A Bigger Splash

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The garden was looking very refreshed as I wandered around this morning. Most blooms bore baubles of raindrops.

Bees were making up for being confined in hives by the recent precipitation.

By lunchtime, I had finished reading 

Hibbert’s well researched history is founded on the subject’s personal correspondence and contemporary observations. Like many great men, our national hero comes across has a man of two halves. Undoubtedly kind and generous to his men and to many others Nelson’s relationship with Lady Emma Hamilton was seen as folly by many, and, even as demonstrated by his own letters he must have treated his wife very badly. This Viking paperback of 1994 contains no identification of the painter of the cover portrait.

After lunch, Jackie and I visited the sites of the two scarecrows missing from our last visit. Prince Eric, now wearing a rain hood, perched on a hedge at Ramblers in Woodcock Lane. I am very pleased to be able to report that a rebuilt Frog Prince again sits outside 49 Ashley Lane. His creator informed me that his battered body had lain on the ground and his decapitated head had hung from a branch.

We continued on a drive through the forest. Near Ogdens, a herd of deer got wind of my approach, and, turning tail, slowly picking up speed, elegantly trotted across the undulating terrain to safety over the brow of a hill.

Ponies and fliesPoniesPonies and fliesPonies

Clusters of pesky flies surrounded somnolent ponies gathered together at North Gorley.

Other ponies mingled with visitors to Ibsley ford, some of whom competed to establish who could create a bigger splash.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid spicy pork paprika with savoury rice. The Culinary Queen drank Coonwarra Chardonay 2016; Elizabeth and I chose Villanyi Merlot 2015 and drank some of it.

Seeking Hordle Scarecrow Trail

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This afternoon the three of us set out to follow the Hordle Scarecrow Trail. The entries for this annual competition had been due to finish on Sunday 5th, after which sheets listing and locating the entries would be on sale at various local shops. We tried several outlets, ultimately to learn that entries had been extended to today and that therefore the lists were not available. We therefore trawled the village seeking possibilities in gardens from previous years.

Scarecrows - Disney's Aladdin, Jasmine, lamp

The theme this year is princes and princesses. In Stopples Lane we have Disney’s Aladdin, Jasmine, the genie, and the lamp.

Scarecrow - Frog Prince

Not far away, in the window of the pharmacy in Everton Lane, stands a Frog Prince.

Staff of the Budgen’s garage by the Everton Lane roundabout have produced Princess Leia and a cuddly Ewok.

Austin Car

As he passed them, this nostalgic Austin driver probably didn’t see the Star Wars visitors.

It was Jackie who spotted the Princess and the Dragon in Everton Road. She came to a halt further up the road, and Elizabeth and I walked back with our cameras.

Prince Charles also appeared in Everton Road. He was in his gardening gear, complete with wheelbarrow and terrier.

Next door, Robert Gill had gone to town on Princess Leia and Star Wars. The last four portrait images were produced by Elizabeth.

We rather hope the delay in proceedings is an administrative problem rather than a shortage of submissions. If so, there will be more to photograph in a day or two.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips with Garner’s pickled onions with which Jackie drank Becks Blue, Elizabeth drank Hop House lager, and I drank more of the Merlot.

Selfie With Sir Robert

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Boat on shallows

This afternoon we drove around the lanes to the east of the Forest. Our first port of call was the beach at Tanner’s Lane. A rowing boat lay among the rocks in the shallows.

Shorescape 1

The water further out, fronting the Isle of Wight was blue, still, and clear. Portsmouth’s  Spinnaker Tower stood steady on the horizon.

Pawprint

Was this print evidence of the New Forest yeti?

Couple on beach 2

Several couples took advantage of this balmy September day.

Couple on beach 1

This pair claimed no knowledge of

Glass on post

 the champagne glass standing on a nearby post. I tested the quality before deciding to leave it where it was.

Isle of Wight from mainland

A lovely view of the rolling hills of the Isle of Wight was available from St Leonard’s Road,

Cyclist

along which one of my driver’s acceptable cyclists happily pedalled. Jackie takes exception to those dressed in bum-hugging lycra with a professional air and knobbly calves.

