Tattered Beyond Recognition

We enjoyed another day of pleasantly temperate weather.

Antirrhinums are blooming throughout the garden.

Clematis Marie Boisselot, now entering the third age has applied a blue rinse to her naturally white locks;

the stalwart Star of India shines less bright, yet it still graces the Gothic Arch opposite

the red and white of Super Elfin and Penny Lane living in harmony.

A white gladiolus and a red dahlia each radiate charm.

Fuchsia Night Nurse continues to soothe,

and sweet peas produce plentiful seed pods.

Bees home in on For Your Eyes Only,

and enjoy the sedum’s soft pile;

a ladybird scales the Westbrook Arbour;

Small White butterflies cling to verbena bonarensis;

and this solitary flier, tattered beyond recognition, flitted from bidens bloom to bloom

until seeking suitable camouflage, sinking onto stone below. Can anyone identify it?

While he was keeping an eye on the Head Gardener I asked Nugget if he was ready for his close up, and he cheerfully obliged.

I hope this “Where’s Nugget?” (12) will compensate for yesterday’s nigh impossible challenge.

A drowsy wood pigeon in the cypress tree,

attempting to keep an eye on us while we were enjoying our pre-dinner drinks on the patio, could barely keep it open.

We left him to it and partook of Jackie’s wholesome beef in red wine, creamy mashed potatoes, cauliflower and carrots al dente, and tender runner beans grown by the Head Gardener who had drunk her Hoegaarden outside. I drank more of the Malbec.

The Watchers On The Shore

Today’s weather was once more clear, bright, sunny, and cooler.

Bees continued collecting nectar throughout the garden. On my walk around I captured them on bidens, and on the more mature blooms of Festive Jewel.

Crisp young examples of the latter await their turn at contributing to the queen’s larder.

Tomatoes continue to ripen in readiness for ours.

It is a good thing I was not using film in my attempts to catch the myriad of fluttering snowflakes in the form of Small White butterflies while they swirled through the air. I settled for those landing on a poppy head and on a verbena bonarensis. Another took pity on me and perched on a petunia.

Orange crocosmia Emily Mckenzie brightens the Dead End Path and pink sweet peas dance in the Weeping Birch Bed.

Our Bishop of Llandaff in the New Bed was eaten by a vole a couple of years ago. Its deeper red companion has survived.

Another plant that has proved impossible to grow in the various beds tried by the Head Gardener is the gaura. This one is thriving in a pot.

Lady Emma Hamilton produces multiple flushes.

Rows of small begonias sparkle on the borders of beds like these alongside the Heligan Path.

Nugget darted in and out nearby. I am beginning to wonder whether he associates the click of the camera with the clink of a trowel.

One of the pictures above should provide a clue to today’s “Where’s Nugget?” (9)

Late this afternoon we took drive into the forest.

The only sign of life on Hatchet Pond was this pair of swans.

The others must have heard that members of an excited family were feeding the birds beside the nearby Beaulieu River.

Kite surfers and sailboarders struggled on the Solent at the end of Tanners Lane, where they were watched by a young man on the shore. I suppose I made it two watchers so I could legitimately borrow the title of Stan Barstow’s novel.

This evening we dined on Lidl’s rack of pork spare ribs in barbecue sauce; the Culinary Queen’s flavoursome mushroom rice; and the Head Gardener’s tender runner beans, with which Jackie drank Belgium’s Hoegaarden and I finished Tesco’s finest Chilean Malbec.

Variations On A Game

Today winds were fresh; rain was absent; and the temperatures were cool.

The verbena bonarensis attracted butterflies like this Comma;

and this Small White,

examples of which flitted everywhere, seeming to use white blooms as camouflage. Can you spot any one of these which will benefit from enlargement on accessing their gallery with a click?

Jackie continued her care work on these cosmoses and clematis on the back drive;

these, elsewhere, needed rather less attention.

This somewhat rusty duck had allowed the recent rain to roll off its back.

These bidens are some of many self seeded from last year.

