Today’s guest picture shows two old people in our garden clutching an invitation to join a musical garden tour. The tour looks very inviting but the bus fare to get there might be a bit steep. All will be explained later.
The day started with an early visit to the physio to check on progress with my hip and get advice on my thumb. She was very pleased with my hip mobility and gave me some sound advice on how to manage the necessary exercises to keep it working and discharged me from her care with liberty to return if things went wrong again.
I had been a bit worried by some pain in my foot while walking recently and thought that it might be coming from my hip problem but having wiggled my toe about, she reckoned that both my toe and my thumb are simply suffering from arthritis and gave me a further simple set of exercises which she thinks will help a lot. I have great faith in exercises and will follow her programme and see what happens.
When I got home, I made a beef stew in the slow cooker and then mowed the front lawn and applied some buck-u-uppo to the worst patches. It is slowly improving.
Then I took a little time to walk round the garden.
The yellow tulips are going out in style…
…and a colourful clump near the kitchen window are coming to the end of their run too…
…while others are lasting better.
The back path is looking quite colourful with blue and white bluebells, the rhododendrons and a lot of potential alliums.
Hidden away in the bed on the left a camassia and a tree peony are developing well.
The strawberries are looking very healthy but the lack of bees and the cool mornings have meant that many of the flowers are not going to bear fruit so I was pleased to see at least one bee in the garden today.
I was also pleased to see an anemone in flower as I enjoy taking photographs of them because of their very rich colour.
I was just shifting a bit of compost from Bin A into Bin B (the contents of which have recently been transferred to Bin C) when the main business of the day arrived.
I had recently received an email from a lady who is friends with a blogger called ‘Mrs Tangly Cottage’ from Ilwaco, on the north west pacific coast of the USA, whose posts I read every day. She told me that she and her husband were on holiday in Britain and as they would be passing near Langholm on their tour, she would be very pleased to be able to visit me and send back a picture of Mrs Tootlepedal and me to her friend in America.
She and her husband arrived bang on time and we gave them a tour of our garden.
They admired Mrs Tootlepedal’s greenhouse.
After our walk round the garden, we retired for lunch at the Eskdale Hotel and we learned a lot about the area where they live on the banks of the mighty Columbia River where it meets the sea. Local fishermen will be very depressed to find out how many salmon Phil can catch in a year, not to mention the crabs and oysters he can collect as well.
After lunch, we left Mrs Tootlepedal to get on with some gardening and I took Phil and Nancy for a walk along the Esk.
I was a beautiful afternoon and Langholm was looking at its best.
As we crossed the Jubilee Bridge, I suggested that if we trod quietly, we might see the nuthatches and, very conveniently, we trod quietly and we did see the nuthatches flitting in and out of the nest hole. I didn’t have my good bird camera with me but I took a shot or two with the Lumix just for the record.
We spent a little time watching the nuthatches and then walked up to the Duchess Bridge past some curious sheep and saw some pretty azaleas as we walked…
…back down the Lodge Walks…
…stopping to admire phantom insects etched by nature into the end of a sawn tree…
…before crossing the Jubilee Bridge again. We had another look at the nuthatches there…
…but the wild life that we saw couldn’t compete with the charm of the minister’s large flock of chickens. Phil and Nancy are chicken owners and they were delighted to see his hens ranging freely across his garden.
Nancy organises musical garden tours and she kindly gave us a brochure for the tours and assured us that we would be welcome to take part in one should we visit the area. This made us very happy as you can see from the picture at the top of this post.
We offered then a cup of tea on the return to the house but the needs of their tour were pressing and they left us and set off on a visit to Glasgow.. They have already visited Wales, where they crossed the The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct by boat. This famous aqueduct was of course built by Thomas Telford, born a few miles from Langholm. After a visit to the Lake District yesterday they are now intending to ‘do’ Scotland and Ireland too. I was lost in admiration for their energy.
They were a delightful couple and it was a great pleasure to spend time with them. It is always exciting to meet someone that you have only read about in the blogosphere in real life. It would be good to take part in a musical garden tour but my aversion to flying makes it unlikely that we ever will and I will just have to read about them.
To round off the day, I went out after tea to play trios with Isabel and Mike and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
No flying bird but a rather fuzzy flying bee of the day instead.