The Garden Stirs

Did you know that when someone else washes your feet they tickle mercilessly? Well, they do, and this is not funny when you are trying not to jerk your knees.

This afternoon whilst I watched the recorded highlights of the spellbinding Women’s Australian Open Final between Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova, Jackie toured the garden with her camera.

She brought me back a pictorial record of the garden stirring. As usual, titles of the pictures are given in the gallery.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork spare ribs; plentiful, well dressed, salad; and tasty new potatoes.

Down The Garden

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN GROUPS WILL ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Patio

As it began to rain whilst they were finishing the painting yesterday, Clare and Andrew had placed the garden chairs under the wisteria arbour. This morning, Aaron carried them to the patio.

The day was overcast. Jackie and Aaron spent the morning on garden maintenance, now at its most pressing. Aaron also filled his truck with our pruning and clippings. From the patio I continued on a perambulation with the camera.

I took my usual route along the Kitchen Path, passing the rose campion planted in front of the lysimachia firecracker with feverfew to the left.

At the corner by the iron urn, in view of the geraniums and verbena in a planter above the Dragon Bed with its pink snapdragons and prolific marigolds,

I made my way along the Brick Path, past the grass patch with its bed of bright pink begonias,

taking a rest on the Westbrook Arbour bench, and looking down the Phantom Path to sculpture Florence. Penny Lane is making her way up the Gothic Arch, opposite clematis Star of India.

Campanula persiciflora

The campanula Persiciflora stands at the south end of the Brick Path, beneath the dead snake bark maple.

It normally takes me quite a while to make inroads into a new book. “Pilling Always Pays’, by Thomas Armstrong, which I finished today, was no exception. My post-operative lethargy probably contributed to this, but I did also think that the author’s painstakingly thorough method of introducing his cast of characters may have played a part. Nevertheless, I will not hold this against him, for he proceeded to tell a carefully crafted story with numerous apparently disparate strands skilfully knitted together in the final pages. The setting was a provincial town in 1936, with its closely interwoven upwardly mobile community.  In ‘Auntie Ivy And Sir Edmund Hillary’ I featured what I had found inside my copy.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken, new potatoes, crunchy carrots and cabbage, and moist ratatouille, with flavoursome gravy.

 

The End Of British Summer Time

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Aaron was so pleased with our John Cook sculpture of him that he asked for a photograph. Naturally I printed him a copy of each of those that appeared in ‘A Particularly Strong Clue’.

Owl in New Arbour

Among other tasks today, he strengthened the new recycled gates arbour, under which the owl now stands on its plinth.

West Bed and Brick Path

The planting in the foreground of the above photograph is just part of the extensive clearance and refurbishment of the West Bed that Jackie has achieved in recent weeks.

Urn planted and erigeron

At the bed’s southern end verbena and pelargoniums still thrive in the urns, and erigerons carpet the surrounds of the New Bed.

Pelargoniums

Pelargoniums,

Begonias

 begonias of various shades,

Geraniums RozanneGeranium Rozanne 2

and geraniums like the blue Rozanne still add colour.

Fuchsia 1Fuchsia 2Fuchsia 3

Fuchsias abound;

Salvia Hot Lips

tiny Hot Lips salvias dance in the Cryptomeria Bed;

Petunia Million Bells

Million Bells petunias entice campanologists at the corner of the patio alongside the kitchen wall.

Hebe

Hebes

Honeysuckle

and honeysuckle seem to think it is Spring.

Rose Margaret Merrill

Roses like Margaret Merrill,

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Lady Emma Hamilton,

Rose Penny Lane 2Rose Penny Lane 1

Penny Lane,

Rose pink climber

and the deep pink climber soaring above the Oval Bed, remain confused.

Nasturtium

Nasturtiums twine everywhere,

Clematis Cirrhosa

yet the winter flowering clematis Cirrhosa seems a little early,

Gazebo Path

as it festoons the gazebo under which I stood to produce this image of the path named after it.

Garden view across Cryptomeria Bed

To the right of the far end of that path, this was the view across the Cryptomeria Bed, showing the few leaves of the weeping birch that survived the recent storm.

The setting back of our clocks by one hour at 2 a.m. this morning signalled the official end of British Summer Time. Of course no-one gets up at that time to adjust all the timepieces in the house. We just have to try to remember when we get up.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla. My main meal was lamb taba shashlik jalfrezi; Jackie’s was chicken chom chom. We shared onion rice, an egg paratha, and onion bhaji, and both drank Kingfisher. Service and food were as good as ever.

 

 

Where’s That Smile?

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The lower temperature brought a cooler and more pleasant day on which The Head Gardener continued her creative planting, serious weeding, and cutting back. I dead-headed roses, carted debris to the compost heap, and made a few pictures.

Kitchen wall planting 2

The planting on the kitchen wall now seems complete. But you can never be sure. It might be possible to squeeze in something else.

Kitchen wall planting 1

Surely, however, the corner viewed from the patio has more than its share of hanging baskets

Kitchen corner planters featuring petunias, violas, and bidens

and a profusion of pots beneath them.

