Today’s guest picture comes from former archive group member Ken. He very kindly sent me this portrait of an unusual animal which he encountered in Newcastle.
We had another warm (22°C at it peak), dry day today but not as hot as poor Mrs Tootlepedal is having to get used to in the deep south. In fact, it was pleasantly cool after breakfast so I got a bit of dead heading and watering done before Dropscone arrived with the traditional Friday treacle scones.
And I took a couple of pictures, of course.
In one of those amusing japes which the horticultural gods like to play upon innocent gardeners, the poppies that Mrs Tootlepedal has carefully planted are very reluctant to come up, while the patch which seeded itself by the new bench…
….couldn’t look better.
The gardener smiles one of those inscrutable smiles.
After the excellent treacle scones had disappeared, Dropscone departed with what is very nearly the last of the rhubarb and I did a bit more watering and dead heading….and the crossword.
Mrs Tootlepedal was showing some of my pictures of the flowers to a friend yesterday and found that because I take so many close ups, it was difficult for her to convey the bigger picture…..so here are two bigger pictures.
The drought is beginning to tell on the middle lawn. The bed at the bottom right was a sea of orange hawkeed a few weeks ago. The trouble with the long view is that the camera can’t do justice to all the greenery and the flowers at the same time.
There is a metal fence that divides the flower garden from the vegetable garden and it is home to four sorts of roses, a clematis and a honeysuckle.
The runner beans are looking promising. I must remember to water them too.
Tucked in on the garden side of that fence is a rose that Mrs Tootlepedal had to cut back so severely that she thought that it might never bloom again. However, the Queen of Denmark turns out to be made of tough stuff and among the surrounding leafage, a flower has appeared…
…with more to come.
A second day lily has appeared.
After a lunch of a large sardine and lettuce sandwich, I got myself organised and set off for a pedal.
I waited to see how I was going before finally deciding on a route and it turned out to be a day when my legs were not in a very co-operative mood so I settled for a dull thirty mile circuit of Gair, Kirkpatrick Fleming and Glenzier. There is a lot of dust and pollen about in our dry spell and perhaps the noticeable wind was blowing enough about to slow me down.
Still, I took things easy and enjoyed the ride.
It was warm but happily for me, the sky clouded over as I pedalled along and the wind kept me comfortably cool. I stopped for the occasional drink and tried to find a place with some wild flowers to look at as I sipped.
There was plenty of ragwort along the way…
…but this was the only one of these little white flowers that I saw.
There was a lot of rosebay willowherb too.
And a thistle showed what a good source of pollen it is.
Even at the slow pace I go on my bike, it is easy to pass things without seeing them. I was thinking that I hadn’t seen any red soldier beetles this year but when I stopped to look for some orchids, I found that there were a lot of the beetles about too.
The same observation applied to the orchids. As I was cycling along the Canonbie bypass, I only noticed one or two but when I stopped in a handy lay-by and had a proper look, I found several within a few yards.
I’ll obviously have to cycle even more slowly (if that is possible).
In an echo of the morning scone scene, the unusually hot weather has melted the road surface in places on the back roads and I now have to watch out for sticky patches as well as potholes.
You will doubtless be interested to know that when I got home, I did some more watering. I could easily spend the whole day watering but carrying watering cans is hard work and my arms are getting longer every day as it is.
I did have time to notice that the phlox is coming out.
We will soon have phlocks of flox.
I picked some peas, beans and beetroot for my tea and went in.
I took too many pictures in the sunshine again today so I have packaged some up in panels. I am test driving a new photo editor and have not yet devised a good panel macro so I apologise for the rough and ready framing.
The flying bird of the day was resting.