Hanging On For Christmas

This afternoon, before another encouraging Chiropractic session with Eloise, I wandered around the garden in the sunshine.

This winter flowering cherry was to be expected, but the Welsh poppies were a surprise. I thought it best to leave a few seedheads.

Numerous bidens and Roxanne geraniums seem to be continuing for ever.

Light shone through leaves such as viburnum plicatum, Japanese maple,

and Cordyline Australis;

throwing shadows on the Brick Path, Florence sculpture, and the trunk of the copper beech tree.

Holly berries, hebes and viburnum shared the season.

Roses Festive Jewel, Kent, Doris Tysterman, and Super Elfin are hanging on for Christmas.

This evening we all dined on tasty baked gammon; piquant cauliflower and broccoli cheese, tender green beans and mangetouts; and what I grew up knowing as macaroni cheese which I gather is now Mac and cheese, with which I finished the Fitou and Jackie drank Diet Pepsi.

Drying Out

The granite skies that hung over our trip to the Efford Recycling Centre late this morning of a rainless day in order to deposit another car load of garden refuse gave way to cloudless cerulean sunshine this afternoon.

Christchurch Road’s verge pools were now almost dry. As usual, once we had shaken our clippings from their spent compost bags into the huge containers at the dump, Jackie visited the Reuse Shop to donate two china mugs and a kitchen masher, and bought herself a composite owl and a metal lantern.

These plastic bags tend to become rather riddled with holes after constant use. Consequently chopped branches persist in piercing them, refusing to budge, and prevent other material from being loosened without sticking a hand into soggy greenery mixed with slugs and worms, and risking attack from thorns of brambles or roses. There is a bin on site to dispense with these bags when no longer fit for purpose. Three were discarded today.

After lunch I wandered round the garden in the sunshine and produced a few photographs, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

Later I made further progress with Roderick Random.

This evening we all dined on a repeat of yesterday’s curry meals with which Jackie drank Diet Coke and I drank Carménère Reserva Privada 2022.

A Sunny Spell

This being the last day of sunshine for the next few I walked around the garden with a camera and photographed

these flora, each of which carries a title in the gallery.

Meanwhile the jackdaws were most vociferous on the chimney stack.

During the afternoon we splashed our way through lanes such as Sowley where pools on the verges spread across the road.

Roaring its way beneath the road a fast moving bubbling stream alerted me to its presence.

Further along, on a drier stretch, the familiar group of ponies with their Shetland acolyte that we normally see

on St Leonard’s Road had strayed somewhat from their normal beat.

This evening we all dined on cheese centred fish cakes; piquant cauliflower cheese; tangy ratatouille; roast white and sweet potatoes; tender runner beans and broccoli stems; crunchy carrots and firm cauliflower, with which Jackie drank Zesty and water and I drank Mighty Murray Australian shiraz.

Lingering Or Precocious

The weather was kind to us today, with no rain and the sun shining most of the shirt-sleeves warm day.

I hadn’t slept well so was feeling rather tired. I therefore spent several hours in the company of J.B.Priestley’s “Literature and Western Man”, before wandering round the garden with my camera.

Having battened down the hatches in our normal manner over the last week, I was pleased to note that most of our pots and garden furniture were not blown over and the weeping birch still stands.

Nasturtiums are a good temperature barometer. The first frost renders the tendrils limp and the blooms and leaves jelly-like. We have had no sign of that this year.

The hebes and roses like yellow Laura Ford seem to have emerged very early for next spring;

hot lips remain sun-kissed, as do various clematises; roses such as Peach Abundance and Gloriana continue to flourish, while Hawkshead is just one of our thriving fuchsias, and the starlike gaura is the only one that has ever survived for us.

Clerodendrum and iris foetidissima seeds promise a good crop next summer.

This evening we all dined on tender roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; firm sage and onion stuffing; crunchy carrots; soft broccoli stems; and meaty gravy, with which I drank Mighty Murray Shiraz.

More Unlikely Bedfellows

Shirtsleeves were just about adequate for my post-gale walk around the garden this cooler and brighter morning.

