29 June 2014


Last Thursday, I met up with Jess from Rusty Duck ( at RHS Rosemoor. I've never been, which is ridiculous given that it's only about an hour away. Rosemoor was given to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1988 by its then owner Lady Anne Palmer. It became her and her mother's home in 1931 after the death of her father Robert Horace Walpole the fifth, last earl of Orford. During WW2, the house was used by the Red Cross to house families from Docklands and the East End of London whose houses had been bombed out, but Lady Anne returned after the war with her husband and young son, and ran the estate as a farm. Her interest in gardening began whilst recuperating from measles in 1959 in Spain where she met the plantsman Collingwood 'Cherry' Ingram. She travelled around the world collecting plants for Rosemoor whose diversity is now amazing. I am not that knowledgeable but Jess was an amazing guide, and could name almost everything. I'm better with wild flowers - that's my excuse anyway. We walked past the angular hedges above and into the rose gardens whose blooms were fading slightly but still staggering. They had tried to grow ramblers along these ropes with mixed results:

Below was the best result, covering the rope completely and leaving a beautiful swag of blooms:

A bit more of the rope showing here.....

I'm not really a rose person but, after this visit, I think I could be given unlimited funds and a much larger patch. 

The oriental poppies were amazing:

In the next section were beautiful Delphiniums:

Sea Hollies (Eryngiums):

I loved these Ligularia and so did the bees:

I thought these spears of Elegia Capensis were amazing. So nice to see things I could never grow but would love to. 

There was a wildflower area.......

......a pond reminiscent of Monet paintings:

No idea what this is but it was growing around the fringes of the pond:

This area was labelled 'In Flanders Fields', commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of WW1 on August 4th this year:

Fabulous ferns:

A huge woven man's face hanging in a tree:

At this point it started raining; the first rain for weeks; nice timing by us there. On our way to find shelter in a tiny and exquisite building I failed to photograph due to the severity of the downpour, I managed to get this amazingly large Allium head:

And some very lovely pine cones......variety unknown due to making a run for it:

In the end, the lure of coffee and cake, forced us out of the enviable tiny building that I can find no photographs of anywhere on the web, past these huge Iris, variety unknown:

Inula Magnifica:

Coffee and cake was delicious and we parted in the rain after a lovely morning - thank you Jess. I got home to this:

Rain soaked Sedge:

I have had a Yellow Flag Iris for eleven years, grown from a rhizome found on a path in a park, which had never flowered. It has lived in three different gardens and has flowered for the first time this year. I'm not the only one who is impressed:

When I went to feed Trigger that evening, I thought this pile of Columbines waiting to harvest for seed looked beautiful on my neighbours' bench:

A busy weekend again with the School summer fair on Saturday; me on the book stall as usual. I hope we made lots of money to fund the school trips for the following year. I can't believe OB will start his final year there in September. Where do those years go? Until next time, I hope you all had lovely weekends and here are Jack in the mist........

And Snippet on the bedroom window sill, described by friends as 'made for a dog' before we had one. We had to oblige really. 

25 June 2014

POST #216

Busyness overload has rendered me incapable of thinking of any kind of title, let alone something pithy or witty, so I thought it best not even to try. I don't know what's happened since we got back from holiday but I seem to be trying, and failing, to catch up all the time. So many apologies if I haven't been commenting on your blogs if you write them; I am reading as much as I can but I realised I hadn't posted for a week so am getting down to it tonight. I have a small window as Great Ormond Street Hospital have sent through a MASS of forms and questionnaires to fill in that have to be sent back quickly - we're off there in two weeks so M and I are sitting every night wrestling over the questions. Poor OB has six to fill in by himself! Well - at least they're being thorough and trying to get a full and rounded picture of him. More than I can say for any institution we've come up against so far. We're suitably impressed, if a little overwhelmed by the paperwork. 

The weather is still absolutely amazing and there are Dragonflies darting around my favourite little boggy pond, which is getting close to drying out. Isn't this Four Spotted Chaser a beauty? 

Keeled Skimmers mating:

Post coital rest?

I took a picture of these clouds yesterday as I hadn't seen one for so long:

Trigger is home and leaving a lot of stuff in the paddock uneaten. We'll see in winter....

Meadow Brown in the morning dew, sullying the picture slightly by sitting on a bit of poo:

Ponies hiding in the early shade of the rocks:



Obligatory Meadow Pipits:

As well as fooling most tourists here that they are Skylarks by rising up into the air singing, this one is affecting the tufty headed look too.....

...........ha ha - only the wind.

Stonechat giving me the cold shoulder this morning. No sun but it came out this afternoon having not rained...AGAIN:

Evening sunshine walking up to feed Trigger:

So many grasses in flower and not enough paper hankies in the world to blow my nose:

Cuckoo Spit. In case you don't know, which I'm sure most of you do, Cuckoo Spit is plant sap, frothed up by the nymphs of Froghoppers in which they can bury themselves to stop from dehydrating, getting too hot or cold or to hide from predators. I didn't poke about to see who was inside: 

All that hay has been baled now:

Navelwort, which grows out of every crack in every wall round these parts, seems to be sending out much taller and many more flower spikes this year, as if these conditions are exactly what it likes. I wonder if anyone else has noticed more of a profusion this year or whether it's my imagination:

An online questionnaire for GOSH, which they estimate will take us at least an hour and a half to complete, is calling me, so I'd better get on with it. At least I didn't have to take OB to the pool tonight. I convinced him that it was going to rain when we discussed it this morning so he got the bus home and I actually got some housework done after taking my mum to Waitrose. They're doing it up within an inch of its life and every time we go, a new fashionable edifice has appeared, this time the fish counter which is verging on the Selfridges food hall. I peeked behind a hoarding and saw what will be the new coffee shop and thought I was on the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground, such was the tiling. I'm procrastinating. So, until next time, here are those hot dogs, managing to keep their tongues from lolling.