Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo from Manitoba who is not in Manitoba at all at the moment. She is in London and visited Kew Gardens where she took this picture. You might think that as it was taken in a famous garden it shows a wonderful plant but in fact it is an even more wonderful glass sculpture by glass blower Dale Chihuly.
We had another very fine day here today and with the wind coming up from the south, it was warm as well as sunny.
I pottered around the garden in the morning when I wasn’t drinking coffee or doing the crossword.
There was colour galore…
…with old and new plants enjoying the weather.
There were more bees and other insects about today and I found two of them visiting a Welsh poppy…
…but they hadn’t discovered the first of the Icelandic poppies yet.
When I walked over the pond bridge, there was a lot of tension on every side…
…but viewed from another angle, the frog seemed quite relaxed.
Nearby I saw this puzzle picture. Was it a version of Jonah and the Whale?….
….or was it just a water lily leaf half out of the water with a tadpole resting at its heart?
I walked along the dam at the back of the house to see if birds were bathing in the water there.
A sparrow had obviously just taken a dip when I arrived.
When I came through the back gate, I passed one of the less cultivated areas of the garden. Against all her ingrained gardening instincts, Mrs Tootlepedal is going a little wilder each year.
Blackbirds are nesting in the climbing hydrangea on the front wall of the house and this one took a moment to rest on the feeder pole before going off to collect more worms from the lawn.
It had a wisp of nest stuck on its head which made me think how lucky we are to have hands and arms. It twisted its head this way and that, so I imagined that it knew something was stuck up there, but it had no way of getting it off.
Although the crossword was quite tricky and took some time, I managed to have several wanders among the flowers.
This is Mrs Tootlepedal’s current favourite….
…and this is mine.
I had a close look at the cow parsley and found, as so often is the case, that there is more to some flowers than you think.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help at the Buccleuch Centre coffee bar over lunch and when she came back she sat on a garden bench and had a snack while I scarified the front lawn and collected the moss with the mower.
It has been very dry over the past weeks and as there is no rain in the immediate forecast, Mrs Tootlepedal had been doing a lot of watering in the vegetable garden before breakfast. I thought that I ought to do my bit, so I watered the azaleas round the front lawn and one of the hedges which we have been cutting back. Most of the azaleas have been refusing to progress from buds to flowers and I wondered if the dry spell was the cause.
The next task was putting the netting onto the metal frames for the two small fruit cages in the vegetable garden. This involved measuring and cutting, and a good deal of bending and stretching. By this time, the afternoon had got decidedly hot and we had to stop before we had quite finished the job. Although a trick of the light makes it look as though we have only done the sides, we have done the front and back of the two cages as well. Just the front section of the top of the left hand cage remains to be done.
After a short collapse and a cup of tea to recover from the heat, Mrs Tootlepedal made a fish pie for our tea. When we had eaten our meal, she went back to the Buccleuch Centre where she was acting as a front of house volunteer, and stayed on to watch a screening of All My Sons by Arthur Miller.
I got my natty cycling shorts on and went out for a suitably short evening ride. I am still trying to take care of my feet by mixing rest and gentle exercise (with frozen peas applied from time to time) but at least I can cycle without pain so I enjoyed my ten mile outing.
I looked up to see a tree at one point and was surprised to see the moon high in the sky behind it.
It was a grand evening to be out on very quiet roads and it was good to be able to cycle far enough to get a view.
I was keeping an eye out for hawthorn blossom but I only saw two bushes in flower and they were in a sheltered but sunny spot near the town.
Mrs Tootlepedal came back from the Buccleuch Centre with her withers thoroughly wring by the Miller drama and this made me quite glad that I hadn’t gone too. I generally need cheering up not wringing out just now.
The flying bird of the day is the sparrow which appeared earlier in the post. It came back down off the fence and took a bath. The water was certainly flying even if the bird was not.