Sunday, 5 July 2015


This is the view out of the door in the living room across the paving to the rose bed.
The bed is edged by forget-me-nots in early spring before the catmint takes over. The colour of the nepeta compliments the roses brilliantly.
Most of these roses came from David Austin Roses - Gertrude Jekyll, William Shakespeare, Emma Hamilton (as you can see 'names') and Rhapsody in Blue.

Of course there are other roses like this one which was given to us by our son-in-law's parents. This is a colour that really stands out.

Down by the cold frame is Golden Showers - a blast of yellow on a fence. 
It looks like it is just growing in a pot but the bottom of the pot was removed so its roots could spread. 
It is certainly drawing on energy from somewhere. (Actually the gooseberry bed.)

Rosa glauca (or rosa rubifolia) grows at the northern end of the bed and is an arching shrub 
two metres high. It came as a seedling from Wormleighton Hall.
It was not commonly grown until the late 1800s. It is a wild plant from Southern Europe. My aunt thought it was the original red rose of Lancashire but this is not the case - sadly.

I shall finish for now, regarding the roses - here is a view from the south showing massed achemilla mollis in the foreground. If R had her way it and catmint would be 90% of the flowers grown here.

Most of the paving by the house is edged by it and it freely self-seeds everywhere. (A bit too much for me.) (Watch this space in the autumn.)

We were out this morning with friends (the composty ones) looking at roses and stuff when there came a chattering and house martins emerged from the nest we believed was moribund - not so - we are surrounded by whirling birds. What a delight but it does not mean the grey squirrels get a reprieve - we know only too well how much of a pest they are.
Two squirrels deported today in honour of my wife's birthday (Wednesday).

Behind the big damson tree, where the drain was put in, red campion has self seeded but not as much as up in the wood where R cleared the brambles. We have a seedling carpet.

The pond is looking much more mature but a lack of rain means it is not as clear as I would like. We have had some hot weather, two days up here unlike the record temperatures in London where they have had a heat wave. All we get is a hot humid ripple.
We have our damselflies but today we had a male broad-bodied chaser in his bright blue colour.

We are well strawberried, soon to be gooseberried and curranted, not to mention plummed and a little bit greengaged - but the damsons on the big tree have Pocket plums - a fungal disease that distrorts the fruit and makes them inedible. The pear also has some die back but the Bramley Apple looks promising.

The kitchen is full of Mrs Sinkins pinks which are white and smell intensely of cloves - magic - my mother's favourite flower. We also have Dianthus Doris - a pink pink with a deeper coloured central eye - and that also smells heavenly.

We are in a spell of hot weather with thunder and rain in the evenings and nights so I shot out yesterday and mowed the lawn whilst it was almost dry.

Sometimes as I write this blog I think of how remote it seems from the real world and its inhumanity, how badly men and women not only treat each other but do the same to those creatures and plants with which we share this amazing planet.
David Attenborough has it right when he says that the continued population growth is unsustainable. (Optimum Population Trust)
If there is a God or Gods then he/she (neither is right - it?)(or both?) is in the eye of the pink flower above, the scent of the white pink, the glory of a rose, the gift of life, rain in the desert, not in some manmade temple and creed.

Now I am in trouble!

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