Posts Tagged ‘poached egg plant’

Today’s guest picture shows one of our son Tony’s dogs enjoying the sunshine on the East Wemyss Riviera.  It’s lip-smackingly good there.

Tony's dog.

Our spell of dry and sunny weather started its drift to normality today as the temperature dropped a degree or two and the sun became rather shy as the day went on, but it was still a remarkably nice day for the time of year.

The morning was made even brighter by the arrival of Sandy for a cup of coffee and when he left, I had a look for new flowers and found that the Limnanthes douglasii, better known as the poached egg plant had come out….

poached egg flower

…though there was not much evidence of the white of the egg in most of the flowers.

Mrs Tootlepedal has two perennial wallflowers and the second one is just flowering…

perennial wallflower new

…and it has so many potential flowers that I have a feeling that it will appear many more times in posts before the end of its season.

The chief event of the morning though was a visit to Mike and Alison Tinker’s garden.

This charming acer brillinatissimum welcomes  visitors to the estate.

acer brilliantissimi

I reported a few days ago that after waiting twelve years, Mike and Alison’s Kowhai plant from New Zealand had produced a flower.  I can now report that it hasn’t stopped producing flowers since…


…and it was looking very impressive indeed.

Mike showed Mrs Tootlepedal another of his Antipodean guests.

wollemi pine and gardeners

This is a wollemi pine, a plant so rare that it was thought to be extinct until a few specimens were discovered in a remote valley in Australia in 1994.  In order to preserve the species, the original plants were the subject of a scheme of propagation and material was distributed round the world.  Mike’s daughter, a professional gardener obtained this plant for him and it is now thriving in his garden.

wollemi pine

There were several other interesting plants to see.

There was a snowflake, a bulbous perennial of the Amaryllis family.


And a wine and rose rhododendron.  As it is an early flowerer it had to be carefully protected by Mike and Alison with fleece during the recent frosty nights but the trouble they took was well worthwhile.

wine and rose rhododendron

As well as white trilliums, they have these striking red ones too.


And as he knows that I like fuchsias, Mike pointed this Fuchsia Thalia to me.  It is certainly unusual but I don’t think it is my favourite Fuchsia.

fuchsia thalia

We may have white and red pulsatillas, but Mike and Alison have purple ones.


Their garden may not be the biggest in Langholm but it is probably one of the most interesting ones.

We went home and I sieved some compost and then went in to do some business which involved phoning a large insurance company.  We are on a roll just now and after the very satisfactory visit from an engineer yesterday, I got straight through on the phone to a competent and courteous young man and resolved my business satisfactorily in just a few minutes.  What are things coming to?  I won’t have anything to complain about soon.

Then we had lunch.

After lunch, we were visited by the representative of the power company who had come to weigh up the scheme for replacing our old and rickety electricity pole which sits in the vegetable garden.  After some discussion, it was agreed that they would bring in a mini digger to dig the hole for the new pole and that company agreed to make good any damage to the vegetable beds affected.    This meant moving our present strawberry bed so Mrs Tootlepedal gave the strawberries a very good watering and while this soaked in, we went off for a short bicycle ride to view the bluebells which she hadn’t seen so far this year.

I couldn’t help taking a few pictures while we there.

more bluebells 5

They have spilled over from the top of the hill and the whole banking is now going blue.

more bluebells 4

Wall to wall carpeting was to be seen on all sides.

more bluebells 3

Mrs Tootlepedal was thoroughly pleased that she had made the effort to visit.

more bluebells 2

We pedalled home by the long route, going along the Murtholm, across Skippers Bride…

distillery with leaves

…and back to the town along the other bank of the river.  I stopped on the suspension bridge to admire the cherries and remark on how low the river was.

cherries by esk between bridges

And looked downstream too.  The trees are green.Down river esk from suspension bridge

When we got home, we moved the strawberry plants to their new bed and gave them another good watering.  They look healthy enough so we hope that they will not mind the move too much.

I went to our corner shop to buy some eggs and came upon the travelling fishmonger’s van on the way back so I had smoked haddock kedgeree for my tea and Mrs Tootlepedal had hot smoked salmon.

After tea, I went off to sing with Langholm Sings, our community choir, and it was good to be singing together again after the Easter break.  We have a concert coming up in a month so we worked hard.

The weather had finally broken and it was raining as I walked home.  Fortunately, I had checked the weather forecast before going out and I had a brolly with me.  The rain is welcome  but the drop in temperature is not so welcome.  We may even see the return of the vest.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch creeping up on a redpoll.

flying goldfinch and redpoll

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Today’s guest picture, sent by my son Tony to annoy us, shows his villa as seen from the beach as he and Marianne enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine on a short holiday.

Villa TonyA look on the Met Office website this morning showed that the ‘feels like’ factor here was 7°C but even that felt generous as the everlastingly strong wind made life outside feel very chilly indeed.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda and nearly got knocked off her feet by the wind there.  The wind in Edinburgh is always worse than the wind anywhere else though.

I waited at home to let the joiner and his mate in.  They did some of those little niggling jobs that need doing but never seem to get done.  Today, however, they did get done.

Even though it was cold and windy, it could have been worse because the forecast rain held off until the evening so we were grateful for a dry day.  I stayed inside and enjoyed the show out of the window.

