Damp squib

Today’s picture is from the heart of London, sent by my sister Mary from one of her walks. This is the end of the Regent’s Canal at Limehouse Basin. It’s a far cry from the London docks of 50 years ago.

Limehouse Marina with passing Docklands Light Railway train
Limehouse Marina with passing Docklands Light Railway train

I had arranged to go cycling early this morning but the weather was very uncertain with frequent heavy showers so Dropscone and I  agreed to give it a miss. I nearly went for a quick pedal in one of the dry spells later on but I didn’t quite  manage to summon up the necessary enthusiasm. I had hoped that the rain would clear away the dust in the atmosphere after the last two dry months and with it my slight breathing problems but all that seems to have happened is that lots of pollen has been released and my chest has actually got a bit worse.  The great thing is that it always gets better again soon.

I enjoyed this family of blackbirds on the lawn while I was having my morning coffee. Dad was having to work hard to feed the two youngsters.


I went to play golf with Arthur in the Wednesday competition in the early afternoon and we were very fortunate in being merely grazed by a couple of heavy showers that passed below us as we played. It was very windy and what with that and the breathing, I had a hard time keeping my concentration going. Arthur, who to put it politely, is a year or two older than me, struggles in high winds and so there was quite a lot of groaning as we went round. We managed the first nine holes not too badly and while Arthur kept going for the second nine, I fell to bits and did not distinguish myself. Still we enjoyed it in a masochistic sort of way.

When I got home, I walked round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal to see what’s new. She asked me to try to capture one of her favourite views. This is along the back path which is at its best in the spring. It is not easy to get the camera to see what you see, as it has an inconvenient habit of noticing things that you ignore when you look but here is the result.

a walk on the wild side

She is excited by the first sighting of the huge red poppies which are one of her favourites.

promise of poppy

You ain’t seen nothing yet as far as these poppies go. Nearby is one of my favourite brash flowers, a peony.


There are more restrained flowers too. This is a geranium.


Not everything in the garden is lovely.


These are broad beans tied up with string against the heavy winds. They may not be the prettiest flowers but they make a good meal.

Mrs Tootlepedal takes a lot of trouble with her planting and here we can see a nice contrast of three greens.

three greens

I like a burst of colour myself and this azalea certainly provides that. It’s my favourite of all the azaleas in the garden at present.


As a complete contrast, here is a sober comfrey.


I am trying to keep a fairly comprehensive record of the garden through the year, so I apologise if any reader thinks that there are too many flower pictures. Blame Mrs Tootlepedal, she planted them.

Two non flowering plants.

salix lanata
A little willow, salix lanata
This spirea keeps its colour very well

I tried to catch some of the bird life but the birds weren’t in a very co-operative mood. I did see a blue tit but not on the willow.

 blue tit

The first rose is going from strength to strength.

rosa moyesii
This is rosa moyesii

I went out after a cup of tea to see if I sat quietly, whether any birds would come and pose for me. They didn’t so I took a couple of longer shots from where I sat. Mrs Tootlepedal answers to the name of Ally and so these are Ally’s alliums.


And here is that yellow azalea with a house and hill in the background.


I am very fond of fruit and I have been checking on the plums.


It could be a bumper year if we don’t get a late frost. Considerable thinning out will be needed if the branches are not break under the weight of fruit. A lot of the potential plums tend to drop off of their own accord but even so, I think I will have to do quite a bit of work.

In between all this garden wandering, I printed and cropped 50 inserts for the Heritage DVDs, so only copying the actual disks is left to do. I managed to put in two weeks of the E & L as well so the day wasn’t entirely wasted by bad golfing and no cycling.

There are still some more flower pictures to come.

cornflour azalea
A cornflower makes a contrast with an azalea

Our son Tony sent Mrs Tootlepedal this gerbera for Mothering Sunday and it has lasted extremely well indoors.


You can see the potentillas along the back wall of the house behind the gerbera.


We were visited by a few goldfinches in the gathering gloom towards the end of the afternoon.


As I write this, I can hear the rain hammering down outside. It is quite a change to get back to more normal weather after our rain free March and April and I hope that this bout of low pressure will slip away soon. Strong wind and heavy  rain together don’t make for good cycling.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

6 thoughts on “Damp squib

  1. Wow – what a colourful garden, Mrs Tootlepedal is so clever and you are such a good photographer, the garden should be in a magazine so that even more people can admire it!

    Sorry about the asthma and hope the rain helps.

    At one time you were supposed to be able to walk across the Limehouse Basin only stepping on boats, they were so closely packed!

  2. Don’t stop putting in lots of flower pictures! I love reading about them and trying to learn their names! My mum loves her garden, and she’s always reeling off plant names – it’s a dream of mine to be able to walk round a garden, and just casually think ‘Oh, the [flower name] are doing well just now…’ Great pictures!

  3. What a feast of colour and bird life. The garden looks fabulous. Hope asthma improves soon.

  4. Well, Mr. Tootlepedal, what a wonderful blog. I look foward to reading it every day. I do not know much about birds, flowers, bicycles or anything very much except photography.

    I really don’t know how you can take the photos, send them to the chemist to be processed and have them in your blog the next day. The mind boggles, and to think that it all started with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum all those years ago.

    Please keep up the good work.

  5. I have a rose moyesii….small…saw a beautiful one at a nursery display garden. I long to know how many years has Mrs. T. been working on this same garden?
    We would be seriously hampered in blogging without digital cameras!

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