Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset corespondent Venetia. She went to Castle Ashby in Northamptonshire to play music and had some time to look at a fine spiral staircase at the orangery while she was there.
We had what looks as though it might be the last day of our warm and sunny spell today and I had a plan to make good use of it.
My plan was simple – mow the front lawn, have coffee with Dropscone, mow the greenhouse grass, dead head a bit, sieve some compost, have lunch and go for a cycle ride….and of course take a few pictures too.
The plan developed well. I mowed the front lawn which was looking better for the recent feed.
When I had finished that, the light was perfect for looking at the rosa complicata.
New flowers had come out to enjoy the sunshine, a Martagon lily…
…and a stunning poppy.
Another of the foxgloves has produced a curious non standard flower at the top of its stem.
The warmth has encouraged things. The perennial nasturtium is threatening to completely engulf the yew…
…and one of the astrantias is trying to take over the world.
Mrs Tootlepedal planted some biennial salvias last year and has been amazed by how large they are. They promise to put on a really good show.
Later in the day, I found one that has come out a bit.
There are a lot of Philadelphus about, with different varieties.
I took this one in the morning….
…and this one in the cool of the evening.
This rose was surrounded by promises of more to come.
It was sheer pleasure to be out in the garden. My plan was going well.
Dropscone arrived on cue, complete with the traditional Friday treacle scones. He was pleased because yesterday he had played his first 18 hole round of golf since he broke his ribs. He went off with some rhubarb and my plan continued to develop as I set about mowing the greenhouse grass and the drying green.
I sieved a little compost and did some dead heading and then had lunch with Mrs Tootlepdal who had had a busy morning of social and business meetings.
At this point, my plan, which had been going so well, fell into complete disarray. Owing to a combination of afternoon heat, a growing sense of fatigue and an increasingly sore foot, cycling became more and more unattractive and in the end I got no further than the garden where I enjoyed a colourful corner…
….saw a young starling hoping for some parental attention…
…and noticed a blackbird ready to give a tasty worm to its second brood which is being raised in the hydrangea on the house wall.
Then things reached such a pass that I retired to my bed for a couple of hours and had a snooze.
I got up in time to enjoy an evening meal provided by Mrs Tootlepedal and was recovered enough to go out afterwards to help with some much needed watering in the vegetable garden.
I had my camera in my pocket so I recorded a moment when the wind had dropped so much that the doddering dillies had actually stopped doddering, a very rare occasion…
…and noted a purple patch under the plum tree which Mrs Tootlepedal likes.
Just behind the purple patch is a small but perfectly formed golden rose which was given to us in a pot in January last year on the occasion of our golden wedding. Mrs Tootlepedal planted it out and it flowered all last summer. It has survived the winter and is flowering very prettily once again. That is a very good value gift.
Because of my plan’s failure, not only are there no pictures from my proposed cycle ride but there is no flying bird of the day and a starling on top of a neighbour’s holly tree is standing in instead.