Three Roses

It is now 9.30 p.m. I f I finish this post this evening it will be a miracle, because, so far, much of it has been spent having useless and frustrating conversations with someone in India about lack of BT Broadband connection.

This morning Jackie drove us to Helen’s home in Poulner where we decanted into Helen’s car, in which she drove us to Lavender Farm at Landford, just inside Wiltshire. Taking in lunch we spent the best part of the day enjoying another splendid late summer’s day, before reversing the process.

The farm is an outlet for many wonderful plants, seen at their best on such a beautiful day.

Lavender and more

There was, of course, a plentiful supply of lavender, but also very much more.

Cacti display

From the moment we entered, it was clear that the displays for sale were all as attractive as this one for cacti.

Helen in gardenHelen and Jackie in gardenJackie and Helen 2Jackie and Helen 3

The three of us wandered around the gardens. I photographed the two ladies.

Garden towards car park

Lavender farm flowers

Sometimes just the beds;

Vegetable area

or other people, like these two admiring the vegetables;

Tea in garden

and these taking tea.

brian and Sandra 1Brian and Sandra 2

A couple I noticed sitting among the flowers were Brian and Sandra. Having taken the first picture from some distance away, as is my wont when I have not asked for permission, I walked along the narrow path to their bench, and sought it in retrospect. A very pleasant conversation ensued and they happily posed for a second picture. Brian turned out to have a collection of some 3,000 colour slides, mostly of historic Southampton, and was wondering how to digitise them. I described my scanner and advised them how to go about the task.

Wasps sign

The garden was clearly troubled by wasps in July.

Collection box

There is no charge for enjoying this haven, but charitable donations are encouraged.

Of course we bought some plants. Apart from smaller ones like heucheras and salvias, three roses on Jackie’s collection list just had to be acquired.

Rose Gertrude Jekyll

The first was Gertrude Jekyll, named after the famous gardener.

This is from the website in her honour: Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932), created some 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America; her influence on garden design has been pervasive to this day. She spent most of her life in Surrey, England, latterly at Munstead Wood, Godalming. She ran a garden centre there and bred many new plants. Some of her gardens have been faithfully restored, wholly or partly, and can be visited. Godalming Museum has many of her notebooks and copies of all her garden drawings, (compiled and sorted by members of the Surrey Gardens Trust); the original drawings are in the University of California, Berkeley.

Her own books about gardening are widely read in modern editions; much has been written about her by others. She contributed over 1,000 articles to Country Life, The Garden and other magazines. A complete list of every book and article written by her is in the Bookshop section of this site. A talented painter, photographer, designer and craftswoman; she was much influenced by Arts & Crafts principles.

(c) Elizabeth Banks; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Elizabeth Banks; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

William Nicholson painted this portrait of her in October 1920.

Rose Lady Emma Hamilton

Next came Lady Emma Hamilton.

Wikipedia tells us that:

George_Romney_-_Emma_Hart_in_a_Straw_HatEmma, Lady Hamilton (26 April 1765; baptised 12 May 1765 – 15 January 1815) is best remembered as the mistressof Lord Nelson and as the muse of George Romney. She was born Amy Lyon in Ness near Neston, Cheshire, England, the daughter of Henry Lyon, a blacksmith who died when she was two months old. She was raised by her mother, the former Mary Kidd, at Hawarden, and received no formal education. She later changed her name to Emma Hart.

Rose Mamma Mia


Finally, has the rose Mamma Mia anything to do with Abba?

Readers may be amused to learn the reason that my first attempts at photographing these last two roses produced very bleary images. This is because a very small insect had become ensnared in Helen’s chutney. Not being able to identify it with the naked eye, I thought that if I photographed it with the macro facility it would be possible to do so. The creature turned out to be a small wasp. But I had poked the lens into the chutney, with the obvious results. My handkerchief was not adequate for the task of cleaning the glass, so I had to use a lens cloth when we got home, and photograph the roses here.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice, with chicken samosas. I finished the cabernet sauvignon.

Phew! 11.35 and all done.

53 responses to “Three Roses”

  1. “decanted” into the car. I love it! You crack me up, Derrick.

    The portrait of Getrude is simply perfect and I confess I more in awe of the oil painter than the rose, though the photograph of it is so lovely. Also, the portrait of Lady Hamilton is wonderful too – what a pose! I’ll have to try it for my next portrait. In fact. I love the pose of Ms. Jekyll as well. Look at me, ignoring your topic and raving about the portraits, ha ha.

    • Thank you Crystal. My topic is whatever anyone takes. Romney did quite a lot of portraits of Emma. I picked the one I could enlarge most. You can find them on Google. I think Nicholson is an under-rated artist.

  2. Thank you for persisting, Derrick! I am so glad you got the picture of the couple sitting among the flowers–and then to have nice chat and help with conversions. The info in Gertrude Jekyll is very interesting. I did not know her drawings were in California. The three roses are lovely.

  3. When we had BT broadband trouble I got so fed up with pressing various buttons on the menu and then getting to speak to someone half a world away that I couldn’t understand or hear properly I gave up and got through to BT Sales department. It worked a dream. Someone even came out and checked our line and connection.
    I’ve been to Munstead Wood and it’s beautiful . High time for a return visit.

    • Thanks, Jenny. I’ve gone the sales department route before, but it doesn’t work any more. Our problem is a poor reception area, but the youngsters you get insist on going through all other checks first. When I was told I needed a new hub yesterday, I refused to accept that, and was given a referral to ‘level 2’, who are due to ring me within 48 hours. An hour after the last conversation we were back on line. I’ll see what ‘level 2’ have to say, but I am going to look into other providers.

  4. I know I’ll have to wait for the last paragraph, if not the last sentence to vicariously enjoy the wine-o-the-day. But today you subliminally taunted with the use of the verb decanted in quite a unique way. Only on the second paragraph and already I’m thinking wines! LOL! Thanks for taking us all on another lovely stroll.

  5. I noticed in one of your pictures that there was a faux plastic wasp nest hanging in the tree I understand that this is meant to act as a deterrent and stop wasps building another nest too close.
    In June we visited a garden open under the N.G.S. it was a Gertrude Jekyll garden that was in the process of being returned to the original glory of Gertrude’s design, This was ‘Durmast House’ nr. Burley in the New Forest, I’m sure this would have featured in a post round about June time. In Merton, where we used to live, there was a house in the ‘John Innes’ conservation area (another great gardening name) that was discovered to have a G.J. garden and after restoration was opened to the public under the same charitable scheme, she certainly got around!

  6. Gorgeous place and a gorgeous day. I’m glad you posted what Jackie bought, I was wondering how she would choose from so many enticing plants and displays. I had a Gertrude Jekyll rose. It didn’t last for very many years, it’s a bit challenging here. Beautiful while she lasted though. There is a restored Jekyll garden here where I live. Its small but lovely. I visit often.

  7. Derrick,
    The eighth photograph could have been taken in an Illinois field garden so I was fascinated by similarity. That bit about sticking the lens in the sauce was funny!

  8. Lovely post as always. The portrait of E.Banks remembered me of my grandmother. She almost looked like that. I also want to believe that the rose Mamma Mia has something to do with Abba. I’m Swedish and proud of our “music wonder” Abba. One of them live in my town 🙂

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