Trying my best

toulouse flea market

Today’s guest picture come from Venetia’s trip to Toulouse a couple of weeks ago.  She came across this very cheerful lady with a rather macabre exhibit in a local flea market there.

toulouse flea market

Our spell of remarkably fine weather continued with temperatures so far above the seasonal average that we were quite pleased to find them moderated by a brisk wind.

We didn’t have much time to enjoy the sunshine before we went off to sing in the church choir.  The choir sang a short anthem between the bible readings and we were stunned to receive a totally unexpected round of applause from the congregation when we finished.  It might have been sparked off by the visiting minister who was taking the service. I have never encountered this in the middle of a service before but it was very pleasing to be on the receiving end of it.

My throat is not much better but as I was singing bass, I was able to croak my way through without too much trouble.

When we got back to the house, there was a few minutes to look round the garden.  There is a lot to look at as the garden has been transformed in the week that we were away.

There is a good variety of colour ranging from the white of the  clematis round the back door…


…and a new veronica beside the middle lawn (which Mrs Tootlepedal assures me is blue but it looks dead white to me)…veronica

…and some sweet rocket near the silver pear.

sweet rockety

Slightly more colour can be seen in the pale aquilegias…


…and more still in the potentillas along the back wall of the house beside the dam.


This year Mrs Tootlepedal has decided to be pleased by the various Welsh poppies which tend to pop up randomly all over the garden…

welsh poppy

…this one beside a promising looking hosta.

On the opposite side of the dam, Kenny’s euphorbia is going from strength to strength.


Stronger shades of colour have cropped up unexpectedly beside the yellow potentilla in the shape of this blue aquilegia which has dropped in from somewhere unknown.  It is very welcome.


In the garden, there was more blue as the first cornflower has come out.


But for ‘big colour’, it is hard to beat a peony.  This is the first of the year.


However, all things considered, this azalea does probably carry more zing.


Mrs Tootlepedal was worried because its leaves were tinged with what looked like an unhealthy colour but as you can see, it is looking very well.

We didn’t have time to do any lawn care or large scale watering as we had to rush off to Carlisle to get to an early start for the last practice of the community choir there before its season ending concert next Sunday.  Our excellent conductor is leaving us to go on to bigger and better things and as he will be sorely missed, the practice was a bitter sweet occasion.

My croaky voice just about stood up to singing the tenor part as luckily, the parts were generally in the lower range of tenor part singing but there were times when it gave up and I was left looking a bit like a beached fish with my mouth opening but nothing coming out.  The conductor has prescribed a week of not talking.  Those who know me will gauge how likely that is to happen.

It was a beautiful evening when we got home and Mrs Tootlepedal rushed to water her seedlings in the greenhouse (the temperature was in the mid twenties) and then she was able to do some useful work in the garden while I took a few more pictures.

The clematis at the back door is at its best when the evening sun lights it up…


…and the peony looked good too.


Also looking good but not quite so welcome was this striking rhubarb flower.

rhubarb flower

The rhubarb has been neglected while we have been away and may be past its best for eating but there are promising signs of meals to come in the bean department.

broad  beans

The evening light was kind to our white potentilla…


…but a new plant, recently purchased by Mrs Tootlepedal, was looking good in a shady bed.  It is a Choisya…


…and a good one as far as I am concerned.

The ornamental strawberries are having a very good year and Mrs Tootlepedal is spreading them about a bit.

ornamental  strawberries

I had no time to linger around at the kitchen window waiting for birds to come to the feeder today…


…but I did catch a siskin having words with someone.

The best I could do for a flying bird was a couple of shots of an aggressive pigeon trying to get another pigeon to fly away.








Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Trying my best

  1. How extraordinary to have applause for your anthem. And good luck with the silence. Many years ago I had nodules on my vocal chords (I believe they’re more accurately called vocal flaps these days.) Anyway, two months’ silence, or at the most whispering, was prescribed!

  2. I like that white clematis. I find that many of our wildflowers blooming now are white.
    I also love the blue of the aquilegia but my favorite has to be that ornamental strawberry. It’s a beautiful thing, and very unusual in these parts.
    Good luck with not talking for a week. I think I’d like not being able to talk for a week but I’m sure most people don’t think that way.

  3. Sorry about the croakiness – you did well to sing in two choirs. Very pleasing to have your efforts in the church choir rewarded unexpectedly.

  4. I’m not going to attempt to pick a favorite flower from the day, they’re all beautiful in their own right.

    It’s nice to be appreciated as when the congregation at the church applauded the choir that you’re in, it must boost the pride of the choir immensely and says a lot about how well you all sing together.

  5. Such lovely photos of all the flowers blooming so brightly in the sunshine. Hope they are attracting lots of insects and bees. The ornamental strawberry has a sweet little flower but my favourite is the strawberry plant with the red, juicy fruit! Hope the throat gets better soon.

  6. Chuckling at your variations on the flying bird theme. I suppose it could get quite repetitive if you stuck to its literal interpretation. 😀

  7. There are so many wonderful flowers blooming in your garden! We have a choisya and the scent is lovely! I hope your throat gets better soon. What a disappointment you have to say goodbye to your choir conductor!

  8. Aqualegias are like that – always moving and often changing colour. 🙂

    Julia went back to work today after her week off and found the rhubarb looking decidedly past its prime.

      1. That seems to be the case. I once split four crowns of rhubarb, intending to double my crop and it sulked for years, producing much reduced crops for years afterwards.

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