Impaled upon the horns of a dilemma

Cafe overlooking the Serpentine, Hyde Park

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who has been enjoying café society in the sunshine on the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park.

Cafe overlooking the Serpentine, Hyde Park

In a surprise but very welcome move, Mrs Tootlepedal invited me out to lunch today.  The Buccleuch Centre, where she often helps out, is having an Italian week and she thought that I might enjoy a lasagne.

The weather was better today and this kind invitation gave me a big decision to make.  Should I go cycling before or after lunch?  The question turned out to be too difficult for me altogether and in the end I couldn’t choose and didn’t go cycling at all.  Choice is very overrated in my view.

The plus side was that I had a relaxing morning, had a good lunch and then did some useful work and had a walk in the afternoon.

Mrs Tootlepedal decided that it was time to lift the first of the early potatoes and the results were very satisfactory.

first new potatoes

We got a good crop of clean potatoes from the first row of plants and Mrs Tootlepedal soon had the space replanted with spinach (well protected from the marauding sparrows).

I took  time to wander round the flowers.  Yesterday’s rain hadn’t done any damage and even the sodden poppy looked quite perky.

poppy, lily, nasturtium and clematis

There is colour all around….

sweet william potentilla, orange hawkweed

…although the orange hawkweed is going over.

The paler astrantia is pulling in the bees.

astrantia and bee

The star of the morning was a rose once again.

rose

The lasagne at the Buccleuch Centre was absolutely excellent and as it was washed down by a glass or two of red wine and followed by coffee and cake, I was more than happy to sit down when we got home and watch the final kilometres of an enthralling stage of the Tour de France.

When it had finished, I went out for a short walk, just to work off the lunch.  I chose a route along the river to the Kilngreen, then over the Sawmill Brig, across the Castleholm and home by way of the Jubilee Bridge and the Scholars Field.

I saw a large number of ducks on the Kilngreen and among the usual mallards there was a unusual white duck.

ducks

It was sitting peacefully with the regulars but I have no idea where it has come from.

I got another surprise when I got to the far end of the Kilngreen and saw these two very large fungi.

kilngreen fungi

As I often pass this way and have never knowingly seen them before, either they have grown very quickly or I am not paying  as much attention while I walk along as I should be.

While crossing the Castleholm, I took a look at the horse racing track which is being prepared for a race meeting this weekend.

Castleholm racetrack

On the outside of the neatly mowed track, all is long grass and clover.

grass and clover

After leaving the racetrack, I passed through a gate with a rotten top to one of its gateposts.

A rotten gatepost is always worth looking into.

fungus on gatepost
It’s a different world in there.

I passed many trees with things hanging from them….

tree seeds and fruits

…and noticed that the sheep were keeping a very low profile today.

sheep

I liked this….

haw

…and I liked this even more.

umbellifer

On my way home, I peeped over the hedge into a couple of gardens….

hydrangea and lupin

…and then I peeped over our own hedge to show the view of the garden that passers by see.

garden view

We had some of the new potatoes with our tea and they tasted very good.  I hope the next rows turn out as well as the first one has.

During the day, Mrs Tootlepedal and I were busy with our bow saw and we cleared a literal backlog of logs by sawing them up ready for the stove.  In addition, I mowed the middle lawn which is looking better for its dose of weed and feed and sieved the last of the compost in Bin D.

I know readers will be feeling that they haven’t seen enough compost pictures recently so here is Bin C and Bin D with half the compost removed from Bin C into Bin D.

compost bins C and D

I will shift the other half later. Exciting times.

In the evening, I went off to practise with Henry’s Common Riding choir.  We now have three basses and we are doing our best to provide a sound foundation for the rest of the singers.  The songs are relatively easy and I am finding it most enjoyable to have a sing without any pressure to master tricky parts and memorise large numbers of words.

The flying bird of the day was one of the many young blackbirds in the garden.  It was flying a few moments after I took its picture.

Blackbird

 

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “Impaled upon the horns of a dilemma

  1. Difficult to concentrate on most of your post, mindboggled that immediately potatoes were lifted spinach was in. But I have been remarking that you have been making no mention of tennis these last three days, apparently preferring the sport where wheels carry the participants round. (I’m taking cover.)

  2. That’s not a bad crop of potatoes this early.
    I’m not sure what the large fungi are, or the tiny flames on the gatepost. Those look like some type of sac fungus.
    The compost looks fine and is the reason the garden is so beautiful.

    1. The compost is not too bad. I have been taking as much care as I can with the rough input into Bin A. It is as varied and as chopped up as I can manage.

  3. You’re creating a new trend Tom! I can vision…Removing compost from one bin to the other. Soon you’ll see in all Shopping Malls installing compost bins for people to try their luck with the A2Z Compost Mania. What do you think? 🙂

  4. I was taught early on in our move to a new place that some of those hanging things were called “helicopters.” Kids love ’em as they twirl down from the branch and plant their seeds…they usually come from the Silver Maples, and are usually plucked out as they get everywhere you don’t want them to be.

  5. I love peeping over fences too- anyone peering into your garden would be delighted to see all the lovely flowers with their beautiful colours, your productive veg plot and a neat and tidy compost bins…all worth a look and a sigh!

  6. Our new potatoes should be about ready now. There is nothing better than vegetables and fruit from one’s own garden . Good compost is always a welcome sight.

    That is a whole different world down in the rotten gate post. Glad to have a view of Lilliput.

    The bees seem to really like the astrantia.

  7. I would definitely be peering into your garden if I walked by. What are the yellow clipped balls? They make a great accent to the green. Thanks for the compost photos.

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