Catching up


Today’s guest picture comes from Langholm exile, Irving.  He tells me that he hasn’t seen this recent visitor to his garden in Lochmaben for some time.


It was good to be back home again today after the very enjoyable visit to London but the weather didn’t seem very pleased to see me as it was cold, windy and wet.  In fact it has obviously nor been very warm while I was away, because the grass on the lawns has hardly grown at all.

Poppies have come and gone….


…but we are still  waiting for the Shirley poppies to arrive in numbers.  There were three out today but the weather was so awful that they would open up for a portrait.

The wet weather wasn’t discouraging the bees though.

bees on poppy

The blackbirds have been very busy and they have eaten every single gooseberry off the bush while I was away.  This is a big disappointment as I was looking forward to eating the gooseberries myself.

A dull morning was brightened by the arrival of Dropscone with traditional Friday treacle scones and I caught up on his adventures.  He has been to St Andrews and Glasgow since I last saw him.

I did get out into the garden from time to time…

phlox and white flowers

…to find that flowers were still blooming….

clematis and rose

…in much the same way as before we had gone to London.

hosta and astrantia

I spent most of the morning cutting mounts and framing pictures ready for our camera club exhibition which starts tomorrow.  I am hoping that we will have enough pictures from members to make up a good show.

The potatoes are doing very well and there are more than I can eat by myself so although it is a pity to treat new potatoes in this way, I used some to make soup for lunch.  It tasted good.

In the early afternoon, our new neighbour Irving brought four friends round to look at the garden and it was a pity that Mrs Tootlepedal is away visiting her mother as she would have been able to give them a lot more information than I could but they seemed to enjoy the tour.

I took a few more pictures after they had gone.

The rambler roses are tremendous this year.

rambler roses

The post lunch weather was generally drier but still grey and windy and as I was a bit tired after recent excitements, I had a quiet afternoon in.

I did pop out into the garden from time to time. New arrivals were to be seen…

A curious clematis

…as well as the usual suspects…

roses, lilies and honeysuckle

…and a blackbird…


…which was probably suffering from a sore tummy from eating all my gooseberries.

By the time that the weather took a turn for the better….


rambler roses

…it was too late for a walk.

Instead, I picked all the sweet peas that were out and pout them in a vase.

sweet peas

My flower arranging skills have not been highly honed as you can see.

The vegetables are coming along well when they can escape from the attentions of the sparrows.

courgette and runner beans

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and while Mike sipped on a cool beer and caught up with the Open golf, Alison and I made progress on the three new pieces that we are working on.  Since neither of us had done any practising, this was very encouraging.

I try to learn something every day and today’s lesson was that the bread machine makes much better bread if you remember to put the water in.

The second effort was more successful.

The flower of the day is one of  my favourites and I hope to see many more soon.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. If you are still not feeding the birds (are you?), there is perhaps some rough justice in their having first, and last, go at the gooseberries.

  2. Don’t do what we did. After three attempts at making a loaf in our bread maker and them all turning out flat and nasty we decided to buy a replacement breadmaker. While waiting for it to arrive I made a cake which also turned out very badly. My heart sank as I realised we had recently bought a new measuring jug. We now have two perfectly good breadmakers (as Richard decided not to send the new one back in case we might need it for something or someone) and a measuring jug that we don’t use for measuring.
    The rambler rose and the cornflower are very beautiful.

  3. The blackbird does look a bit weighty in that photo. Birds are mainly a problem here with blueberries and grapes. They often stick their beaks in the blueberries to test them for ripeness. Unfortunately they don’t eat the ones they have tested and found unsuitable, leaving them on the bush for me to find. Grapes are just outright pillaged. No testing done.

    We did get some experimental insect netting this year, enough for a couple of rows. Hopefully it keeps out birds, wasps and honeybees. Honeybees will drink juice from the grapes that the wasps have bitten. They want water and nectar, both in short supply here at harvest time. It is not uncommon to find clusters of bees on grapes, or even plums, feeding side by side with wasps.

  4. I’d say that your flower arranging skills are just fine. I know that you’ve shown some flowers inside before, but with as many as you have in the garden, you must have at least one vase full inside at all times, don’t you?

    1. We don’t always have flowers indoors. My asthma can get set off a bit by flowers so Mrs Tootlepedal kindly holds back although she would like to fill the house with =flowers.

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