Today’s guest picture of these lovely roses comes from my brother Andrew.
On a grey and occasionally rainy morning, Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work soon after breakfast making scones. I rushed round to the shop and bought biscuits and a pot of double cream. The reason for this preparation? The imminent arrival of our church choir friends Anne and Mike for morning coffee and refreshments.
The scones came out of the oven, the cream was whipped, raspberry jam was put on the table, coffee was brewed and everything was ready for our guests. In spite of a rain shower, they arrived bang on time, and we had a tour of the garden before going inside.
Entertaining guests has been a rare event over the past two years, so it was exceedingly nice to sit and chat with Anne and Mike for an hour.
When they left in better weather than when they came, I got busy cutting grass and polished off the front and middle lawns with the push mower, and the vegetable garden, the drying green and the greenhouse grass with the hover mower.
The front lawn is still showing signs of the jackdaw attack, but it has improved a bit . . .
We are leaving half the middle lawn unmown to encourage wild flowers and pollinators . . .
. . . and the hover mower is set high enough for plenty of daisies and dandelions to spring up almost the moment that I have finished mowing.
During the day I took several flower pictures, and because I took too many pictures today, I have put them into two panels although they were taken at different times of day.
A new geum has come out, aquilegias and poppies are popping up everywhere, and another early rose has arrived.
The ‘wild’ sweet rocket and Icelandic poppies were joined by the first irises of the year which had come out when the day warmed up later on.
After I had finished my mowing, I noticed another fungus in a flower bed and the first lupin flower of the year . . .
. . . and I couldn’t miss this vibrant collection of colours beside the front lawn . . .
. . . or the abundant clematis over the garage doors.
After lunch, I intended to go for a medium length cycle ride, but I had to talk to my mobile phone provider first as the operating system on the phone had been updated recently behind my back using up all my mobile data allowance for the month. As my phone is set only to update when I am on my home wi-fi, this was a shock. I was able to connect to an technical adviser very promptly, and he sorted the matter out very cheerfully, especially considering that he was personally feeling awful, hardly able to speak for a sore throat, and possibly suffering from Covid. The joys of working from home. This all took some time though, so when I did get going, I limited myself to a trip round my familiar Canonbie circuit.
It was pretty windy, and the first few miles up the Wauchope road were a real battle. However, things took a turn for the better when I took a turn southwards at Wauchope Schoolhouse. I was blown down to the bottom of the by-pass in a very satisfactory way. I naturally expected some hard work back in to the wind on my way home, but I got a pleasant surprise. It was one of those rare days when for some unfathomable reason the wind helps in both directions. The pedal home was a breeze.
I had time and energy to look about. There was a lot of clover beside the road at one point . . .
. . . and not only is clover a very pretty flower which attracts photographers . . .
. . . but it attracts bees too. This is just one of them.
I stopped again at the Hollows, glanced down the river, saw a beech tree by the bridge looking well, and met grass and silverweed beside the road through the village.
My final stop was to note that the invasive Pyrenean Valerian is taking over the whole roadside near Irvine House . . .
. . . but on the plus side, it was attracting bees too.
My new handlebars are obviously not holding me back, as thanks to the kindly wind, I did the twenty mile trip more quickly than any effort for the last year and a half.
I haven’t got my time organised at all when it comes to writing this post, probably as a result of easting too many scones with raspberry jam and cream, so all the birds shots are coming in a lump at the end today.
There are increasing numbers of sparrows turning up at the feeder to join the redpolls and siskins . .
. . . but by way of variety, a bunch of rooks turned up today and made free with the fallen seed.
They arrived in numbers . . .
. . . and one settled on the plum tree . . .
. . .and remained calm when another flew low over its head.
A jackdaw on the feeder pole looked a bit cheesed off by this invasion.
The day brightened up a lot as the afternoon went on, but by the time that we had had a cup of tea, Zoomed with my brother and sisters, and eaten our evening meal, it seemed too late for a electric bike ride. We subsided into easy chairs instead, and watched the Chelsea Flower Show.
The flying bird is one of the rooks, making off with a crop full of sunflower seeds.