Kitchen BedKitchen Bed 2

Even the kitchen window reflects its eponymous bed.

Urn containing petunias, alyssum.geraniums, and cosmoses

This is the stone urn standing behind the frog pond on the patio end.

Rose Garden

We have a number of carpet roses which provide a profusion of ground cover. This one in the Rose Garden flirts with Love Knot and Alan Titchmarsh.

Rose Hot Chocolate

Some of you may prefer Hot Chocolate.

Rose Mama Mia

Mama Mia produces a splendid show,

Rose Absolutely Fabulous

and, Emma Hamilton hangs her heavy head into the arms of Absolutely Fabulous.

Rose Super Elfin

Super Elfin, the red rambler in the herbaceous border, virtually uprooted by the beast coming under the North Breeze fence, has benefited from our deterrents and promises to climb to dizzy heights.

Hydrangea 2

Of all the spindly little plants that have received nurture from Jackie, she is justifiably proud of two colourful hydrangeas with dark-trimmed leaves.

Clematis and rosa glauca 2Clematis and rosa glauca

It has taken two years to train this clematis, now mingling with rosa glauca on the arch spanning the Head Gardener’s Walk.

New Bed 1Poppies in New BedPoppies in New Bed

The New Forest is not new. It was, after all where William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, was killed. But, like Jackie’s New Bed, now two years old, it was once. Both are ageing gracefully.

Verbena

Did you, as a child, ever have a kaleidoscope toy? If so, I imagine you could have produced something like this verbena, nature’s own.

Antirrhinum

We have many antirrhinums. Here is a red one.

Petunias in hanging basket, Jackie's smilePetunias and Jackie's smile 2

Jackie took the occasional rest. Sometimes she sat on the Ace Reclaim bench where she could admire her plantings such as the petunias in this hanging basket;

Phlox

the blue phlox in the bed facing her;

Phantom Path

the Phantom Path;

Florence sculpture

the sculpture entitled Florence, now perhaps bidding for the name Flora;

Garden view across Margery's bed from Ace Reclaim bench

and the view across Margery’s bed with its proliferation of day lilies,

Day lily 1Day lily 2

 other examples of which are these.

Did you spot both smiles?

This evening, the friendly Mr Chan produced our meal, which Jackie collected from Hordle Chinese Take Away. I finished Jessie’s excellent Chablis.

 

 

After The Rain 1

SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read to the end if you are watching the rugby recorded.

Chrysanthemums

This morning Jackie weeded and planted chrysanthemums in the front garden, whilst I dug out the remaining roots of the ficus in preparation for planting the pansies.

Roots of ficus

In the event, a heavy thunderstorm ruled out putting the pansies to bed. They were therefore plonked in their trays. Even though the rain ceased, enabling us to finalise the preparation and wander round the garden, the soil was far too muddy.

The sun emerged for a while. The rain ceased, but continued to drip from the trees and the shrubbery. Battered blooms bore watery blisters.

Raindrops on geraniums 1Raindrops on geraniums 2

These included geraniums;

Raindrops on Ginger lily

Ginger lilies;

Raindrops on rose peach

roses unknown,

Raindrops on rose Altissimo

 Altissimo,

Raindrops on leaves of rose Deep Secret

and the leaves of Deep Secret;

Raindrops on dahlia Bishop of Llandaff

dahlia Bishop of Llandaff;

Raindrops on sweet peas

sweet peas;

Raindrops on Verbena

and verbena to name a few.

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums

Echinaceas and chrysanthemums, and others in Elizabeth’s Bed have been well watered.

View along dead end path

Here are views down the Dead End Path;

View along Brick Path

across the New Bed to the Brick Path;

View across Heligan path

and across the Heligan Path.

Our dinner this evening, consisting of Jackie’s superb chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice, was taken on trays on our knees, as we watched the opening match in the rugby World Cup, in which England beat Fiji by 35 points to 11. I drank more of the malbec while Jackie drank Hoegaarden. I didn’t spill too much curry down my sweatshirt.

I’ve Received An Award

Dawn's tints 1Dawn's tints 2 There was not much sunshine today, so it paid off to have been up and dawn to watch its pink tints filtering across the road, turning the cool blue exterior of the house into a warmDawn's tints 3 watercolour, and piercing a new pair of windows into my study wall. An amble round the garden revealed Deutzia 1Deutzia 2

two different deutzias;

Verbena

a variety of verbena;

Aquilegias

and a quantity of aquilegias from seed scattered last autumn.

Clematis Niobe

This clematis Niobe, now thriving against the front fence, was a spindly twig trampled into gravelly soil when we arrived a year ago. It has responded well to Jackie’s winter care.

We have a saying which I had never understood until meeting Priscilla. This is ‘smelling like a petunia’, used to describe someone wearing perhaps too much perfume. Almost very variety of the range of cultivated versions of the plant has had the scent bred out of it.

