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.