Before The Storm

Threatened with a thunderstorm, after two lengthy dead-heading sessions, I wandered around the garden while Jackie continued with her general tidying and maintenance work.

The blooms in these images of the Rose Garden and the bed at its entrance are identified in the titles of the galleries, each of which can be accessed by a click.

The Shady Path runs between the Dragon the the Palm Beds. The kniphofia and fuchsia occupy the Dragon Bed. The poppies are volunteers having forced their way through the gravel.

Day lilies, sweet Williams, lobelia, more poppies, and geranium palmatums are found in the section of the Dragon Bed alongside the greenhouse.

Day lilies, fuchsia Delta’s Sarah, geraniums, and clematis Marie Boisselot all make their contributions to the Kitchen Bed.

Supported by the Gothic Arch, Wedding Day now flowers above the Brick Path.

More day lilies and a fuchsia thrive in what we now call the Grass Bed.

Here are the current views down the Phantom Path;

from the Concrete Patio to the Oval Bed;

and over the stepping stones in the Cryptomeria Bed through to Margery’s Bed.

By early evening the skies were oppressively leaden, but the storm had held off when we drove into the forest.

On Undershore,

Gilpins is blessed with a quite magnificent cornus, which arlingwoman, below, has identified as Kausa.

On a particularly dark section of Church Lane a trainee rider loomed up out of the murk ahead of us.

Further on a deer dashed out of the light into the dark.

As we arrived at Tanners Lane a pair of kayakers were coming in to land.

There was a distinct dearth of donkeys, ponies and other wildlife in all the spots where we would expect to see them. We came to the conclusion that they had tuned in to the weather forecast and were lying low.

This evening we dined on perfect pork chops; crisp roast potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender green beans; and tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Squinzano Reserva 2014.

Compatriots

I wasn’t able to dead head all the roses today, although I carried out quite a long session with secateurs before my knees suggested that a rest might be in order. After taking one, it seemed likely that spent buds would not spoil any photographs, so I wandered around with the camera.

Here are four Rose Garden views with individual shots of Aloha, Absolutely Fabulous framed by a foxglove crescent, Gloriana, For Your Eyes Only, Rosa Gallica; and Ballerina dancing attendance.

Roses elsewhere include Wedding Day just coming into bloom on the Gothic arch; the peach rose in the Oval Bed; and Compassion beside the Dead End Path.

Bees continue to swarm around the yellow bottle brush plant and the valerian.

Purple lamium and blue petunias share one of Jackie’s pots; cosmoses feature in others. Our day lilies are proliferating; fuchsias Delta’s Sarah has proved to be hardy enough to survive our winter.

The kitchen wall display has benefited from all the recent rain.

The Palm Bed is named for the cordeline Australis which can be seen beyond its compatriot eucalyptus.

These three views are of the Phantom Path; the Shady Path; and the junction between the Brick and Gazebo Paths, the latter of which is shown from both directions.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie, firm carrots, and tender runner beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Navarra Garnacha Roble 2017.

Hot Chocolate And Hot Lips

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It was another mark of progress this morning when I wandered around the overcast garden while Jackie was out shopping. I didn’t imagine I might have to be rescued in some way.

Wedding Day rose has begun to bloom on the Agriframes Arch spanning the Brick Path.

The diagonal view from the Heligan Path towards the greenhouse features Hot Lips and the clematis now blooming over the Phantom Path.

The arch over the Dead End Path, from which can be seen the Rosa Glauca in the patio, supports Compassion rose and scarlet runner beans.

Astilbe and campanula Samantha flourish in the West Bed.

Poppies, heucheras, and clematises vie with roses in the Rose Garden.

Bee flying to yellow bottle brush

Here, a bee sets its sights on one of the yellow Bottle Brush plants’ blooms.

Hostas and erigeron

The sun having put in an appearance this afternoon, and a hosta in the front garden having caught my eye, I ventured out again.