Jackie has successfully tied up Margery’s hollyhocks

with string.

It was quite a stretch for the Head Gardener to tidy the white everlasting sweet peas.

In the process she pointed to a glass robin, crying “there’s Nugget”.

So, now you’ve been given a clue can you answer where’s Jackie?

The real Nugget had come out to play the game. In order to help newer readers who may not be aware of what they are looking for, and to give others a bonus we have today, in order of difficulty:

Where’s Nugget? – 4a;

Where’s Nugget? – 4b:

and Where’s Nugget? – 4c.

Not far from our little friend the stumpery is bedding down nicely.

Late this afternoon, realising that this was expected to be our last dry, sunny day for some time, Jackie drove me round the Bisterne Scarecrow Trail. I have the makings of a photo story which I will save for tomorrow. This is because rain is expected all day then; because I will require considerable time to work on the post; and because I am knackered now.

While I focussed on one of the exhibits Jackie photographed a couple of chickens scratching in the gravel.

Their flamboyant male companion flexed his muscles on my return to the car.

This evening I watched the recorded highlights of what rain has made the first day of the second Ashes Test Match between England and Australia, before we dined on minty lamb burgers, new potatoes, cabbage and carrots with which Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank Doom Bar.

Not For The Birds

This was a day of wind, rain, colder temperatures, coats, and central heating. A bit like Dunedin’s winter.

During a brief period of lessening rain Jackie continued her work on securing sweet peas and other climbing plants; rehanging baskets; and setting other planters back on their perches.

Here are some of the finished projects. The begonias in the penultimate image lost a few broken stems from which Jackie is attempting to produce roots. She is doing the same with a proliferation of pelargoniums.

These ginger lilies happily survived.

Most flowers were bejewelled with raindrops.

This was not a day for little birds to come out and play.

We dined this evening on a second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’ excellent fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.

Say “Bye”

I woke later than usual this morning. As I passed our upstairs windows soon after 7 a.m. I spied Jackie standing with a camera at the far end of the garden.

She was taking advantage of the early morning light, which was just as well for the first three images in particular.

Titles, as usual, can be gleaned after accessing each of the galleries with a click. Otherwise I will let her results speak for themselves.

This afternoon she drove me to

Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, where I walked for thirty minutes along this reasonably even path.

So crowded were the car parks that we only just managed to find a space. Surrounding the car park, golden St John’s Wort glowed in the sunshine that pierced gaps between the

majestic giant redwoods

surrounded by bracken.

Now the tourist season has begun, and children have been let out of school, I do not walk alone.

Two little boys ran on ahead of their parents, pausing while a woman approached engrossed in her mobile phone. Having put it aside, she greeted me warmly.

Two gentleman I took to be the fathers of the boys called them to stop, caught up with them and turned to communicate with the likely mothers with whom I had been conversing.

The woman carrying a younger child, I think did not speak English. Nevertheless when, realising that they were pacing me and my knees, I urged them not to wait for me she held up her little boy to wave and say “bye”. Her companion had good enough English to tell me about her aunt’s hip replacement.

On my return to the car I paused to photograph a trio playing catch. Anyone who has been accustomed to catching a hard cricket ball will appreciate that it is much easier to pouch than is this yellow tennis ball.

When we set off for home string of cyclists wheeled along Rhinefield Road.

Just outside Brockenhurst a leisurely pony and foal were instructing a patient motorcyclist in the rules of the New Forest roads.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious beef, mushrooms and peppers in red wine; Yorkshire pudding; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; and tender runner beans with which I finished the Grenacha Syrah. Mrs Knight had downed her Hoegaarden while seated on the patio in conversation with Nugget.

Becky’s Research

After lunch I retouched two more of the scans of https://derrickjknight.com/2019/07/20/a-free-afternoon/prints from 1926.

Here we have Mum and Uncles Ben and Roy on the beach at Conwy. It seems to have been essential to wear one’s best clothes, which, in some instances meant school uniform complete with cap.

