I sat by the pond to do some editing but the damselflies flew in!

This afternoon the sun came out and  the humid oppressiveness of the past few days lifted; the air was warm and scented by roses, with just a soft breeze blowing, so I decided to sit by the pond to continue editing Ellie’s story.  Ten minutes later the damselflies arrived in large numbers; I had seen the odd one or two about over the last couple of weeks but today’s visitors were a photographic opportunity I could not let slip by.

2 common blue and 1 large red

9 common blue flying too fast for the mode I was using!

9 common blue flying too fast for the mode I was using!

1 common blue; worth clicking on for a clearer view

I failed to capture a decent shot of the frog in the reeds but I’m sure I heard him saying “eddit, eddit, eddit.”

The first rose of summer

One of the roses is flowering and half a dozen of the others have burgeoning buds that will soon open and release their exquisite fragrance; sadly, if this strong north-easterly wind does not stop blowing, nobody will be able to smell it although the residents of the neighbouring village might just catch a whiff as it hurtles past.

Many people who are avid readers of whodunits but not particularly keen gardeners will still know about the thornless climbing rose “Zephirine Drouhin” which appears in Agatha Christie’s story “Sad Cypress.” The photograph I took today shows a sport of that variety, also thornless, called “Kathleen Harrop” but this one is much less well known. It grows against a wall of our house and I have used it in my manuscript as a clue for Ellie.

Kathleen Harrop

Kathleen Harrop

Pastel colours in a late spring herbaceous border

late spring exuberance

late spring exuberance

The iris is that old favourite Jane Phillips, one of the few good garden plants growing here when I arrived over forty years ago. The white sweet rocket (hesperis matronalis) is a bit battered by the wind but on a calm sunny evening it fills the garden with scent. The centre of the bed is lacking colour this month because the plants died during the winter and I am still dithering about replacing them.

Next month I shall need to trim the hedges but for now they are resplendent in their spring-green foliage.

photo copyright Lynne Revette Butler

Iris Florentina with raindrops

The spring flowers in my rather exposed country garden are suffering from the cold, wet, windy weather so I am picking more than usual for cut-flower arrangements indoors.

fleur de lys 1

outside with raindrops

The rhizomes of Iris Florentina (now, apparently, properly called Iris Germanica florentina) are the source of “Orris Root”, once widely used in herbal medicine, but now chiefly used in the production of perfumes.

fleur de lys 2

newly picked, in the greenhouse

The flowers have their own delicate scent but the lily-of-the-valley are overpowering it out in the garden.

perfection 6 hours later, ready to be permanently captured in the dry, warm darkroom

All photographs copyright Lynne Revette Butler

The Restoration of a Gertrude Jekyll Garden

I recently visited the garden of the Manor House at Upton Grey, designed by Gertrude Jekyll  in 1908 when she was 65.

By the time Rosamund and John Wallinger bought the Manor House in 1984 the garden was little more than an unkempt jungle; it is now considered by many to be the most accurate restoration of a Jekyll garden in existence.  My photographs show the burgeoning green growth of spring;  for photographs taken in summer and details about visiting the garden please use this link to the Wallinger’s website  http://www.gertrudejekyllgarden.co.uk.

The Yew Tree is thought to be over 2,000 years old; the close-up shows a hollow centre and new outer growths of the trunk as described in my earlier post Y is for Yew Trees.

View towards the Rope Walk

The Nuttery

The Nuttery

View from The Tennis Lawn

Formal Garden from The House

Formal Garden from The House

The Yew Tree

The Yew Tree

Wild Garden Pond with Ancient Yew at centre back of photograph

Wild Garden Pond with Ancient Yew at centre back of photograph