Sunday, June 10, 2018

Bees of Chester

I didn't leave the house yesterday, except to walk the dog in the morning and then work in the back garden. It was fabulous. I can't remember the last time I had a day like that.

I got our three cow parsley plants into the ground, as well as a few primroses that I bought in the spring for a hanging basket and that have now gone to seed. I'm hoping they'll take root and come up next year. I see all those wild primroses growing in the cemetery, so I don't see why we can't get some going in our garden.

While I was digging (more holes -- ugh) in the wildflower area I encountered the usual debris we find back there -- broken bricks, broken glass. It was evidently a trash heap for the construction of this house. Among the detritus I found this:

It's a plastic tag. I figured it came off a piece of garden equipment -- a beehive, maybe? When I brought it inside and washed it off, I found this on the other side:

Turns out that Bees of Chester was a plant nursery, apparently well known for breeding roses. (As I gather from trusty Google.) It's been out of business for years, but this tag must have come from one of their plants, probably the rose hybrid known as Princess Margaret of England.

The Princess Margaret is a big pink tea rose, and we do indeed have two pink rose bushes at the side of the garden. (I picked one recently, remember?) At least one, if not both, must be a Princess Margaret. Et voila -- mystery solved!

Anyway, I got a lot done in the garden. Everything is in the ground that needs to be, and I picked up all the half-eaten green walnuts that the squirrels have gnawed off our walnut tree (a daily springtime task) and dead-headed the roses and mowed the grass. I also finished a depressing issue of The New Yorker, detailing how Donald Trump is destroying the American civil service and the diplomatic corps -- I cannot wait for the mid-term elections, and yes, I have already requested my overseas ballots.

Then I moved on to David Sedaris's new book, "Calypso," because after that Trumpian reading experience I needed something light and humorous. And I managed to take a nap, to make up for Olga's early wake-up call yesterday morning.

Dave, meanwhile, was at our school's graduation ceremony in Westminster. I never go to graduation, and every year I feel guilty for skipping it -- but I'm not a teacher and I don't have the same relationship with many of the kids that the teachers do. Beside, someone needs to stay home with the dog, right?


  1. I thought that you had a panda in the garden at first glance!! Lovely colourful space.

  2. Beside, someone needs to stay home with the dog, right? Wrong! I am sure that those proud school leavers would have all been looking around for their favourite librarian and realising your absence a mood of disappointment will have fallen over the entire ceremony.

  3. Oh! Your garden!
    And like Frances I was wondering where the panda got in.

  4. I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one who thought you'd gotten a panda! Great solved mystery of the roses. It's good to stay home and work in your beautiful garden.

  5. Awwwwwwww....that is a beautiful photo of your garden in bloom. It's right up there with your best street scenes; almost like an academic study but composed with a dash of humor. Love it.

  6. Most developed places leave a lot of trash behind.

  7. Wow, your garden looks fabulous. That bench out there is a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and admire your work.

  8. Great blooms and interesting detritus...

  9. Your garden is so lovely!! I love that you take the time to see the details and investigate things, and now you have a name for your roses! I don't comment often, but I would like to say that I am enjoying your posts and photos! Also, we share the same views on things politically, but it's a nice balance to focus on the beauty in the garden also. I enjoyed the notes on your London loop walk also, something I can only do through someone else's eyes. Thank you. Have a great summer!

  10. Hello again , I like your posts, and you sound like a nice guy, but it would be really good if you could reply to comments ! I might have to give up on you if I am not getting anything back! Is that a bad comment from me? I hope not. I like to have a rapport with people I comment to. x

  11. PS I live in Harpenden . I have 2 dogs, and am a retired part time bank gardening and dog walking !

  12. Wow! Your garden looks amazing! All your hard work is very visible. How lovely to have such a romantic space, your own wild English garden.

  13. Frances: Ha! I can see it, although technically Olga's spots are brindle and not black (not that you could tell from that distance). As for commenting, I have to admit that I am terrible at responding to comments on my own blog. I usually blog in the morning and if there's time (which there often isn't) I respond to the previous day's comments. But I read and appreciate EVERY comment EVERY day -- except the ones from the Thai spam bots, which I delete immediately -- and I try to catch up with commenters on their own blogs if I know where to find them.

    YP: Oh, thanks for that! Reverse psychology?!

    Ms Moon: She's a squirrel-eating panda!

    Robin: It really was good to have a day to just catch up at home.

    Vivian: Thank you! Olga always provides a dash of humor.

    Red: Way too much trash!

    Sharon: Yeah, that's our nightly wine and/or gin&tonic spot!

    E: Thank you! Are you feeling better?

    StillWater: Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I try to absorb as much political news as I can stand, in order to stay informed, but my daily dose of beauty -- whether in the garden or elsewhere -- definitely keeps me sane! Glad you enjoyed the LOOP adventure.

    Frances: YOU AGAIN! (Just kidding. See my top response. :) ) You have a very cute dog!

    37P: Thank you! If you'd told me ten years ago I'd have anything like this, I wouldn't have believed it. If only I owned it!

    Catalyst: Thanks! Not very Arizonan, eh? :)

  14. your garden looks great. nothing better than a day puttering around in the yard with a feeling of accomplishment.

  15. So satisfying to have identified your roses, I'd imagine! That is a lovely shot of the garden and Olga. And yes, someone should stay home with the dog; I'll back you up on that :D

  16. Thanks for the reply Steve. Good to feel a connection. My " cute" dog was about 4 months old in that photo......he will be 5 on 14th June ! Mini schnauzer, as you can see, and I am proud of how I have trained him.....just to be a normal family pet, who mainly comes back when called, which is the most important thing I think! We call him Alexi. There is also a yorkie who lives with us, but belongs to an elderly lady, and she just has her during the day for company as she is unable to cope with vet visits/flea/worm treatments etc etc. She also gets rushed off to hospital every so often and the dog would just be left if she wasn't under my care! Have a good day....lovely sunshine here in Harpenden at the moment.