in Rose GardenMargery, however, registered a protest at the number of foxgloves permitted therein.

Poppy in Margery's Bed

She was, however, pleased to find a poppy in her Bed.

Rose Compassion

Compassion rose now proliferates above the Dead End Path.

Sweet Williams

Here is a smaller version of Sweet William that the one previously featured.

Poplar leaves

The leaves of this variety of poplar are delightful at this time of the year.

Bee on viper's bugloss

As promised, viper’s bugloss does attract bees,

Bee on geranium palmatum

as do geranium palmatums

Bee on yellow Bottle Brush plant

and the still burgeoning bottle brush plant.

Florence sculpture

The strong sunlight gives the Florence sculpture the air of The Woman in White, Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel’s musical based on the novel by Wilkie Collins, that was playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre when I photographed it in September 2004.

Alpaca Poo

Among the selection of presents Helen brought was a bag of Alpaca Poo, a garden fertiliser apparently unpleasant to rats.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome beef in red wine with mushrooms, peppers, onions, and carrots, served with swede and potato mash. Jackie drank Peroni and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2014.

Park Life Part 2

Ceramic pigeons

On the decking an unusual new pair of pigeons glistened in this morning’s drizzle,

Grasses

which bejewelled ornamental grasses alongside the Phantom Path.

Rose Just Joey

Heavier rain had spattered rose Just Joey with up-tossed soil.

Tom Jones’s parents had featured in the last of yesterday’s scans of Park Life prints from 20th July 1996. Now a teacher himself, he co-starred in the next scene:Park Life 20.7.96018Park Life 20.7.96019

Park Life 20.7.96021Park Life 20.7.96022

Even lollies didn’t detract from audience rapture,

Park Life 20.7.96023

although Jessica, in the centre background, had spotted something to divert her attention,

Park Life 20.7.96025

which she then conveyed to Jane Keeler.

Park Life 20.7.96027

Care was on hand to administer a puffer to a young lady who had perhaps become overexcited.

Park Life 20.7.96020Park Life 20.7.96028Park Life 20.7.96029Park Life 20.7.96030Park Life 20.7.96031Park Life 20.7.96032Park Life 20.7.96033Park Life 20.7.96034Park Life 20.7.96026Park Life 20.7.96035Park Life 20.7.96036Park Life 20.7.96037Park Life 20.7.96038Barry, of New Forest Chimney Sweep and Repairs, visited on time, to sweep the chimney and check on its condition. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has read about the general maintenance of Old Post House under the previous ownership, that the sweep extracted 65 litres of soot, and pronounced a relining, although not essential, to be advisable. He would be unable to do that until the Spring. He left our sitting room spotless.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic chicken jalfrezi, pilau rice, and vegetable samosas, followed by mango Soleros. I drank Kumala reserve shiraz 2013. Jackie and Ian chose Kingfisher, and Becky a Grenache rose 2014.