Today’s guest picture comes from Manitoba, where my correspondent Lucie has grown a fine sunflower (with added friends).
After yesterday’s brilliant sunshine, it was a disappointment to wake up to a very different day here today. It started grey, it ended grey, and in between, it was grey.
It was neither warm not cold, but it was quite pleasant for working in the garden. I was happy to pick sweet peas, and do some compost sieving and dead heading between breakfast and coffee.
After coffee, Attila the Gardener got into action, so there was any amount of shredding to keep me busy. I found time to look about though.
The dahlias provide a colourful contrast to the weather. There were not quite so many bees about today and not a butterfly to be seen
The little red poppies are amazing. They keep coming up with new flowers long after all the other poppies in the garden have gone to seed. Today’s flower was really red.
I took a last look round just before I went in for lunch.
The lamiums have been rather overlooked, perhaps because they have been out for so long that I take them for granted.
The first lamium picture of this year appeared in a post in March.
I especially liked the last look round that I had before going into the house for lunch.
After lunch, I had a quick garden tour and found a sunflower with no friends. . .
. . . and the mint very busy with bees.
Then I went off for a cycle ride. The forecast suggested that the clouds might clear away as I went along, but the forecast was wrong. It was a grey ride.
And at the request of my legs after yesterday’s hilly walk, it was a slow and fairly flat ride. I went on a gentle circle, out over Callister to Middlebie, and back by way of Kirkpatrick-Fleming and Glenzier. This gave me a chance to look at verges on the old A74 which were dotted with wild flowers . . .
. . . and examine the Korean pines in Half Morton churchyard. They were exuding resin and looked as though they had been iced by an inexpert cake decorator.
I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden when I got home. Since the use of garden hoses is frowned upon because of our lack of rain, she has had to do a lot of hand watering to keep drooping plants looking perky again.
I wandered about and saw a dahlia with a friend . . .
. . . and a handsome clover flower among her green manure.
When I went in, I took a moment to look out of the window to see if there were any birds at the feeder.
It wasn’t easy to see clearly in the gloomy light, but my camera could just make out a goldfinch and a chaffinch among the willows surrounding the feeder . . .
. . . and a siskin waiting for its moment.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round for music and conversation. Alison and I played three recorder and keyboard pieces by Telemann, while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal exchanged news and views over a small glass of beer. It is good to be taking some cautious steps back towards normal life, but the recent upsurges in cases is making us all quite nervous about taking bigger steps.
It was hard to catch a flying bird of the day today because every time one came near the feeder, it got shouted at . . .
. . . so to brighten up the end of a gloomy day, here is a selection of snapdragons . . .
. . . and five smiling flowers in row.