Posts Tagged ‘Nigella’

Today’s guest picture shows a little guerilla gardening seen by my sister Susan near her house in London.  It brightened her day up a lot.

guerilla gardening

It was a briskly windy day today so I decided to leave my first cycle ride of September until a later day.

I put the day to good use though and entered a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  This is usually a straightforward if slightly boring job but this particular week was another matter entirely.  A conscientious data miner had come across the entry for the annual Langholm Cattle show of 1893 and had painstakingly transcribed the names of all the attending members and all the prizewinners (together with their farm or street) recorded in the newspaper report.  Since Ken had done his part of the bargain so well, I thought it only right to type them all in and so this single week had more entries than three normal weeks combined.  I took it in stages but I had it all done by tea time.

I managed to walk round the garden as well though.

The dead heading of the cosmos beside the front door has kept them in very good order…


…though Mrs Tootlepedal feels that it is almost time to let them go.

We had plenty of butterflies in spite of the breezy conditions, sometimes coloured and sometimes white…

butterflies…and sometimes both at the same time.


In between times, I provided Dropscone with a cup of coffee and a sympathetic ear.  Not only had he had a disastrous round of golf yesterday but his phone line was out of order as well.  He came round to use our phone to report the fault.

After he went,  I did some more archiving, battled with the crossword and then had lunch.

After lunch Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda and I thought about a walk.  The weather looked rather threatening though so I stayed at home and sawed up quite a good number of logs from various bits of trees that have been culled over the summer by Attila the gardener.  It was fortunate that I had stayed in because a man came round to lay new flooring in the little downstairs room that will house our washing machine soon.

While he was at work, I cycled up to give a message from the telephone people to Dropscone and as a result of this an engineer will soon appear and mend everything (I hope).

The weather brightened up for a while so I nipped down to the riverside to see if I could get a picture of the many wagtails there.  Once again, there was no trouble spotting these little birds as there were six or seven on the shore or on rocks in the middle of the river but they are very small and lively so getting a shot was not easy. One or two bobbed up into the air not too far away from me.


I frightened this one off


This one had risen vertically from a rock (to catch an insect I presume).

I didn’t stay long and went back home to put in more of the newspaper index.

I had a break and another walk round the garden.

The green and white clematis is thriving

The green and white clematis is thriving

The Nigella has many stages.


A delicate seed head (probably dill) was swaying about beside the Nigella.

seed head

And a stocky lamium was well sheltered under other bigger plants.  It has flowered regularly over several months.


After I had finished the newspaper index, there was not enough time for a walk before I had to make my tea and then go off to Carlisle with Susan to play with our recorder group.  Our librarian Roy had an excellent selection in his music poke tonight and we played music written across many centuries and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The biscuits afterwards were good too.

The flower of the day is the welcome reappearance of an almost white poppy in one of the few sunny moments of the day…


…and the flying bird is a herring gull making off down the Esk.

Herring gull flying

It is my general rule only to use photos which I have taken during the day in any post but just after I posted last night’s effort, Mrs Tootlepedal called me into the garage to show me a visitor.  I thought it deserved to figure in a post.


We left the door open and the hedgehog had gone back into the garden by morning.

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Today’s guest picture shows Matilda contemplating a possible friend whom she met at Jupiter Artland near Edinburgh.

Matilda at Jupiter Artland

It was raining again when we got up this morning but by the time that I set for the High Street to visit the Archive Centre and then go to take my turn offering information to visitors, the rain had stopped.

The tourist information has been relocated to a prime spot in the Market Place and is both more comfortable for the volunteers and more accessible and obvious to visitors so my two hours passed by pleasantly enough and I even gave useful information to several visitors.

I had intended when I got home to do some dead heading, have some lunch, mow a lawn or two and shoot off for a cycle ride but I was absolutely overcome by lassitude for no particular reason and only managed a little dead heading, a single lawn and no cycling at all.

