Today’s guest picture most unusually comes from Mrs Tootlepedal. She took this picture of our neighbour Liz hard at work in the dam.
Unlike yesterday, I hardly stirred from the house and garden all day. I did pop up to the town after breakfast to oversee the transfer of some unwanted stacking chairs from the Archive Centre to the Langholm Initiative. As this involved merely opening the door and watching as two strong young men whisked the chairs out into a van and then locking the door again, it wasn’t very taxing or time consuming.
Once I got home, the day became all action. It was dry and warm, even if it was cloudy, and too good a day not to get busy around the garden.
Because some work was being done elsewhere, the sluice to our dam was shut and this gave our neighbour Liz the chance to get busy cleaning out the part of the dam that runs along her garden and when I say busy, I am understating the case. When she had finished, with a little help from Mrs Tootlepedal….
…the dam was auditioning for the role of Langholm’s first deep water port.
When most of the work was done, I made coffee for the workers and Liz and Mrs Tootlepedal and I were joined by another neighbour, Margaret and between us, we cured many of the evils that are besetting the world at the moment. It is just a pity that no local or world leaders were present to take our sage advice.
I hadn’t been entirely idle while the waterworks were going on and had managed to mow a patch of grass or two….
…trying my best to ignore signs which may indicate that Attila the gardener has plans to mangle my sward.
Then I dead headed a lot of dahlias, calendula and poppies. The poppies are still looking a fresh as when they first appeared….
…or even fresher.
One poppy had something that was not a bee on it and I was curious and took a closer look…
…without being much wiser as to what it was.
Perhaps because it wasn’t sunny, the poppies were not being pestered by bees to the same extent as they have been recently but there were still quite a lot about…
…and on the dahlias as well.
The large bumble on the left loves this dahlia and stayed on it for hours today. There are so many different kinds of bumble bee that I can’t identify this one.
Infantile humour arriving. Beware!
One I can identify, thanks to my knowledge of Rachmaninov, is this one….
…which is of course, the bum of the flightlebee. (Sorry)
***normal service has been resumed***
The Special Grandma rose, which is well sheltered from the elements, is going bananas.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and Liz started on the dam behind our house on our side of the road and I did some more mowing….
….with the flymo…
….checked out a red admiral in profile and full wing…
…..and then set about trimming the hedge along the road.
As I explained to a passer by, I wasn’t aiming for geometrical precision. Having just been to the south of France where the post impressionist painters worked, I told her that I had been inspired to create a post impressionist hedge, a hedge which didn’t look exactly like a boringly real hedge but a hedge which gave an impression of a hedge as an artist might see it, possibly while slightly drunk. She seemed to think that I had succeeded admirably.
When I had finished the hedge, I went to see what the workers were doing. Attila had her team beautifully regimented…
…and their work rate was impressive. The plan was to cut back the potentillas and thin out the dead wood until the side of the dam was clear, leaving the possibility of some variety next year. The plan was comprehensively executed….
…as were the potentillas.
I helped by barrowing away the prunings and offering helpful advice wherever it was needed….
…though I took time out to admire the fuchsia on our back wall….
…and celebrate the peaceful sharing nature of bee and butterfly on a sedum while I was dropping off a barrowload of branches.
There were innumerable barrowloads of clippings and I was happy to pause again to admire the nasturtiums and cosmos at the front gate on one of the trips.
In the end, even the indefatigable Liz and Mrs Tootlepedal proved human and work was stopped for the day. To celebrate, I provided a large pot of tea and made some toast. The toast was all the better for being eaten with some Saskatoon Jelly. This had been very generously given to me by my Canadian correspondent Mary Jo when she met us in London at the weekend.
It was delicious.
Interestingly, although I had never heard of Saskatoon Jelly, it turns out to come from the plant Amelanchier alnifolia and Mrs Tootlepedal thinks there is a variety of Amelanchier growing in a neighbour’s garden.
Throughout the day, I was keeping an eye out for walnuts which had fallen from our walnut tree.
In spite of, or perhaps because of, our cool summer, the are plenty of nuts around and quite a lot of them are full of nutty goodness. Jackdaws pick them from the tree and then often seem to drop them so that neighbours quite a distance away sometimes come upon walnuts in their own gardens.
There was a certain sagging at the end of a busy day but I was sufficiently refreshed by the last of the venison stew to get myself out for a Langholm Sings choir practice. It was very well attended and as the music was varied and enjoyable, I was pleased to have made the effort.
During the day, I visited Liz to check out her electric lawn mower. It seems both efficient and easy to use. I am thinking of declaring our Flymo past its use by date and her mower looks like a good type of replacement. As well as the mower, I couldn’t help noticing a very pretty rose growing on a trellis on her wall and it is the flying bird of the day.