St Leonard's Barn 1St Leonard's Barn 2

Further on, St Leonard’s Barn

St Leonard's Barn ruin 1St Leonard's Barn ruin 2St Leonard's Barn ruin 3

and its ruins basked in the late afternoon sunshine.

Valerian

Valerian sprang from

Stone wall 1

the ancient stone walls;

Dogrose hips

dog rose hips mingled with blackberries in the hedgerows opposite;

Haybales

hay bales were poised to roll across the fields;

Pool and reflection

and a pool by the wayside reflected the skies and iron fencing atop the slope above.

Scarecrows

Nearer home we passed a Batman v Superman scarecrow contest at Classic Hair & Beauty Clinic, 40 Stopples Lane;

Derrick reflected with Scarecrow

and I took a selfie with P.C. Robert Peel at Hordle Pharmacy, 26 Ashley Lane.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jalfrezi served with onion rice. I drank Prestige de Calvet Cotes du Rhone Villages 2016. The Culinary Queen had already consumed her Hoegaarden in the Rose Garden.

 

 

Heroes And Heroines

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Most of my day was spent on wrestling with administration involving phone calls, some of which were not returned; form filling the requirements of which were unclear; and e-mails, one of which I had never received. I really can’t be bothered to go into details on this, save to say Jackie drove me to Hordle Post Office to catch the last post, and to obtain a leaflet listing the entrants to the Hordle Scarecrow Trail, and giving me the opportunity of photographing a few more scarecrows.

Scarecrow 1

Heroes and Heroines is this year’s theme. The first example we encountered today was ‘Firefighter and rescued cat’, outside Flanders House in Silver Street.

Scarecrow 2

The fireman’s phone flashed blue at intervals.

Scarecrow 4

Next came ‘Superman’ at the Hordle Crossroads Garage.

Scarecrows 1

The residents of 62 Everton Road celebrated the ‘Unsung Heroes – Our NHS Nurses’.

Scarecrows 2

Laid out on a bed was a poor unfortunate

Scarecrows 5

flanked by an equally startled looking Theatre Nurse S. Crow

Scarecrow 7

and eager Sister Strawman.

Scarecrows 4

Pressing where indicated on the victim’s device elicits an agonised cry of pain.

Scarecrow 5

Jeremy Hunt is the Conservative M.P. who has been Minister of State for Health since 2012. It was a witty stroke to provide him with a pair of crutches.

Scarecrows 3

Perhaps there was another joke in propping him up beside

Scarecrow 6

Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, who’s mystical boudoir so entranced Ronnie Barker in the the television sitcom ‘Open All Hours’.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sublime beef pie with marvellous gravy; boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli and green beans. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I started another bottle of the Fleurie.

 

 

New Roses

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This has been a day of varied activities. This morning involved various administrative phone calls; a trip to Lymington to confirm the order and pay for Jackie’s new laptop; and a drive among the lanes around Sway.

Horse and rider

Other road users somewhat impeding our leisurely progress included a horse and rider;

cyclists

a group of cyclists consisting of a gentleman and young girl lagging behind two boys pausing on the brow of a hill;

Hay truck

and a truck bearing a precarious looking wide load of hay.

Sunflowers and acorns

Coombe Lane, in particular, is home to Long Cottage, the garden of which contains a row of sunflowers fronting a rather wizened little oak tree bearing large clusters of cupped acorns.

Friesians

Further along this road a group of inquisitive young Friesians thronged to their gateway in order to enquire what we were doing there.

ScarecrowScarecrows 1Scarecrows 2

Hordle has its own Scarecrow Trail, but since we followed the Bisterne one thoroughly, and parking is quite dangerous alongside the exhibits in the more populous village, I will simply photograph those we come across in our wanderings. The first of these are outside Hordle Parish Church of All Saints. They have been created by the children of the nearby Nursery School.

Hole for new rosesBrick path 1Sweet peas

Early this afternoon Jackie dug  the first hole for  the roses that will ascend the now unclad Gothic Arch seen at the far end of this section of the Brick Path, alongside which stands the Nottingham Castle bench with its attendant sweet peas.

Clematis Star of India

The rear of the bench can be seen in this shot of the Star of India clematis in Margery’s Bed.