Considering that this comes from a 5 x 10cm print the best part of 100 years old, I found the clarity of the water and the pebbles beneath it in this image of Mum and Grandma Hunter a tribute to my grandfather’s skill.

Becky has done more research on this portrait of her great grandfather from about 1919, which I also retouched today. Marcus Guttenberg came to the UK in 1851 from Poland via Russia and Germany. He moved to Manchester in 1878. Already a photographer he set up 24 different studios throughout the north of England including Whitby, Harrogate and Bridlington, eventually moving to Bristol where he died in 1891. This postcard portrait bearing the name Guttenberg would not be his work, although it is an example of such.

It may, however, be the work of his son, Percy, who took over the business and became a renowned photographer of theatrical personalities, having fourteen of his portraits in the National Portrait Gallery. On 20th October 1938 he changed his name to Percy Alexander.

My grandfather’s portrait above is certainly of an excellent professional quality.

Elizabeth Hunter, née Franks, his grandmother, could, however have been photographed at one of Marcus’s studios, aged about18 in 1885. Her parents ran a trawler fleet in Grimsby at the time, so the location could be right. She married Benjamin Hunter when she was 23.

Becky and I removed the back of the portrait featured in https://derrickjknight.com/2015/01/12/pictorial-female-lines, seeking confirmation of what Mum had told me. There wasn’t much to contradict her information.

This morning Jackie began planting up her new stumpery, The white powder evident on the stumps is an ant killer. When the Head Gardener exposed the nest she was ordered to stand back by her robin, Nugget, while he had his fill before she could apply the insecticide.

While making these photographs I was led to this blue eryngium setting well against the

white everlasting sweet peas.

This afternoon Jackie and I drove to Barton on Sea to catch up with Becky and Ian. Because we had missed them we drove to Old Milton and bought a new landline telephone. When we returned home an apparently displeased Becky rasped: “Where did you get that?” She then produced the one that she and Ian had bought us.

Back we went to the electrical store, obtained a refund, and, following Becky’s advice, bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

This evening the four of us dined on second helpings of yesterday’s Indian Takeaway with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

The Stumpery

Jill Weatherholt, in her comment on “The Path To Deadman Hill”, described Jackie’s young robin as a little nugget. His name is now Nugget.

She spent the morning conversing with him whilst tidying the Oval Bed.

After taking the above photographs I wandered round the garden.

Hydrangeas need a lot of water, but the Head Gardener is keeping them going.

Day lilies continue to thrive,

as do many lilies proper,

and, of course, roses like Gertrude Jekyll and Special Anniversary.

This sidalcea leads nicely to the red hydrangea beyond.

Now that the Wedding Day is over, gladiolus and clematis veil its arch.

Dahlia’s time is now.

This everlasting sweet pea has a scent which justifies its name.

Plants accommodated in containers during the last few weeks have proliferated. The iron urn’s examples happily spill and spread, while

the wicker chair by the Westbrook Arbour is occupied to overflowing.

A clematis shawl has been cast over the arch spanning the Phantom Path between the Cryptomeria and Margery’s Beds.

In the latter, yellow Lisymachia Alexander stretches across the gravel;

and at its western end clematis and day lilies cavort with the red bottle brush plant.

Phlox blend nicely with other plants in the Palm Bed,

alongside the Gazebo Path leading to the stable door.

From Charlie Dimmock, Jackie has been inspired to create a “stumpery”. She will clean up the face of this heap of griselinia stumps and give it a fern makeover.

Just as the one o’clock news was about to expand upon Mr Trump’s latest exploits, Malachi phoned me from Fremantle seeking my help with a word search. We were unable to obtain full reciprocal vision on FaceTime, so we began a game of Lexulous instead. Because they are seven hours ahead of us, my grandson had to go to bed before we finished.

Later this afternoon we drove to New Milton to buy some shoes for Jackie, then back to Milford on Sea for a repeat prescription.

This evening we dined at Totton’s excellent The Family House Chinese restaurant, where we enjoyed our favourite set meal and Tsing Tao beer.