Sunday, June 30, 2019


The weather has been somewhat mixed recently. For example, a few days ago, in balmy sunshine, I admired the candytuft I didn't plant (or at least, I scattered some seeds a few years ago and since then have allowed it to seed itself) and behind it, the Canterbury bells I never planted (but which seeds itself all over the place in this garden) and behind that, the foxgloves (ditto). It was a lovely day and I reflected that gardening is sometimes just going with the flow. To a limited extent.

Granddaughter and I took a trip to the local park. It was hot.

Grandson the Elder stayed the night on Friday so that he and his grandpa could go to a model railway exhibition in Perth yesterday morning.

While they were away, I walked with friends in the park, admiring the lovely flowers and enjoying the sunshine. Then there were a few spots of rain, so we quickened our pace to come back here for coffee and cake.

And then, shortly after they left ... it POURED.

AND POURED (this is not a pond. It's a flower bed, right in front of the front door. Argh).

And poured. We never used to get rain like this here - pounding relentlessly down and splashing up again with the force of its fall. Climate change. Fortunately it didn't last long. It saved me from having to water the pots outside and it did prove that our roof doesn't leak. It was a bit alarming, though.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


My brother and sister-in-law came to stay for a few days and we had a little at-home holiday with them. We went to the Victoria Crowe exhibition at the City Art Centre, which we all enjoyed. The quality of light in her paintings is very striking but doesn't come across well in a photo, especially as I usually had to take it from the side to avoid the worst of the glare.

She's very good on trees.

Sunset light on snow. I love this.

Another day we walked round Saughton Park. I don't like orange, even in flowers, but I have to admit that the combination of reddish-orange and white looks good here. (No orange flowers are allowed in my garden, though.)

Beautiful vistas.

And some rather successful wild flower planting.

Then we had a stroll round the grounds of Lauriston Castle. You wouldn't think you were in a city, would you? Here you can see over the water to Fife on the other side.

Lovely lupins, with nary a lupin aphid on them. Unlike mine.

We wandered round the Japanese garden, a gift from Kyoto.

Thank you, Kyoto.

It's much appreciated.

Then today they went away and then the sun came out. See, no orange in my garden.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Flowers, hair and summer nights

The other day we again made the journey over the bridge and up to Angus to visit Son and his family. We took Daughter 1 with us to meet her new nephew.

Here are Daughter 1, Son and The Unbloggable Baby. He has a good head of hair. As does Son.

We all went to a playpark, The Unbloggable Medium Granddaughter riding on the back of the buggy like a pro big sister.

Daughter 1 pushed her on the swings. It was a lovely day.

Back home, I admired my peonies. For once, this year (famous last words) it hasn't done its usual thing of pouring for days and ruining the blooms just at they reached their peak. The alliums are still good too.

To cheer ourselves (well, me) up for the lack of at-hand grandchildren (the Edinburgh ones were at school), the old chap and I had a walk in the Botanics, which always soothes my soul at least temporarily.

Delphiniums. I love delphiniums. So do slugs, though apparently not here.

These are interesting little primulas. I'm not sure if I like them, but they have an otherworldly charm.

This is my garden just after 10 last night, when I decided to go out and do some gardening. Hurray for the light nights.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Summer is definitely a-coming in

I don't know where the time goes - cliched but true. It's gardening season, so that accounts for some of it. My alliums are very good - such excellent doers. Look at all the different kinds of bees (and possibly non-bees?) on them.

Aah, irises.

Aah, clematis.

Aah, foxgloves, which I didn't plant but I did deliberately leave to flower. I do love them, though they're somewhat smothering the things in that bed that I did actually plant.

From Thursday to Sunday, one of my choirs hosted a choir from Wales. We personally had to stay a very interesting French lady (who lives in Wales) and the whole long weekend was taken up with rehearsals, two concerts and various sightseeing trips. One of the churches we sang in was right beside the Castle, so I nipped out for some fresh air between the rehearsal and the concert. It was all great fun but somewhat exhausting.

The Edinburgh grandchildren had a complicated weekend too, since Grandson (now the Elder) was away at Beaver camp overnight on the Saturday (and seemed to have a great time, despite his granny's anxiety - first night away without family). Granddaughter the Eldest was in four shows put on by her dancing school.

This is a very bad photo of her looking to see what the little girl beside her was doing and then doing it too, a second later. I'm not sure that's how it's supposed to work but of course she was the best really... .

When the shows were first mooted, the little ones were told that in their scene, the big girls were going to be princesses and the little ones were going to be frogs. This shows poor knowledge of the psychology of the modern small girl. There was rebellion - they wanted to be princesses. The whole thing was changed, and they were Victorian girls with balloons (not entirely sure why, but the dresses were pretty. Frogs indeed!).

And now I'm off to sew the wadding together and pin my quilt. Then - at last! - I can start to quilt it. It's not been touched for weeks for reasons of busyness. This retirement thing is a whirl of activity.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Flowers flowers flowers

Today we walked up the river in the other direction, admiring the oxeye daisies

and the ragged robin

and the buttercups, on the river bank.

We then reached the recently restored Saughton Park. It was pretty before, but a bit neglected in parts, but it's had a Lottery-funded makeover and is now stunning. They must have got a good deal on alliums!

 I just love herbaceous borders.

Vistas lead the eye away

and beautiful colours demand close attention.

The restored bandstand with a familiar old chap sitting on a bench to enjoy the view (actually looking at his phone).

The statue is by Kaivalya Torpy and is supposed to embody visions of peace. I'm all for that.

This house once stood in the gardens - built in about 1640 but left to decay in the 1900s and burnt down and demolished in 1952. Yes, quite.

They've excavated the footprint of the house and this is it.

Here's somewhere to sit out of the rain and look at the gardens in more typical Scottish weather.

And then we walked back home past the playing fields, where wild flowers have been planted along the path.

All so lovely and within ten minutes' walk of our house.