Today’s guest picture is from my sister Mary’s recent visit to the Lake District where she stopped at a cafe in Grange and enjoyed this lovely view.
We stopped at a cafe today. This one was at a garden centre near North Berwick where we had an excellent breakfast this morning as we left for home after a very enjoyable week at the sea side. It seemed easier to eat out than have to do a lot of washing up just before we left our holiday cottage.
Mrs Tootlepedal took the opportunity to acquire a few plants while we were there.
We then took a road that we haven’t travelled along before to get home and drove over the Lammermuir hills to Duns and Kelso, adding about 15 miles to our trip but getting some wonderful views in exchange. Unfortunately, it was rather hazy and there weren’t a lot of handy parking spots so you will have to take the views on trust but they were good enough to make us think of going that way again.
We did stop at the Whiteadder reservoir in the heart of the hills.
There was enough sun to give the water some sparkle.
The Lammermuir hills are treeless and heather covered as they are extensively used for grouse shooting and their spare beauty is entirely man made. It is sad that this also means that birds of prey have a hard time here and often suffer mysterious accidental deaths.
We passed a great number of cyclists who were testing their legs against some impressive climbs on the good surfaces of the East Lothian roads.
Soon after leaving the reservoir, we crossed the River Whiteadder on this fine bridge.
After we had passed through Kelso, we stopped again at another garden centre (can you detect a pattern here?) for a cup of tea and a tea cake . This one has a water garden and caters for lovers of pet fish…
…and it also has a very charming garden that tumbles down the bank…
…from the centre to the river Teviot running past below.
It had a most spectacular aquilegia in its plants for sale section.
We didn’t buy one but I did get some good cheese from their smokery department.
Were were nearly home when we got caught up in a rush of traffic heading for Mosspaul to meet the rideout from Hawick, part of the Hawick Common Riding proceedings. Luckily, we were early enough to avoid the horses and riders so we didn’t suffer too much of a delay.
After all this excitement, we got home in the early afternoon and had a look round to see how the garden had got on without us.
I will go round again soon taking a more detailed look at what is new as I have not got all the new flowers in by a long chalk.
Things needed watering though so I got the sprinkler out and gave the vegetable garden a good soaking while I cut the grass on the middle lawn.
Then I cut the front lawn while the sprinkler sprinkled water on the middle lawn.
The sprinkler was adjusted so delicately, that Mrs Tootlepedal and our neighbour Liz were able to sit on the new bench and catch up with the news as the water drops stopped a few inches away from their feet.
Mrs Tootlepedal is pleased with the way that her new bed at the end of the middle lawn is shaping up.
In the background to the picture above, the tree peony is in flower and this year, unlike last year, the flowers are not (entirely) hidden behind the leaves.
Mrs Tootlepedal filled the pond, which had gone down a lot during a dry week, and we were relieved to see plenty of tadpoles swimming around once the water level had gone up.
The path along the back of the garden, familiarly known as “Ally’s allium alley” is looking good…
…from either direction.
There wasn’t a lot of time to look at birds today but I did catch a couple of siskins and a goldfinch on the feeder.
…and while I was hoping for a flying bird, my attention was diverted by this colourful corner.
We enjoyed our holiday a lot but we are nevertheless very pleased to be back on home territory again. The forecast is good for the next few days so we should be able to catch up on garden tasks that need doing and perhaps get some cycling in too.
There was no flying bird of the day available so a creeping thrush is here instead.
I hope to do better tomorrow.