Today’s guest pictures come from both our sons. Tony’s peas are looking good, and Al is kindly sharing his leaves with the locals.
Summer continued in Langholm today. We could almost get used to this.
Mrs Tootlepedal went out into the garden after breakfast and called me out to look at the clouds. They were worth a look.
As it seemed likely to get quite hot as the day went on, I did some gardening before coffee, including some experimental work with push mower on a section of grass at the end of the drive which has hitherto only been mowed with the hover mower. It is this sort of thing that makes life really exciting.
I also watered the soft fruit, as there is no sign of rain to come for another day or two.
And I looked at flowers, in particular the Lilian Austin rose. It is doing really well this year, with flowers at all stages of development today.
We have been taking out the main shoots of the lupin near the greenhouse as they have been going over, and this has lead to a very satisfactory burst of growth from the remaining side shoots . . .
. . . for which the bees are grateful.
There were more clouds to look at with a very curious effect during coffee with Margaret.
After coffee, I had another wander about.
. . . before cycling off to the shop. I went along the river. I say along the river, but there is hardly any river to go along at the moment.
The Met office says that Scotland as a whole only had 44% of its average rainfall during June and I think that we might have had even less than that here.
The garden doesn’t seem to mind too much though. Mrs Tootlepedal has been doing some watering and everything is growing.
I enjoyed looking up at a tall philadelphus . . .
. . . and looking down at a fancy clover which I spotted in a shady corner . . .
. . . before I found myself a bit overcome by the heat of the sun and went indoors to cool down.
Even lunch didn’t fully revive me, and I didn’t go outside again until after five o’clock, choosing to let others take the exercise for me as we watched another stage of the Tour de France. It was a quiet stage, but it had a rousing finale.
When I finally went out into the garden, I tried to catch some starlings in flight. They obligingly perched on a power line but it got in the way when one flew off.
It was still pretty warm at well over 20°°C, but the sun had disappeared behind some thin cloud, so I felt happy enough to get July’s cycling month off to a start with a trip round my familiar twenty mile Canonbie route. I made a liver casserole and left it simmering and then went for my pedal.
Rather to my surprise, I found that my legs were in a very enthusiastic mood, and as a result, except for enjoying the view in today’s header picture, I kept pedalling until I was well through Canonbie and on my way back to Langholm. I was keeping an eye out for orchids though, and one at Hagg on Esk brought me to a halt.
I have previously seen some orchids on the short section of bike path nearby, but although I looked both ways . . .
. . . because sometimes flowers are only visible in one direction . . .
. . . I saw many daisies but no orchids. I did see another good example a bit later on but completely failed to take a usable picture of it.
My eager legs got me home in a new fastest time for this route this year, but as it was only a minute faster than my last effort, it wasn’t tremendously impressive for such a warm evening with light winds.
I had a final walk round the garden, and enjoyed the scent of a philadelphus beside the back path . . .
. . . viewed a selection of floral collections . . .
. . . (with added heron), admired new flowers on Mrs Tootlepedal’s new clematis . . .
. . . had my attention drawn by her to some peltigera lichen beside the pond . . .
. . . and added a nearby pink to the list of new flowers coming out.
The liver casserole, which had been curated by Mrs Tootlepedal while I cycled, turned out very well, and by the time that my evening meal was over, the active day had come to an end.
There is no flying bird of the day today as I was too idle to stand for long at the window looking out, so a sitting pigeon takes its place . . .
. . . and the flower of the day is a moss rose.