A floral feast

Pullman coach

Today’s ‘London Trip’ photograph is a peek into the Pullman coach which featured in yesterday’s post.

Pullman coach

Owing to a miscalculation there are far too many pictures in today’s post but having processed them all, I am too lazy to decide which ones to cut out so they are all here.

For the busy reader here is a synopsis of the day so that reading the rest of the post can be skipped.  Got up, mowed some grass, went for a pedal, went to bed.  Just another day.

For the long suffering and patient reader, here is the fuller version.

It was a dry and pleasantly warm day but the cloud cover never relented until late evening when we had a glimpse of sunshine.

As usual, the first business of the day was a poppy check.

opium poppies
Shirley poppies
Very encouraging
Who needs sunshine!

Other quieter flowers are available.

Queen of Denmark, two clematis and a hosta
Queen of Denmark, two clematis and a hosta. I like the pyramid of clematis in the top right frame

Then I had to run an errand for Mrs Tootlepedal and thin out some radishes before any further action could occur but I managed both of these tasks and mowed the drying green and the green house grass and hung out a load of washing.

I needed a bit of sustenance after all that so I had a lettuce and marmite sandwich and I am beginning to realise that too much of my life has been wasted in not eating lettuce and marmite sandwiches.  Of course it helps that Mrs Tootlepedal has provided an endless supply of fresh lettuces.

Coffee and a crossword merged into a healthy lunch of sardines, new potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce and by this time I had eaten so much that a bike ride was essential.

I checked on the birds in the garden first….

sparrows eating peas
This is what drives Mrs Tootlepedal to despair.
blackbird family
After a stand off, a blackbird parent and child meet in the middle for a snack

Then I set off for a gentle, flat ride.  Most unusually, there was hardly a breath of wind so with the sun behind the clouds, it was a prefect day for cycling if not for landscape views.

I was in no hurry and there were plenty of flowers to keep me happy.

orchids and willowherb
The last two orchids along the Wauchope road and a nicely decorated wall up Callister

I took the road to Gair.  This is always a treasure trove of wild flowers.  Today there was a lot of ragwort all along the road.  I stopped because I was hoping to see a cinnabar moth caterpillar which likes ragwort a lot but I had to settle for this…


…less colourful visitor.  I checked quite a few ragwort out with no luck.

I stopped further along to see how many flowers I could see within a few yards of my bicycle.

Wild flowers

wild flowers

The raspberry was delicious.  I don’t know what the pink furry flower is but it turns into a doleful looking owl as it goes over.

The butterfly was very annoying. Why my camera wouldn’t focus on it was a mystery.  Still the flower that it was settled on was worth a shot in its own right.

wild flower

On the other side of the road, a bunch of thistles were looking good, some in full flower….


…and some, like the writer of this piece, gone to seed.


The most interesting flower than I saw on the Gair road was the great burnet, Sanguisorba officinalis, which grows here every year.  When you first spot it, it looks like the dull head of a plantain but when you get closer it shows up as being a dark red colour and as is so often the case, a closer looks pays dividends.

Sanguisorba officinalis

I cycled on until I came to the Old A74, passing this hedge dripping with honeysuckle…..


…on my way.

When I got to Gretna, I saw a most unusual sight.  As you can see from the photo, it was so still that the windmills were not going round at all.

Gretna Windmills
Not contributing to the grid today.

I was so excited at taking this rare picture that I stepped back and stood on the mirror on my bike and broke it.   I can’t turn my head round while cycling without falling off my bike and  I hadn’t realised just how much I depend upon the use of a mirror to cycle safely.

I pedalled bravely on though, passing pretty but less welcome flowers in the verge.

Himalayan balsam
Himalayan balsam, an invasive pest.

As I was coming towards the border near Englishtown, I heard a great chattering and saw that the starlings have begun to gather.


I hope that we get a good murmuration this winter.

I saw a lot of this peeping out of hedges on my trip.

blue vetch
Cow or blue vetch

…but my camera is reluctant to let me get a close up of it so this group shot will have to do.

I couldn’t miss the daises on the Canonbie bypass.

daisies on the by pass

I met my neighbour Ken out on his bike near Canonbie and we cycled along together for a while.  When we came to a little hill, I had to let him go on as he is a much quicker cyclist than I am.  Uphill is my downfall as a cyclist.

When I got home, I walked round the garden and found that the early potato haulms were looking very sad and collapsed so I thought it best to dig the last six plants up.  They hadn’t fallen on stony ground!

early potatoes

I left them to dry for an hour (they were pretty dry when I dug them out) and then boxed them up.  My diet will have a lot  of potatoes in it over the next few weeks.

I picked and ate raw some of the peas which the sparrows hadn’t got at and then had a last walk round the garden.

There is no shortage of colour.

A Crocosmia reaches the end of the line.
A Fuchsia puts its dancing shoes on
Shy Nasturtium
Phlox contrast

The last flower of the day is a nicotiana…


…and it is right that is should be last as it only produces its delightful smell in the cool of the evening.

It was a delight to stand in the garden after my tea, with the scent of the nicotiana, the colour of the flowers all around and not a breath of wind.  I made the most of it as the forecast for the next few days is not very promising.

The non flying bird of the day, perhaps because it seems to have lost its tail a bit, is a very doleful sparrow indeed.

doleful sparrow


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “A floral feast

  1. I’m not sure what the pink furry flower is but it looks to be in the spirea family.
    I have to use a mirror on my bike too, for the same reason. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to look behind me.
    That’s a nice crop of potatoes!

  2. My goodness – it’s hard to imagine travelling with the level of comfort suggested by the interior of the Pullman coach. Sorry about your bike mirror. I’ve been contemplating getting one of those as I have the same problem with wobbles when I turn my head to change lanes or do anything that could get me run over if I’m not careful. You’ll have to console yourself with many new potatoes smothered in butter!

  3. You should never apologize for the number of photos that you put into a post when they’re all as wonderful as these are. And, I read every word that you type, as I said in my last comment here, for I wouldn’t want to miss anything.

  4. What a delight to see all your photos and your post yesterday was equally wonderful… so many flower photos and your experiences to enjoy. The starlings are gathering here too along with the swifts that are screeching round the house as I write this!

  5. A feast of flowers is a finest kind of feast, as we would say in Maine. Sorry about the mirror. I have the same problem that you have when turning to look on my bike. I don’t have a mirror, but I think one is in order.

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