Despite yesterday’s rain the Head Gardener drove to Otter Nurseries clutching vouchers for special offers of seven different items. One of these was for 10 fifty litre bags of compost. The helpful staff had stuffed these all into the Modus. Unfortunately they did not offer to unload them at this end. That was my task this morning. I piled them up beside the shed, then staggered inside for a sit down.
Today had dawned as dry, bright, and sunny as yesterday was wet and dreary.
Jackie entered the garden in order to photograph Eric the pheasant. He immediately scarpered, so she cast her camera lens onto the plants.
These cranesbill geranium leaves bear a slight dusting of last night’s light frost.
One of Eric’s little games is to decapitate daffodils. He missed those in these three pictures.
Fallen camellia blooms enhance the third composition. Others remain on the shrubs.
New clematis shoots cling to the weathered iron gazebo, preparing to supersede
winter-flowering Cirrhosa Freckles;
These blue pansies will soon be supplanted by their pot-sharing tulips.
and cream hellebores brighten beds.
Spring is the season for nest-building and incubating eggs. It is prime poaching period for predatory magpies.
On the lookout for potential prey one of these plumed pests perches atop a blighted oak on the other side of Christchurch Road.
Later this afternoon Jackie drove us into the forest.
On Shirley Holms Shetland ponies grazed in the soggy landscape
which was waterlogged in parts, a number of reflective pools having been recently created
on the wooded side, the drier sections of which were littered by fallen branches,
and their leaves.
On my way back to the car I photographed an equestrienne approaching us.
As she drew near she smilingly exclaimed “I’ll have a copy of that”.
“What’s your address?” I enquired.
“I’ll take it off your blog” she replied. It was only then that I realised that the beaming face beneath the unfamiliar helmet was that of Anne of Kitchen Makers.
So I felt the need to produce a close-up of her astride her splendid steed.
Beside Church Lane at Boldre lay a recently uprooted tree in a field occupied by
horses wearing rugs to protect them from the overnight temperatures currently slipping below freezing.
Daffodils surrounded the Church of St John the Baptist, in the graveyard of which
a photographer shepherded his subjects.
A gaggle of geese now occupied Pilley lake;
Hatchet Heath harbours more than its normal quota of ponds;
and swans smoothly glide on the slopes of East Boldre.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s juicy chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice with plain parathas accompanied by Hoegaarden in the case of the Culinary Queen and the last of the Cabernet Sauvignon in mine.