Petunia Priscilla

Priscilla, however, carries the pristine aroma.

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday evening to receive:the-versatile-blogger-awardfrom Alex Raphael, who certainly deserved one himself.  Thank you Alex.

As part of the award, I have to say 7 things about me and nominate 15 other cool bloggers.

Here goes:

1. I will be 73 in July, and am enjoying a full and active life, qualified somewhat by 7 below.

2. I had secure and stable childhood which gave me the strength to survive several adult bereavements, all of which have contributed to who I am today. For example, being widowed and a single parent at 22 brought about an entire change of career.

3. I have 5 children by three different wives, two of whom have died. To date there are 8 grandchildren.

4. My interests include art, literature and photography.

5. It is fascinating how my enthusiasms have changed over the years. Having been a keen sportsman of generally average ability, I now don’t even know who is playing what. Similarly, I set top level cryptic crosswords for twenty years, until losing interest three years ago. Blogging has taken over – for as long as it may last.

6. Having spent a lifetime living and/or working in London, I am enjoying retirement between The New Forest and the south coast.

7. A problem with my right knee has curtailed my long walks for the moment, but I am an optimist, and hope to resume them in due course.

Of all the awards which float around WordPress, Alex has chosen the one I would most have coveted. This is because I do try to vary my material.

I follow almost 200 other blogs, but, I cannot nominate 15 for versatility. Sticking to that criterion, and avoiding those Alex has already nominated, this is my list:

Baffled Baboon

ireland2day: according to my lens

Implied Spaces

Dark Pines Photo

Life is But This

The World according to Dina

handmade. homegrown. beautiful life

The Proto Star

Oak Trees Studio

Of course  I couldn’t follow the instructions without technical help from Alex through an e-mail. Thank you for that too, Alex. Aaron laying brick paths Patiently and carefully, Aaron made further impressive progress in laying the paths for the new rose garden. The succulent piece of pork Jackie had bought a couple of days ago was far to big for yesterday’s meal. She therefore cut it in half and cooked the second for our dinner tonight. Boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage were served with it. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbeck.

Memory Is Not Neat And Tidy

On a warm, sunny, morning, my feeble contribution to the gardening was to bag up a pile of rubble; and to transport earth from elsewhere with which to fill in the hole left by the removal of the pool in a wheelbarrow. Jackie continued with the weeding and planting, and this afternoon I did a bit of sweeping up.

Today I continued the recap on photographic series I insert into my posts. Spanning 1983 to 1985, I scanned more of the borrowed family portrait prints that Elizabeth has recently returned.

Louisa and Matthew 1983

On the North Wales holiday on which Matthew had planted Sam on a cow, here he is gently giving Louisa and Sam the benefit of his knowledge about ladybirds.

Jessica 1983

The Pearson family hold an annual Family Day immediately after Christmas each year. This is hosted by Jessica’s eldest brother Nigel and his wife Judy. Since its inception in the mid 1970s, Jessica and each of her five siblings have added their own children, who have in turn, contributed theirs. Although I took the role of event photographer, this picture of Jessica was taken in the grounds of the venue, Nigel and Judy’s farmhouse at Caxton in Cambridgeshire, in 1983.  Maybe sometime I will feature one of the parties.

Matthew 1983

Our mudlarking period has been featured before. Here Matthew totes a sculptural piece of driftwood he found under Putney Bridge.

Michael 1985

We jump to 1985 and  Michael practicing his golf shots in the small London garden of Gracedale Road.

Uncle Norman and Louisa 12.85

My Uncle Norman and Auntie Peggy, of whom I just have one flashback memory, were one of a great many couples who, their minds and wishes for the future having been fundamentally affected by the Second World War, very soon thereafter, emigrated to Adelaide in Australia, where they were eventually joined by Uncle Darcy and Aunt Edna and their children David and Gillian. Here Norman bonds with his great niece Louisa at Rougemont Avenue on Christmas Day 1985.

Mum 12.85

Present on that occasion were, of course, Mum,

Joseph 12.85

Joseph,

Dad 12.85

and Dad, seen here playing hoopla with Sam,

Dad and Louisa 12.85

then conversing with Louisa on the sofa.

Seeing these two pictures of my father it seems incredible now, that, two years on to the very day, he died of stomach cancer. Christmas Day will forever have special significance.

Why, you may ask, do I skip from series to series regardless of chronology?  Well, first of all that is how the spirit moves me. One day I may want to use my carefully ordered slides, and another I might be able to face identifying negatives or having a stab at the date of prints. The real reason however, is that I am reflecting the nature of memory. It is not neat and tidy. Depending on the triggers, it will hop about from period to period of any lifetime.

Clouds

This evening, lowering clouds filtered the sunlight as I wandered round the garden and photographed

Viburnum

a viburnum on the back drive,

Allium

another new allium,

Verbena

a verbena that has surprisingly overwintered,

Azalea

and an azalea rescued last year.

We dined on roast pork, boiled potatoes, green beans, spring greens, and carrots, followed by profiteroles. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta Malbec.