Oscar, that fine blogging poet of In So Many Words, recently expressed wonderment that I got any work done with all the photography I did in the garden. I wonder, did he know that the camera is a preferred delaying tactic; and that a new rose arch has stood in the hall porch for the last three days, awaiting assembly?
The arch leading into the front garden was such a ramshackle structure that it was being held together by the roses, honeysuckle, and clematis it was meant to support. I therefore ordered a replacement from Agriframes. Today we decided to substitute the new metal Monet Arch for the existing rickety woodwork.
Anyone who remembers our last struggle with an Agriframes Arch may well understand our reluctance to begin this project, and Oscar, in particular, will understand my need ramble round the garden first.
The overnight rain had once again left sparkling gems on the flowers:
on trailing antirrhinums, less their tails battered by the winds;
on Margery’s long- lived hollyhocks;
on a giant fuchsia Pink Marshmallow;
and on the rose Mamma Mia, to name a few.
The ripening apples on the tree also benefited from a wash.
The two beds Jackie has planted up in the last week welcomed the nurturing rainfall. These are
the former site of the ficus,
and the triangular bed linking the Pergola and Brick Paths.
Having removed some overgrown shrubs from the latter opens up the view through to the Agriframes Gothic Arch.
At every corner the sun lit hosts of grateful blooms like these Japanese anemones.
That little wander was just one of the ways we managed to defer tackling the arch until after lunch. Spelling mistakes in the instructions didn’t inspire me with confidence; neither did the fact that the suppliers had equated 1.2 meters with 4 feet.
This was the paperwork.
Before anything else, we decided to take step 2. It seemed rather important to make sure we could fit the four posts into gravelly soil with concrete and stone embellishments. This meant heavily pruning the plants in situ, then piercing four holes in the right places. Every time I extracted the hole maker, bits of gravel fell back into it. That was rather frustrating. Next came step 1. We then applied the top section to the four posts of step 2, to check we had them properly aligned. After a bit of tweaking we found we had.
Step 1 was then removed so we could build step 3, and apply it as in step 4. Eventually, that worked. This meant we were ready to put step 1 in place.
I trust that is all very clear. The next time we need an arch it will come ready-assembled from an architectural salvage outlet such as Ace Reclaim.
Did I mention that it rained during this procedure? No? Well, it did.
This evening we dined with Giles and Jean at her home in Barton on Sea. Jean produced an excellent meal of Sea Bass, new potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms; followed by a succulent autumn pudding, being a seasonal variant on my favourite summer pudding. I drank a rather good mourvedre, while Jackie drank Peroni. Naturally we had our usual stimulating conversation.