Today’s guest picture shows one of our son Tony’s dogs enjoying the sunshine on the East Wemyss Riviera. It’s lip-smackingly good there.
Our spell of dry and sunny weather started its drift to normality today as the temperature dropped a degree or two and the sun became rather shy as the day went on, but it was still a remarkably nice day for the time of year.
The morning was made even brighter by the arrival of Sandy for a cup of coffee and when he left, I had a look for new flowers and found that the Limnanthes douglasii, better known as the poached egg plant had come out….
…though there was not much evidence of the white of the egg in most of the flowers.
Mrs Tootlepedal has two perennial wallflowers and the second one is just flowering…
…and it has so many potential flowers that I have a feeling that it will appear many more times in posts before the end of its season.
The chief event of the morning though was a visit to Mike and Alison Tinker’s garden.
This charming acer brillinatissimum welcomes visitors to the estate.
I reported a few days ago that after waiting twelve years, Mike and Alison’s Kowhai plant from New Zealand had produced a flower. I can now report that it hasn’t stopped producing flowers since…
…and it was looking very impressive indeed.
Mike showed Mrs Tootlepedal another of his Antipodean guests.
This is a wollemi pine, a plant so rare that it was thought to be extinct until a few specimens were discovered in a remote valley in Australia in 1994. In order to preserve the species, the original plants were the subject of a scheme of propagation and material was distributed round the world. Mike’s daughter, a professional gardener obtained this plant for him and it is now thriving in his garden.
There were several other interesting plants to see.
There was a snowflake, a bulbous perennial of the Amaryllis family.
And a wine and rose rhododendron. As it is an early flowerer it had to be carefully protected by Mike and Alison with fleece during the recent frosty nights but the trouble they took was well worthwhile.
As well as white trilliums, they have these striking red ones too.
And as he knows that I like fuchsias, Mike pointed this Fuchsia Thalia to me. It is certainly unusual but I don’t think it is my favourite Fuchsia.
We may have white and red pulsatillas, but Mike and Alison have purple ones.
Their garden may not be the biggest in Langholm but it is probably one of the most interesting ones.
We went home and I sieved some compost and then went in to do some business which involved phoning a large insurance company. We are on a roll just now and after the very satisfactory visit from an engineer yesterday, I got straight through on the phone to a competent and courteous young man and resolved my business satisfactorily in just a few minutes. What are things coming to? I won’t have anything to complain about soon.
Then we had lunch.
After lunch, we were visited by the representative of the power company who had come to weigh up the scheme for replacing our old and rickety electricity pole which sits in the vegetable garden. After some discussion, it was agreed that they would bring in a mini digger to dig the hole for the new pole and that company agreed to make good any damage to the vegetable beds affected. This meant moving our present strawberry bed so Mrs Tootlepedal gave the strawberries a very good watering and while this soaked in, we went off for a short bicycle ride to view the bluebells which she hadn’t seen so far this year.
I couldn’t help taking a few pictures while we there.
They have spilled over from the top of the hill and the whole banking is now going blue.
Wall to wall carpeting was to be seen on all sides.
Mrs Tootlepedal was thoroughly pleased that she had made the effort to visit.
We pedalled home by the long route, going along the Murtholm, across Skippers Bride…
…and back to the town along the other bank of the river. I stopped on the suspension bridge to admire the cherries and remark on how low the river was.
And looked downstream too. The trees are green.
When we got home, we moved the strawberry plants to their new bed and gave them another good watering. They look healthy enough so we hope that they will not mind the move too much.
I went to our corner shop to buy some eggs and came upon the travelling fishmonger’s van on the way back so I had smoked haddock kedgeree for my tea and Mrs Tootlepedal had hot smoked salmon.
After tea, I went off to sing with Langholm Sings, our community choir, and it was good to be singing together again after the Easter break. We have a concert coming up in a month so we worked hard.
The weather had finally broken and it was raining as I walked home. Fortunately, I had checked the weather forecast before going out and I had a brolly with me. The rain is welcome but the drop in temperature is not so welcome. We may even see the return of the vest.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch creeping up on a redpoll.