Geraniums

Jackie has replaced the pansies in the stone tubs on the wall with bright geraniums.

Fuschia Delta's Sarah

Fuchsia Delta’s Sarah thrives in the triangular bed beside the wisteria arbour;

Petunias and diascias

almost black petunias are set off nicely by pink diascias in a pot beside the Kitchen Bed;

and these hanging baskets on the kitchen wall contain diascias, lobelia, and bidens.

This evening we dined on our second helpings of yesterday’s Forest Tandoori takeaway meals.

Our First Open Day

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Last night I had several attempts at photographing Jackie’s garden solar lights. She had one preference; I had another.

Garden fairy lights 1Garden fairy lights 2

Only the brave need indicate their favourite.

Knowing the weather would soon change, I took advantage of the early sunshine to wander around the garden and take a few pictures.

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson and solanum

On the front trellis clematis Mrs N. Thompson has joined solanum;

Asiatic lilies and petunias

on the edge of the patio fragrant Asiatic lilies blend with petunias;

Bees in poppy

and poppy plunderers have hind legs like Popeye’s forearms.

We were joined for lunch by Jackie’s two sisters, their husbands, and cousins Pat, Christine, and Olivia.

Buffet

Jackie laid out the buffet food she had prepared yesterday on the table,

Mushroom soup

and cooked a marvellous mushroom soup.

After several platefuls, and a fairly wide variety of alcoholic beverages, the sun having emerged after rain, we had a tour of the garden.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, Olivia, Christine, Helen

Our guests trooped from the patio past the kitchen;

Pat and Shelly

admired the wisteria pergola;

Gazebo, Helen and PatOlivia, Christine, Pat and Shelly

and took the Gazebo Path.

Shelly

Shelly brought her coffee with her.

Pat, Shelly, Jackie, OliviaPat, Shelly, Jackie, Helen, Olivia and Christine

Passing Florence at Fiveways

Helen, Shelly, Jackie, and Pat

Jackie, Christine, Shelly, Pat, and Helen

Christine, Pat, Jackie, Olivia, Shelly, Helen

the group admired the Rose Garden;

Helen, Olivia, Christine

on her return along the Brick Path Helen paused to savour the scent of Wedding Day.

It seems reasonable to consider this our first Open Day.

Christine and Olivia left early in the evening. Helen, Bill, Shelly and Ron remained a while longer, and Pat stayed the night. ( Actually, I took a chance in posting this before Helen and Bill departed. They also stayed the night ).

We all had a second go at the buffet and beverages.

 

Remembering The Bees

We managed a good morning’s work before the rain set in later in the afternoon.

Back drive

I cut the grass while Jackie clipped more of the Back Drive hedge.

Jackie digging out fuchsia roots

Part of this consisted of a fuchsia which, despite severe autumn haircuts, has really become very unkempt overgrown. Because it was the only reasonable plant in this area when we arrived were were reluctant to remove it. We have still kept a small section, but the main cluster just had to go. Discovering that it could not just be dug out without serious damage to the garden forks, Jackie employed her tried and tested Time Team technique requiring the use of a trowel. I then wielded a woodman’s axe to hack out the roots.

Clematis and poppies

This clematis and these poppies form part of the planting separating the drive from the gravelled patio, in one corner of which

Hydrangea Serrata Miranda

the hydrangea Serrata Miranda, behind and to the right of the planted urn, is thriving.

Elizabeth's Bed

Between this plot and the Rose Garden, Elizabeth’s Bed is nicely plumped up.

Rose Ballerina

The rose Ballerina dances us into the Rose Garden,

View from Florence to Rose Garden

blending nicely with Florence’s petunias.

Rose Summertime

Summertime ascends the corner of the orange shed,

Rose Deep Secret

and the first Deep Secret bloom has survived balling from the rain to flower well enough. Balling is the term given to the soggy balls to which unopened roses are reduced when they are subjected to lengthy precipitation.

Solanum

The solanum has taken over from the now spent clematis Montana the task of brightening the dead tree stump beside the New Bed.

