Attila the gardener at work

Today’s guest picture is another from Bruce’s recent walk.  As well as his uncommunicative stranger, he encountered fifty shades of green.  I don’t think there can be a greener local view than this one.

bruces esk valley view

After the excitements of yesterday, it was back to the well trodden paths of lockdown today.  I rose late, ate a leisurely breakfast, did the crossword and then got up in time to have a walk round the garden before coffee.  Everything was as it should be.

In the garden, alliums are working towards spherical perfection…

allium close up

…and the flowers on the tree peony are looking promising.

potentional peony tree

The downside of the tree peony is that by the time that the flowers come fully out, they are often covered up by the leaves.

I liked the delicate red trim on the petals of the last of the yellow tulips…

tint on yellow tulip

…and the way that the yellow azalea encourages visitors.

yellow azalea stamens

Pollinators have been doing their work in the garden as these potential plums show.

potential plums

I had time to wonder about what had caused the petals on this Icelandic poppy to go white…

tinted poppy

…before it was time for our socially distanced street coffee break.

It was a bit warmer today so we chatted for longer and the world must be a better place as we certainly put it to rights.

After coffee, we went back into the garden and had a wander round before getting down to work.

The peonies are just about ready to burst into flower.

potentional peony bed

This azalea was part of a panel yesterday but it is so rich that I thought that it deserved a place of its own today.

deep red azalea

It was a cool morning again but the sun was warm enough to encourage petals to open generously on tulips….


…and the lilac.


Mrs Tootlepedal, being a true artist, is never quite satisfied with the way the garden is, so today’s task was to open up the view from the front door by cutting back the box hedges on each side of the path to the lawn.

I remembered to take a before and after picture for once.  This was the scene at ten to twelve…


…and this was a scene an hour later after a lot of hard work had removed four of the little box bushes that make up the edges.


hedge trimming start

When I looked at the pictures on the computer in the evening, it became apparent that I had chosen totally the wrong angle for the shot and it doesn’t look as though Attila and her henchman had made much difference at all.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal returned to the task of widening the gap and I went off for a cycle ride.

It was reasonably warm in theory but a cold and blustery wind made picking the right amount of clothes to wear a tricky problem.

I put on too many and since I was feeling a bit tired and grumpy because of the wind, I didn’t enjoy my ride as much as usual and it took me a long time to get round my familiar Canonbie circuit.

It was a pleasant enough day with plenty of sun on my route but I only stopped for two pictures, this one of the big structures which have been put up under the power lines at Canonbie, prior to work on the lines….

canonbie pylons

…and this one at Byreburn where the varied colours caught my eye.

byrebrun houses

When I got home, I took a third picture to show Mrs Tootlepedal’s hedge reducing work in my absence…

hedge trimming

…and she reckons that about six foot of hedging has been removed.  That may not sound much, but she had done an amazing amount of work.

There may be another plant to be removed tomorrow to make the gap exactly equal on each side of the path but the task is almost complete.  Most of the box cuttings have been shredded and some are already back in the garden as mulch round the bottom of another portion of the hedge.

I walked up the road from the front gate to record the first honeysuckle flower in the hedge there.  I had noticed it as I cycled back home.

honeysuckle road

Beside it a viburnum is in flower.


This plant comes from a cutting from a plant that came from a cutting that Mrs Tootlepedal took near an underpass while going shopping in Carlisle many years ago.

I looked over the hedge to get a ‘passer by’ look at a colourful corner…

colourful corner from road

…and went in to have a cup of tea and a late look at the bird feeder.

chaffinches and sparrows

Chaffinches and sparrows were stocking up.

In the morning, the postman had delivered a parcel containing no less than  six sorts of tea: Orange Blossom Oolong, Keemun Black Tea, Lapsang Souchong, Nuwara Eliya Black Tea, and Assam Broken Gold Tips Tea ~ GFBOP ~ Summer, so I should be alright for a cuppa for the next few days at least.

In a turn up for the books, we got a little rain this evening, just a little rain to be sure, but very welcome all the same.

The flying bird of the day is one of the sparrows.

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Attila the gardener at work

  1. That’s a pretty azalea. It deserves a spot of its own.
    I wonder if the poppy is a bi color with white a natural part of it.
    Cutting back a hedge like that and having it look right at the end is a very tricky job but if anyone can pull it off it’s Mrs. T.

  2. The flowers are looking good, and colorful. Mrs. T always does a splendid job in the gardens. That yellow azalea does look as if it is saying, “Come on in!”

    I am glad you got out for a ride, even if the wind was a bit cold. We had a cool and wet day in the low 50s here, with a number of passing storms. I think the grass grew several inches.

  3. That Mrs T she is some tough lady! So right about the view tho’, that opens it out nicely.

  4. Many congratulations to Mrs T on all that hard work, which looks very successful.
    Good to see the azalea coming along so well.

      1. I could see what was done by studying the first and last photo quite carefully. I used a lot of befores and afters and it can often be hard to see the difference that I know is there.

  5. We have the same problem with tree peony leaves. I like the “landscape” shots of the garden, which is looking splendid – I’d agree that 6′ of box hedging is a lot of work.

  6. Attila would get fined here in Germany as cutting hedges is not allowed from March 1st until Sept 30 to protect nesting birds. However the effort was worth it. Even those few drops of rain you have got are a source of our envy. We still are waiting for a little showering. Seems we get a dry May after the driest April ever.

  7. Some gardeners just sit back …on new benches and enjoy the view ! That’s a huge amount of work to cut back the hedge but a great achievement now it’s done. I bet the planting plan for the new space is already thought out. Lovely views of your garden and a pretty first honeysuckle.

  8. Garden renovations looks very hard work, I’d much rather be out on my bike. I actually did some tidying of the shed kind yesterday. My legs, or rather my knees paid the price today. But I girded my loins, it should have been my knees and went out for a gentle tootle, even took some photos. I found out why I wasn’t receiving your blog posts. I inadvertently changed the settings on my laptop……. why am I so ham fisted with this technology? Cheers.

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