Dragon Bed 1

The elegant forms of white gladioli take centre stage on this view of the Dragon Bed,

Dragon Bed 2

while, to the right of them, the colours of Japanese anemones, fuchsia, and lobelia form a similar sinuous shape.

Rose Penny Lane

Later, we visited Otter Nurseries where we bought two roses for the bare arch. We have examples of these elsewhere in the garden. Penny Lane wanders over the potting shed in the Rose Garden, and the bright red Super Elfin has taken off like a rocket in the herbaceous border.

Jackie digging hole for Super Elfin

Here Jackie, having planted Penny Lane, starts on a hole for the heavily pruned Super Elfin. I helped out a bit with that one, but the Head Gardener refused to photograph me on the grounds that my minor effort didn’t warrant a presence on the blog. Frankly that seemed a little harsh to me.

Penny Lane and Super Elfin

In a short while we can expect to see a difference.

Beef pie

This evening we dined on Jackie’s brilliant beef pie, with meaty gravy, boiled potatoes, spring greens, and bright carrots. The Culinary Queen finished the sauvignon blanc, and I finished the Fleurie.

 

 

 

Fifteenth Anniversary

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Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 1

This morning we set off on the Bisterne Scarecrow Festival Trail. At each end of the road through the village and its environs a town crier announced the event.

Various outlets sold leaflets listing the entries with a map showing their locations. The price was £1 in aid of the Village Hall. Most scarecrows sported a receptacle for donations to the same cause. We bought ours from Tyrell’s Ford Country Inn. As this was the last stop on the route, we carried on our search in reverse order, although my photographs are here presented starting at number 1.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 12

This was The Scarecrow with no Name!! outside Old School House. It didn’t look much like Clint Eastwood.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 18Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 14Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 13

24, Dragon Cottages was responsible for both no. 2, We’re all going on a Summer Holiday;

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 15

and no. 3, We have gone to Pot.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 16

Gangsta Grannie resided at 23, Dragon Cottages. It was a neat touch to provide her with a walking frame.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 17

A punster was responsible for Country Life is in the Jean’s (sic).

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 25

Charlie the Train was a recycling of Thomas the Tank Engine featured four years ago. An engineer stands in the cab;

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 40

the prospective passenger behind him can be seen through a window;

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 26

and a signalman waits outside. This exhibit was produced by the residents of 71, Lower Kingston.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 27

A subtle wit was employed for I’m just Cheese (Cheese straws – Get it?), at Clover Cottage, 16 Lower Kingston.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 41Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 28

It was particularly breezy at White House, Kingston, where Crow Farm was situated. The farmer had lost his hat and his wife swizzled on her stick.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 29

I picked up and replaced the hat (seen beside the wall in the first picture) and the wind righted the good lady. They seemed rather pleased.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 30

There was a Hive of Activity outside Iona, 18 Christchurch Road. Witticisms were written on tags attached to some of the bees,

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 31

and other clever details, such a bridal couple.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 32

A leggy spider is Surfing the Web outside 221, Christchurch Road,

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 33

while on the green across the road cheeky Peekaboo Pikachus enlivens the shrubbery.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 34

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson peers from the garden of 6 New Road.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 35

By the cattlegrid in the forest on Charles Lane we have Not Forest Rangers it’s the Power Rangers.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 36

3 Little Pigs inhabit the brick sitting room outside Rose Cottage, 51 Bagnum. Mum’s photograph stands on the mantelpiece, and a notice asks visitors if they can find

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 37

the Big Bad Wolf.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 39

At 37, Sandford, Country Fun portrays the television programme Country File. Each of the figures,

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 24

for example John Craven, carries a photographic image of a presenter.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 19

On the big oak trees in Dragon Lane hang an explanatory notice about Whispering Wood

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 20Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 21

and half a dozen pairs of eyes fashioned from car parts.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 23Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 22

A Tin Can Alley had been set up outside 39, Sandford, in Roll Up Roll Up.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 38

Another work that invites us to a further search is Noah’s Ark in the grounds of St Paul’s Church.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 7Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 8Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 11Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 9Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 10

We failed this one, because we only found five of the six pairs of animals.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 5

The Blue Planet appears somewhat out of its element outside the driveway to the Stable Family Trust.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 6

Wonder Woman had lost one of her amulets in the grass of Garden Cottage,

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 3

while another unlikely American symbol, Humpty Trumpty, sat on a wall

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 2

in the grounds of Tyrell’s Ford, above a snoozing Mexican.