Hoverfly and beetles on rose Wedding Day

Wedding Day rose, attracting hoverflies and beetles,

Agriframes arch

is now preparing to cast its veil over the Agriframes Arch.

Evening primrose

Evening primrose blooms on the Back Drive northern bed,

Bees on poppyBee on poppy

where poppies are buzzing with bees,

which, when they expressed their disgruntlement at my poking a camera up their bums by turning on me and crawling around my head and neck, took me back to my first desperate encounter with the creatures.

California poppies

In fact the only poppies that don’t harbour these beings are Californian.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pea fritters, pickled onion, and gherkins. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Carles.

More Than It Could Chew?

It was yet another unseasonably hot day.

Incinerator and old wheelbarrows

I cleared up after last night’s fire. It had become dark before I was able to finish the exercise. I gathered up the unburnt branches, chopped them up small, and piled them beside the incinerator which has taken the place of the two old wheelbarrows. The rusty metal one suffered enormously from being the pyre container until recently. The green one had been a pond in the Weeping Birch Bed, to which Jackie applied the finishing touches this morning.

Jackie finishing Weeping Birch Bed

Wedding Day pruned

She also completed her work on training the Wedding Day rose on the Agriframes Gothic Arch.

Rose Love Knot

The rose garden, where most roses, like Love Knot, are blooming,

Rose garden in mirror

 encourages a reflective mood.

Bee and ?spider on Cosmos

We continue to enjoy an entomologist’s delight. Actually, I could do with a student of insects to identify what I think might be a baby spider contemplating wrapping up a bumble bee which might be a bit more than it could chew.

?spider on cosmos

The cosmos gives an idea of scale.

This evening we drove over to Emsworth to visit Becky and Ian. Becky had some items for sale in the monthly Emsworth auction, which was very crowded. Our daughter sold an old wind-up gramophone and some Beatles records, among other things, but the prices were disappointing. Afterwards we dined on excellent fish, chips, and gherkins from a shop across the road, with Tesco’s mushy peas. Becky drank chianti and the rest of us enjoyed the Italian Birra Moretti.

Officially Autumn

Although she does tidy up much of her refuse, when the Head Gardener has been about with the loppers and secateurs, it falls upon me, the Under Under Gardener, to clear the heaps of clippings; to transfer them to the compost and wood-burning piles; to sort them; and to cut them into manageable sections. This I did this morning after Jackie had driven off for one of her sorority lunches with Helen and Shelly.

Clippings

Judging by the scent pervading this pile, the marauding cat that we hope keeps the rodents down, had liberally sprayed it with a peculiar pungency.

Rose Wedding Day clippings

The rambling rose, Wedding Day, having outgrown the Agriframes arch and dared to festoon the two Japanese maples and frolic over a hebe, was given a particularly severe haircut. I console myself in the knowledge that, like mine, it will grow again.

This is all part of the autumn clear-up. It is, after all, the first official day of autumn. We are, nevertheless, still treated to the sights of summer, like

Bee in poppy

bees burrowing into crinkly poppies;

Butterfly Small White on verbena bonarensis

Small White butterflies fluttering everywhere and perching on verbena bonarensis;

Petunias and geraniums

petunias, pink striped dahlias, and geraniums;

Raindrops on sweet pea

and raindrops on sweet peas.

Rose garden

The rose garden is flourishing. We have left two peep-holes in the fence so our neighbours can enjoy it too.

Rose Kent

Carpet roses, like the white Kent, are spreading nicely.

Red hot pokers

We have red hot pokers everywhere. Either they are proliferating at will, or there was too much undergrowth last year for us to notice. These are surveyed by the owl at home in the dead Snake Bark maple.

Table top

We moved the furniture and potted plants from the decking for Aaron to refurbish it. This colourful table top had held a floral display.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lively chilli con carne and tasty mixed vegetable rice. I finished the malbec, and The Cook drank Hoegaarden.