The Head Gardener has renamed what I have been calling the Kitchen Bed because it runs alongside that room. It has become

the Pond Bed because it sprawls across a sunken pond filled in by our predecessors. At the western corner stands the frog pond created from an old cistern; at the eastern end

the Waterboy fountain. The Waterboy was found in bits in the undergrowth at the far end of the garden. Now he provides drinking water for thirsty birds, and a backdrop for

diurnal poppies.

Some of the bronze fennel in the first picture is flanked by the now ubiquitous Erigeron.

The Head Gardener, during her husbandry today, produced all the photographs in this post. We have images of



a hyacinth,


and clematis of similar hue.

Blue solanum spreads over this arch spanning the Brick Path.

heuchera leaves,

aquilegias or columbines,

and rhododendrons, in various shades of red.

Tulips,  especially


Queen of the Night, continue to attract.

Honesty and a New Zealand flax

can be seen sharing a berth beyond the Weeping Birch Bed.


including those named after a Pheasant’s Eye, continue happily to bloom,

as do the various colours of cyclamen.

Orange Flash marigolds accompany lilac diasica.

Comfrey and

geraniums hang well together.

This hydrangea now spins a fine web.

Spirea Pink Ice has responded well to nurturing,

as have all the pelargonium cuttings in the greenhouse.

Just how much food can this rapacious blackbird carry off?

While Jackie was tidying the pots on the decking she was aware of Nugget’s presence, but not sure where he was.

She therefore moved a container exposing a collection of luscious worms.

It took her robin familiar about twenty seconds to alight. “Where’s Nugget?” (71)

and “Where’s Nugget?” (72). Bigification will probably be essential for these puzzles, but the second is rather easier.

Were it not for the fact that I carry out the task of uploading all these pictures and putting the post together with the explanatory text, I would probably be redundant by now.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy hot paprika pork, boiled potatoes, and broccoli, with which she drank Tsing Tao and I finished the Bordeaux.





Jackie and I began the day on grandparent duties (see post of 28th. August), so Sam and Holly could have a lie-in.  They had, after all, kept him quiet since 5 a.m.  Elizabeth soon joined us for great aunt duties, whereupon Adam’s Transformer robot made way for robots in an i-pad game Malachi had shown her how to download.  Jackie and I had given my grandson chocolate coated crunchy pieces and pink and white ice cream.  Since he considered this wasn’t really breakfast he had cereal with his parents a bit later.

Not being very interested in helping us move the compost heap into the bins, Malachi went on a squirrel hunt with his Mum.  The little family set off for London just before lunch.

Elizabeth and I then went foraging in the garage loft for off-cuts of wood with which to supplement the garden materials to complete the compost bins.  Mum came to lunch and assisted in measuring the placement of stakes in the construction with dexterous application of her walking stick.  Jackie had bought the stakes in Haskins garden centre.

Whilst watching our robin diving into the recently exposed juicy bits of the older compost, and scuttling off with spoils, I was reminded of our Newark plumber.  This chirpy little fellow was a keen fisherman.  An excellent craftsman who was both skilled and reliable, he had, some years before, recovered from prostate cancer.  Very proud of this, he once insisted on undoing his trousers, reaching inside, and pulling out his colostomy bag to show Jessica and me.  He believed our compost bins contained the best bait worms in the town, and regularly raided them to keep himself supplied for his trips to the river.

In the late afternoon Jackie drove me to Shelly and Ron’s where we also met Helen and Bill.  Their home in Walkford is reached by a pleasant journey through The New Forest.  We were treated to high tea of tasty sandwiches prepared by Shelly; an excellent spicy fruit cake baked by Helen; and strawberries with clotted cream.  Helen told us about the German dough with which she had made the cake.  Apparently it reproduces itself so that you can make cake after cake from the same original material.  It operates much in the same way as a ginger beer factory.  Helen described her race to get ahead of the dough before the cakes completely took over the freezer.

After this we watched a DVD of the South Anglia Savoy Players production of Ruddigore, which won the Buxton International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival competition this year. Ruddigore 9.12 We were all agreed that it was no surprise that this flawlessly polished performance was the winner.  It was hard to believe this was an amateur performance.  Our particular interest was that among the cast were Jackie’s cousin Pat O’Connell and his daughter Olivia.  It seemed to us that, for his comic turn, Pat received the greatest applause at the end.  There were some splendid voices among the cast.  I had experienced Pat’s work in directing the Godalming Operatic Society, but had not seen him on stage before.

Finally, I am indebted to Elizabeth for identifying yesterday’s butterfly as a comma.