Yes, it's gonna be a cold, dreary summer, but I'll fill the emptiness, I'll send you all my blog every week etc etc . . .
Just watched a squirrel trying desperately to get its head through the bars of a squirrel proof feeder - and failing (for now).
The house martin nest in the gable is very silent and I believe the squirrel has had the eggs and the nest is abandoned - well was - suspicious tweeting coming from up there - possible a takeover again by the tree sparrows.
The garden is, sadly, full of fledgeling pigeons - 4 sitting in a row on a cherry tree branch, but then, also goldfinches feeding in the long grass to cheer me.
The lower banking needs scything if I can find the weather, the time and the inclination - actually the banking is steep so plenty of inclination. (Groan)
This is a self sown broom on that banking growing a bit close to the liquidambar (on the right). The broom needs pruning but I killed off the last one - pruned too hard - so just a light trim this time - after flowering of course.
Stuff arrived from Sarah Raven - 3 Euphorbia characias wulfenii and three Cosmos - the latter so taped into the bottom of a deep cardboard box I broke one trying to get it out. Planted them out and also the gladioli R bought at the Greenodd potato do that I had put in pond baskets - so I could fill a gap at this time of year.
The cardoon is enormous and I have a fancy to have several in a big clump somewhere as a STATEMENT.
This pansy is backlit and almost looks better from this angle - as they are south facing outside the kitchen, they face away from us. (Too many faces.)
Here is a combination that has worked - the catmint and osteospermum ecklonis.
They are by the roses. I have underplanted a large part of the rose bed with nepeta (catmint) which seems to be ok.
The forgetmenots are over and will be self sown so need to be removed.
In the fruit garden I have used the tried and tested chives as edging - and useful in a salad or as an addition to potato and mayonnaise salad (with a sprinkle of paprika or cayenne pepper on the top for colour.)
My old (well not ancient yet) friend PS from new Zealand came for lunch and take photos of the garden but it rained and rained - soft mizzle - soaked everything. Then, just before he went there was a short burst of sunshine lighting things up. He came, he ate, he drank, he took pictures and ate a large ripe strawberry. We talked, and laughed.
We went to Threave Gardens for a cuppa and a stroll. They have done much since last there including adding some Joe Smith stone sculpture like this.
I am reading Maritime Ireland, An Archaeology of Coastal Communities by Aidan O'Sullivan and Colin Breen. It makes one feel so transitory when one thinks of them fishing off the coast 10,000 years ago!
(I am also reading Geoge MacBeth's Collected Poems (Owl is a great poem) and Peter May's Blow Back - an Enzo Macleod novel so not too stuffy.) (In between I consistently fail to do the gentle Kakuro in the paper but can do the diabolical one - answers as to why on a small piece of paper by yesterday.)
We have been away in southern Scotland and walked the wonderful woods at Castramon near Gatehouse-of-Fleet - fantastic old beech trees, nuthatches and pied wagtails, sanicle by the path.
In the tree pic the footpath goes between the two trunks.
And then poppies are stupendous so here are more pics -
Glory of glories, the bullfinches are nesting in the privet at the back of the house.