Straight up

Today’s guest guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. She has been visiting local gardens, and kindly sent me this picturesque scene.

We had another lovely spring day here, not sunny all the time, but sunny enough to keep us cheerful. I dillied and dallied a bit, doing some tidying up and shredding of the ex buddleia bush, checking on the birds . . .

. . . and walking round the garden enjoying the vivid colours of geums, poppy, azaleas and the last tulip. . .

. . . and picking out some favourites like these aquilegias . . .

. . . and the ever expanding euphorbia.

And finally, after a cup of coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal, I got my bike out, gave it clean and set off to cycle north uphill and into the wind for an hour. The hill to Mosspaul isn’t very steep and the wind wasn’t very strong, so with the aid of copious electricity, I managed twelve and a half miles in 56 minutes and stopped to turn at a convenient entrance to this impressive little quarry.

It had a promising pine tree at its entrance.

Because it was a working day and the road was quite busy, I didn’t stop to take pictures except for this single shot of the tree felling at Mosspaul.

The picture doesn’t show how steep the banking is. The people who planted the trees on this difficult slope were regarded as pretty special workers in their time, but the people who have cleared it like this must have had some really good machines to help them. It is a lesson in how misjudged grant schemes can encourage people to grow the wrong trees in the wrong place.

With the wind behind me and the slope in my favour, I did the twelve and a half miles home in forty seven minutes, using very little help. The ride took my mileage for the month to just over 300, and with the good weather set to stay with us until the end of the month, if all goes well, I might get a decent monthly total for the first time this year.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy in the garden while I was out, and after a cheese and chutney sandwich for my lunch, I joined her. I mowed the greenhouse grass and the vegetable garden paths, finished clearing up and shredding the buddleia, and then had another walk round.

The mini wild flower meadow on the drying green is not a riot of colour yet but there are signs of life.

Some afternoon sunshine brought out the best in the rhododendron.

I looked at some of the flowers that Mrs Tootlepedal is considering for her putative blue border next spring.

I hope that it does appear, as it should look very good. Mrs Tootlepedal is worried about what to do with the border after the blue flowers are over, but I think that it would be worth while even if it was a little dull later in the summer. We shall see.

I spent a little time trying to get my camera to look up at a nectaroscordum without me having to lie on my back. There were a lot of discards before I got this shot.

I sat on a bench to recover and a dunnock scurried across the lawn, pausing for one vital moment.

Then I took a picture of the back path (or ‘Ally’s allium alley’ as it is sometimes known). . .

. . . and went in.

I had a look at the birds, and noticed a greenfinch having a bit of a misjudgement as it tried to land on the feeder.

A sparrow had better timing.

We should have had a Zoom with our granddaughter Matilda and son Alistair, but they were having too much fun in the sun in the garden, so we gave it a miss. I went out to see what was making all the racket in our garden. There were blackbirds, starlings and sparrows flying about in all directions feeding their plaintive young. I caught some of them having a well earned rest. along with a singing dunnock and a passing jackdaw.

A peony caught my eye . . .

. . . and I liked this little rowan tree which grew uninvited in the garden and has been transplanted by Mrs Tootlepedal as a feature in the front bed.

Then I went back in and had a Zoom with my brother and sisters. My sister Mary had literally walked miles to visit the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park today only to find that the azaleas and rhododendrons were pretty well over. It is an iron law of garden visits that you are always a week too early or a week too late.

It was Dropscone’s birthday today and when I rang him up, he told me that he was feeling a little better and had managed to make some soup to mark the occasion.

The flying bird of the day is a sparrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

12 thoughts on “Straight up

  1. There must be a lot of blue flowers that will carry the border into fall. Balloon flowers and asters are two that come to mind.
    I wonder if there is any agate in that quarry. I’ve been hearing a lot about Scottish agate lately.
    I like that pink azalea. It’s a lot like our wild azaleas.

  2. Glad to read Dropscone is feeling better, especially on his birthday. Happy, happy! And what a sweet little bridge in Venetia’s picture. Would mind having one like that over the stream in the woods behind my house.

  3. A cheery and bright post with lovely flower photos- you’ll need sun glasses to look at them soon! Like the single shots of the peony and rowan tree too. Good news about Dropscone especially on his birthday. Geraint Thomas is all in pink matching your rhododendron!

  4. Wishing Dropscone a belated happy birthday. I hope he continues to feel better.

    The late spring flowers are beautiful, and I especially like those orange poppies. The euphorbia have exploded in yellow stars!

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