Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who enjoyed a socially distanced meeting with fellow students of Spanish across the River Derwent from Darley Abbey’s West Mill this morning. They enjoyed the Spanish style weather a lot.

We had a better day for weather here but a sadder day for for us as Annie and Evie left Langholm to return to London.

There was time before they left for us to have coffee on the lawn with our neighbours Margaret and Liz who were sorry to see Evie go too. After coffee, while the final packing was being done, I wandered round the garden and found that the first nerine of the season had appeared, posing like a ballet dancer in front of a box hedge.

When I looked at Icelandic and Welsh poppies, I could see that they were never short of a friend or two.

A late zinnia has arrived to take the place of those that have gone over. It is unfeasibly red.

It had rained overnight and Margaret, looking around as she came for coffee, felt that the flowers were looking a little the worse for wear. There might be some truth in this, but the Crown Princess Margareta is bearing up quite well…

…and the little red poppies seem to be indestructible.

They look so small and delicate that you would think that a bit of heavy rain would be fatal, but they manage to come up smiling day after day.

It wasn’t long before Mrs Tootlepedal took Annie and Evie away to Carlisle to catch their train and I waved the Zoe good bye as it went down the street.

Bringing a baby with you requires so much in the way of luggage that there was no room for me in the car as well, so I stayed at home and mowed the middle lawn to cheer myself up.

Before I got the mower out, I had a quick tour of the garden and found that the better weather had encouraged a day lily to show off.

…and it had also brought back a lot of red admiral butterflies, some small tortoiseshells and a single peacock. White butterflies don’t seem to be so fussy about the weather and are always with us.

In the vegetable garden, Mrs Tootlepedal’s bed of clover, field beans and grasses is thriving and the clover looks as beautiful as ever.

It has not been a good year for fruit in our garden and to go with our three plums (eaten) and three apples (ripening nicely), we have three tomatoes (still small and green).

When I had finished mowing the lawn, I gave it a dressing of the fertiliser and moss eating mixture. It worked pretty well in the spring and I will be interested to see if it has any effect on stopping the lawn going back to moss in the winter.

I had a light lunch, and then went out into the garden again to get some washing in. I didn’t have my flower camera with me so I thought that I would try the camera on my phone…

…and it worked quite well, I thought.

I watched the birds while I was waiting for Mrs Tootlepedal to return. As is often the case, the first bird that I saw was a lone siskin…

…but traffic soon built up with sparrows and goldfinches…

…coming and going…

…in every direction.

While I am looking at the birds, I can also see some of our dahlias. This is one of my favourites…

…however, it doesn’t attract insects so perhaps I shouldn’t like it quite as much as I do.

It was a pretty nice afternoon, but thanks to a sore hip which needed a day of rest to let it settle down, I ignored the temptation to go for a walk or a bike ride, and settled down to watch today’s very restful stage of the Tour on the telly.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned safely, having seen Annie and Evie onto their train. She had made a small diversion to a garden centre on her way back and picked up three bags of garden manure. We all have our own ways of cheering ourselves up.

After the stage was over, I went out into the garden again and took a couple of colorful corner shots…

…and then mowed the front lawn. Mike Tinker looked over the garden hedge as he passed and told me that he had just had a very enjoyable walk round Walk 8 of the Langholm Walks Project. I was envious as I would have liked to have got out myself.

I took a picture of the lawn from above to show how enormous the sunflowers are at the front.

They are supposed to be five foot tall but the shortest of them is above my head and the tallest is about twice my size.

It was very quiet in the house without Evie and Annie. We hope that they can visit us again soon.

My hip seems to have benefited from the day of rest so with luck I can be a bit more active tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Farewell

  1. Always sad saying goodbye to the family,especially living so far away.
    We’re lucky in that our daughter and grandson Archie live with us,although we don’t always appreciate it as we should.
    Your garden is looking superb 👍

  2. It’s easy to see why that dahlia is your favorite.
    My favorite today is that red poppy. It’s a beautiful thing.
    The sunflowers are gigantic. Amazing when you know the size of the seed.
    I hope the hip calms down. I had that for a while and it was more than annoying.

  3. The photo of your garden from above looks really lovely especially those colourful corners and the sunflowers! The dahlia is pretty but as you say they don’t attract much wildlife. The poppies and buddleia are my favourites with all those beautiful butterflies and bees. Hope the hip gets better soon.

    1. The hip was just a passing niggle and cleared up to let me cycle today. It is a pity that plant breeders don’t always consider pollinators in their drive for visual effect.

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