Uphill coffee

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He saw a canal bridge on his walk yesterday and, knowing that I like bridges, took a photo of it just for me.

We had a warm, grey morning, and as it was dry, I mowed the middle lawn when I got our into the garden after breakfast.

Because it creeps up the wall and gets into the gutter, Mrs Tootlepedal had trimmed the clematis over the garage door yesterday, using our long loppers. The hydrangea further along the house needed trimming too for the same reason, but this was a case for a ladder and secateurs, so I got the ladder out and made a start.

Between the mowing and the trimming, I took a flower picture or two. My favourite poppy of the moment is this pink one . . .

. . . and I am very grateful that Mrs Tootlepedal has grown an eryngium at my request. It gets better every day.

We sat on the bench beside the eryngium and considered things. Mrs Tootlepedal loves the flowers on the peonies . . .

. . . but has begun to take the view that they take up too much space in the borders, and flower for too short a time. What is needed is a separate bed where they could live happily without interfering in the borders after they have flowered. As we don’t have such a space, this is a conundrum.

I left her to ponder this and went off up the hill to have coffee with Sandy.

He is growing some good looking sweet peas against his shed.

He is a bit fed up because just as his foot was recovering after an operation, he has got trouble with a knee and his walking is quite limited. Even his legendary patience is being taxed. He made some good coffee though, and we enjoyed a chat before I left to go home and finish trimming the hydrangea.

On my way back, I stopped at the top of the hill above the town and enjoyed the view as well as admiring a good spread of wild flowers beside me.

We were afraid that the spring frosts might have affected our walnut tree, but if you look in the middle of the bottom part of the view above, you can see that it is in good health and well covered with leaves. Our white front door can be seen behind it.

When I got back, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had gone to our neighbour Liz’s garden for coffee and I was invited in for a blether. I took up the invitation.

When we got back to our own garden after some good general blethering, I finished off the hydrangea. The gutters are safe for a while.

There was an opportunity to take some more garden pictures.

I may like the pink poppy, but Mrs Tootlepedal’s current favourite is a double red poppy, just out.

Her new clematis has produced more flowers . . .

. . . and the greater knapweeds have joined the party.

It was getting near lunch time, so I filled the bird feeder and went in to finish the crossword and check on the birds from time to time. I was pleased to see a greenfinch by way of variety today.

I was intending to go for a cycle ride in the afternoon but a bit of rain made me look at the forecast. It suggested that we were in for heavy rain and possible thunderstorms, so I had a rethink and watched a bit of the Tour de France while I did so.

A look out of the window after a while suggested that the forecast might have been a bit pessimistic. I got my rain gear on and went off for a pedal. I didn’t want to push my luck so I opted for a brief trip round my familiar Canonbie circuit. There were some threatening clouds about but they drifted off and I got a clear run. On the down side, the wind was in a very unhelpful direction and I took nine minutes longer to get round than I had done last week.

I stopped to check on some bright yellow flowers in the verge soon after I left home. They turned out to be Lady’s Bedstraw.

When I got to the spot where the hemlock was growing in the ditch, I found that it had finished flowering . . .

. . . and the verges are now full of vetch.

The vetch is well concealed though and the predominate picture is grass, grass and more grass.

I found the ride back up to Langholm was hard work, so I kept my head down and didn’t look about much. I was glad to stop for a breather though when a good crop of foxgloves on a bank caught my eye at Irvine House.

I stopped for one last time to look across the main road just before I rejoined it at the end of the bike path.

When I got home, I was able to watch the very end of the Tour de France stage, and then I had time for a walk round the garden before I went back in for the regular sibling Zoom and an evening meal. Any threatening clouds had long since disappeared and it had turned into a lovely evening.

The roses were glowing.

. . . and the day lilies had decided that as far as they were concerned, this was the day.

Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that I haven’t paid the calendulas enough respect so I tried to remedy that.

After tea, preparing this post was somewhat interrupted by casting occasional glances at the telly to see how England were doing at the football. While I won’t be betting the house on them being able to beat Italy in the final, it certainly was a treat to see an England side playing well as a team and showing as much technical skill as their opponents. They had some impressively quick players too.

The flying bird of the day is a distant pigeon . . .

. . . and the flower of the day is another shot of that red poppy which Mrs Tootlepedal likes.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Uphill coffee

  1. I’m glad your walnut tree is flourishing, and I like the grass, grass and more grass.
    I’ve not been watching the football, but I happened to catch the last 8 minutes of extra time this evening, and, while I understand why the English players were just footling around like primary school kids having a kickaround during that time, I don’t understand why no Dane sought to rush in and intercept the ball as they were doing so.

  2. I like that pink poppy. It’s a beauty, but so is the red one.
    Trimming on a ladder is hard work. I’d guess that you’re glad it’s done.
    I’m sorry to hear about Sandy’s knee. Maybe it’s acting up because his foot kept him off it for a while.

  3. Such a lovely blog! Sort of fills in the gaps between watching new episodes of Gardener’s World and BritBox selections for this American! -Julie

  4. Thank you for the Calendulas as they are most beloved by my wive. And I prefer them over roses.

  5. Andrew’s bridge photo is another of those that make me want to walk into it and follow that path!

    I’m sorry to hear about Sandy’s knee. We often put stress on other joints to protect an injured one, which really “adds insult to injury”.

  6. Your walnut tree looks nice and healthy, and hopefully will provide you with a good crop of nuts this year. The peonies might work in a large container, which can be moved around as desired with a hand truck.

    That pink poppy is rather radiant, though the red one is very beautiful too, and showy like a Flamenco dancer’s flaring skirt. All these flowers in your garden are a delight to the eye.

  7. A peony patch sounds a great idea. All the flower photos are wonderful but the pink poppy is a corker. The calendulas are lovely and they make a bright display in borders and I like them very much plus the slugs leave them alone! Hope there are lots of walnuts on your tree- it looks very well established!

  8. I do love a canal bridge, even though when using the tow path one has to dismount when going under them. Perhaps, I’m locked in the past, but England’s footballers are nowhere near the personalities I loved to watch when I was a lad. When Kenneth Wolstenholme commentated, it is beyond me why we need to have two hours of build up before kick off? Possibly it’s an attempt to give these current players, many of whom I’ve never heard of, a glimmer of personality. I could go on, but when I played for Barry Celtic at 15/16 it was at full back. George Cohen, and Ray Wilson were my heroes. Those were the days! Cheers.

    1. I totally agree on the tow hours of build up. I think it is there to justify the huge sums that the broadcasters have to pay for the rights.

      I don’t necessarily agree with you about footballer’s personality. Players were certainly closer to the public fifty years ago both literally and metaphorically so it is hard to tell what a modern day player would be like in real life. I don’t think many of the old timers would have been up for taking on the government in the commendable way in which Marcus Rashford did. I take my hat off to him.

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