Today’s guest picture comes from another of Venetia’s visit to fine local gardens. She returned to the country estate called The Newt and found a newt.
We had a fine day here and I was up comparatively early to enjoy it, as I had arranged to play nine holes of golf after breakfast with Dropscone. This was my second attempt to reacquaint myself with the game and the results were very much like the first attempt a couple of weeks ago. I hit some good long shots but continuously made a mess of any shorter efforts. If I am going to play with Dropscone again, I will have to go and do some proper preparation. Today I was practising doing it wrong and getting very good at that.
Dropscone was very patient and came down to enjoy a post golf cup of coffee. He did get some rhubarb as compensation for having to put up with my poor shots.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy all morning up on the Langholm Moor with other members of the buy out group talking to some visitors from London who are very keen on natural regeneration and wanted to see the moor, so after coffee I had a walk round the garden by myself.
The sun made some flowers stand out.
…and it had brought on a couple of newcomers, a robust rudbeckia…
…and a charming little Japanese anemone.
I was hoping that the sun would also have encouraged butterflies but once again there were quite a few whites about…
…but only the occasional peacock or red admiral, and they mostly weren’t in the mood to be photographed.
I got changed to go bicycling but I realised that the calendulas and poppies were being neglected so I spent quite a bit of time nipping around the garden dead heading before I got going on my bike.
In order to vary my routine, I went past the new windfarm at Solwaybank in the ‘wrong’ direction today but no new turbines had gone up so I settled for a picture of a hedge that had grown like Topsy….
…and headed on to Eaglesfield.
The church there is an oddity…
…with a very square lych gate in front of a very triangular church.
Leaving Eaglesfield and its geometry behind, I headed south to Kirtlebridge where I came across this handsome viaduct…
…which carries the main line railway both over the roads and the Kirtle Water….
…at one fell swoop.
I crossed under the viaduct and puffed my way up the hill on the other side before turning south again and visiting Gretna.
Not every bridge over the Kirtle Water that I passed on my way measures up to that fine viaduct.
The verges on my route today were mostly green, with hardly a splash of colour at all. The wild flower season is moving on and even the rosebay willowherb is coming to an end.
I passed through a corner of England on my way from Gretna to Langholm and stopped to admire the barley ripening among grassy fields…
…and the last three trees in England before I crossed back into Scotland again.
Over the final five miles up the A7 to Langholm, I finally got some ungrudging assistance from the wind, and this helped get me home after 40 miles in slightly better condition than felt probable at one time. Golf is quite tiring on Langholm’s hilly course.
I found Mrs Tootlepedal mowing the drying green and green house grass when I got back. She laid down the mower and put the kettle on. After a cup of tea, I looked for butterflies but found other things instead. The Michaelmas daisies are often busy.
Then we went back to the mowing, with Mrs Tootlepedal in control and me working as the power cord wrangler. We have added some grass paths to this mowing task but the results make the work worthwhile, I think.
When we had finished, Mrs Tootlepedal tested out the bench beside the middle lawn while I mowed the lawn with the push mower.
I had a last look round after I had put the mower away.
The impressively dark dahlia is lightening up as it grows older and revealing a yellow heart.
Starlings kept an eye on what we were up to.
We have some very strong winds forecast over the next couple of days and Mrs Tootlepedal is worried about her tall sunflowers. This one is keeping its head well down.
Although the sun and been covered by clouds, there was still plenty of brightness left in the garden to enjoy…
…before went in just in time to join the sibling Zoom meeting.
I made mushroom omelettes for our evening meal and that rounded off what had been quite a full day for both of us.
There was no time for watching flying birds at all today so two sitting siskins will just have to do instead.