Today we went to the garden centre with Auntie, and while she was looking at the
farm produce, I noticed these very interesting boxes of chocolates. Although the
would be quite fun, I think I prefer to spend my pocket money on getting more
actual chocolate, and less on the fancy shapes and boxes. These pitcher plants
catch and drown flies inside the red tubes. They look really good with the other
bright green plants and the green bucket they are in.
This sundial would be useful but I think in my garden there are too many shadows
at the beginning and ending of the day. I really liked this cupped hands water
feature, the problem is that I already have three birdbaths!
We always visit the fish in the aquatics shop. The big koi in the pool are
enormous and they are at least four foot long. There is a side window in their
pool for children and teddies to see them underwater.
This pair are very smart, black with white dots, and white with black dots. The
smartest fish are these two in big stripes, but I forgot to get a photo of their
This floating ball with big painted eyes is an outdoor pond heron scarer. There
are lots of eyes so that there are always two facing upwards, even when the ball
turns and moves. This big magnifying dome is another really good idea, as you
can look down and see the fish clearly with no waves.
Our friend the blackbird is taking advantage of a break in the gardening to
clear up the worms. Later on a chaffinch had a good splashing time in the
birdbath, and I hope he comes back again. We often hear chaffinches but they are
mostly too shy to come down onto the grass.
We spent the morning digging out this old iron frame that used to hold a
cabinet. It was always very weedy underneath. Now everything is clear
and I have planted this holly tree in the space, which had to be moved
from another place where it was not doing very well. It will look good
next to the other variegated holly bush that is already there.
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The fish were in trouble today with a lack of oxygen in their water, and
they were gasping for air, after several hot days and very humid nights.
We immediately went out to buy a really big air pump. I was surprised
that we had to put the plug on ourselves, as most things come ready with
plugs. It is quite heavy, so we are keeping it on the chair until we can
make a strong shelf on the fence for it. I like to have the tubes up
high, away from any passing foxes or cats that might feel like chewing
The bubbles coming up look like a volcano or geyser about to blow, and after the
fishes had got used to it, they really enjoyed darting through and round it. Now
they are much happier and not gasping for air.
A wet day again, although I am glad the garden is getting a good soak. The new
benches are all covered up, and the rain is making pools on the covers. It is
tricky to tip it off without getting wet feet!
The Maid of Kent rose is growing very big and fast, and is covering the
greenhouse window. It will need a good chop back after the flowers have
finished. This young wood pigeon has taken up residence in our garden. He was
being chased off by the older ones, and so I had to make up for it by giving him
extra bits of bread. He only comes at the end of the afternoon, so I am glad he
knows where to find his proper pigeon food, which I think is berries and fruit.
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In the park, these young coot are still keeping to their nest, as somewhere to
sit in safety. As it was early morning, they were all still asleep. The two
coots are on a second nest out in the water.
This magpie is in a friend's garden several miles away. He looks entirely
different from our magpies which seem shorter and more rounded. This one looks
more like a crow. They make the same noise as our magpies, though!
There are several bales of straw in the park pond, and the birds are really
appreciating having some dry islands to sit on. They are very grateful to the
park keepers for thinking of them!
Here is a picture of how our new shopping centre is going to look. When it is
finished, I shall take a picture standing in the same place, and see how they
match up. At the moment it is all heaps of rubble, steel rods and diggers, and
they have made several little windows in the fencing so people can see the
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Today we went to Hall Place gardens. The Cut Flower Garden is very beautiful, as
all the flowers are packed together in blocks and rows. The sunflowers are quite
short, but as they are for cutting, they don't need to be tall.
It was a very hot day and we went straight to the bird watching hide by the
river. Everything was cool and quiet.
Blue Parrot read the notice boards but there were few birds to be seen. He
really likes this giant marble egg seat, sitting in its nest of bent branches
and twigs. We know it is a seat, because the egg has a flat top.
Nearby are the Tudor Fruit Gardens, and these are tiny grapes. Brown Teddy likes
these redcurrants but he thought it would be very fiddly to pick them all. I
told him that they get cut in bunches, which makes it quicker.
Blue Parrot found the raspberry canes, but these fruits were still green. A few
wild poppies have seeded themselves amongst the other flowering plants and I am
glad the gardeners have left them in.
Behind the big house is this raised path and here I am just getting to the top
of the steps. Further down are some lovely waving grasses, with a patch of
sunlight shining in the middle.
This is the view looking back to the raised path on the
left. The big house is behind all the topiary bushes in the distance. The cool
shadows were very welcome as it was getting hotter and hotter all the time.
There is a lot of clipped yew hedging, and Blue Parrot kept finding holes and
looking inside. He thought he might see a bird nest, but it was only bare
branches. This is the herb garden with low box hedging around. I have some
hedging like this in my garden and it keeps everything very neat, and
interesting even in winter. Last winter a big eucalyptus tree had fallen down
across these plants, but I am glad to say that after several months it has now
been taken away and we can go all the way through this part again.
After the herb garden is the sunken garden. It spent all winter and spring under
water, looking like a lake, but now there is grass and some plants. With the
recent thunderstorms, it was still a bit waterlogged on the flowerbed parts. I
found this plaque to Arthur Hodgson and it says he created the sunken garden in
1952. I am glad he did!
Back into the cool shade, and I took a picture of this puddle because you can't
photograph the lovely cool damp smell! Brown Teddy found an even shadier part
under the fir trees and the ground underfoot is all bouncy from the pine
Last of all we spent some time on the bridge watching the two weirs. Although
the water looked cool, it was very hot standing there and so we decided to go
At about bedtime, there were some thunderstorms passing. I took some movies of
the sky and later on went through them frame by frame to get the ones with the
lightning bolts. This is the best one.
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More very noisy starlings. This young one eventually
couldn't eat any more and the parent wandered off to feed itself.
We have moved the box balls to along a path, where they can
grow into a continuous hedge, which means less work trimming. They came up with lots of root
and soil on each one, so I am sure they will
survive the move. This is my favourite clay pot but it kept going mossy slimy
green when it had soil in it. I scrubbed it all off and it is now being kept
dry, with the honesty seed heads in it.
We went to Danson Park in Bexleyheath. We took some old
bread for the crows. They are quick quick to see where the action is and it did not
take long to get a crowd. But as usual they won't come very close, unless it is
to grab a bit very quickly. I like the way they bounce over the ground when they
are being brave for the food! When threw bits to the crow on the rock, but it
kept bouncing off and he didn't feel like running after it. His friends ate it
all but I think he got a piece eventually.
This is my favourite part, a shady pond that leads into the big open lake. It is very quiet and there are a few ducks and
The sides are well protected with brambles, although Blue
Parrot was really thinking about how long it would take for the berries to go
red and black. Brown Teddy's favourite part is the little stream that comes from
the ponds to the lake. There are lots of stepping stones where the water
trickles downhill over the mud and stones.
This is Danson House that overlooks the lake. It is very
smart and clean looking. On the way home, we saw this model of the clipper ship
Cutty Sark in a shop window.
The fish got extra food so our visitors could see them feeding. You can
almost hear the noise and sucking as the fish mill about for the pellets. This
is the exact opposite, with fish lazing about in the blanket weed enjoying the
warmth and sunshine. Later on we had to take a lot of the blanket weed out as it
was getting too thick.
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