Today’s guest picture was not taken by a guest but by me when I was a guest in someone else’s garden this evening.
The weather wasn’t much of a factor however, as I spent the morning driving Mrs Tootlepedal to Dumfries so that she could have a consultation about a cataract in one of her eyes. The hospital was very well organised and everything went on schedule and the upshot was that Mrs Tootlepedal will have a corrective operation sometime fairly soon.
We stopped at a garden centre on our way back for a cup of coffee and found that two plants had been mysteriously purchased when we got back in the car. As one of them is a buddleia, I am hoping for many butterfly pictures in the future.
We had left our daughter Annie at home, as sitting in hospital waiting rooms is not much fun, and she had made a fine pot of soup for our lunch when we got back.
After the soup, I took a walk round the garden. The rain had finally stopped but things were still wet.
We watched a bit of the Tour de France but the stage seemed likely to be quite dull until the finish so Annie and I went out for a walk. Mrs Tootlepedal couldn’t join us as she was still feeling the effects of her eye drops from the hospital but she did suggest a route for us and we took it.
We went through the park to the Stubholm and up the lower slopes of Warbla before dropping back down the track to the Wauchope road and then went home by the Auld Stane Bridge and Pool Corner. There were wild flowers all the way.
Some were delightfully complicated at the stage of their life when we met them.
As we came down the track, we could see very clearly the layers of sedimentary rock that underlie our green hills.
I couldn’t pass the Auld Stane Brig without looking at the lichen.
On spite of incessant photo pauses, we got back in time to see the mighty Cav win the TdF stage and this almost made up for the comprehensive defeat of Andy Murray at Wimbledon later in the day (which thankfully we didn’t see).
The reason we didn’t see the tennis was that it was time to say goodbye to our daughter and take her to Carlisle to catch her train back to London.
After we dropped Annie off, we continued south to Dalston. Jenny, a friend of ours who is in the Carlisle Choir, had heard that we are trying to grow a mini wildflower meadow on our front lawn and had offered us some plants which she was digging out of her wildflower garden. This was a kind offer and as we were keen to see her garden, we were delighted to go down to pick the plants up.
Her garden is small but perfect and the picture at the top of this post shows part of it. As well as making it as ecologically sound as she can, Jenny has put a great deal of thought into the the design and colour scheme of her planting.
We couldn’t stay too long though so we packed up her gifts and made our way home in time to have a light supper and greet Mike and Alison who came round for their customary Friday night visit for conversation (Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal) and music (Alison and I).
I was a bit tired after two days of driving about and made more than one mistake as we played away but as always, even if not quite playing perfectly, communal music was a great joy and a good way to end an interesting week.
For some reason the number of bird visitors to our garden has taken such a dive that in the short time that I had to look out of the window today, not a single opportunity to catch a flying bird was on offer. I can only assume that the recent warm weather has produced a bumper crop of food for the birds in the woods round the town but it is odd, because the seed level in the feeder has been going down very steadily until the last few days.