A day of rest

Today’s guest picture comes from another National Trust visit from Venetia. She liked the way that this downpipe had been shaped to suit the architecture at Great Chalfield Manor in Wiltshire.

We had another perfect summer’s day here. I was glad that I had gone cycling yesterday though as the wind was a lot brisker today. This was good from a cooling point of view, so we weren’t complaining.

For some inexplicable reason, I was feeling a bit tired today. I was happy that it was a Sunday and thus suitable as a day of rest.

I slept in and after breakfast did nothing more energetic than cycle to the shop for some milk and honey, necessities for the good life I believe.

I wandered round the garden when I got back and saw my first butterfly of the day, a peacock.

I love Mrs Tootlepedal’s zinnias because they keep developing over several days. They don’t just come out and look the same.

And they have the additional charm of having a garden within the flower.

I did a little dead heading of poppies and calendulas and enjoyed the cornflowers and phlox while I was at it.

The poppies are lasting well this year and continue to delight on sunny days in particular.

I got a slightly better set of pictures of the first Japanese anemone and cosmos.

Mrs Tootlepedal continues to be very pleased with the results of her dahlias from seed. She and I both like the variety of colours shapes and sizes that she got.

All this wandering around took me gently up to coffee time.

While were out on the lawn drinking coffee with Ken, Liz and Margaret, we wondered if we were under surveillance from the authorities as a helicopter kept flying over us. A close look though revealed that it was probably spraying bracken on the hills.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal set to work gardening and I went on a butterfly hunt. On my way, I was distracted by bright flowers….

…and a verbena which wins the prize for taking up the most space for these least volume of actual flowers.

The butterflies were not hard to spot on the purple buddleia next to Hector’s garden…

…but the brisk breeze was making taking good pictures of them quite tricky so I have put in three panels of butterflies that I saw at one time or another during the day; one for two rather tatty red admirals…

…one for small tortoiseshells…

…and a final one for the peacocks who were in the majority today.

After mowing the middle and front lawns, and looking at another selection of flowers in the sunshine…

…I went in for lunch.

And a look at the bird feeder. Traffic was light in the sunshine today.

After lunch, we went out into the garden again and I shredded a lot of material that Mrs Tootlepedal had been clearing out round the drying green in the morning. I added the shreddings to Compost Bin A. It has been acting in a most satisfactory way, going down all the time no matter how much we pile into it, a sort of widow’s cruise in reverse. I am hoping for some well rotted compost at the end of the process.

I noticed a new flower in the vegetable garden…

Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that is an Inula helenium and it was a gift from a fellow gardener who lives nearby.

Then it was time to go back in, first to have a another quick look at the birds who were giving an object lesson in how not to get the title of flying bird of the day: don’t fly past other birds and don’t arrive before the photographer is ready.

And then to prepare for the weekly virtual choir practice with the Carlisle Community Choir. I had a useful time and enjoyed myself as much as is possible when you can’t actually hear the rest of the choir singing. They have sent out the backing tracks for us to sing along to for the virtual choir performance and I will need to work hard to get my voice back into singing condition before I try recording myself. Listening to recordings of myself playing music or singing is always a chastening experience.

That Zoom was soon followed by another one with our son Alistair and our granddaughter Matilda. Matilda will be going back to school next week and is both excited and worried by the prospect. I imagine almost everyone else is in the same state. In the meantime, she read us two stories and composed a little music on her father’s mini synthesizer.

I had time for a last wander round the garden before tea. This is Mrs Tootlepedal’s current dahlia favourite.

I did think of going for a late walk in the evening but only got as far as thinking about it.

The flying bird of the day almost beat me to it but I just caught this chaffinch before it landed.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “A day of rest

  1. I feel better about myself that even you have lazy summer days! Very best wishes for Matilda having a safe return to school. Your post made me realize we are ever so short on butterflies this year. Since buddleia got put on the noxious weed list here, I really miss the way it drew the butterflies in.

  2. A fine assortment of photos from your day. I looked up your Inula helenium, it is also known as elecampane, is in the sunflower family as I suspected, and has medicinal uses.

    The zinnia with its golden crown in the center is quite beautiful.

    Why would a helicopter be spraying bracken on the hills? Ferns should not interfere with growth of new trees in a harvested area.

  3. I was talked into growing that verbena one year and i was disappointed in it for the very reason you’ve pointed out.
    It’s hard to pick a favorite flower but the pink dahlia, pink poppy and yellow Helenium really stand out.
    I’m glad I’m not the parent of a school age child. I hope Matilda and her parents see nothing but smooth sailing ahead.

      1. Nor do we. We seem to be being governed by a campaign group rather than people interested in policies and their results. Your situation seems to be much the same.

  4. I have been enjoying your regular updates on the zinnias: they used to be a popular garden flower here for many years, lost favour and now seem to be making a come-back. Your photographs have made me appreciate them all the more for their beauty you highlight so well.

  5. A colourful post with the beautiful flowers and pretty butterflies competing to see which ones get the most aaahs! The dahlias are all lovely and the Inula helenium looks spiky and sparky …really like it! The guest photo is great too!

  6. Who could have imagined going back to school might be anxiety producing. How did we ever end up in this predicament? Wishing Matilda and all the others well.

    The Zinnia with it’s lovely garden within was a cheerful sight to lighten the mood.

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