Up with the lark and back with the bats

Today’s guest picture, from my younger son Al, shows Matilda having fun in the Art Park yesterday.


I had a long day today as Mrs Tootlepedal had decided to go to London to buy some secateurs for the garden.  This involved getting up at 5.30, having a quick breakfast and taking her to catch the early train in Carlisle.

When I got home, I took advantage of a handy bed to do some horizontal reading of the newspapers but then got up and mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green before shifting a lot of the compost from Bin C into Bin D.

I also took a walk round the garden to see what had been going on while I was away yesterday.

More lilies had come out.


The one at the back had some nice detail.

For some reason I thought of Darcy Bussell

A second day lily has joined in the fun.

day lily

The new one took some time during the day to open fully.  When I first saw it, it looked like this…

day lily
Is it all right to come out?

The cardoon is now taller than me and has got several flowers in the making.


The first of the flocks of phlox have arrived too.


I couldn’t pass by the roses without a glance.

The queen of Demark and the Wren

Then Dropscone arrived for coffee.  I was shocked when I discovered that he had not brought the traditional Friday treacle scones but more than recovered when he unveiled a big pile of these eponymous treats.

drop scones

They went very well with some strawberry jam.

When he went off to ponder about the state of his golf game, I went out into the garden again and mowed the front lawn, dealt with the last of the logjam….


…turned some more of the compost and looked at a few more flowers.

Clematis is everywhere

Bobbie James has flowers in all stages of development.

rose Bobbie james

The last of the pinks is just holding on when all the others have gone.


And I found that I had been a bit disrespectful about the ageing Ginger Syllabub the other day as new young, vigorous blooms were to be seen today.

Ginger Syllabub

As usual the astrantia was buzzing.

astrantia with bees

You might think that the bees would have taken all the pollen by now but obviously not.

This all made for quite a busy morning and I sat down when I got in, intending to have a bit of a rest and then go out for a walk or a pedal as the mood took me.

Things conspired against me.

First it was Wimbledon, then it was the Tour, then it was Wimbledon and the Tour simultaneously with feverish channel hopping and then, just when I was feeling guilty enough to leap into action, it started to pour with rain.

I took the hint and stayed sat sitting.

I did get out after the rain had stopped but only as far as the compost bins where I finished the transfer from Bin C to Bin D.  No pictures today though as the government has asked me not to put compost bin pictures on the internet for the time being as there is already far too much unstable political excitement about without adding compost into the mix….and I forgot to take any pictures anyway.

I rounded off the garden action by picking some gooseberries and stewing them.  They are delicious with ice cream.

I then adjourned to prepare the Water of Leith post which some of you may have seen and when I looked up, the sun was shining…

The view from the front room window

…but alas, too late to be of practical use.

It was very pleasant though as I drove back down to Carlisle in the late evening sunshine to pick up Mrs Tootlepedal up off the evening train.

She had purchased a very stout pair of secateurs so she felt that her trip to London had been most satisfactory.

I should add that as she had bought the secateurs at the RHS Hampton Court Garden flower show, which she had attended in the company of our daughter Annie and followed that up with a boat trip down the Thames on her way back to London, she felt that the whole thing had been well worth the long day.

I was pleased to see that she had survived the fierce southern heat (28°C or so) and the blazing sunshine.  It was 9°C by the time that we got home.  Different worlds.

On a sad note, I couldn’t show her any of the wonderful display of orchids along the Canonbie by-pass as Genghis the Grasscutter had been along with his mower and mowed them all down.  Tragedy.

The flying bird of the day is a blackbird in the silver pear tree.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Up with the lark and back with the bats

  1. I didn’t know the cardoon was a perennial. In fact I don’t know anything about cardoons other than what I’ve read here.
    Buddleias certainly do well in Scotland. I’ve never seen them reach that size here.
    The view from the front room window shows that it’s time for the taller plants to have their moment in the sun.

    1. These buddleias were very striking but it is generally a strengthy plant.

      I know nothing about cardoons either. We were given this one and it looks as though it might be going to take over the world.

  2. If I were to do any horizontal reading it would soon be horizontal snoozing. You may not have gone for a walk or a ride, but it still sounded as if you had a busy day, and the flowers were fabulous.

  3. Very impressed bty Mrs T’s long day and the amount she packed into it.
    Glad it all went well.
    Splendid ginger Syllabub picture.

  4. Oh, the things I learn from reading blogs. First, I had never heard of the term “secateurs.” Had to look it up and found that here we just call them clippers. Second, I didn’t know that drop scones were an actual thing. I thought it was just a cheeky name for your friend. 😉 Here, we call them pancakes.

    1. We might call them pancakes too. But we also call the big flat things that are cooked in a frying pan pancakes too so ‘drop scones’ shows whihc we are talking about.

  5. Another long and busy day for you both. Love the view from your front room and all the lily shots. Do hope that Mrs T took her camera to the Show and hope she enjoyed the show gardens as there has been a little bit of controversy about them. Everyone should come and see your garden and see how it should be done…composting included!

    1. She didn’t take a camera as she feels that there are quite enough photos in our household already. She didn’t much care for the show gardens either.

  6. I feel very sad and quite a bit angry when I find that verges full of flowers and especially orchids, have been mowed. I discovered that some pyramidal orchids had been mowed here last week. Beautiful roses and a lovely photo of Matilda!

    1. Mrs T says that if the verges aren’t mowed they would soon be full of trees but I can’t see why they they couldn’t wait until the flowers are over before doing it.

      1. I agree. Many local authorities are now delaying mowing the verges partly because of pressure from the public but mainly as a cost cutting measure!

  7. Matilda is growing up fast! I am waiting to see her first bike ride.

    I had to look up Darcey Bussell. I can see why that flower reminded you of a ballerina. 🙂 Our reblooming daylilies are now coming out.

    The flower panels are always favorites, especially those Bobbie James stamens. They are very artistic.

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