Once again plants, albeit somewhat weatherbeaten, most unlikely to be found together in the flower beds at this time of year are featured. The yellow climbing rose Summer Time, and the ginger lilies should, for example be over by now.

Today’s gallery harbours more plants not recently photographed which bear titles once accessed by a click on any image. I think the butterfly is a Speckled Wood, which we have not seen before in 2023.

Afterwards I made good headway on Nevil Shute’s “On the Beach” which I had begun reading a couple of days ago.

Elizabeth and Jacqueline visited this afternoon and were very impressed with and bought some of Flo’s all natural materials hand made jewellery. They also chatted with Ellie.

I then watched a recording of the rugby World Cup quarter final match between Wales and Argentina.

We then dined on oven fish and chips, onion rings, mushy peas and pickled onions, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Doom Bar.

Unlikely Bedfellows

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between France and Italy, and before my afternoon’s viewing of the games between Wales and Georgia and England v. Samoa, walked around our warm, sun-filled, plot to photograph

another selection of unlikely garden bedfellows, each of which bears a title in the gallery.

This evening we all enjoyed Jackie’s meal of her well filled mound of beef and onions stacked beneath short crust decorated pastry; crisp roast red potatoes; Brussels sprouts, carrots, and broccoli al dente; and thick, meaty gravy, with which she finished the Blush and I finished the Bordeaux.

Martin’s Autumn Preparation

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Uruguay.

Later, sporting short sleeved shirt on a walk round the balmy garden of sunshine and shadows, I wondered what season we were experiencing.

Martin has spent the last several weeks preparing the garden for autumn which is holding back summer.

In particular he has cut back all extraneous flora on the borders, revealing the brick edging.

Most of what we now see clearly in the beds has also been freed for viewing by him.

We don’t necessarily expect all these blooms to appear together.

As usual each image bears a title in its gallery.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s colourful savoury rice; spring rolls; tempura and hot and spicy prawn preparations followed by berry strudel and custard, with which she drank more of the blush and I drank more of the Bordeaux.

A Little Optimistic

Early this morning I watched the recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between France and Namibia.

Later I took advantage of a sunny morning to take a brief walk round the garden before the rain set in for a few hours, and another when the sunlight returned this afternoon.

The air, when dry, was warm and fresh, and attracted bustling bees, as well as my camera lens.

Liquid light played across my garden views

and enhanced individual blooms. As usual the selections in each gallery bear their own titles.

Later I watched the live broadcast of the rugby match between Argentina and Samoa while tucking into the plate of cold meats and salad Jackie had left for me while this branch of the family joined Becky and Ian for the latter’s Birthday celebration at Milford on Sea’s Britannia Thai restaurant. My intention to lead the party had been proved a little optimistic after yesterday’s outing demonstrated that I was not yet fit for another.

Where Can She Put Them?

Early this morning I watched a recording of last night’s rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia.

When I walked round the garden afterwards the temperature was hot; the air humid; the skies overcast.

This, and the amount of colourful blooms (all identified in the gallery) demonstrate that summer has no intention of being pushed aside by autumn.

Jackie has been quietly collecting bulbs to bury for next spring. As I noticed her most recent purchases I could not help wondering

where on earth was she going to put them? As usual these locations are identified in their gallery.

This afternoon I watched the live matches between Samoa and Chile, and between Wales and Portugal.

For dinner this evening we all enjoyed a third sitting of Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi meal, without the samosas. She drank Hoegaarden and I Drank François Dubessy GSM 2021.

Oak Tree Cottage Garden

This morning I watched the BBC live broadcast of the Women’s World Cup soccer final between England and Spain.

This afternoon, following the advice of Shelly and Ron, we visited Oak Tree Cottage garden in Upper Common Road, Pennington. My sister-in-law described the series of steps and the different viewing levels which prompted me to take a stick to help me negotiate this delightful garden which 15 years ago had been an uncultivated field.

My knees are now too creaky to manage these unaided.

However, I wandered around with my camera, photographing a range of views and close-ups all of which bear titles in the gallery.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty Fusilli Bolognese with which she drank Pays d’Oc rosé 2022 and I finished the Graves.