Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. On a recent tour, he stopped at Tewkesbury and took a picture of the bridge there.
Yesterday’s heavy work on the lawn was an experiment in ‘kill or cure’ and when I woke up this morning, I was very happy to find that the balance had tipped firmly down on the ‘cure’ side of things. For the first time for ages, my feet weren’t painfully sore. I didn’t let my feet go to my head though and took things pretty gently through the day.
I did go out into the garden and look at the flowers. I liked a vetch which has come up of its own accord. Mrs Tootlepedal is going to leave it where it is as it is popular with bees.
New white flowers have appeared: Mrs Tootlepedal describes the one on the left as an educated onion and the one on the right is the first of the philadelphus.
The Dutchman’s breeks and the Welsh poppies are adding an international air of gaiety to the garden…
…and the light was just right to take a picture of the yellow ranunculus.
I noticed that the plain fuchsia by the back gate is producing flowers but it doesn’t look very well so there may not be the usual waterfall of blossom this year.
As my back was in such good order, I did some shifting and sifting of compost. I started to turn Bin C into Bin D but the material had rotted down so well that I was able to sieve a lot of it and just put the remains in Bin D. I have been trying to layer the compost in Bin A more carefully lately, green and woody in turn, so perhaps this is a reward down the line for good behaviour.
I went in for coffee and watched the birds. Sparrows were the flavour of the day but redpolls are frequent visitors too. The goldfinches have almost entirely found a better place to feed.
The old sunflower stalk continues to provide a useful perch…
…and Mrs Tootlepedal is growing a new sunflower nearby for next year.
We had other visitors. There were quite a few jackdaws on the peanuts during the day and Mrs Tootlepedal witnessed some angry scenes among them. I saw this one daring anyone to come and have a go if they are tough enough.
There are starlings nesting in a neighbour’s tree and one came to the seed feeder today.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help in the Buccleuch Centre coffee bar over lunch and I went for a cycle ride. I had intended to try for some long, slow distance today but the forecast was very uncertain and there had been spots of rain on and off through the morning so I settled for some short, slow distance instead and went round my familiar 20 mile Canonbie circuit.
It wasn’t hard to notice that the hawthorn had come out while we were on holiday.
And there were wild flowers all the way round.
I took a closer look at the bird’s foot trefoil, a flower that I like a lot, and discovered a tiny creature among the petals.
The back roads were lined with cow parsley and on this section it had a hem of buttercups as well.
There was a lot of wild geranium to be seen.
I stopped to get a picture of the hawthorns beside the Hollows Tower and found that the managers have erected two flag poles beside the tower.
I was pleased that I had decided on a short ride because there were some very threatening showers further down the road and it rained a bit when I got back.
Back in the garden I found that a Rozeraie de L’hay had managed to survive yesterday’s rain showers.
I was struck by this single aquilegia which had grown through one of the golden box balls. It looked odd.
When I had walked round the garden, I went in for a cup of tea and a shower and then settled down to practice some of the songs for our Carlisle choir concert.
In the evening, our recorder group met for a play and for a change the group assembled at Wauchope Cottage which was very convenient for me. Because the sun had come out again by the time that they arrived, we had a walk round the garden before we started playing. We played Handel, Bach, Mozart, Byrd, Purcell, Morley and Scheidt so we had good material to work with.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin. It was heading back towards the feeders but as it already had a mouthful of seed, I am not sure why it was bothering.
Footnote: I was speaking to our daughter Annie on the phone today and she put in a request for some more general pictures of the garden to put my flower pictures in context. I am always anxious to please so I found a sunny moment late in the afternoon and took a random set of pictures of various borders. In spite of the many colourful flower pictures which appear on the blog, the predominant colour in the garden is green.
And of all the views, this one, taken from our new bench as the sun goes behind the walnut tree, is my favourite.