Getting ready

Today’s guest pictures come from our sons Alistair and Tony. Alistair got close to a caterpillar and Tony kept well away from a swarm of bees near a house where he was working.

Our weather seems to be coming in blocks just now, and after our recent spell of sunny weather, we continued in our current block of warm but grey weather, with no touch of sunshine today and very occasional hints of rain.

Having practised yesterday by going to England to see Sue, tomorrow we are going the whole hog and setting off to London to help celebrate our granddaughter Evie’s second birthday which is on Sunday.

We will not be joining the crowds who are going there to watch the football. In fact we will be keeping as far away from them as is humanly possible.

Leaving the garden at this time of year is always a sad moment, but on this occasion it has to be done. As a result, Mrs Tootlepedal spent a busy morning getting things as well prepared for our absence as possible. The forecast has a couple of rainy days in store while we are away so watering should not be a problem.

We had coffee and scones with Dropscone, and then I got busy with dead heading as much as possible. There were definitely more bees about today and between snips, I managed to catch one or two in action.

There had obviously been a bee in my favourite pink poppy . . .

. . . but it had left before I got there.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I picked about half of the currants on our blackcurrant bush as they were fully ripe, and I didn’t want to come back and find that they were all lying on the ground. The rest should be ready to pick when we get home.

I went round recording some of the flowers that are looking at their best just now.

An astrantia . . .

. . . the front door clematis . . .

. . . a freshly out clematis on the fence.

. . . and an uninvited but welcome wildflower, Lapsana communis.

I have included an early flower on the rose known as ‘the little red rose’. The camera finds it very hard to focus on it because of its very uniform colouring but it is a really lovely little thing in real life.

The bird feeder was very quiet with a few siskins in place. . .

. . . and a hopeful sparrow in waiting when I looked.

The birds are not eating much seed at the moment and they will have to find their own food while we are gone.

After lunch, I went out to tend to the grass, and mowed and edged both lawns, and then mowed the drying green and the paths round the vegetable garden. I have put pictures of these into a gallery. The drying green has been left as far as possible to grow wild, with yellow rattle planted to try to discourage the grass in the long run. The vegetable garden paths are mainly self seeded and some have little or no grass but are all neatly trimmed weeds.

Then I took some more flower pictures just to remind myself of what we will be missing when we are gone. A moss rose . . .

. . . a French marigold . . .

. . . a water lily . . .

. . . a colourful sweep of geraniums . . .

. . . and a rosa complicata.

Then I went in and made four jars of jam with the blackcurrants that we had picked in the morning.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for music and conversation. Alison and I enjoyed the music as we played duets for recorder and keyboard, and Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike enjoyed the conversation.

Mike is very kindly taking us to the station tomorrow and Alison is looking after our tomatoes while we are gone.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin . . .

. . . and very appropriately, the flower of the day is the rose ‘Special Grandma’ which produced its first flower of the year today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Getting ready

  1. I am very happy that you will finally get to see Evie again (and also jealous of your chance to visit London – although I know you are not nearly as fond of London as I am!). Have a safe journey.

  2. Seeing a bee swarm is a rare thing. I’ve only seen two in 60+ years. It’s a fascinating thing to watch.
    The water lily is as beautiful as our native ones and Rosa complicata is very simple and uncomplicated. I’ve read that it is an ancient rose not bothered by the rose diseases of today.
    Safe and happy travels to London. I’m sure seeing little Evie will be a blessed event.

  3. So glad that you are travelling again, even if it does mean you have to leave your lovely garden.
    How fascinating that your very simple rose is called rosa complicata – or is that one of your little jokes?

  4. I am also tickled that such a simple looking rose could be saddled with the name ‘complicata’. Enjoy your weekend with your London family – such a precious time.

  5. It is always a pleasure to be taken on a tour round your garden, I hope it manages as best it can while you are away. Do have a safe and enjoyable visit to London, it will be good to see you in the flesh so to speak.

  6. Enjoy your trip to London to celebrate Evie’s birthday. I am glad you will be getting rain while you are away, and will not have to worry about watering.

  7. I hope you manage to stay away from the hordes of football “supporters”? They were disgusting as we have come to expect. Strange how none of it gets on the news. Hope you have a great time in London. Cheers.

  8. Did you build your compost bins yourself? I want to start a garden when we get settled at our new place in TX. Your system seems to work well for you, so what would you suggest I do to build a compost area?

    1. We got a local fencer to make us 12 three foot wide and six inch high squares which stack. So we can have two bins of adjustable height depending on need
      I decant the compost from Bin A to Bin B when Bin A gets full. Then i have an area to decant from Bin B when I want to start sieving.

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