Today’s guest picture is another from our daughter’s visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in May. She took many pictures of the show gardens but this was one of my favourites.
The hills were covered in misty clouds when we got up but the forecast offered us a warm, sunless day with the faint possibility of rain later. With the temperature at a very tolerable 18°C and the wind very light indeed, it seemed like a perfect morning for a pedal.
And so it proved.
I had in mind a circuit of about 40 miles and in the end I found a route of 45 miles that was undemanding, varied and offered a feast of things and views to look at. These were somewhat wasted on me though as I found myself in a distinctly head down and pedal mood and only stopped when I met a traffic jam….
… or needed to top up on a banana near a splendidly beflowered front gate for a big house….
…or for a second banana at Longtown before the last push home. The gravel pits were looking very peaceful….
…and a flowering tree (probably an elderberry) beside the road caught my eye while I munched away.
There is still plenty of cow parsley in the verges with lots of buttercups, geraniums and red campion but when I got onto the bike path at Hagg-on-Esk as I was nearing home, bird’s foot trefoil and clover were the outstanding eye catchers.
I surprised myself by feeling very chirpy when I got home and when Mrs Tootlepedal suggested a cycle ride down to Canonbie after lunch to visit the café in the church there, I was happy to go along with her.
I took a walk round our garden before we left.
The irises are at their best.
I had a raft of colour to pick from and I chose the Weigela, which is flourishing…
….and three musk flowers in a row….
…and a bee on a geranium just to celebrate having at least one bee in the garden.
There were a few more bees but at this time of year on a warm day like this the garden should be full of the sound of buzzing whereas today, I had to strain my ears to hear any at all.
Once we got going, Mrs Tootlepedal was in fine cycling form and we whizzed down the six miles to Canonbie at over ten miles an hour. I was on my slow bike and had to pedal hard to keep up with her.
We leaned our bikes against the wall round the church…
…and wondered for a moment if the lichen was trying to spell out a message or paint a picture before going into the modest side door….
…and meeting the object of the whole exercise, the home made cake stand.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a fruit scone from the top and I had a slice of the good looking (and tasting) cake on the bottom.
The café is run by volunteers for the good of the local community and the food is not only tasty but very reasonably priced as well. We will try to fit in another visit soon.
The journey back was not quite so swift as the trip down as we had both a gentle wind and a gentle gradient to face but we went very well and had time and energy to look at the verges as we went along. We are entering the age of the grasses.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that this fine clump might be fox tail grass.
I couldn’t resist another look at the birds foot trefoil. They are often a bright red when they come out.
We were a bit a worried as to whether we might get rained on as we pedalled but the weather stayed fair until just after we got home. When a light rain started, we congratulated ourselves on our very good timing but when it stopped a few minutes later, we went back to watering the garden.
I had a last look at our garden colour….
…and then went in for a sit down and a look at the crossword.
I had just finished the crossword when I realised that I hadn’t made any effort to catch a flying bird of the day so I picked up my camera, more in hope than expectation, and looked out of the kitchen window. Within seconds, a siskin had obliged. It was rather late in the day both literally and metaphorically so I was very pleased to get anything at all.