Scary but satisfying

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who managed to find some splendid blossom on a recent permitted walk.

mary's blossom

Although the forecast for today was for a worse day than yesterday, it was in fact just as good a day, not quite so warm in the morning when it was cloudy but sunny and springlike in the afternoon.

I resolved not to mooch about aimlessly as I did yesterday but to take advantage of the time on my hands provided by the lockdown and enjoy life.

I was greatly helped by a WhatsApp chat with our daughter Annie and her daughter Evie followed by a convoluted but enjoyable, and ultimately solvable, extra big holiday crossword.  This passed the morning until coffee most pleasantly.

The garden was in good form too, with plum and pear blossom brightening things up.

pear and plum blossom

The Brunnera is adding new flowers every day, and nearby, Honesty has arrived…

brunnera honesty pulsatilla dame flowrs

…while the pulsatilla is realising its potential and aubretia drips over the side of the dam at the back of the house.

Not everything in the garden is showy like the primroses  and I really liked this tiny white flower….

bittercress and primroses

…until Mrs Tootlepedal told me that I was not to like it as it is called hairy bittercress and is a pest in the garden.

I resolved to put a dry day to good use and shifted more compost from Bin C to Bin D and then I scarified the middle lawn.  I have a little electric machine which does the hard work of digging the moss out and it leaves the lawn looking like the panel on the left.  Then the push mower acts as a sweeper and collects all the moss which ends up in the wheelbarrow….

middle lawn after scarifying

…and the lawn ends up looking like this.

middle lawn afetr mowing

There is still a lot of moss there but there is a lot less than there was half an hour earlier.

After lunch, I went out into the garden again and enjoyed the tulips and daffodils in the sunshine.

tulips and daffs

We filled the pond and the tadpoles were grateful for some extra water to swim about in.

tadpols daffs marsh marigold dicentra

Marsh Marigolds have come out in the pond and together with backlit daffodils and richly coloured dicentra, everything was good.

I took my bird camera into the garden and sat on the new bench hoping for interesting birds to arrive.  This did not go to plan and I pointed the camera rather randomly at flowers instead…

tulip primrose magnolia

…though I took care to line up this shot properly to do justice to the cowslips.

cowslips parade

I did more sitting down on different benches and watched bees and flies enjoy the delights of a euphorbia and a bumble bee visit the berberis

bee fly frog bumble bee

…and I followed up that with a pond inspection with Mrs Tootlepedal where we met a frog.

Mrs Tootlepedal went in and I thought that I might as well scarify the front lawn too and when I had done that, I mowed the greenhouse grass as part of the neat and tidy garden project.  There are now peas and potatoes, radishes and beetroots in the raised beds.

greenhouse grass

A blue tit arrived on the rowan tree to check out the work.

blue tit in roawn

After all this, I took a moment just to enjoy the views.

middle lawn top bed

I had put a diagonal stripe on the front lawn.

diagonal front lawn

Wauchope Cottage was looking quite contented in the sunshine.

wauchope cottage blue sky

And the pond was grateful for being filled up.

filled pond

Then, after all this contemplation,  I thought that it was time for some action, so I got my cycling clothes on and went off for a short pedal.  To be truthful, I got my cycling clothes on, then watched the ‘Flash Bang Wallop’ routine from Half a Sixpence which  Mrs Tootlepedal was watching on the telly, and then went for a pedal.

It was five o’clock by the time that I left, but it was still warm so I was able to wear a layer less which made the ride more comfortable.  Needless to say, there was a brisk wind blowing but it suited the route that I took on my familiar 20 mile Canonbie circuit and kindly blew me home up the hill to Langholm.

I didn’t stop for many pictures as I had promised Mrs Tootlepedal that I would be home in time for tea, but I couldn’t resist this little lamb…

lamb bloch

…or the view back down Wauchopedale.


Cycling is a great pleasure at this otherwise rather gloomy time because there is little or no traffic on either the side or main roads, and as a result of the lockdown and the pause in economic activity, the views are often much clearer than usual.  I could almost count the sheep on the English hills when I looked over the Solway plain from the top of the hill at Tarcoon.

penines from tarcoon

I stopped for a look at Whita Hill and the monument as I got near to Langholm just to show that good weather accompanied me all the way home.

whita from seven sisters

To round off an excellent day, Mrs Tootlepedal cooked corned beef hash for our tea and I had a little pudding of stewed rhubarb and ice cream.

It wasn’t a day for flying birds so a greenfinch is the perching bird of the day today.


Footnote:  I took the precaution of not listening to the news today.  That helped.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

44 thoughts on “Scary but satisfying

  1. The lawns and gardens look beautiful, as always.
    I know what you mean about having the roads to yourself. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one here.
    Marsh marigolds in the pond was a great idea that I’ve never thought of.

    1. There are some in the dam as well. The quiet roads are good but I do worry about mad drivers taking advantage of the lack of traffic to drive at excessive speed. I am sure that I would have done so when I was young and stupid.

  2. I found my way back today, back to this world that feeds my soul, and I felt sure I would find you still here. Wonderful to see in comments that New Hampshire is, too. Hello to Mrs. Tootlepedal, I love her gardens. We are looking at about 3 feet of snow still…

  3. What a professional finish the roller gives to your lawn – very snazzy. Glad your day was cheerier, and I agree with your comment about the news. We have far too much opportunity to drown in bad news, and moderation is key. (A sweet wee lamb doesn’t hurt, either!)

  4. The marsh marigolds are one of my favorite flowers,and the tadpoles are looking good. It won’t be long before they develop legs. Everything looks colorful, and quite lovely, and I enjoyed the views from your ride.

    You are right, it is good not to overdose on news these days. I spent the afternoon out mowing the back lot, and found that much healthier for body and spirit.

  5. Wonderful lawn work, I am very impressed. Love your frog too. Good for you to shun the news, I’m beginning to think that seeing the news every other day would be quite enough.

  6. Excellent work with the scarifier. Lovely pictures of house, garden and surroundings – beautiful views, and clearer now.

  7. Glad you had a better day. It’s hard work covering the amount of activity needed to ward off the blues even without the news. Stationary bike any good?

  8. glad you got out on the bike. it is amazing the difference in the roads – but the cycle paths have many dog walkers who are unaware that they are walking on a cycle track.

  9. Pleased you took a second just to sit or stand and admire the views in your garden. This lock down has forced a rethink and I have enjoyed the extra time at home just to look around and appreciate what we have near at hand. Mind you -pleased that you squeezed in your cycle ride too so the photo of the lamb and those mountains were included to brighten my day as I did listen to the news!

  10. I have a question about the moss, Tom. Do you have any problems with it migrating from the lawn to the flower beds? For a while, I left some moss to grow in a certain area of the garden because it looked nice. Now, I find that it’s appearing everywhere, even in places where I wouldn’t normally expect to see it, such as flower beds that get plenty of sun.

    1. We have have had some very wet winters (and summers) lately and this has encouraged moss to grow everywhere, on paths, on plants, on the lawn. The spread seems to be a fubnction of the weather as it wasn’t as bad as this in past times.

  11. How lovely to find a silver lining to the lockdown. It actually sounds like a lovely productive, though relaxing day. It’s been almost too warm here for this time of year. I suspect it’s going to be a dreadfully dry summer.

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