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.

Spotted Speckled Wood

Today we begin with this gallery of Jackie’s photographs of me photographing yesterday’s ponies and Ogdens North.

When leaving Brockenhurst on a forest drive we normally pass a small area of woodland.

This morning I spied a pony through the trees, so Jackie parked and I followed the wildlife.

Birds sang in the taller trees; distant dogs barked;

fresh acorns gently thudded onto the forest floor joining last year’s crop,

ageing autumn leaves, this year’s fungus, and moss-covered fallen trunks.

The area is interlaced with dry streams, the beds still soft enough to cross without twisting an ankle, yet not muddy enough to suck off a shoe. Lichen covered tree stumps and russet leaves remain crisp.

A gravelled path links the wood with Rhinefield Road and a stretch of open land. Pedestrians take the path

or, like cyclists, runners, dog owners, cars, and motorcycles, pass on by.

Appropriately enough, I spotted a speckled wood butterfly.

Rudbeckia was the floral decoration to Jackie’s tasty beef pie for this evening’s dinner served with boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; tender runner beans, and thick, meaty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Bordeaux.

Before And After: The Shady Path

Butterfly Speckled Wood

As I wandered around the garden this morning, a Speckled Wood butterfly flitted across my path and settled, to cast its shadow, on the outside of the sitting room wall.

Like the roses

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous, still living up to its name,

Rose Chris Beardshaw

and Chris Beardshaw, just needing a bit of a trim,

it still enjoys the sunshine.

Here is the next section of the series charting the progress in the garden.

Copper beech – Version 2

Path to decking 1

The Head Gardener’s Walk links into the Shady Path, seen here first on 7th, then 19th May 2014. This path, although now opened up to the light is so named because it was then mostly in deep shade.

Cleared patch

This was one of the first paths we had begun to clear. By 27th July, we had reset the extant Victorian edge tiles, and thinned out invasive euphorbias, some of the roots of which were quite stubborn.

Jackie on Ace Reclaim bench 1

The following day Jackie was able to relax on the Ace Reclaim bench that we had bought from that architectural salvage outlet.

Jackie working on bed

Here, on 5th September, Jackie is working on clearing the bed on the opposite side.

Shady Path 2

This is what the Shady Path looked like on 20th October 2015. The trellis in the background now borders the refurbished decking.

In preparation for the winter which is bound to come, and in particular for the twice-yearly tampering with the clocks which results in earlier darkness, The Head Gardener needed lighting in her shed. Off we went to ScrewFix in Lymington and bought a battery operated lamp.

On our return Ron and Shelly arrived to help sort out the problem I am still having sending the party photographs to Ray Salinger. His son transferred them to a memory stick. Our visitors stayed for dinner.

Lamb jalfrezi simmeringChopped peppers

As attractive as the taste of Indian food is its colour and its aromas. The fragrance of Jackie’s superb simmering lamb jalfrezi alongside the fresh scents of the chopped peppers were extremely appetising, so who could resist an invitation to share it.

Jackie drank Kingfisher and the rest of us shared a bottle of Mu red wine 2013 that Ron had brought back from Spain.

The Golden Touch

On the way through the garden this morning, to continue working on the back drive, I paused to admire Jackie’s two new planters, originally candle-holders from Redcliffe Nursery. They display her usual flair. Turning into the drive, I encountered the trail made by a mole. As this stopped at the site of the bonfire, perhaps last night’s embers were still warm enough to deter it from popping its head out.

Jackie soon joined me and she made good progress pruning the conifers along the side of the fence between us and 5 Downton Lane.

Hampered by wire netting through which grew thick brambles and anumber of trees, I, however, taking the whole morning, covered about two yards. Three hours and a couple of feet separate these two photographs. After that we stopped for lunch.

A little further down, some fine hardy fuchsias form a splendid hedge. They blend well with the blackberries, which we are picking as we go along. Butterflies are enjoying our long summer.

A Red Admiral seemed particularly partial to the blackberries, while the broad shiny leaves of trees we cannot identify bore a Comma and a Speckled Wood.
For variety, I took the longer Downton Lane/coast road route to the shingle beneath Hordle cliff, and returned via Shorefield.

A jelly babies wrapper, linaria vulgaris, lichen, and dandelions, one of which attracted a small cricket, lent golden touches to the hedgerows.

Variations on this hue were provided by rust stains running down from the iron hinge of a beach hut, and by

the tennis ball being held up by a gentleman encouraging four spaniels to pose for their photograph.

It was a day for spaniels, one of whom frolicked with a group of four young women.
This evening we dined at Daniel’s in Highcliffe. We each enjoyed haddock and chips, mushy peas, and onion rings. I drank tea, and Jackie drank coffee.