Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who is obviously enjoying a stay in the north east of Scotland. He visited a famous collapsed sea cave called Bullers of Buchan. It must have been spectacular when the roof fell in.
There is no question but that summer is going to be a disappointment this year as it can’t possibly be better than the spell of glorious weather we are enjoying at the moment. We had another really warm and sunny day today (25°C in the afternoon) and with little or no wind, it was almost too warm for comfort at times. This is nearly 10°C above the seasonal average. From a gardening point of view, we could do with some rain and the forecast is offering us a cooler, wet day tomorrow which should be quite welcome.
Mind you, it offered us terrible thunderstorms with torrential rain and big hailstones today and none of that arrived so we are not raising our hopes and we did a lot of watering of thirsty plants in the garden today.
I had an early look around for interest after breakfast.
We are not short of colour.
Some from familiar plants….
…and some from new arrivals.
While we were talking to a garden visitor, a bright orange tip male butterfly fluttered past us but by the time that I had got my camera out, it had fluttered off leaving only the less colourful female to pose.
I didn’t just look at flowers. Mrs Tootlepedal collected a pocketful of stout and healthy looking acorns in the autumn of 2016 and with careful attention, she now has a small oak forest growing in one of the raised beds…
…proving conclusively that little oaks from great acorns grow.
She is going to transplant the saplings out into the wild wood when they are strong enough.
She also noticed a small clump of fungus growing from a patch of farmyard manure behind our new bench. By the time that I got to them, they had faded away.
Dropscone, who has been up near North Berwick, refereeing at a junior golf tournament, came round for coffee. He told us that the haar had been so bad in North Berwick that one of the rounds of the tournament had been cancelled on the golf course there because players couldn’t see far enough ahead to hit safely. We were very lucky with our holiday weather. He hadn’t lost his skill at making treacle scones while he had been away.
After he left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I got a drill out and finished fixing two new bolts through the metal post holding up the honeysuckle archway at the back of the garden.
This was one of those jobs which have been needed to done for about ten years so there was quiet satisfaction at its final completion.
Our neighbour Betty was clipping the hedge between our gardens so I thought that I should take the hint and clipped our side of the hedge too. Then Mrs Tootlepedal took the hedge trimmer and tried to cut down a big clump of comfrey…
…but found that the stems were too tough and awkward for the hedge trimmer.
I found it too hot to stay out so went in to do the crossword while Mrs Tootlepedal toiled on. After lunch the positions were reversed and Mrs Tootlepedal took a well deserved siesta while I went out and mowed the front lawn and sieved a barrow load of compost.
I noticed the first flowers on a Scotch rose called Harison’s Yellow.
Then I was just contemplating the willow beside the hedge…
…and looking at it closely…
…when two even more interesting specimens appeared over the hedge.
As they used to say in the society papers, this was Liz and Mike enjoying a joke while pausing at Langholm’s premier garden watching venue.
We all agreed that the weather was quite unnatural and as we spoke, a drop or two of rain looked as though it might herald the forecast thunderstorm. But Liz and Mike went on their ways and the rain went on its way and the rest of the day was as fine and warm as it had been all the time.
Mrs Tootlepedal came down from her siesta and immediately started work in the garden again, watering and planting out. I took a picture of a musk flower that had come out during the day…
…and then went off to buy some food for my evening meal and then cook the meal as I was going off to sing with Langholm Sings at a concert in the evening.
The other Mike, my cello playing and singing colleague came round and we drove off to Waterbeck, leaving Mrs Tootlepedal to go the Buccleuch Centre where she was doing the front of house duty for a Dougie MacLean concert.
We got a good audience at Waterbeck and I enjoyed croaking my way through the songs, though there were one or two that could have done with a little more preparation time, especially as I had missed the last concert owing to being in North Berwick.
Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed the Dougie MacLean concert a lot. (Here is a link to another concert of his for anyone who would like to get to know this engaging folk singer. most famous for his song ‘Caledonia’)
It was a busy day so I didn’t get a moment to look at any flying birds at all.