We went for a song

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He likes the churchyard at St Matthew’s Church, Darley Abbey, because it commands fine views and it is, as he says, “Well benched”.

After a much better night’s sleep, I rose late, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, skipped through an easier than usual prize crossword, and went out into he garden for a look around. It was a cool (16°C) day, very cloudy, but quite calm.

The patio rose is producing more and more flowers every day and they are lasting very well, although they are beginning to fade now.

There had been another sprinkle of rain overnight, but only a few drops were still lying on petals.

The big buddleia by the drying green is bursting into flower . . .

. . . but we have yet to see any butterfly visitors enjoying its charms.

The verbascum, is spite of its bends and twists continues to get taller . . .

. . . and I had to reach well above my head to take a picture of one of its flowers.

A low lying potentilla was an easier target.

I was walking through the vegetable garden to check on the apples when I was detained by the phacelia yet again.

When I got to the apples, they seemed to be doing very well.

In the mini meadow, I spotted a fine meadow vetchling flower . . .

. . . and we are quite pleased by how well the recent planting of Mrs Tootlepedal’s wild flowers from seed is going. It is not so easy to create a wild flower meadow, even a very tiny mini meadow, as you might think.

I didn’t have long to wander round the garden. We were summoned across to our neighbour Liz’s for coffee, and we didn’t have a great deal of time to linger over coffee and conversation as there were one or two things to be done in the garden before we had an early lunch.

Once lunch was over, we got into our car and drove 40 miles into north Cumbria to visit the village hall in the little village of Bothel. The reason for the visit was to meet a community choir from Dacorum in Hertfordshire. (The Borough of Dacorum is a local government district in Hertfordshire, England that includes the towns of Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring and Kings Langley.) The choir was on a weekend tour to Cumbria that included a boat trip on Derwent Water, a singing afternoon with us, and a outdoor concert in Carlisle tomorrow.

I had researched the village hall on Google maps, and it don’t look all that promising as a venue . . .

. . . so it was a great pleasure to find that Lottery money had been well spent on a complete rebuild . . .

. . . with some excellent planting as an added bonus.

I had time to get on nodding terms with a Bothel robin . . .

. . . on a Bothel school gate . . .

. . . before the rest of our choir turned up in a bus and the singing began. The venue was ideal.

You never know how these things are going to go, but this occasion was one of the good ones. The visiting choir was very friendly and sang well, and we had several hours of enjoyable singing under the expert guidance of their excellent conductor, Rufus Frowde. As this was followed by a good quality buffet and some more singing, it can be counted as a very good day out.

We drove home as dusk was falling. Quite a lot of rain was also falling, and it was pretty wet in Langholm when we got home.

As we had popped into Marks and Spencers in Carlisle on our way to Bothel, we were able to finish the day with a dish of home grown raspberries and whipped fresh double cream.

No flying bird today, but I shot a sitting bird before we left after lunch.

Footnote: We just hope that rain knows it has to stop before our outdoor concert tomorrow.

Another footnote: This was not my most lucid post but a lot of singing fairly takes it out of you these days.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “We went for a song

  1. That’s a nice crop of phlox in the header and a nice crop of apples too.
    I like the phacelia enough to want to grow it but it has to be treated as an annual here because it won’t stand our winter cold. It is said to produce high quality pollen and nectar that attracts many different insects.
    The village hall had quite a makeover. It must attract many more visitors than it did before.

  2. I was surprised to see a name I recognised dropped in to your blog today. My son (while still a youth) sang in the Surrey Youth Choir, which Rufus Frowde also conducted. I remember him being a very animated conductor.

  3. Thank you for sharing your lovely day. Love all your purply plants and good to know you enjoyed visiting a new venue for a singalong and a tasty tea.

  4. Your verbascum is so intriguing. We have foxgloves that do the very same thing. Your phacelia is far more elegant than our wild one. I’m impressed! I very much sympathize about creating a wild flower meadow having been working at one for several years… with perhaps more fails than successes, but we soldier on. 😉

      1. As a rule, it’s always the pesky ‘weeds’ that smother out the wild flowers one tries to grow around here. We have a never ending battle with some invasive (non-native) Himalayan blackberry vines that tend to grow rampant, crowding out the more sedate natives. Eric attacks them with the machete and has managed to tame them to an extent, but they NEVER give up entirely. 🥴

        As for the bent verbascum or foxgloves… we’ve noticed birds perching on them to eat the flowers(?) and I can’t help but wonder if perhaps they are the ones doing the bending.

      2. The verbascum is far too thick to be bent by a bird. It is a mystery. We have invasive plants in our area but nothing too fierce in our actual garden.

  5. I enjoyed your selection of photos. The butterfly bush looks quite happy! I am beginning to miss the rain here now as we head into 90+ degree heat this week.

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