I didn’t even take many pictures.  This was partly because I was tired and partly because the sun refused to come out until the evening and partly because there wasn’t anything new in the garden.  I did take one or two though.


The cosmos conitnue to show the benefits of the dead heading

poppy and insects

The drier weather had brought some insects back out

There was only one fleeting glimpse of a coloured butterfly although there were quite a lot of white ones about.

two spot white butterfly

I summoned up enough energy to sieve some compost and whatever else you can say about our weather this year, I have to admit that it has been very suitable for the compost which is maturing at a good speed.

Mike Tinker came round for a cup of tea and he told me that the possible salvia which appeared on the blog a few days ago….


…is definitely a lobelia siphilitica.   So that is one up to him and the New Hampshire Gardener.  The curious name is based on the fact that it was thought to be a cure for syphilis.  As it seems to be poisonous this might be a cure of the ‘kill or cure’ variety.

After he left, I took the slow bike out on a fruitless search for interesting birds by the river.  They were very scarce to the point of invisibility.

herring gull

A non flying herring gull stayed firmly rooted to its rock until I gave up and moved on.

I was reduced to taking a picture of a slug….


…which was feeding on a huge fungus at the roots of one of the beech trees which is going to be felled on the Lodge walks.

When I got home, I noticed that the nigella seems to be getting ever pinker.


I find that these flowers are called Love in a Mist and I can see why in a way but what the octopus is doing there, I can’t imagine.

Just as it was time for me to go in and get my tea, the sun came out and kissed its favourite flower.


After tea, I was too busy to take advantage of the good weather as I had arranged for Mike and Isabel to come round and provide a harpsichord and cello  accompaniment for Luke and me as we played our Loeillet trio sonata.  This was great fun and Luke played really well and we got through all four movements in fine style.

When Luke left, Mike and Isabel stayed on and we played a Quantz trio sonata, a couple of Handel recorder sonatas, had a guided tour round the garden and finished off with a bit of Mozart.

Although I was still very tired and didn’t play at my best, we enjoyed ourselves as usual.

I was sorry not to be able to find a flying bird today but the arrival of a second paper white poppy makes up for it. The sun came out just in time for me to catch it at its best.

white poppy

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Today’s guest pictures were sent to me by Langholm exile Tom and show that the South Africans are just as good at spoiling beautiful scenery with power lines as we are.


We enjoyed the last day of our good weather today and I had a busy but uneventful time.

It started when Sandy came round to borrow my trimmer to trim his entries for the Canonbie Flower Show (who rather annoyingly use a non standard size for their entries).

Then I popped out for a quick 20 mile bicycle ride (and because of the very light wind, it was quite quick by my standards).

Then there was time to look round the garden and see some of the new flowers which have arrived, some quite routine…



…and others, more exciting.




The first hint of colour in the cardoons

There is a lot of colour in one of the beds along the front lawn.

Special Grandma at her best

Special Grandma at her best



dahlia and astrantia

dahlia and astrantia

There are clematis flowers to be seen elsewhere.  One is a curious green and white affair where it is hard to tell the flowers from the leaves and the other is in the wrong place or so the gardener tells me.


And the Golden Syllabub has finally produced a reasonable bloom.

Golden Syllabub

So in spite of it being the season of berries…


…and seeds….

next years poppies

Next year’s poppies being prepared

…we are still in cheerful mood.

Especially as I ate the first plum of the year today.

The rest of the day was spent going to Edinburgh to visit Matilda, who was in excellent form.


A little football on the lawn revealed that she has an excellent left foot and can shoot straight.

We had a good time playing in her tiny garden and enjoyed a meal of various curries before walking back through the town in a very mellow evening light…

Calton Hill

…and catching the train home again.

Our drive from Lockerbie to Langholm was illuminated by a generous moon and I took a picture of it when we got home.

full moon

In fact, I took two pictures with different exposures and very different results.

Full moon

A tree just got into the picture in this shot.

The flower of the day is one of the prolific poppies (and friend) which brighten our garden up at the moment.


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