Sunny Periods

As the early morning sunshine made way for the later gloom I assisted the Head Gardener in some tidying of the garden whilst also

recording the current state of affairs. Along with various views I photographed dahlias, fuchsias, clematises, roses, nicotiana, leaves of Weeping Birch and Virginia creeper, asters, a bee, and begonias. Clicking on any image will access the gallery which provides individual titles and aids enlargement.

Later this afternoon because we were promised sunny periods we went in search of some, finding one bestowing its charms on Ibsley where

an assortment of pigs frenziedly competing for mast rocketed along the leaf-dappled verges and to and fro across the roads grunting, snuffling, occasionally squealing in isolated panic and frantically dashing about, perplexing the be-rugged field horses and amusing visiting drivers.

The forded stream is now reasonably full,

and the surrounding landscapes rich in autumn colour.

A solitary pony at Appleslade sported.a caramel coat.

This evening we dined on succulent roast chicken; crisp Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes, the sweeter variety being softer centred; herby sage and onion stuffing; tender cabbage and firm Brussels sprouts, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Médoc.

In The Rain

Heavy, steady, rain fell throughout most of the day.

I photographed the scenes from indoors. The pendant in the rain spattered window was made for me by the daughter of a client some thirty years ago. The fallen pot was blown down. If there are any more we don’t want to know about it.

I looked down on the garden from upstairs.

Seen from our bedroom window, the puddle in the gutter outside our front drive is a good rain gauge.

At mid morning we left in the rain for a damp forest drive. I had expected simply to make photographs from the car. In the event I couldn’t help myself, so Jackie parked on the verge of Braggers Lane where I found raindrops spiralling in puddles; damp trees; and

damper field horses, some in rugs rooting around, I think for acorns – poisonous to them – in puddles behind barbed wire.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s cracking chicken stoup and crusty bread, followed by ample apple pie and custard, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.

A Little Autumn Colour

For the last couple of days marauding rooks have raided Nugget’s robin feeder, ripped it off the Japanese maple, and robbed him of his food.

Jackie has baffled the thieves with a pair of hanging basket frames.

In contrast to yesterday’s dismal weather, today was clear, bright, and cold, taking every opportunity to display a little autumn colour.

Here is Margery’s Bed seen from the Cryptomeria Bed,

and sculpture Florence’s view of the house.

Weeping Birch leaves still linger

and the white solanum goes on forever.

 

Some Japanese maples have retained their leaves,

others have carpeted the lawn and paths with them.

The last scene above can be seen from the Fiveways end of the Phantom Path.

Jackie focussed on the grasses in the Palm Bed named for

the Cordeline Australis which is in fact evergreen.

Mrs Popple is one of the hardier fuchsias,

another of which, Delta’s Sarah, still attracts no doubt confused bees.

A number of pelargoniums still look down from hanging baskets, like this overlooking the Dragon bed in which

Ivy twines herself around one of the eponymous mythological figures.

Jackie spent much of the morning trying not to tread on Nugget while they were cobbling together a winter cold frame.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44a and 44b)

Wherever she moved to another location he was there first. Fortunately she took her camera.

“Where’s Nugget?” (44c and 44d)

Jackie also focussed on a sparrow with,

a pied wagtail,

and a white wagtail on the rooftop. I trust one of our birder readers will correct any errors in identification.

Late this afternoon Elizabeth visited to gather up bags of files that had remained in our single spare room since she moved out last year. She stayed for dinner which consisted of chicken marinaded in mango and chilli sauce; savoury rice topped with an omelette; and tender runner beans. My sister finished the Cotes du Rhone and I drank Chateau Berdillot Cotes de  Bourg 2018, while Jackie abstained.

 

 

 

 

The Boundary Fence

I have never installed a new Apple Operating System without experiencing a consequent problem. Overnight I let Catalina in. It is not compatible with my scanner. I followed the directions to resolve the issue, but hit a brick wall. This will mean another call to Peacock Computers.

This morning Elizabeth came for coffee and stayed for lunch.

Jackie planted more bulbs in the New Bed

while Aaron reinforced the back of this with breeze blocks. At one corner Jackie had planted pansies and a fern in a pot with no back wedged against a larger one with no front.

Aaron reported that while he had been working on the wall Nugget had put in an appearance and breakfasted on disturbed worms.  On the back drive our robin’s rival perched on our friend’s container of cuttings. By the time I had returned with my camera the newcomer had repaired to the

larch which forms the avian boundary fence as agreed by the two rivals. The interloper sang from this tree, but I couldn’t spot him.

The bright morning sunshine streaked shadows along the various paths including the

Heligan, where Jackie admired a campanula in the Cryptomeria Bed.

but uprooted one of the invasive white alliums from the gravel.

After lunch I rather snoozed over the Rugby World Cup quarter final match between Wales and South Africa, then wandered around the garden again.

Antirrhinums surprisingly still thrive beyond the avian boundary fence;

Less surprisingly, mushrooms emerge from a log left to encourage insect life;

and the bank of chrysanthemums glows gloriously.

Autumn leaves still linger on the Weeping Birch,

and those of the Parthenocissus brighten the shadows on the south fence.

The winter flowering clematis has announced the coming season,

While an earlier variety rests on a bed of Erigeron.

Mum in a million lets her hair down in the Rose Garden.

Nugget worked at making eye contact with his favourite perching owl.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy piri-piri chicken; flavoursome savoury rice; and succulent lava beans and sweet potato ratatouille, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Fleurie.

 

 

A False Sense Of Security

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP ACCESSES ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT
Often other people’s posts, or their comments on mine, jog my memory for events that should be included in ‘A Knight’s Tale’. One such was a post of The Lonely Author, read today. This is my comment on Drew’s poem: ‘A superb poem which reminds me of my Dad. Dad was not a letter writer. Once, after I had been on a week’s holiday in my teens, he presented me with an unfinished, pencilled, missive that he had not posted. It was a beautiful tribute to me as his son. I carried it in my wallet for years – until the wallet was stolen. He has been dead 31 years. I still treasure the lost letter.’ Suitably amended, it has been added to my draft.
Conversations also provide suitable triggers. One with Elizabeth, concerning alarm bells, this morning prompted a retelling of the tale of ‘A Little White Lie’. This is one of the many Soho stories from the 1970s. It has to be included in my life story.

Although Jackie has begun to transfer many of the less hardy plants to the greenhouse,

 many geraniums,

begonias,

roses,

and fuchsias have been given a false sense of security by, despite the lack of sunshine, the shirtsleeves weather we are currently experiencing.

Chrysanthemums, Japanese maples, and the Weeping Birch leaves betray the season;

as does the winter clematis, whose cousin, on the other side of the gazebo has been fooled into another flush.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea to investigate the situation at Sears Barbers during the recovery of Peter from a recent knee replacement operation. Opening days and hours are to be flexible – may my barber’s knee be equally so soon. We then drove into the forest where

the finger of King Midas stretched across the skies to begin the process of turning the leaves of our deciduous oaks to gold.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb pasta arrabbiata with tender green beans. The Culinary Queen drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc while Elizabeth and I drank Marco Tempranillo 2016