A one handed clap

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. His son arrived and cut down a tree in his garden, leaving Andrew’s lawn well hidden.

We had dire warnings of a 90% chance of heavy rain with thunder and lightning throughout the day. So although we were quite pleased to have occasional rain and only one mild outbreak of thunder, we did feel that the day was somewhat lacking in excitement as a result.

We managed to get our garden socially distanced coffee morning organised between light showers and the tropaeolum was looking so good….

….that our neighbour Liz asked for a bit for her garden. As tropaeolum growers will know, there is never any shortage of the stuff to give away (to say the least) and while Mrs Tootlepedal was getting some for Liz, she was surprised by a large frog in the border.

It kindly stood still for long enough for me to go over and take its picture.

The coffee morning broke up when some quite threatening rain started but by the time that we had gone our separate ways, the rain had stopped again so Mrs Tootlepedal and I stayed in the garden.

While Mrs Tootlepedal did some heroic tidying up among the daisies and euphorbia, I looked at some flowers. The poppy in the green house had obviously been playing host to some energetic insects…

…while the one in the flower bed and been completely de-petalled by the overnight rain and replaced by another one.

The coffee drinkers had admired the blue of the delphiniums…

…but my flower of the day was Crown Princess Margareta, fresh out and looking glamorous….

…though The Wren ran her close.

In between looking at the flowers, I mowed the middle and the front lawns. Although it was cooler than yesterday, it was even muggier and it wasn’t just the Martagon lilies…

…that were feeling a bit soggy as I went in for lunch.

As well as the mowing, we had done a lot of chopping and sorting for the compost bin and picked blackcurrants from our new bush. It has done well for a first year. There are still some more currants to pick and I hope we might get enough for a pot of jam or even jelly.

The weather did look quite threatening after lunch, and this was when we heard the thunder. Even so, the rain was patchy enough to allow Mrs Tootlepedal to cycle down to the Co-op for supplies without getting very wet at all. It then stayed dry enough to let me out for a short three bridges walk, and I only had to use my umbrella once or twice as I went round.

The young oyster catcher had been swimming.

It was raining as I walked along the Kilngreen and the ice cream vendor looked lonely in his van with no customers about. These two black headed gulls were not in the market for a nougat wafer.

They looked to me as though they were quite well fed already.

As I passed the Castle on the Castleholm, I wondered how long it will be before it is completely submerged by vegetation.

The threat of rain kept me moving along a bit more smartly than usual so I didn’t see much myself, although I was an object of interest to this sheep….

…and as I went round the Scholars’ Field, I caused a thrush to fly up into a tree in some agitation.

I was hurried home by another short shower and retired indoors to watch the birds from an upstairs window.

As I watched a greenfinch, the day brightened up again and I took the opportunity to lean out of three windows in turn to look at the garden below from left to right.

The sharp eyed reader may have noticed that the grass at the vegetable end of the garden is more insect friendly than the lawns.

I was still left with a bit of time on my hands so I sat down to try to improve my photo editing skills and picked a calendula to work on. The result may not look sensational but it is lot better than the original.

When I took the first picture for the blog of a calendula in the garden a week ago, I wrote that it seemed rather early (and Mrs Tootlepedal agreed) so it was interesting (and chastening) when I looked at my records to find out that it was no earlier than last year and a week later than the year before. Memory is treacherous.

The forecast for tomorrow is gloomy, according to the Norwegians experts….

…and 14° or 15°C colder than it was two days ago. We live in interesting meteorological times.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s scheduled Zoom meeting with my siblings went off smoothly and she then cooked a chicken casserole for our tea. I made a gooseberry fool for my pudding (Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t like gooseberries and stuck to plain custard) but even with the help of plenty of sugar and lots of custard and cream, the gooseberries were still tart enough to make my eyes water. I won’t pick any more for a few days.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch being mean to a siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “A one handed clap

  1. The calendula looks radiant! That is a fine photo.

    Our weather has been hovering between sun and rain today, and rain is forecast for tomorrow. We have a nice breeze today, keeping things on the cooler side.

    The feeders and commentary are lively, as always. 🙂 The siskin looks like he will be given the boot shortly.

  2. Great aerial shots of your garden,which looks pretty labour intensive.😉
    Your hedge trimmers must be kept quite busy too.
    Roses are among my favourite flowers,yours being particularly good examples.👍
    The tropaeolum is a lovely is a lovely understated little plant,very nice.

    1. We have a very handy lightweight battery powered hedge trimmer so the job is considerable but not overwhelming. Mrs T does labour intensively, you are right.

  3. Thank you for the overview photos of your garden. I always enjoy the individual pics of the plants, but it’s lovely to see how they fit into the whole.

  4. The upstairs views of the garden are beautiful as always. They’re really something to be proud of.
    I like the blue of the delphiniums too, and the red of the poppy. The calendulas remind me of a tamed dahlia.
    I wouldn’t worry about the forecast. It was supposed to rain all day here and I barely felt a drop.

  5. It is good to get an overview of your lovely garden. I like whatever you have done to that photograph of the calendula and looked up gooseberry fool: I think the Cape Gooseberries that grow wild here might be sweeter than yours. Nonetheless, I think I should wander around the garden and collect them to try it out …

  6. Love the overall views of your garden- it all looks beautifully kept and full of interest and colour. Favourites are the roses – love The Wren best- the delphiniums and the calendula such pretty colours all of them.

  7. What a magnificent garden, it has everything. Surely, there should be a competition you could enter it into? I would vote for it, just the same as for your blog. A great read every day. I was about to question whether or not oystercatchers can swim or not, so I googled the question. The answer is an emphatic yes! I have never seen this behaviour, but they can dive to a depth of 10 metres. Your blog invariably leads me to learn something new. Cheers.

      1. No more punctures, but haven’t had my Pioneer for two weeks now, still getting crank repaired, picking it up tomorrow, at last. Just in time for the incoming deluge. Good to hear from you, cheers.

  8. I have to slow down and really study those overview photos. And these I have saved to study more later. I think I spy sunflowers planted where Mrs T took out some hedging.

  9. I am quite taken with your various header images. It was also a treat to see more of the lovely yard. I’m impressed with all the work that must go into such a beautiful and extensive yard!

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