It was The Day of the Starlings: Part ll.

starlings and young

It started with a pose for a family picture…

starlings and young

…but soon got down to business.   Watch the youngster on the right…..

starlings and young

…he just wasn’t getting enough attention so he trod on one sibling…

starlings and young

…and then his parent…

starlings and young

…and then tried to push his other sibling off the perch.

Why am I sure that this was a boy and not a girl?

Other youngsters proved that shouting really loudly does get results.

starlings and youngstarlings and youngSoon, there were so many starlings on the feeder that it was hard for a parent to tell one bird from another.

starlings and youngHow did that sparrow get in?

starlings and young

The sparrow soon left as space was at a premium.

starlings and young

And the show went on….and on….and on, all day.

I decided that I had to take some exercise so I wrapped up well and went for a walk round the Kilngreen and the Castleholm in the hope of seeing some birds that weren’t starlings.

oystercatcher and heronWalking on, I saw a flying wagtail and a pretty fern on a wall…
fern and wagtail…an impressive display of lichen on a tree trunk and fresh growth in a conifer….

lichen and conifer….some wild flowers beside the path, some pretty, some strange….

wild flowers…and got home in time to go to the Buccleuch Centre for a Patrons’ Lunch.  These lunches are accompanied by a lecture from a guest and today we got a fascinating talk, with a wealth of interesting statistics on the progress of the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project from Dr. Sonja Ludwig, the chief project scientist.  Well, it was very interesting to me and those who wish, can see what it was all about by visiting the project website.

In the afternoon, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group index and caught up with my Archive mail box.  I then spent more time preparing pictures of views of Langholm for cards.  It is difficult to get them bright enough to catch the eye of potential purchasers in the paper shop without making the colours untrue.  More work is needed.  I need to develop my understanding of what my printer will produce from screen shots.  Life is much easier when you are just preparing pictures for digital viewers.

During the day, I was able to get out into the garden and do a little mowing and some compost turning and of course, to take a few pictures.

back path

The back path is reasonably colourful at the moment.

clematis and poached egg plant

Things are coming out properly in spite of the chill

white spike

This looks exciting. I will have to ask Mrs Tootlepedal what it is.  It has been a bit blown about though.


I was advised to keep an eye on euphorbia developments so I did just that.  What an amazing plant it is.

Mrs Tootlepedal got home safely, having battled the fierce winds in Holyrood Park while pushing Matilda around and then after tea, I went off with Susan to play recorders with our group in Carlisle.

We had  a hard working practice sorting the final programme out for a forthcoming concert and working through the pieces.  I say it is the final programme but Susan thinks that we might have too much material and further slimming down may be necessary.  Still, it is better to have too much and discard some than to have too little and add an unpractised piece at the last minute.

The flying bird of the day is that oyster catcher leaving the Kilngreen.

flying oyster catcher

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Today’s guest picture shows a colourful corner of my daughter’s garden on Monday.  As she is in Cannes at the moment, it is having to get on without her.

Annie's gardenI personally had a very quiet day in contrast to the loud and windy weather outside.  After a night of rain, it was at least dry, although we only got very infrequent moments of sunshine.

I put a dull day to good use by doing some vacuuming, dusting and window cleaning.  Now that the front room is watertight, we are trying to make sure it is well looked after.  I also made some soup, mowed the grass round the green house and on the drying green and put a week of the newspaper index into the database so although I didn’t work up any great speed at any time, at least I was generally employed usefully for once.

In between times, instead of staring out of the kitchen window, I walked round the garden once or twice.

Things were rather yellow today.

yellow flowersyellow flowersOther colours were available.

white flowersapple blossomlithospermum and euphorbiaBut the most striking flower was yellow.

tulipMrs Tootlepedal, stopped tidying up inside after lunch and started to to some tidying up in the garden instead.  She showed me an interesting looking thing.  We think it might be a slime mold.

slime moldIn spite of the threat of rain, I went for a walk in the second part of the afternoon.  I was in search of garlic and bluebells.  There was garlic….

garlic…and bluebells….

bluebells…but neither of them are at their full glory so I will just have to try again later.  The rain stayed away and the walk was very pleasant though…

beechy plains…and there was much to please the eye along the way, both in the way of wild flowers and mosses.

flower and mossThere were bluebells here and there wherever I walked….

bluebellSome of them were being visited by very orange coloured bees but I couldn’t get one to stop long enough for a picture.

I thoroughly enjoyed a rabbit giving a living example of lying low.  It saw me and having decided that I was between it and safety, it just sat very still indeed and hoped that I would go away.

rabbitI went away so its scheme worked.

At Pool Corner, near the end of my walk, I checked up on the slow worm shelters.

There were lots of little ones.slow wormsAnd one big one.

slow wormWhen I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal had been at work in the garden but had been driven inside by the nagging, inhospitable wind.

I enjoyed a cup of tea and looked out of the window at some nice colour combinations instead of my usual birds.

garden colourI did see a bird or two as well.  The goldfinches were still going on at each other.

goldfinchesNear the feeder, Mrs Tootlepedal has put in a hellebore which seems to be enjoying life in spite of the wet and windy weather.

helleboreIt is not the world’s most exciting flower but it repays closer inspection.

helleboreIn the evening, my flute pupil Luke came.  His mother came too and asked if we would like to play a few simple duets at a musical evening at The Hub at the end of the month.  We boldly said that we would so we will have to practice hard.

After yesterday’s fine display of wing feathers, the birds were keeping themselves to themselves to day and so we have a wingless flying goldfinch of the day.

flying goldfinch

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