Fallen Arches

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This splendid, sunny, afternoon was squandered on a Gardman arch. The artefact came flat packed for self assembly. I’m sure I don’t need too say much more. I’m certainly not inclined to describe the full process. Perhaps I am obliged to mention that when eventually assembled the thing fell to bits before it could be moved from the concrete patio to the prospective site spanning the Brick Path as a replacement for the fallen maple and wooden beams that had recently held climbing plants and hanging baskets.

The day was as hot as it has been on recent days. So was the debate which ensued over reassembly. Eventually we heaved it into place in one piece. Four holes had to be pierced in the stubborn soil. Roots and rocks provided considerable obstacles. One side collapsed again. Eventually this was reconstructed. Except for the two missing pieces.

 

A search was undertaken. I then remembered that the section had fallen into the West Bed. Jackie found the two small bars in the undergrowth. One had found its way to the fence.

The construction was, because of the aforementioned impediments, very lopsided. The Head Gardener couldn’t live with that, so further bashing of poles ensued. In the process the guide rod got bent. But we managed and it wasn’t too much out of kilter when we decided that, once covered with foliage it wouldn’t be too apparent.

Jackie then trained the rescued clematis Montana and blue solanum, to the still rather wobbly frame.

After clearing the debris I thought the job was done.

No such luck. A string of solar lights provided the finishing touches. There are hundreds of these throughout the garden, giving the darker evenings their essential fairyland quality.

Danni joined us for dinner this evening when we all enjoyed Jackie’s splendid lamb jalfrezi and pilau rice topped with almonds. The culinary Queen drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon; Danni, Elizabeth, and I drank Western Cape Malbec 2017.

 

‘Trust Me, I’m A Doctor’

We began the day by transferring our waterboy from the edge of the kitchen garden to a suitable spot nearer the house. WaterboyThis meant two trips by wheelbarrow, one for him, and one for his shell. Before going off to Stewart’s Garden Centre we needed to make sure the whole feature would fit where we planned, and to take measurements of the depth of the water and the diameter of tube required to link a pump to the lad. By ‘we’, as usual, I mean Jackie.  ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor’, said she as she performed a delicate endoscopy with a piece of flexible curtain wire. It was necessary to ensure there would be no internal blockages to impede the regular colonic irrigation of the water that would be flowing through the body. Satisfied in all respects that our find would work we drove to the garden centre. In fact the size of pump we required was purchased from Maidenhead Aquatics, an outlet on the parent company’s campus. At Stewart’s itself, we collected the rest of Jackie’s birthday solar lights, one of which is seen suspended over the patio behind the water feature.

Unfortunately, four of the components were missing from one box of lights, so we had to go back to the shop to replace it. There was no problem with this. As we were out, we stopped off at Ferndene Farm Shop and bought six more bags of gravel.

Hordle Chinese Take Away provided our evening meal, but Jackie had to go and fetch it. She drank Hoegaarden whilst I imbibed Tsing Tao.

Afterwards we dead-headed a large rhododendron, in order to promote next year’s flowering.Solar lighting 1Solar lighting 2Solar lighting 3 It was almost 10 p.m. by the time the solar lights came on, because we are nearing the longest day. Solar lighting 4These lamps gather their power from the sunlight, but it is only triggered when the night draws in.