Nearly November? Never!

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CLICKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. FURTHER ENLARGEMENT MAY BE OBTAINED WITH A CLICK OR TWO

After early morning rain we enjoyed intermittent sunshine. A wander around the garden produced much evidence of continued growth.

This afternoon Jackie drove herself and me to Ringwood where I collected printing paper and inks from Wessex Photographic and she bought a winter coat at M & Co. We continued into the forest.

Trees along its banks were reflected in the stream at Ibsley,

where a loan pony, ignoring a sudden spurt of rain, surveyed passers-by within sight of a tree of massive girth,

beyond which a group of youngsters enjoyed the use of a tyre swing.

We stopped at Hockey’s Farm Shop to buy a joint of pannage pork, reputed to offer a special flavour. A couple of ponies wandered along the road outside; two field horses, like most others, as protection against the expected colder nights, now wear their rugs.

As we near Remembrance Sunday an outlined World War I combatant has appeared on a wall near Hockey’s; cutouts have patrolled around New Milton throughout the summer; an army nurse stands near Barton on Sea.

From the clifftop at Barton we were given a clear view of the Isle of Wight, The Needles, and the lighthouse; while beyond the golf course behind us we could see rain falling.

Synchronised gulls perched on fence posts, until one flew off over another.

As I wandered around the garden I had found myself thinking ‘is it really nearly November? Never’. Pannage pork, horses in rugs, and the Lest We Forget memorials perhaps suggest otherwise.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s perfect pork paprika served with savoury rice and crisp cauliflower with which she drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth and I drank Pulpito Tempranillo 2016. This was followed by the Culinary Queen’s honey and treacle tart.

 

 

 

The Woman In White

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

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.

‘I Was Afraid You Were Going To Say That’

Early this morning I continued working my way through the backlog of e-mails.

Shrubbery clearance

I then finished clearing the section of overgrown shrubbery. This involved extracting more stubborn roots; dismantling the rock wall in the middle of it; using some of these to build up the border with the pergola path, and laying others as access stepping stones; finally digging over all the old soil and adding Jackie’s sifted compost.

When we settled down to our now customary lunchtime fix of the antiques programme, ‘Bargain Hunt’, we could receive no sound on the TV. We watched that with sub-titles, but the situation prompted me into action.

It is fairly obvious that maintenance of the garden takes priority over the house in our summers. But the telly was just one issue demanding of attention that has been put on the back burner.

Speaking of burners, we have not used our log burning stove, because we don’t trust it without having had it overhauled. So, a voicemail message was left for a chimney sweep.

We have Everest windows that don’t fit properly, and a Velux window that leaks. A message was left for a double-glazing expert.

The sound had disappeared from the television some months ago, and Ben from Milford Sound & Vision had come to fix it. He had at first thought the set was kaput, but managed to sort it out. This time it may not be so easy. We drove to Milford and after some discussion Ben sold us a new TV. This will be delivered and installed next Wednesday. I think we can live without sound for eight days, although it does mean I will be unable to enjoy ‘The Big Bang Theory’ just by listening to the dialogue which I enjoy from my corner chair whilst I am working on the pc.

We need a shower shield in the guest bathroom, and have a leak in the outside tap which services the garden. Having been unable to receive a reply on either of The Lady Plumber’s numbers, we drove on to her home the other side of Highcliffe. The said Sam was about to go on holiday and will contact us when she returns home. I had also left a message for another plumber, Mike, who texted me this evening saying he would call next week.

Although there wasn’t.as yet, anything to show for it, I felt I had at least achieved something, entitling me to a wander round the garden. While I was doing this, the windows man called and arranged to visit us on Thursday.

Rose Winchester Cathedral

Rose Winchester Cathedral now displays its first object of veneration.

Roses - scarlet

The blooms on this unidentified scarlet rose stand a good eight feet over the Oval Bed.

View down Pergola Path

The rose garden is now visible down the Pergola Path.

Hibiscus

We have a number of hibiscuses, one of which is in the front garden,

Myrtle

where a myrtle is beginning to ignite its star-bursts.

The Head Gardener went off to buy plants for the exposed bed, and we later planted

Echinaceas, salvias, rudbeckia perovskia

echinaceas, salvias, rudbeckias, and perovskia Blue Spires in the vacant space.

Soon after this the chimney sweep responded to my message. When I confirmed our address, Barrie, the tradesman, said ‘Crikey. I was afraid you were going to say that’. He had examined the stove for our predecessors, had told ‘the gentleman’ what a state it was in, and what needed to be done. He had heard no more. Nothing daunted, he will come again next week.

We dined this evening on Jackie’s delicious liver casserole, mashed potato and swede, and crisp carrots, followed by custard tarts. I finished the Italian red wine and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.

‘Is it 25 grams?’

Jackie drove me to and from New Milton to meet Alison who came for a short visit. On the way to the station we made a couple of stops intended to be brief.

The first went according to plan, except that the cleaners had been unable to remove barbecue sauce from my white linen jacket. I asked what would happen if I tried Vanish on it. I was told it would be ruined. When we got home, Jackie wasn’t having that, and applied a good dose of Vanish. The success or failure will become evident when the jacket has dried out. Who cares? It was not much use without this last chance, and, you never know, it may have an enhancing marbled effect as water rings make their way across the fabric.

The visit to Tesco for just six bottles of sparking water took a little longer. Jackie waited in the car, whilst I grabbed the bottles. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw a checkout with nothing on the conveyor belt. I made a dash for it. I had noticed an elderly woman sorting out paperwork which turned out to be discount vouchers. In my haste, I had not observed that she was standing in front of a fully laden trolley. Too late, I realised that she was in fact the queue. A splendid, stout, walking stick lay across her intended purchases. Slowly, wincing at every stretch, she began to unload. Eventually, I took pity on her and filled the belt. I then walked past her to the empty trolley, and placed her purchases therein, as they were checked off and placed in bags. When this was over, I thought I was done. Not so. Her discounts needed to be taken off her bill. The, very pleasant, woman on the checkout, balked at one of them. ‘Is it 25 grams?’, She asked. I had no idea what this meant, neither had my friend, the shopper. However, when the assistant caught my eye, clearly wondering how to deal with this, I said ‘Yes’. She smiled, fiddled with the computer keys, thus suggesting that ‘it’ hadn’t really been 25 grams, and accepted the voucher.

All was well. We were still in good time for Alison.

This afternoon, whilst I dead-headed more roses, Jackie drove to Everton Nurseries to return a faulty arch. It will come as no surprise to regular readers that she returned with further plants for the rose garden. We then plonked them, still in their pots, into position. They included the fragrant roses

Rose - Absolutely FabulousJPG

the aptly named ‘Absolutely Fabulous’;

Rose Schoolgirl

the climbing ‘Schoolgirl;

Rose - Kent

‘Kent’, a carpet rose for ground cover;

Rose - Winchester Cathedral label

and Winchester Cathedral.

Dahlia - Bishop of Leicester

In deference to my birthplace, also included was the dahlia ‘Bishop of Leicester’.

A white climbing hydrangea has been placed in the shady corner beside the orange shed.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s delectable fish and chips, gherkins, and pickled onions. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I finished the cabernet sauvignon.