Plan B


Today’s guest picture is a very fine harpsichord, built in 1999 after one built by one of the Ruckers family of Flemish harpsichord makers of the late 16th and early 17th C.  My sister Susan heard it played at a concert recently.  Lucky her.


This was the last day of our very warm and dry spell and, with only a light wind, it would have been an excellent decision to get up early again and have a cycle ride before breakfast.  However, you can’t expect miracles and by the time that I had risen and had breakfast, it was time to go up to the Moorland bird feeders.

I had a quick walk round the garden before I left.

A pretty new iris has come out
Pale colours were the flavour of the morning

Mrs Tootlepedal enjoys making use of ‘wild’ flowers in her garden….

foxglove and honeysuckle

…as well as more cultivated flowers.  She has planted out some dahlias which she has grown from seed and the good weather has encouraged them to produce flowers already.


I had promised Sandy that I would fill the feeders for him as he is away on holiday and  I was very happy to do it, as the feeder site is in a beautiful spot and there are often interesting birds to look at.  Mrs Tootlepedal came with me in the hope of seeing some passing raptors.  She was disappointed but I sat in the hide and watched several woodpeckers very happily.


On the moor, great swathes of bog cotton drifted down the slopes.

bog cotton

When I got home, I deferred any cycling plans and enjoyed some scones and coffee with Dropscone instead.  He had found that he had some cream that was past its best so he had incorporated this into the scones and they were even better than usual.

When he left, cycling was put back again as I had four bits of grass crying out for a mow and I managed to do three of them before I had to retreat into the cool indoors.

I managed the fourth one after lunch and was quite pleased to have done them all on a single day.  The combined area is not large…


…but it was quite hot enough to make any work quite hard.  The drying green and the greenhouse grass are cut with an electric hover mower and the front and middle lawns with a traditional push mower.  The front lawn still needs work to help it recover from being neglected last year when we failed to turn it into a meadow.

In between the mowing, I took breaks with my camera in hand. The little butterflies were back.

orange tip butterfly

And there were a few more bees than of late.


There was a glimpse of colour which turned out to be the very first orange hawkweed of the summer.

orange hawkweed

I thought that I should show the very dark irises in context.


They are inconspicuous and striking at the same time.

The sunshine has brought a lot of colour out and I took a look at some colourful corners.

The bed round the bird feeder
The bed round the bird feeder
roses daisies iris and rocket
Roses, daisies, iris and rocket
iris, daisies and rhododendrons
Iris, daisies and rhododendrons
The little red rose  Moyesii is a colourful corner in itself.

After I had finished the last lawn, cycling was very much back on the menu but before I could set off, my chain urgently needed cleaning so I set about this task with some zest.  A clean, well lubricated chain makes a lot of difference to a cycle ride and mine had got so clogged with dust that it had come off while I was changing gear on both my last two rides so I gave it a good deal of attention.

By the time that I had finished that, at a time when the day was at its hottest, I needed another rest.  Mrs Tootlepedal was busy planting out even more dahlias.  I had to look hard to find her in the flower bed.

Prizes for spotting the fairest flower of them all

Then there were the strawberries to water and that took time and finally, I had to admit to the truth.  It was too hot and I was too lazy.  I wasn’t going to cycle anywhere other than the High Street to run an errand.

Plan B involved pro relaxing.  It worked well.

I got up enough strength as a result to have one last walk round the garden with the gardener.  I took a bee’s eye view of some flowers.

Primula and euphorbia
iris and allium
Iris and allium

A bee was having a bee’s eye view of its own nearby.


I might have enjoyed a late pedal in the cool of the evening with  Mrs Tootlepedal but she went off to the annual supper outing of the Ewes Women’s Rural Institute, of which she is a member.   This is Langholm’s answer to La Dolce Vita and she had a good time.  While she was gone, I did more well judged relaxing.

I  might be sorry that I didn’t get a pedal in, however warm it was, because the forecast is offering a chance of rain for every day for the next seven days but I can’t deny that we need a little rain so I won’t complain.

The flying bird of the day is not a great photo but it is out of the ordinary for me so I have put it in anyway.

flying woodpecker





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

41 thoughts on “Plan B

  1. I did spot the fair Mrs T, she is to be congratulated upon her garden, it is a riot of colour. I do still love those dark irises though. Fabulous flying shot to end on!

  2. I did like the FBotD and I spotted the fairest flower too. Our day was one of two halves. The morning was cold and cloudy – 11C again; the afternoon was much brighter and soon warmed up to a very acceptable 19 C. I am amazed at your dahlias being in flower already. Ours have only just emerged from the soil.

  3. It seems odd that the bog cotton would grow in a neat stripe like it has.
    I think you’ve already got a piece of your meadow in the bed around the bird feeder. It doesn’t look very much different than the meadows I see here.
    The iris certainly looks black in that photo.

    1. There are areas where the bog cottons covers the whole area and others where it grows in stripes. As to why, I couldn’t say.

      The front bed did look good, taken from that angle. I thought it was quite meadow like myself.

  4. I bet the scones were good with the added cream! When I used to make fresh goat cheese, I would save the whey for Rick for his bread and pizza dough making.

    The photo of the Rosa moyesii caught my eye. I looked it up. It looks very much like some unidentified “wild” roses here growing back towards the woods and along one fenceline. The leaves and growth pattern is unusual, and I will take a better look tomorrow. They may be what we have growing here in places. Probably a few were originally planted by the old owner’s parents.

  5. While I always enjoy the photos that you shoot while cycling, it’s easy to see why you stayed home in the garden today, the flowers are stunning! You’ve got a slice of heaven right there in the gardens, thanks to Mrs. T, as well as your expert work at the compost piles.

  6. TP I wont be commenting and maybe not even reading as we are off cycling to Holland and maybe Germany tomorrow. I do enjoy your posts and those close up flower photos are stunning, thank you for sharing

    1. We have all liked the heat although it is a bit much for me in terms of cycling. It is great just to be able to wander about in a T shirt after last year’s miserable summer.

  7. Beautiful garden flowers ,wild ones and cultivated. You ol’ smoothie – with your compliments to the Head Gardener- she deserves much praise for her excellent gardening skills. Love the flying bird.

  8. I forgot to say that I always love the presentation of your blog with such a variety of boxed photos, single photos etc. It’s a joy to read.

  9. Tom, thank you for the lovely tour of your gardens, and yes, I did spot Mrs. Tootlepedal. The unusual angle to the FBOTD allows us a look at that most will never see. Is it a Chaffinch? Beautiful!

  10. I love the bog cotton. Your gardens are looking very happy and I’m glad to see you are getting more bees. Perhaps, it’s time to think about a hive of your own though?

    1. We have thought of it but we live surrounded by too many neighbours for comfort and I am allergic to bee stings so it would be too nervous-making to actually keep bees.

  11. Nice woodpeckers. I love to watch them, but they’ve been teasing us. The hammer away in the woods, and the pileateds laugh at us, but they are very good at hiding behind the trees.

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