That warm feeling

Today’s guest picture is another from Liz’s visit to the Chelsea Flower show.  It shows the much admired Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth garden.  It is difficult to know what to think about it without actually being in it.

Laurent -Perrier Chatsworth GardenIt was Dropscone’s 74th birthday today and he celebrated by going round his favourite 20 mile morning cycle ride but found it hard work as the wind has still not relented.  He brought some of his Friday treacle scones round afterwards to be enjoyed with coffee.  I was trying to take a birthday picture of him but he was too quick for me and I only got this fleeting glimpse as he cycled away.

DropsconeAfter he had left, Granny and Mrs Tootlepedal and I left too but this time by car for a shopping trip to Carlisle.  We visited Aldi and managed to pick up a modestly priced garden chair and a very, very attractively priced little back bag for my (fairly) speedy bike.

saddle bagI hadn’t intended to buy the bag as I think it is a little too small for my requirements but it was so attarctively priced that I couldn’t resist it.  I reckon that can pack a small tool kit, a spare tube, a medium banana and an egg roll into it as well as a lightweight rain jacket so it will answer well enough for trips under 50 miles.   Looking at the picture above, you might well think that I need a new saddle too and you might well be right but it is hard to give up something that has been moulded by so many miles and is still pretty comfortable.

The morning was cold and windy and grey but by the afternoon, the sun had appeared and the temperature was finally at a reasonable level for the time of year, even in the wind.  We made the most of it.  Granny came out and supervised Mrs Tootlepedal at work on one of the borders.

Granny in the gardenI was busy with compost.  I sieved the last of the material in bin D for Mrs Tootlepedal to use on her border and then started shifting the material from bin C into bin D.

compostThere can be no better fun than playing with compost but my dodgy back means that I have to be careful to take things gently and the rest of the material will be moved in small stages.  Of course then I will be able to move the stuff from bin B into Bin C.  What joy.

I also mowed the middle and back lawns, easy work because of the dry conditions, and did some shredding so my horticultural enjoyment was complete.

I did need a little sit down with the crossword afterwards though.

By this time, it was so warm and pleasant that there was no alternative to a short cycle ride in spite of the persistent breeze.  I repeated yesterday’s fourteen mile trip and thanks to both the warmth and starting in the afternoon instead of before breakfast, I was able to pedal a lot quicker today.

On account of the recent very cold and windy weather, I have done a very poor mileage in May and I can only hope that June is a kinder month.   Last year I did just under 1400 miles in March, April and May.  This year I will have done just under 1000 miles so there is some serious work to be done to get back to full fitness and that needs good weather as I don’t want to damage my new knee by charging about in inhospitable conditions.

A weather expert last night on the TV told us that the cold spell was caused by stormy Atlantic weather during the past winter.  He wasn’t to hopeful that things would change so maybe today was another flash in the pan.

The garden responded to the warmth while it was around.

lithodora and bee
There were plenty of bees working away
apple and bee
Luckily some had chosen the apples.
soft fruit
Potential strawberries and developing gooseberries

Mrs Tootlepedal has a lot of bluebells but she is sad that many of them are Spanish bluebells (left) and not our native bluebells (right). The Spanish bluebells take over from the natives and she is thinking of digging them up.

bluebellsThe first of the rhododendrons is bursting with colour in contrast to the single azalea flower to have come out so far.

rhododendronazaleaThe fine yellow tulip has also spread its wings, revealing a very delicate red border to its petals.

yellow tulipThe little willow bush near the feeders is flourishing at last.

willowA new arrival is a pair of white and blue Polemonium, commonly called Jacob’s ladder.

polemoniumThe clematis over the back door is starting to look as it should…

clematis…but most of the flowers are still waiting to come out.

All in all, the day was one of promise.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I played a few flute and keyboard sonatas and we both agreed that in spite of enjoying ourselves, a little practice wouldn’t go amiss before we play together again.

It was a busy day and I didn’t have much time to bird watch so the flying bird of the day is a composite leaping and diving great tit.  A bit of a cheat but the best that I could do.

great tit

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “That warm feeling

  1. Spanish or Scottish, it’s hard to beat those bluebells.
    I’m not sure what the weather last winter has to do with what you’re seeing now but I’m not a meteorologist. We had snow up to our windowsills last winter and now we’re in a drought.
    That is a beautiful tulip and a very late willow!
    Happy birthday to Dropscone. I’ll be very happy to be half as healthy at that age.

    1. The stormy weather in the Atlantic drew cold water from below the surface to mix with the relatively shallow warmer waters of the North Atlantic Drift and as a result the sea temperatures in the mid Atlantic are colder than they usually are and this has altered the position of the high pressure systems.

  2. I admire your stylish and sturdy new bike seat bag. I may have to look for something like that in Aldi here. I’m curious about how common cycling is in your local area and whether it is popular among all age groups. As usual your beautiful garden photos continue to delight. You and Mrs T deserve to enjoy such a display after all the hard work you put into it. I’m glad the little willow bush is flourishing at last. It’s very pretty. I haven’t seen anything like that here.

    1. We have cyclists of all ages in the town from the very young to even older than me. There is a keen mountain biking group and a keen road group (sometimes overlapping in membership) so we are well off for cyclists.

  3. Your compost is a thing of beauty! I hereby resolve to not post any photos of our comparatively “rustic” efforts. No wonder Granny was keen to wander the garden – it’s looking wonderful. My favourite today: the red-rimmed tulip although the blue Jacob’s Ladder comes a close second.

  4. Nice bike seat bag, but if you’re worried about it being too small, you should have purchased two of them at the great price. 😉

    A belated happy birthday to Dropscone, may he live for another 74 years.

    The flowers may not be blooming as early as we would like, but the ones that are open are gorgeous!

  5. Beautiful flowers in your garden, and beautifully photographed of course!
    That little black bag looks just the thing.

  6. The sassenachs on the South Coast with whom I drink cups of coffee from time to time claim that they have never heard of a treacle scone, refuse to believe it is delicious and that it’s non-existence is proved by their inability to find one on Google. My baking days are over, but they are keen bakers and I wondered whether Dropscone would be willing to pass on his recipe/technique/tips. Otherwise it’s back to Mother’s Edinburgh Book of Plain Cookery Recipes.

    1. There is no mystery about it. It is a plain girdle scone with some treacle added. Dropscone uses self raising flour. He has put a recipe on the blog some time ago but I will ask him to be so kind as to repeat it.

  7. I may well be biased, but I’m rather smitten with Dan Pearson’s garden. We have bays, A, B, C although bay A is just morphing into a courgette bay, with a possibility of ornamental gourds

    1. We have thought of going down the courgette route but they grow so freely anyway that we haven’t gone there yet. Ornamental gourds sound exciting.

  8. We have Spanish bluebell popping up all over our garden. I haven’t had the time to dig them up this year so I have picked all the flowers and put them in a vase. I hope this will stop cross-pollination at least. More beautiful flowers.

  9. Bluebells are almost impossible to get rid of. My garden had way too many when I moved here and although I did manage to thin them down the little Devils kept popping up where I didn’t want them until I gave up and decided I might want them there after all.

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