Today’s guest picture comes from my Friday night orchestra, Alison, who recently visited Caerlaverock Castle with her granddaughter (and got served in the cafe).

caerlaverock castle Alison

I was mugged by the weather today.  It was generally cloudy but still very warm and with no wind about, it felt very airless and close.  I noticed that as I sat down to write this post in what should have been the cool of the evening, our local weather station was saying the the temperature was 70°F and was feeling like 78°F.  That summed up the day well.

I filled the feeder at breakfast time and watched the birds for a while.  There was a steady demand for seed.

flying sparrow

Later in the day, we were visited by a collared dove looking quite smart…

collared dove

…and a blue tit, looking decidedly scruffy.

blue tit

I did a little early watering after breakfast and also took a look at the flowers.

The Wren and Lilian Austin roses have been hanging in very delightful bunches this year…

rose Wren

…and it dawned on me that this is a by product of having had no rain.

rose Lilian Austin

Usually by now, any fragile heads would have been pummelled to the ground by our standard summer rain showers.

Some roses are always clumpy and Bobbie James is one of those.

rose Bobbie James

The Ginger Syllabub rose doesn’t look very ginger but it does have pretty pink fringes.

ginger syllabub

The poppies are thriving and were working in pairs today.

white and red poppies

pink poppies

I had to work hard to find a poppy which didn’t have a bee on it.

These tiny little white flowers don’t seem to mind the dry conditions…

little white flower

…but in Mrs Tootlepedal’s absence, I can’t tell your their name.


I put down the camera and the watering can and went off to sing with the church choir but as there were only six of us there (there were road closures in the town which made getting to church tricky), we didn’t add a lot to the service.

When I got home, I spent an hour pottering around the garden doing useful tasks and taking a couple of pictures.  I picked all the blackcurrants left on our bush but it only came to a very small pile.

The Martagon lilies have gone over but fortunately other lilies are available…


…and the hostas are flowering furiously.

hosta flower

This burst of activity pretty well finished me for the day as I had to go in and sit in a darkened room.   Because the house has got pretty warm too, this was not as much help as it might have been.

I picked some beetroot and a lettuce and dug up a potato and had a very healthy home grown vegetarian lunch before collapsing and watching almost the whole of a Tour de France stage, falling asleep from time to time.

When it was over, I staggered out into the garden and did some more watering and mowed the middle lawn.

The growth of grass on the lawn was very variable but in places it had defied the dry weather and grown vigorously and in other places weeds were shooting up too so the lawn needed trimming just to stop it getting out of hand.

I was very interested to see this little burst of colour…

flowers in lawn

…in the middle of the lawn after I had mowed it.  Talk about lying low. I try not to use weedkiller on the lawn as it means that you always have to use the box while cutting and composting the mowings is a problem.

I checked on the Queen of Denmark and found that she is well….

rose Queen of Denmark

…and while I was passing the cotoneaster, I noticed a young blackbird lurking on a branch deep within the bush.

young blackbird

I was watering the carrots when I saw this handsome flower beside the carrot bed.  I wondered if it had arrived by chance…

french marigold

…but talking to Mrs Tootlepedal on the phone later in the evening, I learned that it is a French marigold and it was planted on purpose as it is supposed to deter the carrot root fly.

I found a silver pear on my little pear tree…

silver pear

…but I haven’t been visited by the Queen of  Spain’s daughter.

I took another wider view.  This is one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s new beds this year, made by remodelling the lawn a bit.


The bright red flowers that you can see are miniature nicotiana.


Our local council, instead of mending potholes, sometimes puts white lines round them.  I wonder if they got the idea from these flowers.

I picked some peas and beans and dug another potato as a gift for our neighbour Irving and then went in to have home made fish and chips (with beans) for my tea.  Irving rang up later to say that Libby and he had had some of the potatoes for their tea and found them very good.

With Mrs Tootlepedal away at the moment, we definitely have more veg than I can eat on my own so it was good to find an appreciative home for some of the surplus.

We are promised a cooler day or two before the temperatures rise again and there is some wild talk of a millimetre or two of rain later in the week.  It will be most welcome if it actually arrives.

I did find a genuine flying bird of the day today as a chaffinch squeezed between the feeder and the pole.

flying chaffinch






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Mugged

  1. Luscious flowers, despite the lack of rain. I sure sympathize with you about feeling zapped by the heat. Last week I felt like a wet noodle. Long Day’s!

      1. Heat can be brutal, and today on NPR, I heard about how some seniors have actually died because of the extreme heat. (In this country.) Clif and I have decided to get an air conditioner for our living room. We aren’t too far from being senior.

  2. Lovely flowers, and good to hear that you are partaking of lots of healthy veg. If you remain healthy for a few more days I may try a few vegetables myself. Apart from beetroot.

  3. That hot humid air certainly can sap the fight right out of you and when it gets hot in the house too it’s rough living without air conditioning. Air you can wear, as some people say.
    I like the French marigold. It’s one I haven’t heard of.
    The wider view of the garden is beautiful and I’m happy to see more poppies coming. They sure did put on a show last year.

    1. The planted out poppies have disappointed this year. The long cold spring followrd by very dry weather doesn’t seem to have suited them at all.

  4. I had to smile about lines painted around your potholes … here they simply get deeper and deeper until it becomes impossible to obey the rules of the road!

  5. Sorry that the weather is getting to you, it’s a horrid way to feel. Loved all the closeups of beautiful flowers, they must cheer you up a bit.

  6. You have done a grand job with the watering as your roses and flowers are flourishing in the heat, even if you are not!

  7. Love all the roses as you say the rain isn’t around to spoil them. I think that little plant on your lawn is selfheal…I have a selfheal lawn you have grass! I’m sure Mrs T enjoys seeing your post everyday to check on the garden and the watering. She’ll be pleased with her new border it looks spot on.

  8. I loved all the variety of roses in this post, they love the sun and heat, more than we do. We’re experiencing about the same weather conditions that you are, and I don’t blame you for taking a nap now and then, the heat and humidity saps a person to the point that they need the extra rest. I hope that you do get some much needed rain soon, so that you don’t have to water everything by hand for at least a day or two.

    1. Not much rain forecast yet, sadly, and even when it does come, it looks as though it might be too light to be any use. I shall have to wait another week, I think.

  9. Hoping you get some cooler weather and the much needed rain (though the roses don’t seem to be suffering for lack of it!) We’re a bit warmer here than usual, but not unbearably so. I tend to wilt when it gets too warm, so I’m hoping it won’t do that. Looks like we’ve already started wildfire season here. We have some fires going to the north and south of us, but nothing immediately threatening us so far. May it continue to give us a break this year.

  10. Stunning set of photos. I used to have Bobbie James in my old garden and I want her back. I bought a Ginger Syllabub because I loved the name but it failed to thrive. Mrs T’s is gorgeous.

    Sent from my iPhone


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