Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia. I think this must have been a stopping point on her journey north. The offer of tea and cakes seems attractive.
We had a better day here, slightly warmer and slightly less windy. As the sun often came out, it was much more pleasant in the garden too. This was lucky, as I decided to pay some attention to the fact that I was feeling a bit tired and I didn’t leave the house and garden all day. If you don’t like garden flowers and birds, this is not a post for you.
When we checked the trail camera, we were very pleased to find a hedgehog still pottering about in the middle of the night.
We hope it is our mother from the garage, but we will have to wait to see if any hoglets appear.
Inside the house in the morning, Mrs Tootlepedal and I had had a cheerful WhatsApp video call with our granddaughter Evie who was exactly twenty three months old today. Outside in the garden, we had an equally cheerful cup of coffee and a chat with our neighbours Margaret, Liz and Ken. Ken was telling us that he had cycled 60 miles in the brisk wind yesterday. As he is the same age as me and as I thought that it was quite windy enough when I did my twenty miles yesterday, I take my hat off to his determination and staying power.
When I wasn’t chatting online and off, I wandered round the garden taking pictures, and doing occasional small tasks while Mrs Tootlepedal worked at the serious stuff.
In the greenhouse, she pointed out the developing tomato flowers to me.
They look good, but they are nothing compared to an opium poppy which seeded itself in the greenhouse uninvited, but which Mrs Tootlepedal has allowed to develop.
It has developed well!
Out in the garden, I found that a pale astrantia has arrived to join the red one.
I then discovered that Mrs Tootlepedal has been nurturing another one in her cold frame. It has done very well too.
They are lovely flowers, each one a miniature garden in itself.
A bright red geum has come to join the yellow and pink ones already out.
The yellow rattle on the drying green, part of Mrs Tootlepedal’s proposed mini meadow, is getting stronger every day.
She has thrown down some other wild flower seeds but they are not showing yet, and we may have to wait until next year for better results with them.
Foxgloves are beginning to pop up all over the garden . . .
. . . and a melancholy thistle has appeared in the back border among the cow parsley.
We have had a rosa Moyesii near the road hedge for some time. Mrs Tootlepedal took some offshoots from it and planted them in the back border where they are making progress.
There were a few more bees and other buzzers about today but not nearly as many as we would like . . .
. . . and I noticed a letter in the paper today from another a gardener who was complaining that they have no bees in their garden at all. It would be nice to think that the government thought that this was a problem worth worrying about, but I am not confident that they do.
We went in for lunch and I took a moment to check on the birds. Sparrows were very much in evidence among the siskins . . .
. . . coming in from . . .
. . . all sides.
The picture below gives a good idea of the difference in size between sparrows and siskins, but note that the siskin is still airily waving the sparrow away.
After lunch we went back out into the garden where I took a picture of a nectaroscordum siculum . . .
. . . which I find is also known as honey garlic. Since nectar means honey and scordum means garlic, this should not have come as a surprise to me, but it did.
Among the ‘wilder’ elements in the garden, orange hawkweed is just coming into its own, and there should soon be a small sea of orange in the garden . . .
. . . flecked with vetch.
Irises are also turning up all over the place.
I continued to do small tasks until I got the hover mower out and mowed the drying green, greenhouse and vegetable garden areas.
After this, I found that I need a sit down and a snooze on a garden chair in the warmth of the afternoon sunshine. Mrs Tootlepedal gardened steadily on while I dozed.
I woke up and we went in for a cup of tea.
I took my camera out into the garden after tea for a last look round. Sparrows and siskins were whirling round the seed feeder . . .
. . . and starlings were sitting all over the holly.
I went to have a look at the heavily pruned fuchsia on the back wall of the house and was happy to find a few flowers out.
There is life in the old bush still.
That was the last active moment of a very quiet but enjoyable day. I hope that it will have recharged my batteries and given my sore knee a chance to recover.
The flying birds of the day are a pair of ducks flying over the garden in the late afternoon..
Those who wish can choose their own flower of the day from the selection above. I liked them all.