Afternoon tea in the garden

The guest picture of the day comes from our son Tony. It proves that there are many shades of green in East Wemyss as well as in Langholm.

Today’s post starts with an anomaly, a picture taken yesterday. As it was taken at a quarter to midnight, I hope that that explains why it didn’t appear in yesterday’s post. The moon rose late last night…

…and by the time that it had cleared the trees, it was today.

Fortunately, things have got a little bit warmer, and the clear night didn’t lead to a frost so the garden was in good order when we got up. A friend called round to show us a picture of a new bird at his feeder. It turned out to be a redpoll. He too had been looking at the moon last night, but he had gone to length of driving up over the hill with his wife to get a better view.

Far from rushing about at night to see the sights, it took me a long time to get up at all today, but I managed it in the end and wandered about the garden while Mrs Tootlepedal worked. She had already done some window painting by this time.

As always, I had my camera to hand and was happy to see new flowers, a clematis, a potentilla, an allium and an aquilegia…

…adding to a general feeling of well being brought on by the better weather.

Margaret joined us for coffee in the garden (‘coats off ‘ today) and when she left to go for lunch at the Day Centre, I first cycled round to the shop for supplies and then mowed the vegetable garden grass.

I had filled the feeder earlier and I had a check on the inevitable siskins before lunch. It had gone down a lot already.

After lunch (and some footling about wasting time because my legs were not exactly enthusiastic about a cycle ride), I got my bike out, put on a layer less than usual and went off for a pedal down to Canonbie and back.

It was a grand day to be out, there were bluebells coming out on the hillside at Bessie Bell’s…

…and there were no threatening clouds about as I went up the hill on this occasion.

Because I had started out a bit late and I had an appointment later in the afternoon, I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time taking pictures. This was a pity as there were quite a few butterflies about. They take time and patience though, and being in a bit of a rush, I took several pictures of where butterflies had been a moment earlier…

…but none of the actual butterflies.

I was luckier with a buzzard that circled overhead, climbing on the thermals.

There may be some trees still waiting to get their leaves but in general, spring has definitely sprung as this picture of the old road at the Hollows shows.

The afternoon appointment was tea in the garden with our friends Mike and Anne. The sun was bright enough enough for us to want to sit in the shade under the walnut tree on the old bench. Mrs Tootlepedal had made cheese scones for the occasion, and as we sat and chatted, ate scones and drank tea, life seemed almost normal.

A blackbird, also having its tea, came to join us.

Mike and Anne are currently using a courtesy car while their car gets repaired and by coincidence, it is the petrol version of our Zoe, so for a while we had two Renaults in the drive. I took a picture as they left for home.

We stayed out in the garden when they had gone, and I got my camera out again.

Mrs Tootlepedal tied up the clematis at the front door and I took shots of it, the clematis over the garage, the blue poppy again, and the flowers on a bean, which are just as pretty as many flowers in the flower garden.

Above our heads, starlings were doing a lot of chatting too.

I think that the late afternoon is my favourite time in the garden as far as the light goes, and it really brought out the rich colours in a dicentra…

…and the chimney full of pansies.

We have been worried about the effects of the repeated frosts on our plum tree, but there are signs that we might get at least one plum this year…

…and the climbing hydrangea, which was badly affected by the late frost last year, looks a lot better this year.

I needed to fill the feeder again after many siskin visits during the day, and it didn’t take the siskins (and a redpoll) long to notice.

By way of a contrast, I took my bird camera outside and looked at the feeder from the lawn with the sun behind me. You would hardly think that the two sets of pictures were taken within minutes of each other.

Through all the flurry of activity, the same redpoll and siskin sat tight on the top two perches.

I pointed the bird camera at a pair of alliums too.

…and rounded off my photographic day with a look at the brilliant rhododendron catching the light.

We may get a little rain tomorrow according to the forecast, but looking ahead it doesn’t seem that it will take too long before I am complaining that it is too hot. This will make a welcome change from complaining that it is too cold.

The arrival of both the warmer weather and Mike and Anne for tea made this feel like a really special day. I hope that we will have many more of them now.

The flying birds of the day are a pair of passing pigeons.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Afternoon tea in the garden

  1. Some lovely flowers on display today,especially like rhododendron with the sun highlighting it nicely.
    It feels like summer has finally arrived 😊

  2. I do love your moon shots from the other side of the planet! Planet 🌍 Your rhodies are more rambunctious than our wild ones.

  3. I agree that bean flowers can be beautiful. And peas too.
    I hope you’ll see both plums and climbing hydrangea flowers this year.
    I love the old road through all the spring greens. It looks like a great place to walk or ride.

  4. It is heartening to read of what used to be ‘taken-for-granted’ pleasures. Wonderful news and delightful photographs.

  5. Thank you, Tom and Alison, for the delicious tea, tour of the garden and the great pleasure of your company.

  6. Lovely shots of the moon – and some beautiful blue skies yesterday. Great to be getting back to normal with tea in the garden with friends.

  7. Great moon photos and lovely shots of all the flowers blooming in your garden. The lighter background of the birds on the feeder photo makes such a difference! Looks like we’ll all be watering the garden again soon….I’m going to try hard and not complain too much when it happens!

  8. I am sorry I have fallen behind here, no need to reply. I enjoyed these photos and commentary! It was overcast here the night of the full moon, but things have cleared a bit, and we were able to catch the moon on its waning part of the journey.

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