Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia, who has temporarily deserted Somerset to visit friends in Yorkshire where she saw this traditional scene at the Shipley cricket ground.
At least it stopped raining here today for the most part but it remained grey and windy which was a disappointment. I had foolishly stayed up into the wee small hours of the morning to watch Mo Farrah win his second gold medal so I was even greyer than the weather.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and since cleanliness is next to godliness, I tidied up the kitchen in a leisurely but thorough manner while she was out.
When she came home, we had a stroll round the garden, catching up on the dead heading that we had missed in the rain.
Non gardeners may be baffled about the repeated references to dead heading but plants grow flowers to produce seeds and if the seeds are left, the plants think that their job is done and stop producing new blooms. With flowers like poppies and cosmos, taking off the heads of the flowers that are over before the seeds are set, encourages the plants to produce new blooms and keeps the colour in the garden going. Tough on the poor hard working plants but great for us.
The proof of the pudding….
It works for cornflowers too…
…though they are more fiddly to dead head properly. That is why, the gardener and I try to start each day with a walk round the garden, snippers and a bucket in hand.
The dahlias are others that benefit from dead heading.
A light drizzle started so Mrs Tootlepedal went inside to put a few miles in on her bike to nowhere upstairs and I made some potato latkes for our lunch. Since we have a good crop of potatoes and onions from the garden to get through, potato latkes may appear quite frequently on our menu over the coming weeks.
After lunch we foolishly turned on the telly and two hours later were still sitting there as the Olympic men’s marathon finished. Luckily this is the last day of the great event so we may get our lives back.
Overwhelmed with a sense of guilt about our idleness, we leapt up when the race finished and while Mrs Tootlepedal went out into the garden, I got the fairly speedy bike out and went for a briskish pedal round my standard 20 mile loop.
When I got back, I found a large heap of evidence of gardening activity.
Mrs Tootlepedal is full of ideas for next year’s garden. She likes the way this bed at the end of the front lawn has turned out…
…and is intending to have a similar bed on the other side of the centre path. This will entail digging up and shifting a very large and ancient azalea but she is not daunted. She never is.
I had a good walk round while she continued her tidying up activities. I have been too gloomy about the plum crop. It looks as though it will be very fruitful….
…if we can just get enough sunshine to ripen the fruit. I have sampled the first few to ripen and they are tasting delicious.
In the vegetable garden there is lots to look at as well.
My current favourite flowers have survived the rainy days very well and are looking better than ever.
The cardoon flower is the only one of several heads to have come out. If the rest actually flower, it should be a great sight.
The poor old Golden Syllabub on the other hand is really not enjoying the weather at all and I had to hold the flower up in one hand to get a picture at all.
This is a pity as it is a very pretty flower in good conditions.
I like clematis a lot and Mrs Tootlepedal has a good selection out at the moment…
…but they too could do with some better weather to bring out the best in them.
While we were in the garden, we were disturbed by the clatter of hooves as several horses and riders passed the end of our road.
We didn’t know what the riders were up to but we were glad that we were not still living in reiving times when the clatter of hooves in this area might signal the loss of your cattle and the burning of your house.
I was hoping to go for a bird watching walk after I had changed out of my cycling gear but the clouds overhead were thickening all the time and by the time that I had looked at the perennial nasturtium…
…it had become too dark for the zoom lens so I retired indoors and stayed there.
Although the Olympics are over, we will have the daily highlights of the Vuelta (Tour of Spain) cycle stage race to keep us entertained over the next three weeks. If you could get fit by watching sport, we would be the fittest people in the world.
No flying bird of the day then but a fine flower to make up for that.