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 4

A fifteenth wedding anniversary was being celebrated outside Lower Bisterne Farm.

The Three Tuns 3The Three Tuns 2The Three Tuns 1

Having completed our tour we just had time for lunch in The Three Tuns at Bransgore.

Jackie enjoyed a burger, chips, and salad; while I chose superb Mudeford haddock and sea bass in an excellent sauce served with a crisp range of vegetables. My lady drank Peroni while I drank Ringwood’s best bitter. As usual, this rendered an evening meal unnecessary.

 

By Request

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Pauline, The Contented Crafter, recently expressed an interest in seeing a photograph showing the whole length of the garden and the house. Well, this may have been possible were it not for the foliage in between. Nevertheless, I did my best to comply.

Old Post House

I managed to cross the road at the front of the house without either dying in a road accident or falling in the ditch on the other side.

Front garden corner

There was no room for the corner facing the trellis in that view of the building.

Weeping Birch bed to house

I aimed in the direction of the house from as far south as was possible, beginning with the Weeping Birch Bed;

Brick Path to house

the Brick Path was next;

Back Drive barrier to house

then the Back Drive barrier;

Oval Path to house

the Oval Path;

Rose Garden to house

and the Rose Garden.

Well, at least they show glimpses of the back of the house.

House roof from Back Drive

Here are a couple of sightings of the roof, one from the Back Drive,

House roof from compost heaps

and another from the compost heaps.

Garden view from Garden Room windowGarden view from Bathroom windowGarden view from Dressing Room window 2Garden view from Dressing Room window 1

Here are some aerial views from the bedroom and bathroom windows.

Jackie watering

This one features Jackie watering, on which she spent much time. To the right of the fence is the North Breeze jungle.

dahlia

Here are today’s dahlia

Sweet peas

and some white sweet peas.

Clippings on Back Drive

Normally Aaron takes his clippings to the dump at no extra charge. Yesterday Jackie insisted that he left them for us to deal with. The orange bags in this picture were already destined for the Effort Recycling Centre. The heaps in the foreground filled them up again after we had completed our first trip. We needed to chop them up a bit more to fit them in. We then made a second journey.

Tables in car

I was only a couple of days ago that Jackie was announcing that she had come away empty handed from our last few trips to Efford. That run was to be interrupted today with these two tables. The metal, glass-topped, one was for the greenhouse to be delivered tomorrow, so she may be forgiven.

We had then earned a break, so we took a trip into the forest.

Horse and donkey in fly masks

Seeking shade under trees in Sandy Down a little donkey was given similar masked protection from the pesky flies to that afforded to its larger equine cousin.

Ponies and foals on road

Our chosen approach to Brockenhurst was somewhat congested with ponies and their foals. Can you count how many?

Eventually we found ourselves at Patrick’s Patch in Beaulieu.

Wildflower meadowWildflower meadow 2Wildflower meadow 3

This community garden has its own wildflower meadow;

Marigolds and nasturtiums

colour coordinated marigolds and nasturtiums;

Echinaceas

echinaceas in the form of shuttlecocks;

Swiss Chard

splendid Swiss chard;

Sweet peas 1Sweet peas 2Sweet peas 3

a variety of sweet peas;

Sunflower

russet sunflowers;

Rabbit carving

and a carved rabbit.

Scarecrow balloon

An admirably creative collection of scarecrows are distributed throughout. This one is a revolving balloon;

Scarecrow gourd

and this one, having a rest from watering, has a gourd for his head.

This evening we dined at The Monkey House just outside  Lymington. The service was excellent, friendly, and unobtrusive; the food excellent. We both enjoyed gammon steaks for main courses. My starter was whitebait, Jackie’s brie in breadcrumbs; my dessert Eton mess, Jackie’s crème brûlée. I drank a very good pinot noir and Jackie drank Amstel.