Today’s picture shows Mrs Tootlepedal on the platform at Carlisle Station
She is off to the deep south to spend a week seeing her mother and then visiting great gardens with our daughter Annie so I will have the heavy responsibility of looking after not only myself but also a number of plants in the greenhouse.
I have often admired the circular iron work that holds up the roof of the station…
…but I don’t think I have noticed the anti pigeon additions before.
They work very well.
On my way home, I called in at a garden centre to get some sunflower seeds to replenish my stock. They have gone up a lot in price which was a bit of a shock but I think the birds cost me quite a lot less than keeping a dog would. I am mixing the sunflower seeds with a cheaper sort of wild bird food and the siskins and goldfinches don’t seem to mind.
Being a modern sort of garden centre, I was also able to buy some frozen lamb’s kidneys and a selection of excellent English cheeses including a locally produced smoked goat’s cheese which I hadn’t tried before and which turned out to be delicious.
The morning was rather drizzly again so I shelved any idea of putting the bike in the car when taking Mrs Tootlepedal to the station and going on to cycle in Cumbria and just came straight home. After lunch I wandered around the garden in damp conditions. The clematis that is largely hidden by other plants in the back border is trying its best to be noticed.
I don’t remember whether I have put a picture of one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s chickens on the blog before but if I have, here it is again.
It has a friend but he has not been clipped yet this year and is looking a bit shabby in among the hawkweed.
The Welsh and Icelandic poppies are great plants which seem to flower endlessly. This Icelandic poppy is looking very well.
I am waiting for the hostas to flower but I thought this one deserved a picture in its own right. It lurks underneath a spreading weigela.
I went back in and watched a rather boring FI race in an intermittent way on the telly and then roused myself enough to notice that the rain had really stopped and it was quite a nice day . Encouraged by this, I got my cycling gear on and set off up the A7 towards Mosspaul. Sometimes when you get on the bike, you just feel really fit and ready for anything. I thought this was one of those days as I whistled up the road. However, when you look at the computer and see that you are doing 20 mph up hill, you quickly realise that it is probably a quite windy day and the wind is probably straight behind you and that is what is making you feel so perky.
As a result of the helpful conditions, I got up to Mosspaul at 16.3 mph, definitely the fastest in have done it. The road was quiet.
Well, it was fairly quiet except for quite a lot of these noisy creatures.
I was passed by a lot of them going north today. They can give you quite a fright if they are going at speed as they sweep past you. Anyway, in cycling terms nothing is free on an out and back trip so I was ready for a hard pedal back down the hill to Langholm. I really put in a lot of effort going back, more than I had put in going up the hill, and it still took me longer to get home than it had to get to Mosspaul. I was pleased to pause to buy a nougat wafer ice cream on the Kilngreen just before I finished.
The day had warmed up a lot by this time and the sun had come out so I realised that this was the moment to mow the lawns. They could certainly do with a bit of drying out and sunshine, as some moss is making an unwelcome return on the front lawn after all the rain.
There was a frog peeping out from under a lily pad in the pond. I can’t tell whether it is always the same frog that I see, as my frog recognition skills are not very advanced.
He looks happy enough.
In the morning, I had gone out with a couple of bamboo canes and some string to tie up the leaning martagon lilies and I was anxious to see whether they had stood up to the brisk winds.
I took this picture of a single flower from a different plant. They are very weird flowers when you look at them closely.
The red peonies are completely finished now and the white ones are nearly over too. I took this picture of one of the last which is still hanging on. (I am sorry if the pictures are a bit repetitious sometimes but I am trying to keep a fairly full photographic record of a year in the garden.)
The cream irises are getting near the end of their time too but they still look very elegant.
Mrs Tootlepedal has different sorts of roses sprinkled all over the garden and I like these for their cheerful openness.
I heard a plaintive chirping from the feeder while I was sitting on a bench in the warm sunshine after taking these pictures. It was a sparrow and child.
The chirping paid off.
I end with the reflection that any day during which I have had a cycle ride, mowed a lawn and bought interesting cheese must be classed a good day even if these things were balanced by having to say goodbye to Mrs Tootlepedal. She says it is far too hot in the south.