Today’s guest picture is the last from Venetia’s trip to Madeira and shows a local flower. It is an echium known as ‘The Pride of Madeira’. As you can see, it is popular with the locals.
The forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning is pretty gloomy with strong winds and rain predicted. As I write this, I can hear the wind sighing round the house and the rain pattering on the windows and I can only hope that the forecasters are being excessively pessimistic as they often are and we will avoid any storm damage.
The last day of our good spell of weather was grey but still warm and with gentle winds in the morning. We couldn’t make the best of it though as I had an early appointment at the new hospital in Dumfries to see a surgeon about my low iron count.
The drive was smooth and uneventful, the newly planted meadows round the hospital were as interesting as before…
…and since I was seen promptly and sent home with no need for further investigations, the trip was very satisfactory. The advice was to keep taking the tablets and eat more greens. I shall do both.
While we were in the vicinity, we went to have coffee at the very good garden centre we visited last week and while we were there, three plants, some more lawn feed and a new garden hose reel insinuated themselves unobtrusively into our shopping trolley and we had to pay for them before we could get out. Since we had just gone for coffee, this was very odd.
When we got home, there was a lot to do in the garden before the rain came. During the afternoon, I mowed the drying green and sieved some compost for Mrs Tootlepedal to use in her planting out work.
Because it is a great deal easier to shift compost when it is dry, I also took the opportunity to shift the contents of Bin B into Bin C and I know that discerning readers will never forgive me if I don’t record this event.
The warm dry weather has speeded up the composting process a lot and made sieving and shifting an easy task.
I also wound on the front garden hose on to the new reel…
…though of course, the weather will now be so bad for the rest of the summer that we will never have to use it.
In between times, I wandered round the garden to take as many pictures as I could to record the end of our good spell. (I apologise for the number of pictures in today’s post.)
The vegetable garden is looking very well organised….
…and I was able to have a good helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s cut and come again salad leaves with my lunch.
Of particular interest to me was this…
…as I haven’t netted the strawberries this year and I am hoping to pick as many as I can before….
…the blackbirds notice them.
There are new flowers about.
…and old friends are doing well.
I tend to show close ups of astrantias so I thought I ought to show you the two colours on a broader scale.
At the top of the front lawn, the two box balls are in full colour…
…and all round the garden, the Sweet Williams that Mrs Tootlepedal has planted out are bringing some zing to the flower beds.
On the house wall, the climbing hydrangea is looking healthy…
…and there is a constant buzz as you walk past it.
The ‘ooh la la’ clematis is thriving….
…and as it is in a very sheltered spot, I hope it survives the wind and the rain.
When I went in for lunch, I took the opportunity to watch the birds.
We have had daily visits from pigeons and collared doves recently….
…and the supply of siskins and goldfinches seems endless.
I got the composting and mowing done before the rain started and then after a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been busy on a task in the town, I decided to go for a walk as it was too windy for enjoyable cycling.
There was some occasional drizzle but not enough to discourage me. We could certainly do with some rain as the ground is very dry and the rivers are extremely low.
Somewhere along the gravel at the left hand side of the river in the picture above are five oyster catchers but I had to walk along the grass to see them.
The five were two parents….
…clucking away and watching anxiously over three youngsters.
I know that there are four pictures but there are only three birds.
On the other side of the town bridge, I caught up with a pied wagtail…
…standing unusually still for such a fidgety bird.
I looked back from the Sawmill Brig…
…and wondered if there would be enough rain to turn the green mound that you can see back into an island again. It is covered with roses, knapweed and umbellifers.
The light wasn’t very good and the threat of rain ever present so I didn’t dilly dally though I stopped for long enough to look at some docks…
…admire the treescape on the Castleholm…
…and check on the wild flowers along the Scholars’ Field wall…
……before calling in on my fern expert Mike to talk about going on a fern walk soon…
…and then going home to cook the tea.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to practise with the church organist’s summer choir and I rested my voice again.
I only went to the doctor in the first place because I was having trouble with a little hoarseness and after being thoroughly checked and cleared of any other problems, the hoarseness is still there. I have another week of rest and then I will go back to the doctor again to see what is what if things haven’t improved. I am missing singing more than I expected.
The flower of the day is the butter and sugar iris. I am not sure that it will survive the night’s weather.
I may possibly have run out of guest pictures. Just mentioning it.