Today’s guest picture comes from learned reader Edward from Sheffield. He has tree peonies in his garden with flowers a foot wide.
We had timed our holiday well. After several dry weeks, the weather turned gloomy today and it rained in the afternoon. According to the forecast, there is a good deal more rain to come which will be welcome from a gardening point of view.
The morning was dry though and this gave us a chance to get busy in the garden, Mrs Tootlepedal doing useful things and I wandering about with a camera in hand.
New flowers have arrived during our absence and there is no shortage of bright colours.
The first iris has come out…
…and several more geraniums have joined the blue ones which arrived first.
They are excellent value and should keep flowering all through the summer.
Lupins have arrived….
…and aquilegias are popping up all over the garden.
A favourite flower for peering at closely with the camera is this anemone. I love its strong colours and busy centre.
But probably, the stars of the show are the red peonies….
…even though they are too red for the camera to really enjoy.
The established flowers are enjoying the weather in spite of the lack of rain…
…although the azaleas are going over rather quickly. Perhaps the new rain will help them last.
The clematis at the front and back doors have increased in number while we have been away…
…and the front door variety is fast becoming a favourite of mine.
Potentillas, both salmon pink and yellow are thriving…
…and the poached egg plant is getting more white edges every day. The first roses are appearing with the yellow one above joining the the rosa moyesii below.
Our poppies are becoming more international and an oriental poppy has joined the Welsh and Icelandic ones which were out before we left.
A geum and an astrantia complete today’s collection.
I put down the camera and mowed the middle lawn. It had been badly pecked while I was away but once I had mowed over the loose moss, I found a lot of reasonably green grass about underneath. Mrs Tootlepedal intends to carry on a methodical feeding programme so I have every confidence that it will be in good order soon.
I mowed the front lawn too and found that it is still in poor condition, although the feed that I gave it before we went away has encouraged the occasional blade of grass to appear among the moss. I will keep trying.
As I was working at a very gentle pace, and we took a break to entertain Mike Tinker to a cup of coffee, all this took me up to lunchtime.
I had the opportunity to check on the birds when I got in. Usual suspects such as siskins and redpolls were in evidence but sparrows are obviously feeding young as they turned up on the seed feeder…
…as well as feeding on peanuts and fat balls as well.
The siskins and redpolls haven’t learned about peaceful coexistence while we have been away.
Dunnocks were busy on the ground under the feeders.
I had a quiet afternoon watching the racing on the telly, a very undemanding activity. Most of the enjoyment comes from listening to the expert commentators telling us why their chosen horses have not won the race that we have just watched.
I even felt a bit sorry for them when their unanimous pick of a heavily odds-on favourite trotted in third in five horse race. There was not a lot that they could say.
Mrs Tootlepedal spent the afternoon with her Embroiderers’ Guild group and when she returned, I roused myself to drink a cup of tea and check the kitchen window again. A jackdaw, fed up with pecking at my lawn, had come to try the peanuts….
…and it was joined by a starling…
…but sadly, it and its friends preferred to start in the lawn pecking business themselves instead of eating bird food.
If they are eating leatherjacket grubs though, they are probably doing me a good turn as I read that the grubs eat grass roots and can destroy a lawn. This may explain why the birds always peck at the worst bit of the lawn and leave the bits with good grass growth alone.
I hope to catch up on my blog reading now that I am home.
Meanwhile, the flying (or perhaps diving) bird of the day is a pigeon.