23 June 2019

Quite a productive week in a couple of key areas even though the weather has continued to be less than magnificent. Longest day of the year yesterday so it’s all downhill from here.

Last Saturday we ventured to the RHS Wisley Garden in Surrey with fellow members of the Moreton Pinkney Garden Club. Not sure if I wrote in the past how Ms Playchute has volunteered to join the committee for this revered village group – this year’s autumn show will be the 77th! We’ve both been members since we came to the village – Penelope because she loves gardening and is always keen to learn more, me because one has to be a member of the Club in order to enter the Autumn Show and what would the Autumn Show be without my award-winning sourdough?

The trip to Wisley  was a grand day out! The coach full of excited gardeners departed Moreton Pinkney about 8.30 and once one passenger had corrected the driver on the route he seemed to be taking, we made our way comfortably down the motorway. Penny had brought sweets so we were all set for the trip.

As we made our way down the motorway I reflected on the achievement of another one of life’s great milestones. There was no longer any doubt that I was a paid-up member of the Old Age Pensioner fraternity. I was one of those OAPs on the coach who arrive en masse at a garden or NT property or such, hobble hurriedly across the forecourt to the nearest toilet before shuffling through the entrance and out, eventually, into the garden. Fortunately, Wisley knows its audience.

Wisley is the “flagship” garden of the Royal Horticultural Society and is an absolute delight – I loved it. We wandered and meandered through a small part of the 240 acres and saw some magnificent flowers, shrubs, trees, formal and informal and wild gardens and some splendid looking fruit and veg. The Allium were in particularly fine form, I thought, but then I think they are simply wonderful, like a firework going off. There is huge hot house which has some towering tropical plantings as well as others with extravagant, bright and sometimes bizarre flowers and foliage. There is a splendid little collection of Bonzai one of which was a very impressive forest. We picked up some ideas for our fruit and veg area and saw some nice ideas for our path up the garden. There were also some very bright and colourful desert plantings which I guess is the direction all our gardening might be going.

Naturally, we spent (a) way too much time or (b) don’t rush me in the plant sale area afterwards. We spent a small fortune but we had a five pound voucher (each) as part of our Old Age Pensioner package! Thankfully, there was a plentiful supply of boxes into which we could carefully pack our multitude of purchases and they were accommodated comfortably on the coach for the journey home. OAP coach trips have a lot to commend them. And, the plants do look great scattered around Penelope’s own Wisley.  

Apologies that there are so many photos – I have weeded out the worst but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Apart from that and the crappy weather there’s not much else to relate. Jessie and Ava have been struggling with a high temperature and a cough and cold this week. So far Penelope and I have avoided contracting the lurgy but I can’t think how. When Jessie was feeling particularly uncomfortable the other evening she was desperate to come up onto my lap and snuggle down while the baseball ticked over in the background. I don’t imagine for a moment that she was keen on the baseball nor that she really wanted a cuddle with Grandpa. But, in her discomfort and crankiness she had refused the offer of a cuddle from her mother and, since Grandma wasn’t around, I would have to do. She had just about got herself settled when she turned to look at me and promptly sprayed my face with a vigorous sneeze! Ah, the joys of being a grandparent. So far though, no ill effects – what are the chances of that?

The crappy weather did have its moment of glory this week – I glanced out the back window the other evening during one of the monsoonal downpours to be greeted with this magnificent double rainbow over our back garden. I stood somewhat mesmerised for the next five minutes or so as it faded in and out – marvellous.

Penelope and I (and Adam for much of the time) have been very busy on a project in the garden – it’s nearly ready for the grand reveal which we may or may not get to next time. All will depend on how busy we are entertaining our very welcome guests. Chip and Leca Boynton are coming for a short visit towards the end of the week. Somehow, I’m not sure Moreton Pinkney can compete with all the attractions of Boston but we’ll do our best.

Lots of love to you all,



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