Today’s guest picture shows a fine display of wisteria spotted by my sister Susan on her way to catch a bus.
We had a frosty morning here, followed by a fine but chilly day with a brisk and biting north wind. If you were out of the wind, everything in the garden was lovely and if you weren’t, you got out of it as soon as you could.
I started the day with some shopping at our producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre where the essentials of life such as honey, cheese, haggis and fish were popped into my Canadian (courtesy of Mary Jo of Manitoba) shopping bag. Then after another excursion to top up supplies from our corner shop, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to visit our friends Mike and Alison. Their daughter Liz had arrived with her chainsaw to help Mike cut down the cherry tree at the front gate which had grown too big for its situation and which is due to replaced by a rowan. They were making a good job of it but kindly broke off for long enough for Alison to offer us coffee and ginger biscuits (and a potted plant to take home with us)..
Later in the day, three bags of shreddings and sawdust arrived in our garden for which we will find very good uses.
When we got back, I took a walk round the garden in the sunshine. A bee which should have been busy on the apple blossom was wasting its time on a dicentra, a new ranunculus, one of batch purchased at a very advantageous price by Mrs Tootlepedal, was looking sublime and one of the last of the tulips was trying to open wide.
It has been an odd year, and I noticed when I looked back at a blog of a year ago, that we still had lots of daffodils out and the tulips were at the peak on this day then.
Now almost all the daffodils are gone and most of the tulips too. We are in a pause, waiting for azaleas and alliums to appear. I saw a very fine spider’s web, the sole rhododendron flower that is fully out, a hosta that is developing well and some mustard grown for green manure whihc is coming up in the vegetable garden. Mrs Tootlepedal is very keen on mustard.
In the absence of much bright colour, the greens are doing their best to keep me entertained.
A pair of blackbirds appeared on the front lawn…
…and a pond skater stopped skating for long enough for me to take its picture.
Although my feet are still not co-operating properly, I felt it was too cold and windy for a pleasant cycle ride so I went for a walk after lunch.
There was plenty to take my mind off my feet as I went along. Daisies and cherry blossom lined my walk along the bank of the Esk between the bridges.
And a pair of oyster catchers looked as though they might be setting up home on the gravel bank above the town bridge.
In spite of the chilly wind, a cricket match on the Castleholm pitch reminded me that it is May and the season has well and truly got under way.
Sound defence with a straight bat was the order of the day.
I walked on up the Lodge Walks with any amount of flowers to keep me company.
I had met my friend Nancy as I was crossing the Langhom Bridge and she told me that she was going to check out the bluebells in the woods above the Lodge Walks because she is leading a visiting group of walkers on a bluebell hunt next week. Taking the hint, I walked up a path through the wood. She will have plenty of bluebells to show the visitors.
It has been a good spring for bluebells.
As I went along the path at the top of the wood, I could see more bluebells mixed in with other wild flowers.
I came back down to the waterside and walked back along the bank of the Esk. The paths are at their best.
Looking across the field, I saw the sun pick out a small tree surrounded by larger specimens. I liked the way that grazing cattle have kept the bottom of the tree looking so neatly trimmed…
…and looking around, I saw that it was not the only one.
I came back to the cricket ground to find the game still going on and watched a fielder at long leg doing what cricketers do a lot of, standing around. He had found a good spot for standing around though, surrounded by fine trees and with the ruins of Langholm castle in the background. He had plenty to look at if the game got boring.
A dandelion clock told me that time was getting on so I headed for home…
…passing my favourite sight of the whole walk. It was almost as though nature had taken up flower arranging.
The wall at the end of the Scholars’ Field has a good crop of flowers growing out of cracks and crevices. I saw ivy leaved toadflax, wild strawberries and corydalis.
I was ready for a cup of tea when I got home and then we got into our new little car and went off to collect some more wood chips. On our return, we put the wood chips onto one of the paths in the remodelled part of the vegetable garden…
…and parked the little white thingy. It hadn’t gone far enough to need charging.
We had fish for our tea and I made some chips (potato not wood) to go with my helping. We finished the meal with the last of the lonely sticky toffee pudding.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.