Racing against the promised rain on this warm but gloomy morning we worked on providing freedom of expression for Compassion. Jackie assembled another Gardman arch for this rose that we have been trying fully to release from the clutches of myrtle and pittosporum. The heaviest pruning the plant has undergone for many years ensued. We then fixed the support in place and tied the remaining stems to them. A number of healthy buds remain.
That is not a weak sun peering through the pittosporum, but one of the drops of rain that sent us inside. Not before I had recorded the moment.
Neither of us can remember from where in the garden we had liberated the wrought iron structure that we had been using until now to support the rose. We had upended it and tied it to a beam suspended between the two trees, but we are becoming attached to arches, so it had to go. But where? Well, it might serve better to define the front boundary between us and North Breeze. So we transported it to the side of the house and laid it down.
In the drizzle of the day, I settled down into my chair. Not so the Head Gardener who didn’t seem to realise it was wet. I left her to potter, or so I thought. Until I heard the unmistakeable clang of hammer on metal, that could only mean one thing. She was banging in posts. I couldn’t let her do that alone, so I turned off my laptop and joined in the fray. The wrought iron was to be suspended from assorted metal posts taken from the growing collection of those found in the garden. I interred the posts, to which Jackie fastened the iron ornament. It is now intended to carry a clematis.
The reason, incidentally, that our neighbouring front garden is more visible than the back is that it was cleared a year ago.
A quick trip to Otter Nurseries, and the bed was soon planted up with ferns, pansies, and anemones. A clematis, Queen Mother, is going in on the opposite side of yesterday’s new arch to the Campaniflora.
Yet another owl sneaked a lift back with Jackie, and, through the kitchen window, ogled our dinner which consisted of succulent fillet steak, crisp cauliflower, and potatoes sauteed with peppers and onions. The Cook drank her customary Hoegaarden, and I drank La Ninadiere Beaujolais Villages 2014.
I have no idea how many owls The Head Gardener has thought it a hoot to introduce into our plot, but we certainly hear real ones away in the forest at night.
James Bird, who lived next door at Newark, once counted 25 birds’ nests in Lindum House Garden. Maybe he could come and hunt down the owls.